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Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Closed Flock, Nov 26, 2020.
She might be really tough to convince the birds are part of the pack.
I know. But she chased the cats when we first brought her home. It took maybe three or four times of this sequence--chase, get shut out in the garage five minutes, then let in--before she realized that chasing the cats got her "shunned" and that was the last of it. She's stubborn, but way smart, and very highly food motivated. I won't even consider taking risks with the birds--we have so many predators in the mountains, I can't even free range. (Neighbor's dogs.)
I had challenges with one of mine. Crazy thing is his two brothers accepted the birds into the pack without question but the alpha dog, Alf, had to go through being scared to death when his human pack leader started yelling and screaming at him.
Yes, it is a matter of defining the parameters of the pack!
I have yet to have dogs consider the chickens as part of the pack. My experience with dogs and chickens is considerable. The ideal for me is the dogs consider the chickens to be an acceptable component within their territory that they read for signs someone that is bad might be intruding. The intruders I want monitored and the dogs to go after are predators. Even when the chickens are accepted, it is my chickens that are accepted. My dogs, like other livestock dogs, can regard individual animals of the species the dog typically protects being attacked because the dog does not know them. Dogs, like us, can recognize the chickens as individuals and assess when they do not belong. Lots of animals have the ability to recognize individuals across species boundaries. The ability is not limited to birds and mammals.
Not my chickens but my Guineas and dogs. They formed an understanding and would join each other going after interlopers. The Guineas would come at a certain bark and there was a body language the dogs recognized that the Guineas were on to something and they'd join them.
It was quite fascinating to watch. Especially after the problems I had with the one.
A good farm dog is always worth it's weight in gold.
I set out to take some pretty dog picture, but female pups Flo (brindled) and Pup Pup (black and tan) decided to engage in a rough game of kick butt to see who is boss. The fighting got pretty serious and they almost fought their way into a cock pen knocking it over if not damaging the pen while letting cock out to get into his own fight. It was a mess. These images show only the latter parts of the scrap when it moved to front of house. I had to raise my voice to keep other females out of it as I have no tolerance in dog piles with pot shots taken at combatants. The pot shots are what can cause real damage.
Flo is dominant over Pup Pup maintaining status quo. Note who has tail higher.
Shortly after Honey (mom) had to assert her dominance over Flo. Lucy was really into pot shots as she delivers them when taking on foes external to pack. When she gets into fight you need to be running or you can be lucky to get away alive.
The whole pack as we start for woods to let coyotes and fox now who lives here and how powerful we are. We went to marking post at far end of property near fence row where dogs and coyotes all leave their mark. For good measure I left mine too.
Barn is in background of first image.
That was one of my favorite things to do with my dogs, walking in the woods.
Thanks for the pics and explanation!
Having such a large pack, do you have an tips on breaking ball/stick aggression?
Me too. Photo from our walk this morning.
That is absolutely amazing! I have more understanding why you love it there.
In our context the defensiveness over items does NOT happen much. The dogs have had to operate in a complex social unit for some time and all raised in part by other dogs. Pecking order is well defined most of time, and they have to share items like deer carcass once in a while where they are more concerned with denying coyotes and dogs from from outside the pack. The diversity of challenges may reduce the aggression between individuals within pack. Dominant female Honey comes closes to defending items and her main interest appears to be informing others who is boss. I am not a real dog trainer, I just have lots of experience and can read what they say.
Thanks for the response. That makes sense! It’s only in certain areas of the property. We have a pit named Diesel and sometimes when balls or sticks or around it’s like he flips a switch. The other dogs are fine, but we have been working with him not being so dominant.
Thanks for the explanation!