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Old 02-10-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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missc
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: MI
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Re: Pups and chickens

We have 3 dogs that do well around our chickens. The other 2 are house dogs and older, so I won't go there with them for now. Our LGD's job is to protect the poultry and other farm animals, so we had to guide them to be good around them!
We make sure that our pups are on a leash whenever around the poultry when young, I generally wrap the leash around my wrist or even onto my belt during chores and bring them along with me wherever I go. I don't get hyper-excited about them being interested in the birds, that's normal and if I get excited I think that teaches the dog that it's something that they should get uptight about. They only get corrected if they open their mouth around them, or try to paw at them playing, and at a young age they don't know any better so it's just a tug on the leash and "no" or "leave it". When they're bigger they can cause more trouble - they can SO easily "play" with the birds, but often it doesn't end well for the chickens. Wear out the pups then before they come in the barn.
"Leave it" is a great command. We teach it in the house, and bring treats out in the barn and make sure the pup attends to me on leash to do different tricks (attention on me) before she goes off leash. Make sure "come" is good before going off leash (duh ). Sometimes if I see her excited around the poultry I just "distract" her by going somewhere else or doing tricks, as "leave it" gets boring after a while and it's so hard for herding dogs to "leave" a flapping anything!
Congrats on your puppy!
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