What to do about my dog

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hudsonmama, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. hudsonmama

    hudsonmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    I need to know if there is anything I can do about my dog. We accidentally let him get out with our chickens that we had only had for four days and he killed one. I had previously brought him out on leash for a little while and let him look at them, while anytime he tried to pull and go towards them said no and pulled him back, made him sit, etc., and giving him love at the same time. But really there wasn't much time between getting the chickens and the day he got out. A little more info. He's 13, a mutt, and been a "free range" dog for many years. As free range as you get in a fenced-in half acre or so, anyway. Well, we were hoping to have a free range dog and free range chickens, but I'm not sure now that he's killed one that there's any hope of training him out of going after them. He's always been a little bull-headed, but sweet. In fact, I really thought he'd be okay with them eventually since he'd sniff their hen house and everywhere they'd been, but never barked or growled at them. Is there any hope? I feel bad keeping him in his porch all day, although he does tend to sleep most of the day anyway. And I'd rather not have to coop up the hens, either.

    Please, I'd welcome any and all suggestions. Thank you! This forum is a great find. I'm already totally in love with my chickens and so are my children. My six-year-old daughter cried her heart out when Mrs. Penny was killed. So you can understand why I am determined not to let it happen again. [​IMG]

    Thanks and blessings,
    Jodi
     
  2. Amyh

    Amyh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My dog killed three of my chickens. She actually tore through sheet metal to get into their coop. My husband has since put the coop up on a stand and we've replaced the chickens... the dog stays away from them, even when they're free ranging. It's like she is so ashamed of herself that she wouldn't dare think about killing more chickens.

    It's not like I trust her with them alone, but so far, so good, so I'm hoping she will eventually get it.

    Good luck to you with your dog.
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed is your dog and how old is he? Some dogs are trainable and others will just never understand that the chickens are not really cool squeaky toys that run. A lot depends on your dogs temperment and how much training you have done with him and/or are willing to do. Dogs with a high prey and/or play drive can be harder to train.
     
  4. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love my chickens... but at 13 yrs old? The dog gets the yard... the chickens can wait.
    Is there a way to let the chickens out for part of the day, the dog the rest? Ultimately, if he has been out in the yard for years, it will be a punishment to shut him away.
    My dog is fine with my chickens when I am out with them... but there is no way I would ever leave them alone.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  5. hudsonmama

    hudsonmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    We don't exactly know what Duke is. He's a mutt we got at the shelter at six months old. But we're pretty sure he's a lab mixed with a couple other things...like maybe Staffordshire Bull Terrier and an Asian breed, i.e. Chow or Akita. He's only 45-50 pounds, though. When he killed her, he did it quick and easy like it was nothing. I didn't see it, but I heard it, as I was running outside to grab him. He came out of the weeds with her and trotted up the path like he was really proud of himself. Until I started yelling at him, of course. But then he still wouldn't drop her. It was awful. I had to pry his mouth open.

    He isn't very trained. Partly because he never had to be, since he's lived most of his life as an "only dog" and in a fenced half acre. And partly because we didn't know what we were doing and he's a bit ornery (but he's a lover, too). But he sits (sometimes takes a couple commands before he does) and will stay only if I keep saying it continuously (we never got how to train that properly). When he lived in the house (before we had kids) he would flop down to go to sleep when said ni-night to him, but that was accidental! So, you can see what we're working with. We love the dog and we love the chickens. But right now I look at the dog as the chicken killer, and that's not good.
     
  6. hudsonmama

    hudsonmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I was thinking about doing that...the part day thing. The hens tend to stay in their house part of the day anyway, so maybe that would work. They might be a little difficult to catch if they weren't nearby, but I probably could. Yeah, he's 13 years old, but pretty spry still and could live a long time. I don't want him to be miserable. He was our baby before we had babies. ;-)
     
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about asking questions in my prev. post that you had already answered. I'm baking a pie, getting kids to bed and feeding my byc addiction [​IMG] Sometimes multi-tasking's not all it's cracked up to be.

    At 13 I think that taking turns in the yard is probably the best solution. I always feed treats out of the same red coffee can. My chickens freerange over about 3 acres and they come running from everywhere when they see that can and/or hear me calling chick, chick, chick. I think it would be fairly easy to get your chooks used to something like that. All you have to do is get yourself a dedicated treat container and use the same call for them whenever you give them scratch or whatever you like to use for treats. If you start giving them their treats inside their run I bet it won't take long until they beat you inside when you have the treat can.
     
  8. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do the treat / call thing as well. Now, I walk out of my back door and when the chickens hear it close they come running! Get some blue berries or blackberries, boiled egg or tuna..... I call in a high pitched "chic- KEN" and I am stampeded.

    If catching them is an issue and they know where their roost is, maybe just let them out the last hour or 2 before dusk?
    My Lab is a "convicted chicken killer" - he killed 5 of my neighbors chickens before he was a year old (chickens came in our yard - neighbor said "well, guess I need to fix my fence" *phew* ). He does fine around them if I am there (after several scoldings and threats, short leash training (tied to belt loops) ). But he was there first - so if it came down to where he needed to be in the backyard (I have my property fenced, and then my backyard fenced, and the run/coop in the backyard) then the chickens would just have to "tough it out" in their run.


    edited: Because I can't spell
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  9. savingdogs

    savingdogs Chillin' With My Peeps

    I manage a large household of dogs and poultry as I rescue HS dogs and own 15 ducks and 16 chickens.

    I've found that dogs have either little interest or way too much and few are neutral/friendly about them. Most get better over time if there is a fence between the two of them. Then after a long time passes they are not very interested in each other and you can introduce them with better luck. Most of the labs we have had here were pretty interested in moving objects.

    However it is already too late in your case. I also have a beloved older dog who was coexisting pretty well with the chickens until one practically flew into her mouth in her "dog yard" and since then she has been wanting to get to them. Apparently she thinks Buff Orpington raw tastes wonderful.

    Since she is older, I'm just keeping her away from their area. We have created fenced off areas for our different animals and use tethers and crates sometimes as well to keep barriers between my chickens and any dog who I think will harm them. I like to keep two barriers as insurance so if the dog breaches one barrier I have time to find out before it gets to the poultry or whatever. So I basicaly agree with Kittymama, use your yard for your different animals at different times. I take dogs out on a leash to go potty when my chickens are free ranging, then stay behind the fenced area (two barriers). As you said the dog sleeps a lot of the time, which is normal for a dog of advancing age like that, so the chickens can be out during his long mid day nap. 13 is pretty good for a lab type! You will be lucky if you have to worry about this problem for too many more years.

    I have more training suggestions for you if you so desire, but at 13 it is sometimes just easier to deal with them as-is for the time being and just manage them instead of retrain them. I'd try to find an area he likes to rest in and keep him there during a lot of the time. For our dog that likes Buff Orpington, we alternate between a large wire crate in a room she likes or outside in a small yard we made for the dogs. I did have to spend some time telling her to stop it when she was trying to dig out or chase the chickens along the fence line. I just spoke sharply "No!" to her each time she showed too much interest and after about a .....well, a month, she got better. I would never really trust her however, but I would not have in the first place. I just don't trust prey with predators without supervision.
    Hope my perspective helps!
     
  10. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you were on the right track with the leash etc.... you just haven't done it long enough...

    and don't let anybody tell you "once they taste blood.... etc", all my dogs are fed raw, and they live with the chickens and other delicious animals with no problem....
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010

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