Training dogs (terriers) Not to ATTACK your waterfowl?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by mominoz, May 1, 2009.

  1. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    I have been just letting my month old goslings outside in the dog fenced yard for a couple hours a day, with me nearby or checking on them from inside the window. Our 3 terriers (2 rat terriers , 1 wimpy Jack Russel) are locked INSIDE -- but sometimes I go out thru the back door into the dog yard. I tell the dogs no, and they don't try to get out the door,if I am firm. But they do whine at the window, one will bark and get real excited about the goslings. I have taken each dog into the garage and shown them the goslings and told them NO,if they get too excited. I have let them see me sitting with the goslings thru the window.
    But I don't trust them of course. [​IMG] I didn't see two of them as I went out the door as I was carrying plants and they came out of the other room fast and out the door, Total choas, they are running, the goslings are running , I am screaming at the dogs , Everyone is goint itn circles, I The 3rd terrier came out , so I couldn't yell at each one long enough. The gosling s got inside a small fence around two bushes, the ganders start raisinng wings and hissing-- Mass confusion. I caught two of the dogs by the scruff and am carrying them inside running,t he third , who I figure was the least threat is going after, and by the time I ran back, he was on top of one.( one of the females, they often flatten down to the ground when afraid) . I grabbed him and he got a spanking (which I never do for training...).
    So I am open to suggestions , as to how to let them know, NOT to go after the geese (and coming ducks)-I intend to keep them separate, - but accidents happen). Fortunately , no injuries, but the geese seemed upset and came over and hugged the fence near me, when I went back to gardening and were vocalizing. So I realised they seemed to need some reassurance. So I went into their fence and sat with them, they stayed close for a while, then after a while went back to grazing and I could go on the other side of the fence and weed, without them fence hugging nearby. After this and the Turkey buzzard flyover, they diffinently seek me out as their protector. They still live in the garage while we are building their aviary Ft. Knox and finishing fencing the property. But I take them out daily to graze the dog yard, and have taught them "dinnertime" association with feeding.And they are getting more at ease with me carrying them in and out.
    Of course I realise, soon they will probably terrorize the terriers (had pet geese about 15 years ago) and that may solve the problem, but I'd like to hear of anyway others may have solved the problem. (these same dogs wrestle with our large male cat- the cat wins)----- But they are being careful .....
  2. cawooduck

    cawooduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Livermore, CA
    use a shock collar for the dogs, when they go after the goslings, hit the button and watch them cart wheel!! That way they think the goslings "hurt" them and not win both ways.

    And the shock collar is in my opinion the most humane and effective way to train a dog. Heck, ive put the shock collar on my own leg when i first got it because i wanted to feel the effects, and it certainly gets your attention!!!
  3. barnwife

    barnwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    central Texas
    I am not sure of how to help. Its like you said...they are terriers...bred to have an extremely high and irrepressible small prey drive!

    Maybe some sort of underground fence? Or the shock collar idea. Or kennel them whenever the goslings get their turn.

    I have a neighbor with a jack russell, and she dang near ft knoxed him in because of similar stuff with my birds....

    he ended up having to go to the vet every couple of weeks because he chewed the wire horse fencing until he lost half of his teeth

    AND for his paws being bloody from digging and trying to climb the fence. ..

    AND busted one of his legs b/c it got caught in the fencing while he was five feet up in his kennel

    The worst part is, he was in a wire kennel big enough for a great dane to romp in.... right abotu 20' x20' ish, and six feet high, chicken wire bottom and top.

    This kennel was on the other side of their house, my chickens/ducks are on the side of my house towards my other neighbor....!! Good thing they put a bottom AND a top ion it!

    I honestly hope you can find solution...but please beware that sometime a dogs' instincts ca not be cured.
  4. doggeek15

    doggeek15 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Personally, I don't like shock collars, especially for small dogs. If your timing isn't perfect, the dog just ends up scared, with no idea why he got shocked or how to avoid it in the future. Although it would probably distract him from the goslings, I don't think it would last long and the goslings might end up getting hurt. You would have to shock him over and over, which would hurt him...
    Honestly, I think keeping them apart is probably best. Maybe you could put up a gate that you can get over but your dogs can't? That way, if you leave the door open, they still cant get out. It sound like this is a temporary situation, so maybe just keeping them apart for now would work. I don't know yours, but generally, terriers take a long time to train...
    If you really want to try to train them, I would try bringing them out (one at a time) on a leash. When he lunge, jerk the leash enough to get his attention and say 'no' firmly. You could also try keeping yourself between the dog and the goslings, keeping his attention on you. Repeat until they are calm (or at least sitting still) and then reward them with a treat and/or praise. You could also try putting the goslings in a crate and let the dogs get used to them through the wire. Maybe try distracting them with food or a toy so they just get used to the goslings being around and don't bother them.
    I don't know if any of this will work because terriers have a really strong prey drive, but that's what I would try to start with. If it doesn't work, just try to keep them apart until the goslings are big enough to defend themselves...
  5. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2009
    I don't see why a shock collar wouldn't work. In fact I can't see any other option. Terriers are terriers, and you have to give them a reason to leave the poultry alone. The only way to do that is to make them think the goslings zapped them. Just remember though, timing is everything.
  6. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    We have 2 Boston Terriers that get along fine with the chickens and ducks. They get used to them afterawhile. I would just let them check out one or two goslings at a time. Let them smell them and stuff. Its mostly because your birds are running, my birds are used to my dogs and don't run.
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    walk them with you on leash one at a time... quick correction everytime they show interest.
  8. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Are you sure your dog fence will contain your terriers? Keep in mind what "barnwife" posted about her neighbors terrier. I would not run goslings in the dog yard myself both geese and dogs have a high sense of territory and both have to be convinced that it is OK for the other to be in THEIR territory. It sounds like the goslings have learned by now that the dogs are not their friends. Geese and terriers ate both strong willed and I think you now have a real problem on your hands.
  9. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    The dog yard is fenced with 2x4" 48" horsefencing.It is the only safe place to let the geese out in for now, while I am building their goose house pen/aviary. (and dog fencing the 11/2 acre house area for later grazing).But I just had a 'duh" moment . We have a double gate system so you can leave one gate open to go out the back door and by swinging it back and latching it next to the 2nd gate. that locks the dog yard out .We also have a doggie door with a closing cover the go thru. So I had closed the cover and latched it , but forgot to do the double gate system--If I had done that (which I do now!) the dogs couldn't have gotten to them by rushing the door like they did.They would have ended up instead in the rabbit fenced garden next to the dog yard.[​IMG]
    Their goose yard will be further up the yard towards the horse barn. It will have a 12 x20 carport that we are fencing with kennel wire 2X2 "(night pen for geese and ducks) and it will have another fence(dog fencing) around the aviary/carport for a day yard, then I will let them freerange the 1 1/2 acre yard around the house.
    We do have a hotwire inside the dog fence for our terriers which is currently turned off. Originally it was a dig and keep off the fence (to nose straydogs moving thru) deterent. But we hav'nt had to use it after a few months of use [​IMG]
    We used to use radio collars and a dog fence (at our old house) to keep our labs from digging out and running away---but it made two of our terreirs neurotic. Every time they hear a beep, from the battery backup on our computers they come sit by us and shake.
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  10. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    I think shock collars are inhumane for any dog. I successfully trained a rat terrier using the methods doggeek described. Jack Russels are MUCH harder. It sounds like you're ptetty much on top of it, in any case.

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