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  #1  
Old 06/17/05, 11:21 AM
 
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Angry German Shepard Is Chasing And Killing Chickens, How Do I Get Him To Stop?

I Have A Geman Shepard Mix , Who Is Into Chasing Our Chickens And Killing Them How Do I Or We Get Him To Stop?

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  #2  
Old 06/17/05, 11:59 AM
 
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electric fencing. Portable electric netting will keep the chickens in a designated area, and most predators out.

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  #3  
Old 06/17/05, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DIAMONDDAVE923
I Have A Geman Shepard Mix , Who Is Into Chasing Our Chickens And Killing Them How Do I Or We Get Him To Stop?

I notice that you are new here.

Welcome to Homesteading Today

First of all you did ask, so I will be very plain.

I would never raise livestock to feed a dog it costs to much.

Most dogs that start this will not stop.
Some say once a killer always a killer as soon as you turn your back.

Some people say to tie the dead chicken to the dogs neck and let him carry it around till it stinks and he will stop.

Most dogs like stinking things so I doubt that this would work on most dogs., and I would not want to smell it either ! ! !

If it were my dog I would take my belt of and whip him so hard and wear ( him or her ) out to where he would not want to look at another chicken.

If that did not work and the dog killed or tried to run after another one of my chickens again he would be shot dead and burried.

I won't put up with livestock killers. I will be the one who says when it is time to kill the livestock, not some dog.

If the dog belonged to someone else it would be shot the first time he tried.

Maybe some one else will have another idea.
But just remember until it works you will lose chickens
and who knows what else. Could be a goat, sheep, baby calf, rabbits etc.

I would make sure the dog stayed on your property.
Some people shot dogs just for tresspassiing they do not want stray dogs or take a chance of other dogs around their livestock.

If the dog kills someone elses livestock you could be sued for way more than the dog is worth ! ! !


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  #4  
Old 06/17/05, 12:32 PM
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I have a German Shepherd girl --- my first ever. I was used to hounds and labs, who are totally different critters!

One of the first things I learned about German Shepherds is THEY HAVE TO HAVE JOBS! or all that natural talent they have will turn into predation.

Look at their name: shep-herd. Now think about it for a moment --- herding dogs who are left unrestrained, untrained and without specific tasks will turn all that herding energy into predation.

Now, I'm not a trainer (far from it :haha: ) but I did teach my girl she has specific tasks WHICH DO NOT INCLUDE GOING AFTER EVERYTHING THAT MOVES. :yeeha: :yeeha:

So she holds down the front porch and barks when anything goes by. And, when I go out to work, she accompanies me, stays right at my side and then sits and watches me to make sure no boogeymen show up and try to cart me away.

It's not much, but it's broken her of trying to go after EVERYTHING THAT MOVES.

Your pup needs jobs, IOW. You can separate them with fences and electric, and that will help --- some --- but as long as your pup is bored and has no work to do, I'll bet the problem will continue.

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  #5  
Old 06/17/05, 12:53 PM
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Welcome! Here's a link to a thread about using shock collars in a similar situation. Maybe one would work for your dog. Otherwise finding the dog a non-livestock farm may be the only solution (other than shooting the dog).
http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthr...t=shock+collar

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  #6  
Old 06/17/05, 07:41 PM
 
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Wink

My aussie did the same thing. At first she started chasing, then killing the chickens and ducks. I used the shock collar on her and it worked wonders. She now does not even think about going after a chicken or duck. Just put it on the dog and find a setting that works. It has to get their attention when they are very interested in something else. Make sure the dog responds to the collar and then let her out with the chickens. If she chases she gets shocked, catches, shocked, even looks at shocked.

This might sound cruel to some, but just think about the poor chicken that the dog killed. But only leave the collar on when you are training the dog, not all of the time. It only took my dog a couple of times to get shocked before she decided that chasing and catching chickens was not fun.

