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What to do about puppy...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MrsLumpy, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. MrsLumpy

    MrsLumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few months ago, we lost our rat terrier (someone stole him to use as a bait dog... it was horrific to say the least), so a few weeks later, we adopted a mix breed puppy. She is quite a bit bigger than our rattie was, but given the circumstances, we wanted a bigger dog. I am no stranger to dogs and have been raising them all my life, but I am new to chickens... we have only had our ladies since July.
    We built them a coop when we had our rattie and it was, we thought anyway, dog proof. Well... this new dog proved us wrong and ripped off the wire on the bottom half and attacked our flock.
    She killed my chicken (she was my lap chicken... a sweet little RIR) and by the time I got out there, she was working on my daughter's chicken (she was fine, shaken, missing some feathers and a small cut on her comb... a Delaware). We still have 3 ladies...
    We have since reinforced the coop with a second layer of hardware cloth and 1x4's... replaced the door (from wire to wood) and have done all we can think of to protect our girls from having this happen again... however, I tend to think that part of the problem is the dog.
    She is a good girl. 6 months old... knows basic commands and just wants to please. But when it comes to the chickens... she lunges at the coop.... jumps on the wire framing...
    I worry for my girls. It seems playful, like they are her favorite squeaky toy... not like she is wanting dinner... but she is a threat to their safety.
    We never let the chickens out with the dogs... before I open the chicken pen, I make sure the dogs are inside and away from them, but the coop is in our backyard. I cannot really separate the two fully.
    The shelter we adopted her from has offered to take her back given the circumstances, but I hate sending her back to a rescue situation. I have tried finding her a home on my own, but have had no takers...
    To make a long story short... is this something that can be trained out of her or should I just cut my losses and go the shelter route (it is a no kill shelter so she is safe, just without family)?
    I hate giving up on her, but I just don't know how to proceed.
    Tying a dead chicken around her neck for 2 weeks (recommended by the woman at the shelter) isn't an option... I have 2 small children and live in town...
    Please help...
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would cut your losses & send her back. She has killed 1 and will likely kill another given the chance. Unless you are prepared to spend a LOT of time on trying to re-educate her on a daily basis. Sue
     
  3. MrsLumpy

    MrsLumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Darn! That is what I was afraid of...
    I hate to give her up... it feels like we lost our Amelia (the chicken) AND our dog...

    Grrrrrrr.... Arrrrrrg..... and such.
     
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Put 3 or 4 hot wires around the coop the dog will only touch it once and being young it will probably learn faster than a older dog.
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    The hotwire is a good place to start, but is not the whole solution. She needs training, training and more training. Think about what a dog sees when it sees a chicken. Something that runs. flaps and makes funny noises. What untrained dog (especially a puppy!) can resist that? Without working with her, you are asking for trouble. So, it's really entirely up to you - you can spend the time and effort to work with her and hope that it can be trained out of her, or you can give up on her and lose another dog. Do some research - there are lots and lots of methods mentioned on the forum.
     
  6. MrsLumpy

    MrsLumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've thought of hotwire, but with my kids, that isn't an option either... Not to mention the cost... We have true backyard chickens... 3 girls in a closed in coop and run with access to the normal sized backyard when the dogs are in the house. We have neighbors on either side with small kids too...
    We have tried a shock collar, but that didn't phase her... if anything, it just ticked her off... [​IMG]
     
  7. MrsLumpy

    MrsLumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know training would take time... and I am willing to do that...
    I'm just worried that now that she has tasted chicken, there is no saving her... is that true?
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are your kids? They, too, can be taught to leave the wire alone. (Until they get older and start "experimenting and re-learn not to touch it! I'm all for natural consequences...) We live on a farm and had electric fence along one whole side of the yard that they played in. Even if they did touch it, it won't kill them and they'll only do it once. ;) Then they would believe you in the future when you tell them not to do something. Just re-read your last post. Your yard isn't fenced from the neighbors? One option would be to turn the fencer off when the kids are outside.
     
  9. MrsLumpy

    MrsLumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our yard is fenced on all sides... but the neighbor kids climb it to see the chickens... I think about liability.
    My kids are 1 and 4... my 4 yo I don't worry about with the wire, it is my 1yo...
    I've never been around hotwire, so I'm not sure how it works other than shocking the crap outta ya... is it expensive?
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It's one of the least expensive options for fencing in my opinion. As I said, you can always turn the charger off when the kids are outside. The shock itself is more startling than painful. Oh it hurts some, and I've been knocked on my butt by our horse fence, but it doesn't last long. Honestly, I wouldn't take chances with a 1-year old either. I guess I don't blame you with the liability issue. You could warn the parents to keep their kids out of your yard, or again - unplug it when they come over. They're not allowed in your yard when you're not home are they?
     

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