What my dog does

Autumn Leaves

Songster
5 Years
Aug 31, 2014
207
21
106
Cincinnati Ohio
I have an 8 year old Australian Shepherd named Arwen (puppy picture is my avatar). If you know Aussies, 8 years old does not mean lazy dog. She is 100% energy. She is a wonderful dog with my pets, very gentle with my house rabbits, cat and my cockateil for 8 years (RIP). She even tries to mother wild baby birds in the yard - much to the real mother's unhappiness. Once she knows something is mommy's pet she feels it is her responsibility to protect it.

I plan on getting chickens in the spring and am hoping on using her as a flock guardian when I have them out for supervised free range. I noticed an awesome trait she has. Last year we purchased 3 acres and put in an invisible fence. Since she now has so much open area to roam she has been watching the sky. She ignores most birds BUT if she sees a hawk or vulture she goes crazy. She will run along the ground under them and bark to drive them off. If my rabbits are out in their pens getting some green grass she will run to the pen and guard it by barking at the bird.

I have been encouraging this behavior. She will be an excellent flock protector as my yard is very open and we have Red-shouldered, coopers and peregrine falcons that I see on a daily basis. She does not bark at the wild geese flying, crows or the blue heron - just the raptors.

She has also run the red foxes in the area off our property twice. I don't let her tangle with the coyotes.

Love my good dog.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,369
17,705
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
For the most part this is the cry-baby section. Your post would be better in the Management section since you have neither a predator or pest problem and preparing to do so proactively. You should be commended for such efforts. You will have to work out some kinks in process as dog will still act in some ways that are not desirable.
 

Bantamz

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 5, 2014
166
6
63
my house
Autumn Leaves can put it here
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btw what do u mean by cry baby-baby sectoin?
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,369
17,705
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
The subforum addresses more what occurs after predators which is usually in a sad or vengeful tone. It does some modest effort to prevent losses although most of those efforts fit better in setup design. When you are concerned about your behavior and use protection animals as they impact successful management of a flock, then you are better suited for the management section.
 

cafrhe

Songster
5 Years
Apr 23, 2014
331
16
111
Western central NJ
I wish my boys would look up!!! I am going to try to train them to hawk sounds on the computer so they will at least alert me when they hear the hawks. My dogs react to fox noises and distressed chicken sounds, but no interest in hawk cries..Your dog sounds great!
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,369
17,705
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I wish my boys would look up!!!  I am going to try to train them to hawk sounds on the computer so they will at least alert me when they hear the hawks.  My dogs react to fox noises and distressed chicken sounds, but no interest in hawk cries..Your dog sounds great!


My dogs learned to target hawks by combination of learning chicken alarm calls for specific types of predators and my promotion. This all required actual exposure. Once one dog learns it teaches second by example. My younger female went after a perched male Coopers Hawk with her tail up and growling as she ran up under the powerline bird was on, When bird flew she gave chase to prevent from patrolling sumac patch proving cover to songbirds,
 

growsaposy

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jun 15, 2014
48
7
26
Loved your article on hoping to use your dog as chicken herder. Beware of any dog with terrier tendencies! Mine committed terror to my chickens when he was a pup. But I wish I could show you my giant cat who does watch my small flock of 6 chickens when they get their evening stroll. Will try to get a photo. The pullets love to try and attack the white tip of his tail as he switches it back and forth. Ya just never know about these things! Best of luck!
 

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