Training tips for dogs?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by maizey, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. maizey

    maizey Songster

    I have a mini schnauzer who is part of the family.. and on some days my favorite member of the family [​IMG] Upon introducing him to my new (and first) chicks, he thought they were the MOST AWESOME squeeky toy EVER and was anxious to get down to chewing on them. Well, we sorted that out with no casulities, but he still seems to want to get his paws on them, and I actually caught him staring at them and licking his chops today! At this point, he can't get at them, they are locked in a shed and are never out without supervision but obviously I want to train him accordingly. He always backs off with a word from me, so im encouraged, but any training tips would be appreciated from those who have done it before. He is very small for his breed (a runt) and only weighs about 12 pounds so when my 3 barred rocks are grown, they can probably take him if it came down to a fur vs feathered fight. (a rooster for protecion isnt an option in my surburban back yard). He really is a good dog and my best buddy [​IMG] Tips anyone?
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    A strong leash when ever he is around them. He needs to be closely observed and readily correctable should he try to "play" with them inappropriately. If he is your best bud and eager to please you then he is already half-way trained. Dogs that are eager to please and have a clear idea of who is alpha in the household will be a walk in the park to train to stay away from chickens.

    Dogs with a high prey drive or who are battling with their owners/confused over who is dominant are much more difficult to train because you have to fight against a dog's natural instincts. Those dogs will never be able to be around chickens because they will likely kill birds whether they mean to or not.

    Either way, I would never leave the dog around the birds unattended. Dogs and birds don't mix that well. Sometimes you have a dog that can be trusted, but the majority of the time that isn't going to happen. Dogs are predators and chickens are prey. No amount of training will change that.

    Good luck.
  3. maizey

    maizey Songster

    Thanks for the tips and encouragement...he is doing good so far [​IMG]
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Hopefully, he stays on that path.

    I have a (formerly) feral, rescue mutt that I would trust with my life. I also trust her around my chickens unattended. She has proven her worth over and over. It took 3 years to get to the point where I am comfortable leaving her alone with her flock, but time has proven she is absolutely trustworthy. Your dog may eventually get to this point, too.

    I hope he continues to do well in his new venture.
  5. nzpouter

    nzpouter Songster

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    always take him with you when you're doing your chores around the chickens... put him on leash and hook the leash to your belt...
  6. schk9s

    schk9s Hatching

    Aug 26, 2010
    Whats the end goal for your dog? Then it would be easier to advise on how to go about training. If your dog backs off under verbal command, you're off to a good start.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  7. ambabya

    ambabya Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    I don't know how you train a dog who has the desire to kill (play with, etc.) chickens. My advice is just to keep him away.

    I have a 5lb mini dachshund who can take down a full sized hen - I found this out the hard way. If both my hubby and I hadn't been right there, we would have had a dead bird for sure. She is the sweetest little dog who loves my kids, has never bit a soul and is just a joy to be around. However, that being said, she is a chicken killing monster. I take her with me to feed, etc. just try to get her used to them in a calm environment but so far, it hasn't worked.

    This is what a chicken killer looks like.
  8. maizey

    maizey Songster

  9. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    hehe, the links worked fine, but you're not going to have that first picture's example EVER with a schnauzer. You will probably be able to get somewhere between the two though, so don't despair. Keep him on a leash, keep him restrained with your voice, and keep him calm. I've had dogs that seem to learn by my showing affection and petting my chickens so he knew that I valued them, but that's not exactly a sure thing. It's just how it seemed, maybe it helped, maybe not... it could cause jealousy too. I dunno. I'd say just keep on as you are, and stay vigilant.
  10. new chick 203

    new chick 203 Songster

    Feb 8, 2010
    Ridgefield CT
    We were concerned about our 4 year old retriever mix. For months before we we got our chicks we prepped her by taking her to farms and friend's backyard flocks on leash. We would pet her and talk to her calmly when she relaxed and stopped "pointing" at them. When we did get the chicks my husband put a floor level screened window in the side of the brooder box so she could lay on the floor and watch "chickvision". She now feels so protective over them now that she watches for cats and hawks to chase away. I actually feel better about leaving them with her than alone if I need to run in the house for something when they are out. [​IMG]

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