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Our new pound puppy is about 2 years old, part chow, high energy, learns quickly, and is adorable. I wouldn't leave her alone with the new ducklings, but am able to leave her untied while we are in the barn, as she doesn't bother the chickens, etc. Last night Turkey was missing, so went looking with dog running with me. Turkey was sitting on a nest she had made in the weeds, but I needed to **** her into the barn, as a big white broad-breasted turkey is defenseless and there are foxes and coyotes that could hop the fence. The dog seemed to grasp the idea--**** bird back to barn--and did just that, if a little too energeticly, but without touching the bird.

Neat! Can a 2 year mutt be trained to herd? How? We are still working on basic obedience commands, but herding ducks and the turkey would be great fun.
 

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Well, you know what they say.. "Nothing is impossible". I would just be a little concerned that the dogs "interest" doesnt' gain rapidly. Maybe this was her/his first encounter with such animals and he/she will get more agressive on a second visit?

Good luck.. Can't wait to see what he 'X-spurts" have to say!
 

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When my kids were young, my dad took us on a vacation. While there, we went to an 'animal show'. My son was one of the lucky kids to get to come down and put dogs and cats through their paces. They jumped hoops, walked on their hind legs...all the fun, cute stuff. Well, every one of those animals was a Dog pound death row rescue...and every one a mutt.

I would be cautious about the enthusiasm level for bird herding, so it doesn't become bird chasing, or worse, bird catching. However, the dog should be capable of learning...if you are capable of teaching (They don't have a tongue-in-cheek smilie, do they?)
Good luck!
Meg (who is NOT the X-spurt on anything!)
 

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You need to teach her to leave the birds alone. She needs to be good at "leave it" and/or, "back off". The only time she should be allowed to herd or drive the birds is when you tell her. I have a border collie that I use to herd my sheep, but only when I'm out with him. He is not allowed to herd the ducks on dry land, but is allowed to herd them when they are in the pond (I believe they laugh at him).

As you train her, you might want to walk ahead of the turkey or ducks so that they are driven to you. The birds will head toward you for protection while moving away from the dog. I agree that the dog could quickly progress to snapping at them, which is why you need a command that slows her down and one that stops her.
 

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Be very consistent with this dog. Chows and Chow mixes are known to be unstable. Not saying they are not good dogs [we have a chow cross also] but be aware they are known to turn. Normally as they get older the more likely they are to bite. They are ranked as one of the worst dogs to have with small children. I personally do not trust my dog around small kids and make sure we have him in the house when there are small children around.


My chow mix does not mess with my livestock but was trained at a early age to leave them alone.
 

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Meg Z said:
When my kids were young, my dad took us on a vacation. While there, we went to an 'animal show'. My son was one of the lucky kids to get to come down and put dogs and cats through their paces. They jumped hoops, walked on their hind legs...all the fun, cute stuff. Well, every one of those animals was a Dog pound death row rescue...and every one a mutt.

I would be cautious about the enthusiasm level for bird herding, so it doesn't become bird chasing, or worse, bird catching. However, the dog should be capable of learning...if you are capable of teaching (They don't have a tongue-in-cheek smilie, do they?)
Good luck!
Meg (who is NOT the X-spurt on anything!)
I would have to say that the main limiting factor of training a mixed-breed dog to do anything is the patience,skill, & Love of the trainer. Pure-bred dogs have certain characteristics that they have been bred for, but IMHO, I think that most bad habits can be corrected with patience,Love, & persistence on the part of the trainer. Positive Reinforcement & Encouragement with rewards will work wonders with canine behavior! Dogs do not respond very well to harsh treatment.They Do need to know who is the Boss, & have a clear idea of what is acceptable & what is not. I've seen many bird dogs that were great hunters that would leave domestic birds completely alone. They were trained to point & fetch & thats what they do.
 

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Tracy said:
Be very consistent with this dog. Chows and Chow mixes are known to be unstable. Not saying they are not good dogs [we have a chow cross also] but be aware they are known to turn. Normally as they get older the more likely they are to bite. They are ranked as one of the worst dogs to have with small children. I personally do not trust my dog around small kids and make sure we have him in the house when there are small children around.


My chow mix does not mess with my livestock but was trained at a early age to leave them alone.

I agree with Tracy.
We never had any luck with a Chow or Chow mix and know other folks who have had the same bad experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I was thinking that the next time we go looking for the turkey, little darling is wearing a long lead. Will incorporate "Leave it" into the education. Can't imagine how a dog is trained to round up an animal, but perhaps it is the same as trying to "teach" a pointer to point. (?) Thanx for all the input.
 
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