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Old 02-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #3
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Geckmumto3
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: S. Ontario
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Re: Pups and chickens

Quote:
Originally Posted by missc View Post
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!
Thanks!

So far, so good. She has been to the barn, and has been very good, eyes on us the whole time. DH let her see in the chicken coop this morning and the ladies didn't like it at all made big noise and she turned away. Just now I took her in with me, and she actually went out of the coop and sat by the door on the outside as soon as she saw the birds.

What you said about playing is exactly what I was trying to explain to the kids this morning. Play now could be deadly to a little hen later, even if the pup means no harm.

We have done the leash on the belt in the past with our other dog and it worked a treat in the house. We didn't have birds, though, and she was a pure hound... She never got "leave it" with the birds, so she always had to be contained when the birds were out. By the time we got chickens, she was over 10 and there was no point in putting any of us through much. I am hopeful that this little one will be a good addition to our little farm and just take it in stride.
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