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  #7  
Old 06/17/05, 09:53 PM
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Please, don't resort to beating the dog. You'll teach the dog to not trust you and most likely only make matters worse or cause new problems.

My dad has a saying. "You have to know more than the dog before you can teach it something." It's a little annoying and can be insulting in some cases, but he's right. You've come for the knowledge. Now you need time and patience.

Most dogs can be trained or retrained. I'm another believer in electronic collars. The one I own is adjustable in strength. It has a warning beep. It doesn't take long for a dog to learn that if he stops on "NO!" and the beep the shock won't follow. The he'll learn that "No!" means if he doesn't stop that beep and the shock are coming, and no becomes enough. I trained a deaf border collie that had severe social problems (puppy mill to pet store, lived in a cage most of his life) with a shock collar. It was a last ditch effort that saved his life. When used correctly they're a useful tool.

Pen up the chickens to lessen the dog's temptation. I put all new dogs and the puppies we raise on a very short leash. Give the dog 6" of lead and introduce it to a chicken. Speak calmly and praise him when he does well. If he gets excited, snaps or acts otherwise inappropriately give the lead a quick, sharp snap (don't hurt him) and say NO! Give the dog a minute to settle down and try again. Remember to praise highly for good behavior. If you do this two or three times a day you should be able to make progress. Never does the dog get to touch the bird until you're sure he's not going to hurt it. As you make progress you give the dog more room to move. You should be able to work up to a 15-20 foot lead. No loose birds, no loose dog, at least until the dog is under control.

If there's a mishap never call the dog to you then scold him. You'll teach him that "come" results in something bad.

Good luck.

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  #8  
Old 06/17/05, 10:18 PM
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as you can see, once they start they don't stop unless you are mean to them.

that leaves your options to be:

1. tie the dog up and keep him tied. imo, this is as cruel as shocking and beating him.

2. put the dog down.

3. give the dog to a family without livestock, or the local pound.

please, DO NOT take him and set him out "in the country" as he then becomes OUR problem. and i'll probably kill him.

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  #9  
Old 06/18/05, 12:14 AM
 
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I can tell you that the shock collar is starting to work.

I've been working with our husky and a duck in the 20 square foot run. I have the dog on a line just in case she ignores the collar (she hasn't, but I like the insurance). She's gotten alot better about just watching the duck splash around in a pan of water and wander around. Still can't be trusted, but she is getting better about it.

Once she's ok around ducks, we'll start working on goat kids, then chickens.

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  #10  
Old 06/18/05, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen H
I can tell you that the shock collar is starting to work.

I've been working with our husky and a duck in the 20 square foot run. I have the dog on a line just in case she ignores the collar (she hasn't, but I like the insurance). She's gotten alot better about just watching the duck splash around in a pan of water and wander around. Still can't be trusted, but she is getting better about it.

Once she's ok around ducks, we'll start working on goat kids, then chickens.
That's great news Jen!

BTW I'll bet if you ask any dog they'd rather be shocked than put to sleep/shot!!!! So which is more cruel?
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  #11  
Old 06/18/05, 12:19 PM
 
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Chaining isn't cruel as long as you do a good chain set up and exercise and spend time with the animal daily. Mine sleep in the house but have had to chain them when out with friends at their places. Alot of hog hunters chain their dogs because their dogs will dig or climb a pen or chew out of them! Chaining them with the right kind and not too heavy they get alot more exercise and freedom than in a pen, IMHO.

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  #12  
Old 06/19/05, 08:30 AM
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.
Just remember when the shock collar comes off and your in the house out of sight the dog will have dinner on you, by eating more chickens.

He knows what they taste like, and when he gets close and the shock collar does not hurt him because you are out of sight, doing something else and don't turn it on, he will learn when to attack.

German Shepards don't make good livestock dogs, can't be trusted.

