New Pup Won't Stop Chasing Chickens

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Elie May, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Oldhat

    Oldhat Well-Known Member

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    My Australian Shepherd was a problem for awhile. She managed to kill 4-5 of my free range flock before I got super disciplined on her and it worked. She was just at year old when she started getting the chickens, before that she'd not even really notice them until she "snapped" one day and started killing chickens. After a bit of discipline (that did not seem to work) I started pinning her up all day long in the chicken run while my chickens were out free ranging. She'd be put in the run when I let the chickens out in the morning and then she'd be let out in the evening once the chickens were in the coop for the night. Every evening for 2-3 months I put her on a leash and would spend around 30 minutes disciplining her and teaching her "no" while walking around the yard. If she tried to pull me on the leash I yanked the crap out of it and gave her the "no" command. I tightened up the leash so she could only walk right by my side. Every time she tried to take off I yanked the leash and reinforced the "no" command. At the end of each session I'd unhook the leash and see if she'd stay by my side or bolt off to do something else. I knew we'd go through this entire process daily until she would not bolt off or run away....that took at least 30 days. I'd even change directions abruptly and if she was not paying attention and kept walking to a tight leash then I'd yank her leash. I wanted her to have to pay attention to me 100% of the time and what I was doing.

    After 30 days and getting her under control I then started letting her out earlier while the chickens were still out. I'd still use the leash but now we'd just hang out around the chickens for 30 minutes or so. I had her "sit" and "no" commands instilled in her and now it was time to teach her that the chickens were off limits. Took about two weeks at 30 minutes a day to break her from wanting anything to do with chickens by yanking on that leash when she wanted to go after them.

    It's been well over a year since I worked with her and she's one with the chickens in the universe...they even steal a bit of dog food from her while she's eating. One thing for sure is that neither one of my dogs will even look at a chicken when one is close, they turn their head/gaze away from them. I didn't train them to do it, they just know that the chickens are off limits and that they better just look away to resist the temptation.

    Whatever you do only use the command "no" (or whatever) when you have to. I do not overuse the word. When I call them by name in an authoritative voice they simple stop whatever they are doing, sit, and then look at me. When I yell "no" then you better not be in their path to get under the shed because they will run you over. They seek shelter under the shed from the incoming artillery that comes with "no". The command "no" in an authoritative voice finds them whimpering under the shed for about an hour each time. They know they have messed up. They just wine, mope, and pout for an hour then eventually come out once their feelings are no longer hurt.

    I have dogs for a reason and they need to earn their keep. I train my dogs to earn their keep and in exchange they get to live on a rural property that all dogs dream of. They are free to laze about wherever they want within 3-4 acres of "yard" around the house, get fed great chow, and get loads of attention from my family of 5...but they have a job to do.

    Train your dog, make it do what you want it to do. If it can handle those tasks and obey commands then it is rewarded to do whatever it wants in it's spare time. Dogs serve a purpose, they are a rural family's first line of alert and defense, they also guard over our livestock and critters. Train them with a firm hand and you've made a great investment for 8-10 years. Takes some effort but is well worth it. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2018
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  2. barnbilder

    barnbilder Well-Known Member

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    You can do all that, but usually a couple 10 minute zapping sessions will accomplish the same goal. My dogs chase things for miles, so that it can be killed, and they leave chickens alone. They leave my chickens alone, and they leave chickens alone wherever they may end up. This is because they are convinced that chickens can inflict pain the second they show any interest in them. It all comes down to how valuable your time is. My time is pretty valuable to me, so I spent some bank on a serious shocking system.
     

  3. Oldhat

    Oldhat Well-Known Member

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    I had already used the shock collar to teach them boundaries. Didn't want to muddy the waters with using it for chickens. There's about 4-5 acres of "lawn" around my place (fire break), that's where I trained them to stay within at all times with the shock
    collar. One dog got shocked 3 times and the other twice, didn't take long to learn. If I am heading out into the woods to do something they both stop right at the tree line and wait for me to say "get" or "come on". One command sends them back to the house and the other lets them come with me. We have a nice supply of copperheads and rattlers around here, about the only time I let them go into the woods is when I am heading back to rocky areas around our stream and want them to secure a snake free path in front of me.
     
  4. Bungiex88

    Bungiex88 Well-Known Member

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    If you think a shock collar is cruel that means you actually don’t know what it feels like. It actually doesn’t hurt the dog it’s more of a surprise and just feels like someone grabbing there neck. The shock collars I bought for my dogs had them trained after the first zap to not chase the chickens. Buy a collar then put it on and test it if you think it is cruel they don’t hurt
     
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  5. Studhauler

    Studhauler Well-Known Member

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    that is more word than I no
     
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  6. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    My dogs, a BC and a Heading dog, both working dogs and high maintenance, both know the word "NO", stay, wait, and Arghh. I run beef cattle and their calves, dairy which I milk, chooks and I also have cats. Both of them know exactly what they are allowed and not allowed to do. Chooks and cats are out of bounds - completely, with the result that it takes four white cats and two dogs to hang out the washing! Sheep are out of bounds if we're not working them, cattle are out of bounds if we're not working them and what's more, they know it.

