Will my border collie always be a chicken killer?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by judyzz, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. judyzz

    judyzz New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2017
    My 10 year old border collie killed my baby chickens last week. My question is, will he always be a killer or can you train them out of it?
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Welcome to BYC. Sorry you lost all your chicks in such a manner. Personally, I would never trust this dog again with chickens. You'll have some people swear they can stop a dog using all kinds of techniques including hanging a dead chicken on the dog's neck, using electric collar and so forth. Border Collies can be very OCD and have a strong herd all kinds of things. Yes, you can train the dog not to kill chickens as long as you are supervising (this will take dedication and lots of time), but your dog's instinct will take over as soon as you leave him.
     
  3. judyzz

    judyzz New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2017
    Welcome to BYC.  Sorry you lost all your chicks in such a manner.   Personally, I would never trust this dog again with chickens.  You'll have some people swear they can stop a dog using all kinds of techniques including hanging a dead chicken on the dog's neck, using electric collar and so forth.  Border Collies can be very OCD and have a strong herd all kinds of things.  Yes, you can train the dog not to kill chickens as long as you are supervising (this will take dedication and lots of time), but your dog's instinct will take over as soon as you leave him.
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  4. judyzz

    judyzz New Egg

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    Thank you. It was the answer I feared but expected I guess. He used to lie outside their cage and stare at them for hours....I called him their guardian angel! Hah... little did I know his plans! Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. All the best, Judy
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I have trained numerous dogs not to kill chickens and learned swearing and otherwise getting mad at dog complicates the issues, Older dogs are generally easier as they are less likely to test boundaries when you are not watching. Get back in the groove with your Border Collie where you interact and do things together. You want his to respond to commands, particularly where he is to stop doing something when ordered. Find something new for you and dog to do. I take my dog on perimeter walks around area I want them to guard and we chase rabbits but not out domestic cats. During the same time get setup for your chickens again where you can keep them separate from dog and make certain setup is tough enough to keep a dog out that is trying to get in with intent to kill. Your dog is not going to be only threat in the future You left out a lot of details concerning chicken age and how they are confined. When birds acquired, call back in. Then you can begin process of habituating parties and redirecting the dog's interest in other things.

    Dogs can be tough sometimes and it is often the owner that is the weak link. Patience and keeping your mind in the game helps. Pretend you do not know everything about your dog. Get advice from multiple parties that have successfully kept dogs and chickens together. Such people are out there, hopefully not too exhausted to give advice. I suggest staying away from approaches that involve carcasses and shock collars. Shock collars should only be used by those well versed in their beyond what is acquired by reading directions.

    Dog breeds I currently use are English Shepherd (breed Border Collie derived from) and German Pointer (small game / bird hunting dog). They were acquired as pups specifically for use as poultry guardians. In past I have used Black and Tan Coon Hounds, Dalmatians, Bluetick Coon Hounds, Faust, Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, and Beagle. Border Collie as an adult of about 5 years trained the quickest where that male responded to little more than a couple verbal commands. He had hogs he was expected to drive so have alternative issues.
     
  6. judyzz

    judyzz New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2017
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many dogs that show predatory behavior toward chicks do not exhibit the same behavior or to the same degree toward full-size adult birds. If you can keep him from the chicks until they are grown, you might stand a better chance getting him to ignore them. Use the time while they are small to work with him on impulse control and obedience.
     
  8. judyzz

    judyzz New Egg

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    Jan 13, 2017
    Hi there, thank you for replying to my post. I had the chicks from about 6 weeks of age,keeping them inside at night, and a big outdoor cage in day. At 10 weeks they were in a secure coop. We started free ranging them after a couple of days, for a few hours each day, with the dog on a lead. But, a moments inattention and whoosh, all 4 gone. We want to get more, but don't want that to happen again as it was terrible. Judy
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Your first clue and the time to correct was when the dog laid for hours looking at the chickens. That's a fixation and an obsessive behavior that needs a quick correction until it no longer happens, no matter what the chickens are doing. I have a BC/Lab mix dog and he's never touched a chicken, having been trained as a pup to not fixate on them. Any dog, any breed, can and will kill a chicken as they all have a certain level of prey drive. What needs to happen is for you to learn all you can about how to train your dog in all areas of obedience and then proceed to training her on the chickens.

    BCs are incredibly intelligent dogs and can learn new things, no matter how old they get. If you really want them to co-exist, you need to do a lot of studying and work towards it...it CAN be done.
     

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