Protecting the flock from the family dog(s)

Discussion in 'Parasites, Pests, & Predators' started by castillofa, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    We recently adopted a pair of dogs, a jack russel and long haired dachsund, from a friend. They have been with us just under two weeks. During that time, they showed no interest in our flock and even walked into the run with us while we completed our daily chores. However, yesterday, the jack russell went after and killed our only blue marans pullet. :eek:

    That chicken is not securely taped to Rowdie, following the idea that after a few days, especially here in our warm climate might make him think twice. We will begin leash work with him after his timeout in hopes of changing his view of our feathered friends.

    Any helpful comments or ideas are welcome.

    Note: I already know that there are some out there that would disagree with the tie the dead chicken to the dog. This is not an issue about cruelty, as the the dog has food and water. He is not in any pain and still has free range of the yard, outside of the chicken run of course.
     
  2. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    My only suggestion is to watch Cesar Milan (the dog whisperer) Season one. He deals with lots of aggressive dogs and strategies to retrain a bad behavior. He is simply amazing! While your dog is wearing a dead chicken, might want to watch some TV and work on Plan B. Don't want anymore dead chickens.
     

  3. jjwilson72000

    jjwilson72000 New Member

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    Had the same problem with one of my dogs. One thing I did that seemed to eventually work is I would catch a chicken, then make the dog lay on his back and I would "pet" him with the chicken for awhile and scold him for trying to get up/show aggression. I also locked him in a run with the whole flock and made him stay in there and be good (while being supervised and scolded for any bad behavior).
    He still starts to get aggressive when the chickens act like prey, like if they all start running he is hard pressed to not chase them, but it has been a couple years since he killed any.
     
  4. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    We have been careful to supervise Rowdie during our daily chores. It will be a process, but we are committed to train him no matter how long it takes. I will keep updating.

    BTW - We are using a leash when he's in the pen with us and vocalizing confirmation or reprimand when needed.
     
  5. jjwilson72000

    jjwilson72000 New Member

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    Something that I think helped a lot with my dog is to give the chickens kitchen scrap, but not let the dog partake. I would throw out the scrap bucket and hold the dog so he couldn't rush in and get to it. Now I don't have to hold him and he will run up and try to get scraps and not be aggressive at all to the flock, the rooster recently grabbed his tail and he retreated. In the past he would of killed everyone over the food.
     
  6. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

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    R u Serious? Dead chicken around dog's neck? Please explain. My dog would run around in circles?? I also have dogs trying to train.
     
  7. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    Think of it as aversion therapy. Dogs are wired to want to please us; however, there are times when an immediate response is needed due to a particularly bad act. I have had a dog most of my adult life and when I lived in the city, the issue was keeping them from running after cars, people, other dogs, and the one cat in the neighborhood that was conspiring against my canine pals. In those cases, a leash along with treats and a lot of positive reinforcement was the practical path.

    Now out here in the rural area that we live in, our dogs are also a source of protection against varmints, vermin, and snakes. It is a matter of trying to teach the dogs that it is okay to kill a snake, rat/mouse, and the like, but not the chickens. Rowdie was none too happy lugging around a carcass in the heat our here for a day or two. While he must still be watched vigilantly, I have noticed a distinct difference in his behavior. I will continue to use positive reinforcement and leash training to overcome that urge to chase the poultry. He wants to please us and since the carcass came off, he has really avoided the occasional chook that gets out, instead of chasing it down. Then again, I was outside watching. I hope to train him well enough that he would be fine without immediate supervision. :)
     
  8. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    I will be looking for his shows on Netflix. I am open to any ideas that would assist in changing this behavior.
     
  9. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    That dead chicken thing must work to some extent otherwise people wouldn't be using that tactic for like 100 years.
     
  10. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

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    I hope and pray my dogs don't make me go there!!!!!!
     
  11. kejmack

    kejmack New Member

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    Sorry, but I think the dead chicken thing is awful. I have lived in the country my entire life and never heard of such a thing. You can watch Cesar on Hulu for free. Sounds like you need it.
     
  12. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    I lived in the country all of my growing up years but didn't hear about the chicken around the neck until I got married and moved into "town". I've heard about it now for YEARS (because I'm way old and the adult years way out-number the growing up years now).

    I'm glad we never had to try it when I was a kid, but all of our chickens were always inside and we weren't allowed to have a dog. Pretty much solves having a "dog problem".
     
  13. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    In my experience a JRT can be one of the worse chicken killers out there. Good Luck.
     
  14. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Oh - he's never getting a chance for me to see how "good" he might be with them.

    He lived in the house with them for the first 3 weeks, but I had chicken wire over the top of the container they were in and I never left him alone with them without him being shut in his kennel. He about went nuts the first few days when I brought them home (I kept them up on a shelf where he couldn't reach them). But then he sort of got used to them and, while he thought they were interesting, I think he finally got bored.

    Now they are out in the chicken house/coop and he's always on a tie-out. I can't let him run loose (nor can I let the chickens free range :(), there are too many bigger (half-wild) dogs around the area and he's a little stinker (he weighs only 10 lbs.) - he'd probably take off and I'd never see him again. So, even when the chicks get to be BIGGER than him, he will never be allowed to be loose around them. If something unfortunate happens and he IS loose around them, I hope one (or ALL) of them attacks him and shows him that a chicken is not to be messed with. ;)
     
  15. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Here he was the first day I brought them home (he's looking up at the shelf they were on). He was "wiggling" from head to toe and then sat/laid there "at attention" for a couple of hours!
     

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  16. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    Yep! That is how I would expecta JRT to act.
     
  17. kejmack

    kejmack New Member

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    Have you tried a shock collar? I have a PitBull and a Shih Tzu. The Shih Tzu would NOT leave the chickens alone. We tried everything. We borrowed a shock collar. It only took two shocks for him to learn to leave them alone. Try to satisfy your dog's need to chase something with other activities. http://www.therealjackrussell.com/trial/racing.php
     
  18. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

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    Was this for me? I'm not having any issues with my dog - although I think a shock collar is a great idea for any of the others who are having issues. Helps with excessive barking too - something that I find extremely annoying.
     
  19. castillofa

    castillofa New Member

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    Here is the current update. After watching the Dog Whisperer's youtube vid on a golden retriever having chicken issues, more like the chickens having issues with the dog - ;), I began to work with Rowdie using one of our cockerels. I hold the chicken in one hand and keep the other hand on the dogs collar. I then get Rowdie on his back and carefully bring the chicken close to him. If he begins to act aggressively, I shush him and place a firm hand on his chest. As with the dog in the video, Rowdie begins to shake. I can tell that he really wants to get the chicken. I try to work with him a few minutes a day. I hope to have him completely trained within a few weeks.

    Thanks for all of your responses.
     
  20. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

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    Wonderful! I know you both will be in a new dynamic very soon. Excellent! That dog whisperer is just the best!