Get a dog that is good for a farm and livestock. Or wear yourself out watching him every day.
But you won't be able to watch him 24/7 :no: and one day you will turn your back, and their he killed another one. :waa:

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  #13  
Old 06/19/05, 05:58 PM
 
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I've got three of them, and they let the chickens steal food out of their bowls and have never touched them other than to herd them back into the poultry yard. So, not all GSDs are bad with livestock. Best of luck DiamondDave! I hope that you aren't forced to give up your dog. Some dogs just have higher prey drives than others.

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  #14  
Old 06/19/05, 09:40 PM
 
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I also have a german shephard/husky mix and she is one of the best dogs that we have. The only time that she has ever messed with anyother animal is if it got close to her food bowel. I have never had to use a shock collar or any other means on her. And she was about 2 or 3 before we had livestock. So don't give up on your dog. You just have to keep after her and she will get the message.

As for the shock collar, the dog that I did use it on has never chased another chicken or duck and she no longer wears the collar. In fact the only time she did wear it was when we were training with it. So it is not true that once it is off they will go back to those habbits. Dogs are smart and associate the pain with what they are not suppose to be doing. In this case chasing chickens. In fact, I got the idea from a vet. She used a shock collar to teach her dogs not to chase horses. If it worked for her it should work for you.

Keep up the good work. Your dog will get the idea!!

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  #15  
Old 06/19/05, 10:33 PM
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I would like to ask a simple question. What have you already tried?
I am not trying to be a wise guy, but have you tried telling your dog what you want and what you don't want in very simple terms?

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  #16  
Old 06/20/05, 11:22 PM
 
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i have tried just about everything. right now i am tying him out . if i am not outside with him when he is loose i usually find a dead chicken. i wished he was more like my lab!!! my lab shares his water and sleeps with the chickens when they are free ranging during the day. the shepard , i do believe it has alot to do with him being a young pup still, he is only 9 months old but huge for his age. And truthfully to my girlfriend says he is experimenting with them. but i have tried to tell her once a killer always a killer!!!!

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  #17  
Old 06/21/05, 11:02 AM
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All dogs need some training, but German Shepherds REALLY need training. They're extremely smart and stubborn dogs, and left untrained, the herding instinct WILL turn to a predatory instinct. And if they get bored? Watch out.

Tying out is okay as a method of restraint, but does nothing to train the pup. The minute he's untied, he's going to go after something.

I think if it were me and I didn't have the time or inclination to train the pup, I'd find him a good home with someone who will be able to train him. Otherwise, you will likely just end up with a hundred pound gorilla on a chain.

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  #18  
Old 06/21/05, 08:37 PM
 
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The Thing Of It Is , It Is My Girlfriends Dog But She Leaves It Up To Me To Watch And Let The Dog In And Out. He Sleeps Inside At Night. But Right Now I Do Not Have The Time To Train Him, I Have Done It Before, But The Summer Months Is My Busy Time For Work. Any Temporary Ideas For The Summer? And By The Way Everyone That Has Replied To This Thread, I Appreciate Ur Thoughts On This. Right Now I Am Concerned For The Chickens And The Dog.

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  #19  
Old 06/21/05, 09:41 PM
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Aaaargh! Your girlfriend should know better. Aaaaargh!!

The first thing you need to really pound into her head (and your own) is that German Shepherds are very smart, very stubborn, they have to have jobs and, if their energies aren't properly directed, they easily become destructive.

It's good he's sleeping inside with you at night --- it gives you a chance to really bond with him. But you need to take it a few steps further.

Is he neutered? If not, neuter him --- that will help - some.

I'd also try the shock collar with him, but use it in conjunction with training. First thing is to teach him it's NO on chasing chickens. Make the NO very clear, very direct, very simple. NO. N-o. That's it.

Be prepared to tell him NO repeatedly.

But coincidental with NO on chasing, help him understand the chickens are a part of the family. Keep him restrained and let him see you feeding the chickens, giving them affection, etc., then go over and pet him. Keep doing that until you have some sense he no longer sees the chickens as things to be chased and devoured!

