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Training A Chicken Killing Dog

Discussion in 'Dogs, Cats and Other Pets' started by baymule, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. Jan 19, 2018
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    @milkmansdaughter asked what I did to retrain my Great Pyrenees to stop killing chickens. It was not an over night thing. It took two years. Paris was free. She was left alone on 3 acres all day with free range chickens while her owners were away at work. They came home to dead, slobbered, chickens. I don't know what they did to her, but they must have punished her terribly. When she thought I wasn't looking, she charged the coop, snarling at the chickens. Whatever her former owners did to her, she blamed the chickens. She hated them.

    This is her thread on BYH.

    https://www.backyardherds.com/threa...heep-goats-or-chase-bears-hawk-post-26.23771/

    Paris patrolled her yard, we lived in town on a city lot at that time. She kept all the boogers away, such as falling acorns, people who dared to walk down the street, people across the street at the tire store, the neighbors who walked around in their own yard, falling acorns, neighborhood dogs, cats, did I mention falling acorns?

    By the location of the chicken coop, the chickens were protected because they were in HER yard. Even though we lived in town, there were possums and raccoons and Paris made sure they stayed away. Gradually she stopped charging the coop. She slowly became more accepting of the hens. I tried several times to take her in the coop with me, but she was scared and wanted out.

    I got some chicks and when they were old enough to go outside, I put them in the run with a shelter. I would sit in the doorway watching the chicks. Paris came to me for attention and I praised her. Over the weeks, she learned that chick crumbles were delicious. I let her eat all she wanted-she utterly ignored the chicks. Slowly she learned that the chicks were MINE and that she should not hurt them. Every day she and I sat in the run with the chicks while she ate the feed. I had a crippled rooster in the batch that was easy to catch. So, making him the sacrificial chicken, I let him loose in the yard for a short time while I was in the yard with Paris. She sniffed him all over but did not hurt him. I praised her, petted her and let her know I was pleased.

    It took so long to teach her not to hate the chickens because she was so screwed up when I got her. I never hit her. I spoke kindly to her, lots of baby talk, lots of love and attention. When she did wrong, I scolded and it pierced her like an arrow. It took time to get to that point. It took time for her to trust us, it took time for her to love us and it took time for a disapproving tone of voice to crush her.

    I let the crippled rooster out during the day when I could be outside with her. Then I let him out and went inside, but watched through the window. I left him out for longer and longer periods of time. Finally the day came when my husband and I sat outside and let the hens out of the coop. Paris and our other dog Parker, ran and played all over the yard and never even tried to chase the chickens. Victory!

    For a long time, I only let the chickens out when we were home, but finally left the house, leaving them out. Paris took care of them. Paris became a fine chicken guard.

    She had killed chickens because she was left unsupervised with the ultimate squeaky toys running around. She was raised wrong, she was punished wrong, she was taught wrong. These dogs may start out perfect as puppies, but many hit 9-12 months, their "teenager" part of their life and just like their human counterpart, they get an attack of stupid. They need correction, guidance, supervised time and teaching. They do not need a beating. They sure don't need a dead chicken tied around their neck.

    We moved 3 years ago to 8 acres and we got sheep. Paris had never seen sheep and only wanted to attack them. We started all over..... LOL

    This is a thread for anyone who has or had a chicken killing dog to talk about how to retrain or tell us what they did to retrain their dog.
     
  2. Jan 19, 2018
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    My dog would LOVE a dead chicken tied around his neck. especially on his left side, he really like to roll his left side on dead rotting things :gig is that really something people do to try to punish a dog? sounds like a reward to me!
     
  3. Jan 19, 2018
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Right!
    Ya done good, Bay!

    I've had GP's go through that stage. Even my best LGD ever - Maddie - demolished a chicken or two in her youth. Cowboy used to like to pick them up and carry them around by a wing - maybe that was his misguided way of 'protecting' them. He never hurt one and when I'd yell at him to drop it he'd look at me like "whaaaaaat?"

    IF you've owned the dog from puppyhood and have the time to spend with it around chickens it will likely only be a nuisance behavior for a few months. It's well worth spending that time with them to have a dog you can trust for the rest of its life.