    It's up to you what you're going to make of your dog, no matter what breed they are. This dog is a pup still and you're not giving it direction. Take on board some of the good advice that has already been given. I have never used a shock collar and if you start off the way you mean to go on, you shouldn't need to either. If you really do have difficultly exerting control over your pup, consider taking it to puppy/dog obedience classes. They will help you understand the mentality of a dog and how to deal with the instinctive prey mentality that they have and channel it into something positive. If you then want to go on to use this pup for what he/she was bred for, you can follow up on that once you've got it doing the basic obedience.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
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  7. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    A shock collar can cure chicken chasing most of the time with one or two lessons.
    I doubt it will confuse them about boundaries.
    It will just teach them that it's not a good idea to touch a chicken.
     
  8. wdcutrsdaughter

    wdcutrsdaughter Well-Known Member

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    This thread reinforces my feelings about not wanting to get a dog. So much work. DH wants a little dog, I'm not convinced at all.
     
  9. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just want to point out that breeds are very important. You need an LGD or some such breed that won't chase animals. I know that doesn't fix your problem, but it is something for everyone to know. If people need a dog to herd than get a herding breed. If you want an LGD then get one. Breeding is everything.
     
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  10. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    Even LGD's often see chickens as either prey or fun toys to chase.
    They are bred to bond to herd animals like goats and sheep.
     
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  11. hiddensprings

    hiddensprings Well-Known Member

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    Your pup is a pup...pups chase, pups get into trouble, pups require supervision. It really doesn’t matter the breed....even Prys and other LGD’s will chase chickens when they are pups. Choose what works for your for discipline. BUT be consistent, get hubby on board, and work on getting the pup to understand. I had a stubborn border collie that thought she was smarter than me, (Her first mistake), thought she could simply out run me if she got in trouble (her second mistake), and just pretended to be deaf if I called her and she didn’t want to come right away (her final mistake). I found the shock collar worked WONDERS on her. She was smart and it took no time at all for her to learn that I really was in charge. Awesome dog now
     
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  12. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Dogs are not hard work. I always put them into the category of having a child - you set boundaries and stick to them - before you know it, you have a companion, worker, whatever for up to 15 years or more. I am not a dog person, I'm a cat lover but I keep dogs for working my stock but as I said in an earlier post, it takes four cats and two dogs to put a load of washing on the line - and then the cats stay behind and the dogs and myself go to move a mob of sheep.

    Pull back and let DH get a little dog - a JR, FT, BF or something similar. 6 years or more ago Kevin arrived home with a little JR he had rescued. She was put down on the 28th Dec. thanks to cancer. Kevin is less a dog person than I but she went everywhere with him as he's a self employed heavy diesel mechanic. I suspect she spent most of her time with him sleeping in his ute and eating his lunch! Not only will DH enjoy the company of a dog but I suspect you will too because they do get under your skin. Just be firm.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
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  13. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Lots of people have dogs that don't need one and that's fine. They make good companions.
    But it is often a mistake to get a LGD if their nightly barking will disturb you or your neighbors. It is a mistake to get any high energy herding dog, like a border collie, if you don't have 200 sheep or 100 cows that need daily herding. Unless you want to spend 3 or 4 hours every day doing agility training, Frisbee tossing or tennis ball throwing.
    Don't buy a bird hunting dog if you free range birds. Don't get a Beagle if you raise rabbits. Don't get a pitbull, ever, just don't.
     
  14. wdcutrsdaughter

    wdcutrsdaughter Well-Known Member

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    Funny you mention him taking his dog with him as he is self employed. DH is self employed too and wants the little friend to come with him everywhere. I know I can be firm but I also know DH can not. I know JR is jack Russel - what are the other two you mentioned? He wants a chihuahua or a dashhound. Or a mix. I worry about a yappy dog that doesn't stop barking and is yet another animal that predators want to eat :) I've already got enough of those....
     
  15. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I'm wrongly assuming that everybody works in capital letter-short cuts these days. Yes, JR is a Jack Russell, FT is a Fox Terrier, BF is a Bichon Friese(sp?)

    Nothing wrong with a Chihuahua or Dashhound either, or a mix of any little dog. All will make a good companion for him. I don't deal with yappers or barkers if there is nothing to yap or bark about but this is training and you may have to help with this. Kevin's little dog spent little time at the house during the day but when she did and started yapping she went straight into her kennel and it didn't take long for her to work out that idiotic barking meant kennel. I don't have a problem with my dogs barking because somebody has pulled into the gate or is coming up the drive - I do have a problem when they bark because a duck flew overhead!

    Kevin, I suspect, was a little like your husband in that he was far from firm with Trixie but Trixie wasn't a nutter either - she knew what she was allowed and not allowed to do and never pushed her boundaries too far when she was at home. Trixie was a rehomed JR and was probably about 7 when Kevin just stalked in and picked her up (tied to a kennel day after day and fed when somebody remembered she was there. He was giving her water and most of his lunch). Let your husband have his little dog and step in when needs must.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
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  16. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    FT is probably Fox Terrier and BF may be a Bichon Frise