I know you don't have time, so you can do this while you feed the chickens, Just a few minutes every morning and every night can start making a world of difference.

And figure out a job for him. Shepherds LOVE having jobs. Once they've bonded to you, they're very responsive to training and to pleasing you. Maybe start by training him to heel and be your companion whenever you go outside, say, to the mailbox, to get something out of the trunk, etc. Lots of praise for doing that. Then, take it the next step --- maybe teach him to sit and watch while you're doing things --- his job to watch you. If you keep it simple but consistent, you should be able to start redirecting his energies positively.

Also, he needs play time. He's still a puppy. But don't do fetch or tug-a-war or chase games with him --- that can trigger and reinforce those predatory instincts. Instead, I'd work on the heeling thing, say --- except jogging. Maybe some doggy tumble games - we do that here. Jumping obstacles. Anything. Get him running (but not chasing), anything to burn off energy for at least 20 minutes a day.

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  #20  
Old 06/21/05, 11:53 PM
 
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First thing. Tell your gf its her dog and her responsability. The chickens are yours. I have owned german shepherds over the years and I love them. BUT They are not for everyone. They take a lot of time and a major amount of training. Without this they can become killers of not only chickens but anything else they can get their teeth into. With the proper time and training they are GREAT dogs.

I think you have no choice but to tell your girlfriend to either train it or get it off your property!!!

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  #21  
Old 06/22/05, 05:22 PM
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Well, I have two past offenders whom I have broken from killing chickens. Border collies, no less.

First of all, does the dog know the meaning of the word "no" (or a similar word)?

What I did with both of my dogs, is I only let the chickens out when I was around. Anytime they looked at the chickens, I said "NO" in a deep don't-mess-with-me tone. Make the dog feel ashamed of himself, lol. Then I started letting the chickens out when I was still in the house, and kept checking on the dogs here and there. It did take a long time, and there were some set backs here and there, but they were broke of it. Missy hasn't killed a chicken in many, many years. She truly looked ashamed of herself when told "GET" (her no word, I got her as an adult, and that was always the "ugly" word used on her, a negative word, so it is her "no" word) when she looked at a chicken.

Always remember when training a dog that the dog is not likely to know what they heck you are mad about after the fact. If you come home and find a dead chicken in the yard, beating your dog is going to be very scary and confusing to your pet. You have to catch them in the act, and if you have taught them their negative word properly, using that word will truly be just as effective as hitting them, without the bad repurcussions you don't want.

If you have a puppy, the way to teach no is you grab the nape of the neck and shake it saying "NO" at the same time, when they do something wrong. This is how the mom dogs scold their babies. It has to really be done as a pup. They can also learn what no means just by the tone of your voice. They definately pick up on the tone of your voice. You could say "I'm going to get you some nice yummy treats" in a nasty tone and the dog would feel scolded.

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  #22  
Old 06/23/05, 09:59 PM
 
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In my experience, when we got a puppy and we already had a chicken killer, then we had two chicken killers. I finally broke the cycle by getting rid of all of the dogs and then starting over with some puppies.

What we have done with the puppies that worked is we take the puppy and put it in a crate with a large chicken (I like to use hens, some roosters can be too aggressive)...the chicken squawking and flapping is usually enought to cure the puppy permanently, but sometimes we've had to do it three or four times. Even worked on doberman mixes...our last one is seven and still won't chase even the banties... We've always stayed right there and kept an eye on things...don't want either the puppy or the chicken to get hurt.

I haven't yet tried the shock collars but what I would do is try to NOT let the dog know it was me who was shocking him/her...I would try to make the dog think that the shock came as a direct result of chicken chasing behavior...and I agree with those who wrote that they would shock the dog as soon as it looks at a chicken too hard...punish them for the "thought" and it might get better results, waiting until the dog is after the chicken and he will continue to "think" about catching one again...

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  #23  
Old 06/25/05, 07:37 AM
 
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The "I Don't Have Time To Train Him" excuse simply won't work. You WILL have to train him ... or get rid of him (one way or the other). There are no other options.

