Training the dog

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MadRanchTX, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. MadRanchTX

    MadRanchTX New Egg

    Dec 29, 2010
    My idea on training the dog to get along with the chickens.
    The dog and chickens are both here to stay so they need to learn to play nice.
    I have 8 13 week old chickens.
    I have an 8 month old great Pyrenees pup. Hard to think of a 97 pound dog as a pup but he is.
    Currently he is 2 fences away from the coop but he sits and watches the birds when their outside.
    I want to move him over so there is only one fence between them for a couple of days and see how he reacts.
    I also have one cross beak roo thats going in the pot anyway so I'm thinking of using him as the test case.
    Toss him over the fence, not really toss but put him in with the dog and wait and see. This intermediate area is about 40'X40'. I'll stay with them and monitor, play with the pup, etc. If the dog gets along I'll over the course of a few days allow access to the remainder of the chickens.
    If not then what? What method of discipline do you use on the dog if he kills the test case?
    Had a friend in the same situation, after his dog killed his chicken he tied the chicken to the dogs neck for a couple of days. He said the dog never touched another chicken.
    I don't think I can do that. What do we have for options?
  2. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    I think you should have a pretty good chance of it working simply because your dog is a pyraneese. They're bred to protect livestock and are very good at it. I don't really have any advice except to say good luck although I don't think you'll need it.
  3. GoChick

    GoChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2010
    I agree. Pyrennees are great.

    I have rough collies, and one was very interested in chasing the chickens. I just made sure I was around whenever she was with them, making her stay close to me (no leash - just voice commands) while we walked around the chickens. I gotta say it was pretty hard for her not to chase what she saw as her squeaky running toys!

    After about a week of daily training, I let her walk around the chickens by herself, me pretending not to watch. She did try to catch them, but voice commands stopped her. After about 3 weeks, I started to trust her more and more, and now she is a perfect flock dog. She even lets the chickens have some of her food!

    So, patience and lots of training did the trick. No extreme measures.
  4. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    Quote:I did this. And I have a very excitable lab mix with a very strong prey drive. When the chicks were little she did kill two. I got very upset (didn't need to act!) and she figured it out! It is very hard for her not to chase the babies and I am careful not to let her be too clsoe when the girls are first let out of the run if I am free ranging as they tend to run and flutter which is reeeaallly asking alot of her to not chase! [​IMG]

    The full grwon ladies she leaves scrupulously alone. The rooster and her have a whole different relationship.... [​IMG]
  5. colofish

    colofish New Egg

    Jun 15, 2011
    Quote:I've got a Lab and a Belgian Melanois.

    I did basically the same thing, with the addition of holding one of my chicks in my hand and letting the dogs sniff at and investigate the bird closeup (and vice versa). The dog tried to taste a feather once or twice but a stern "No" from me gave them the message to leave it alone. Now they all hang out in our yard together. The malanouis actually watches over and protects the chickens from the lab or neighbors dogs. Last night one of the barred rocks went up to the malanoius and gently pecked her on the nose, it was really comical.[​IMG]
  6. happydodgefarm6113

    happydodgefarm6113 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 25, 2010
    Go to Backyardherds, a sister site and read about the LGD dogs. Most of what I have read says that a pyrynese should be at least 2 years old for maturity reasons and trained before they can be trusted with young livestock. Chickens would be a temptation for a little pup. Lots of good reading on BYH.
  7. ByeByeBlackBird

    ByeByeBlackBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2011
    Falls Village CT
    Yep, you being in control of dog and chick. Dog should be introduced on a LEASH, so YOU can remove THEM from the situation, the bird wont do anything ( Adult birds, and chicks actually induce a different response in my experience, chicks are much more erratic and much more like small prey than the larger birds if the dog/s are used to larger animals like cats, more steady and predictable as adults!)

    Chick or bird should be in a cage, protected in case things get out of hand, if you honestly do not know how things will go. You should teach your dog NO. STAY. DOWN. COME. LEAVE IT ( Dont touch that). DROP. GIVE. These are basic commands every dog should know.

    Bad response gets a firm NO. " LEAVE IT " and you take the dog from the room,. Bad behavior = Removal of FUN.

    Treat for good behavior, hot dog bits or a very tasty dog treat. You want the highest reward value for doing exactly what you want, and you want it to be something the dog ALWAYS chooses to do, because it associates that behavior with a strongly positive response. Not "Dosnt do out of fear" because it is less reliable when YOU are not around to discipline. Fear does not build trust in the dog with you, as the owner. [​IMG]

    I taught my dog simply by bringing the brooder downstairs, Letting the dog look into the box and telling him SIT. LEAVE IT. If he stood up or got antsy, or tried to get closer by putting his head in, i said NO! and either took him away, or blocked him personally and made him obey the command lay down, and stay. While i worked with the birds. After a couple months he no longer cared about the chicks as intensely. i started showing him the birds and having them out with him physically, telling him to sit or lay and to stay while they walked around in front of him. Letting them sniff is fine, VIGOROUS sniffing should be corrected, leash pops work, and verbal. Licking, well, if you know the dog yes and no, depending on your feelings and trust for your dog, mine would do it, but its just a submission thing. He has not mouthed them ever.

    Now, he is 100% trustworthy to be with them outside off leash while they free range. You just need to be dilligent. Be patient, and if it just isnt going to work out, protect both the dog from the temptation of the birds, and the birds from the dog. But i think with a Pyr, as others have said, that you will have a wonderful guardian when your pup is older!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  8. Chikn-Chik

    Chikn-Chik Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Tellico Plains, TN
    My dog didn't need much training, he's an aussie and he acually helps with the chickens! He has lived beside them his whole life and loves them. We used to have pheasants and when one would get out he world stand and look at me waiting for me to give him a command. I would yell, in a nice tone, Kasey! Get the bird! He would chase ittill he caught it and would put his paw on it and hold it to the ground waiting for me to come get it. He also did that when my button quail would get out. I used to let him in the pen with the chickens and he never would touch one till I told him to. He has helped me catch almost every bird that had gotten out!
  9. JohnandJacquelineW

    JohnandJacquelineW Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 23, 2011
    We've got a lab mix pup (less than 2 months old) that we actually have sleeping in a cage in the coop with the chickens to get them used to each other. Right now he stays tethered outside while the chickens free-range. They intermingle a bit (especially if they want to come steal his food/water) - at this stage they're more likely to hurt him than the other way around though I know that will change quickly as he grows. We're hoping that starting at such a young age will help him get the idea that chickens are friends not food.
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do not like your plan. Introduction is too abrupt. Great Pyrenees also not inherently better than other dog breeds. Enough negative.

    Setup a situation where cross beaked rooster can control interaction and step away from pup if needed. Keep them in close proximity at all times. Play dog out (have him tired) before bringing them together for first time. Get them to eat next to each other across fence. Your dog may be a pup but he is also beyond the easy imprinting age. Still doable. Be prepared to have a backup rooster in case first culled by dog.

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