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  1. #1

    Default Dog chasing chickens

    Hi there,

    This is my first post in AAD........because I have never had a dog before, but hoped you might have some training tips for my parents' new dog.

    My parents moved to Normandy last year after 26 years in London and decided they were finally in a position to have a dog. We have always had rescued animals so mum decided not to look for a dog as 'the right dog will find us'. True to form, I was working at a local vet surgery recently (I'm a student) and there was the right dog

    Princess is a 3yo Staffie cross who was abandoned in a park and (after all the rescues they called said they were putting staffies down as they have too many ) she lived in the vet practice until they could re-home her. She has been there 6 months with no interest

    So we took her, she lived with me for 3 weeks before we could take her to France and she is a real poppet. She has basic training thanks to the lovely nurses. She can sit, stay and has good recall. We have now also taught her to go to her bed and she is a clever girl who is eager to please.

    Unfortunately, despite being super in every other way, she LOVES chasing and catching my parents' chickens!!! We have been letting her out off lead only when the chickens are in their run in the morning and evening but they are very much free range and we can't trust Prinny not to go for them.

    So far we have been rewarding her with a treat when she looks at them but then comes back to me but I was hoping you all may have some good tips for training her. My parents have a field at the back of the house and it would be great if she could potter about when my mum is gardening etc but I don't want any casualties.

    Sorry it's long and thanks in advance!


    15.02.10 RIP my gorgeous Monty Shnozzle. Miss you always x

  2. #2
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    She might be to oold for this but our pups always meet a large hen who is broody or with chicks for their first. Pup is on a lead and hen attacks it if it even looks at the chicks. Its not refined, but very effective. We walked a lot of foxhounds and ours were always 100% with chickens.
    We are in for a gallop, away, away,
    I told them my beauty could fly...

  3. #3
    Sport horse
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    Nov 2011
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    Northern Ireland
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodagh View Post
    She might be to oold for this but our pups always meet a large hen who is broody or with chicks for their first. Pup is on a lead and hen attacks it if it even looks at the chicks. Its not refined, but very effective. We walked a lot of foxhounds and ours were always 100% with chickens.
    this, but also, and you might hate this, many many years ago, my farmer father used to tie the chicken that the dog had killed round its neck, the dog concerned never and I mean never looked sideways at a hen again.

  4. #4
    Old nag MrsElle's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    Elsie was a chicken chaser, although when she caught them she just pinned them down with a paw and looked at us with a proud 'look what I caught' expression on her face

    We ended up sectioning off a part of the garden for the chickens, using chicken wire and posts, with the view to growing a hedge alongside so she couldn't see them.

    Initially she would stand by the fence panting and jumping towards any passing chook. She then started to take no notice of them, and when OH forgot to shut the gate the other day and the chickens got into the main garden Elsie didn't bat an eyelid as they wandered past her.

    Time may cure your girls chicken habbit, although it might be difficult if she has a really high prey drive.


    May your mind be opened by the wonderful.

  5. #5
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    I doubt very much however much you train her she will be completely trustworthy especially as they are free range. I would train her with the leave it command, perhaps a ball or treat and practice her leaving it. Then when you take her outside I would muzzle her and everytime she moves towards the hens and you say leave it and she does, reward her big time with tasty treats.

  6. #6
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    Some dogs will listen, when they're told "NO", but for those dogs that wont actually listen, they generally have a lead dropped over their head, when they're caught in the act, and a bloody good hiding is dished out.

    The next day, and every day, until they learn to listen, they are put on a lead and walked in amongst the hens. Sometimes it takes a while , but eventually, they learn. I've never known it fail, yet!!

    Alec.

  7. #7
    Veteran
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    The next time the dog kills a chicken, don't say or do anything, just hang it on the electric fence. Chicken bites dog. End of problem and the dog still loves you.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    Thanks guys, some very good ideas here. I reckon it will be a long process and she may never stop doing it. Luckily she hasn't killed anything yet, she just enjoys all the commotion!

    Thanks for the tips!


    15.02.10 RIP my gorgeous Monty Shnozzle. Miss you always x

  9. #9
    Old nag
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    Roly and Lil still sometimes chase our chickens, despite being a year into living with them
    What I find, and this may be peculiar to terriers is, I need to remove the EXCITEMENT from their entry into the farm. So say if I just open the gate and let them run in, they will inevitably run up to the chooks and chase them!
    However, if I call them to heel, make them wait, get them to walk in looking at me quietly - then, they don't chase the chickens because their blood isn't up.

    Like Alec says, some dogs will respond to discouragement! The retriever wont even LOOK at the chickens, due to his discouragement as a pup! However, you could beat my two bandy and they'd still keep on doing it - it's just not their mindset they'll go and go til they die rather than listen to a smack! Terriers! So I found pretty early, diversion was the key

  10. #10
    Youngster
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    Aug 2011
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    Default Re: Dog chasing chickens

    it will take time but it can work. i have a rescue staffie/patterdale/? who has a very high prey drive. she lives with me at uni but when we go home in the holidays theres chickens, ducks, hens, sheep, cat, horses. all except the horses were very interesting! first two times i went home she was terrible - cat ran away which didnt help and hens were great fun to chase and unfortunately kill a few. she would respond to shouting as it was the only time she was really given out to. i dont know what happened but i went home at christmas and she was absolutely fine and completely uninterested! even at easter the cat rubbed against her - she just looked absolutely shocked! they do tend to stay clear of each other but will happily stay in the same room. with the hens she was absolutely fine and can be left outside with them without an issue - even went and sniffed a sick hen but did nothing. now just need to train her not to run off whenever we're in rabbit country....

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