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Old 06/30/05, 10:12 PM
 
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luckily my schedule has changed and i have been spending more time with him. he goes out at night with me to put chickens up from free ranging and in the mornings to let him out. he seems to being doing better if he is not by my side al i have to do is call his name and he is there, and to everyone's question yes he knows what "no " means. and he is listening better than he was. he sees me and girlfriend feed and play with the chickens but he seems not to be jealous cause he has his time also.plus my lab seems to be helping to. you would figure my lab would go after the chickens more than the shepard would. but my lab has no interest in them, and i think my shepard is getting the idea. i hope he just continues to stay away from chasing the chickens! so far no chickens have came up dead in almost 3 weeks. i think he realizes he gets just as much attention as the chickens if not more. thank you for your help and ideas. and i am sorry to those of you who mentioned putting the dog down, that is something i would never do unless he hurt a person. or was already in threat of dying then i would put him out of his misery. but in every case there is always an alternative!! that is why i turned to you all for help or advice. AND IT ALL IS VERY HELPFUL, THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR HELP!!!!!!!!!

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  #25  
Old 07/01/05, 07:37 AM
 
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I have to agree with the previous poster...you need to train the dog..ESPECIALLY if it is a German Shepherd.
Dogs like that need to be controlled ON and OFF the leash..for the safety of other people if nothing else.
But for the most part they are really good dogs..protective and loyal to the family members...unreliable around strangers...which makes it all the more important to contain the dog when you cannot watch it..and having it trained for when you are.
However good choice in breed..I used to own one years ago..great dogs, but there is alot of responsibility that comes with owning one

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  #26  
Old 07/01/05, 07:49 AM
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heh...

I am fascinated by this concept that one can look down their nose at whipping a dog, but in the next sentence say that a shock collar is the best thing since sliced bread. It's all negative reinforcement people!

Why - by the by - is it okay to whip my child when they are exceptionally naughty, but a shock collar would be sick and brutal? For the dog it's the opposite? <<<shakes head>>>

Don't get me wrong, I'd provide the animal negative reinforcement as well, but let's not get all high and mighty about what pain provision method is "kosher".

Before anyone goes off on the unbelieveably crazy "shock collar provides transient pain, less than the belt"... YOU hold the collar contacts in one hand, and press the button with the other. Good, now wait for your arm and hand to recover... and then type us out a response on your thoughts AFTER the treatment.

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  #27  
Old 07/01/05, 09:06 AM
 
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I am not against shock collars or against whipping a bad dog. I say start with the least punishment and work up if it doesn't work. Dogs are pack animals in the wild they would fight to see who was the alpha. Your dog has to know that alpha is you! You get that standing by being the toughest in the pack. You do that in the gentlest way you can. I have owned many breeds of dogs over the years the 2 toughest were the german shepherd's and the dobermans. The easiest were the golden retrievers. It was a lot easier if you get them as pup's. I am working with a mixed lab/husky right now. He is 3 and very stubborn. I also swear he has ADD. He's just like my son. LOL!!
But he snatched up a chicken while on a leash to fast for my son to help the chicken and my son whipped him. He still lunges towards them and my goats with excited abandon. He understands sit and stay but the excitement is too much for him and he pays no attention while in this state. I am snapping the leash saying no and he doesn't care. I have smacked him in the face to no avail. I have 2 choices, take him back to where he came from(the pound) or the shock collar. I am opting for the shock collar first. I would rather know that I have tried everything to break this habit before sending him back to the pound to be again adopted aout to a new family. Chase instinct is normal for a dog. Especially a stray. He and I are bonding very well and he is beginning to listen much better. He has to listen even better. Even in distracting situations. That is where the shock collar comes in. I say no and push the button at the same time. I will let you all know whether it works or not. I have never had to resort to a shock collar before but I still thinks it better for the dog than sending it back to the pound.

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