    Rehabilitating a confirmed chicken killer is another story. Refer to Bay's posting! :)
     
  4. Jan 19, 2018
    milkmansdaughter

    milkmansdaughter Super Self-Sufficient

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  5. Jan 19, 2018
    Chic Rustler

    Chic Rustler Super Self-Sufficient

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    my pitbull used to kill the crap out of chickens. I spanked her and told her no. Now our only problem is she likes to steal their food when they free range. Pit bulls (in my experience) are usually more in tune with their owners if you talk to them like a person.


    My great Pyrenees never showed any aggression toward them. He's just a good dog....but he doesn't listen for crap.
     
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  6. Jan 26, 2018
    milkmansdaughter

    milkmansdaughter Super Self-Sufficient

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    This is Max. We got Max free this last week because he kept chasing, playing with, and killing the last owners' chickens. Max is an 80? pound, 7 month old, GP/Lab mix.

    We got Max last Saturday, and as soon as we got him home, we took him for a walk around the perimeter of our property. I took him on a leash to the chickens and told him they were MY CHICKENS. The next morning, I took him with me on a short leash to the coop when I let the chickens out for the day. I corrected him each time he started toward a chicken. I took a chicken and made Max sit. I put the chicken on Max's neck. He dropped to the ground and rolled on his back, and I put the chicken right in his chest. I kept telling him MY CHICKEN, MAX! I let the chicken go, and Max wouldn't go near her. I've let the chickens free range all week, and Max has been off the leash almost all week, and has not touched or chased even one chicken. I've seen him go through the flock, looking for a way through that won't disturb them. I've seen him go around. I've seen him follow them (usually eating their poop), but he has not tried to get any of them. I'm so proud of him!
    I've worked on sit all week, and he's been good. If we're outside, he does great off the leash. We've got a lot of work to do with him barking when he's on a tie out line, especially out of our sight, but almost no barking or trouble when he is off the leash, and we are around. On the tie out with us not in sight is a different matter. that's when he gets in the most trouble. He's still really young, and quite goofy, so I'm really excited about how quickly he's learning.
    He ignores fire trucks, and other neighbors dogs, but loves to chase squirrels and the cat. IMG_20180120_142947.jpg IMG_20180122_084155.jpg IMG_20180125_120157.jpg
     
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  7. Jan 26, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I love the beauty of this dog's coloring!!! I also love his body and head style...he's just a gorgeous dog, MMD.

    I also love hearing how well he's doing so far...those are good responses to what you've tried with the chicken. The correct responses, IME.

    How's he doing with coming to you now? :pop

    I will be watching this thread with much interest and anticipation as to how Max turns out for you and I'm so hoping and praying for a wonderful outcome. Free, beautiful, good breed mix to work with, intelligent, sweet and you need him...I think God has a hand in Max's coming into your life, so I expect good things there. :love
     
  8. Jan 26, 2018
    milkmansdaughter

    milkmansdaughter Super Self-Sufficient

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    Thanks, @Beekissed! He is pretty, isn't he? And so much growing yet to do! And I absolutely see God's hand in us getting this dog. I've been looking for a good teachable dog ever since Solo died last summer.

    Max is good on sit. NOT good on coming when called. And yet, when we are out working, he is almost always close. I'll look around and say, "where is the dog?" and he'll show up within a minute or so. Hes never far away.

    I have to admit though that I get going on a project and I forget he's there. I forget to praise him when he does show up right away.
    I don't trust him to stay in our own yard yet when we are not outside, as he's already checked out the neighbors yards on both sides. So he gets tied up then on a long cable, and that's when he gets in trouble. If I have him close enough for him to come up on the deck, he gets into stuff, barks, chews something up, or gets up on the furniture. If he's further away, he gets into stuff, barks, chews something up, or digs... He's got a cow's dried ear, a rawhide bone, an old rope toy, a big hambone, and an old rib bone to chew on, and he'll find something else every time. I really honestly do not want our entire property fenced in.
    Has anyone here had luck with invisible fences?
     
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  9. Jan 26, 2018
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I've had a long, good run with wireless invisible fencing....Ben's the only dog I've had that disregards the fence and that only when I'm not home and he hears gunshots. My other dogs were well confined by the wireless fencing....not so much the fencing with wires. Tried that first, long ago, and found it wanting.

    Three other dogs obeyed the wireless fence down through the last 15 yrs or so, so not a bad record on it.
     
  10. Jan 26, 2018
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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