Teaching dog not to kill birds?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by griswolfy, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. griswolfy

    griswolfy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Nor. Cal.
    I have an airedale terrier and wanted to know if anybody knew how I could teach her not to kill chickens if I let them out of the coop for the day. She hasnt killed any yet. She is a hunting dog so don't know how it's gonna work out. None of the chickens have been killed since we had her so that is good( by foxes). Thanks
     
  2. chicken+quail=luv

    chicken+quail=luv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 18, 2008
    Strawberry fields.
    when we were teaching my dog not to hurt them, we would keep her on a harness or tight leash with someone holding it tightly, and someone else would hold one of the chickens a small distance away from her. of she was calm, we would let her get a little closer. if she was mean or tried to get to the chicken, we would hit her on the nose and say "no!". it seemed to work after awhile of this, and now they love her! hope this helps!
     
  3. Depends on the dog. A shock collar works ONLY if you are present to sustain an intervention. A hot wire around the chickens works. If you stay with the dog during the time he is in contact with the chickens and make sure you are delegent and alert this works, but with a whole lot of time and effort. It is good that he has not killed yet, this is a good start. Do not let him do so or you will more than likely have to rid yourself of a dog or the chickens. Other efforts you can use is to put his kennel in a close proximity of the chickens everyday for a month. This will get him used to them being around him. Let him out at night while the chickens are roosting and put him up during the day while the chickens are out. We did this with our heeler and it worked. But, of course we had to stay with him when he was in contact with the chickens. It is a long and sometimes frustrating training program, but in the end it is worth it because the dog will realize this is his flock too and while want to protect it.
     
  4. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I have a separate yard for the dogs. The chickens still get to roam but not in the front yard. Of course occassionally we have a goose or turkey fly into the dogs yard but so far they have not attacked them. My dogs are a golden retriever and collie. Murphy (the retriever seems more interested in the ducks. He will bark if a chicken waks past the front gate but thats about all. I believe its just nature they are going to go after chickens so I don't tempt fate.
     
  5. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Canton, N.C.
    My Japaneese Chin's both tried to play or eat the chicks. The main problem dog spent time held in the coop, and chickens brought to her daily, all with tight supervision. In due time she got over it and now seems to be a protector. ------I also note the assortment of neighborhood dogs seem to ignore the chickens, even the labs and coon hound types. ------I assume that the chickens are now part of the enviorment. Both the dogs will hunt birds and squirels in the yard, but ignore the chickens. I think that most dogs given time and controls and expectations will come through if humans take the time and effort, and makes the expectations clear.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It depends how you're going to feel about a "one-time" failure. If you read older posts on this part of the forum you will find a LOT of people who were positive that their dog -- either by nature or by careful training -- was totally chicken-safe... right up to the moment that, er, suddenly he isn't, oopsie.

    If that's ok with you, it would be worthwhile to at least TRY training and see where it gets you.

    But if you would be very upset if your dog EVER kills some of your flock, then I just do not see that training is 100% enough guaranteed.

    JMO, good luck whichever way,

    Pat
     
  7. Verboten

    Verboten Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    Dogs are such wonderful animals, they have been domesticated over millennia to serve the needs and even whims of their keeper. It does take consistent application of training techniques (training is never finished) but there is very little within reason that they can not do - *It is in their nature to be trained* - they actually want to be.
    Training with punishment does work but it is easier to train with reward because you do not need *as much* consistency (punishment must be even more consistent and threats of punishment - punishment that is not followed through on hurts the effect - but you can skip a treat or even a few and the dog will keep right on learning, or even learn that a pat on the back of the head is just as good). Sometimes a combination of the two is needed.
    I think it is well within reason for your dog to be able to be trained to leave your livestock alone - people have expected this for hundreds of years and you seem to have a very trainable breed. I haven’t heard of a breed that was actually bred to be predatory toward livestock, there are just ill-trained animals that have learned obnoxious behaviors (they as well as us can learn by themselves) that are very hard to brake (and mostly are just not worth the effort).
    It is however hard to train your dog when you are not around and setbacks (as mentioned above) have the possibility of happening.
     
  8. Quote:Ya know, I agree with everything you have typed.

    One thing though. I feel that if you have a smart dog a good beating when he has been CAUGHT IN THE ACT is one of the best things that can happen to them.
     
  9. griswolfy

    griswolfy Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Nor. Cal.
    Thanks for the replies, airedales are protectors and if she knew that i didn't want her to kill the birds, Im sure she wouldn't it's just getting the point across. She lives outside most the time because we live in the woods so she just hangs out but she never cares about the chickens until I'm in the coop then she runs around sometimes yapping. I have let her in the coop she didn't really run after the chickens she just walked in the coop sniffing and curious, ill see what I can do?
     
  10. Verboten

    Verboten Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 25, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:rimshoes - I too do this (I wouldn't call it a beating, but I know what you mean) you certainly can't just do nothing when you see bad behavior, but if it does happen again... same routine - no letting it go because they look like they are sorry. - and some dogs are certainly just better than others in all types of characteristics (the reason selective breeding is important).

    griswolfy - I myself would try (as you seem inclined to do). There would be risk in trying to keep them separated forever too.
     

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