Chicken killing dog.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Help. My four month old Lab mix dog eats my chickens and ducks. We've tried the tie the dead animal around the neck trick to no avail. We can call her off when we are around and she easily trained in all other areas. Any suggestions?
-- Katie Bettendorf (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000
Can you keep the poultry fenced and out of the dog's way? It would be a good idea anyway, because even if you get your own dog trained to leave them alone, you aren't going to be able to train all the neighbors dogs, too! Otherwise, the final solution for any livestock killing dog is a bullet. I know that sounds harsh, but the livestock are productive (or are supposed to be) and dogs, though nice to have, for the most part are not very productive. (Yes, working dogs excepted, but how much work do most dogs really do?)
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
Once they have killed its over. I love my dog--who is an excellent guard dog and deer chaser, coon-killer, and general protector of the house and gardens. Except he likes to chase and play with (kill) loose chickens. I keep mine fenced and netted in. This keeps them safe from the loose dogs that visit (uninvited) as well the hawks that circle overhead. I know where their eggs are as well, and it is easy to inspect them. My dog doesn't dig under fences so none of the usual precautions with fencing have been necessary. Remember that the same traits that endear us to them (predators of pests) can make them interested in flighty birds. If my dog was aggressive in trying to get my birds (digging) I would feel differently.
-- Anne (HealthyTouch01@hotmai.com), April 18, 2000.
Labs are bird dogs .They were bread to retrieve downed birds , so this isn't very unsual.You can try a remote collar , they are a bit costly .Check to see if there are any training clubs around they may be able to help .
-- Patty Gamble (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
Killing the dog is simply NOT an option here at my place. Either keep the birds up or keep the dog up while the birds are out. I had a dog that started killing chickens when I first starting keeping birds. He had gone into the pen, killed the chicken, brought it out and was standing there eating it. I never said a word to him. I walked up beside him, grabbed him by the scruff of the neck with one hand and the chicken with the other hand, and beat the dog until the chicken began to come apart. He NEVER, EVER, EVER killed another bird, and I have had free range chickens, ducks, guineas and geese. When the birds came up, he moved. I had him for 9 years after the chicken eating experience. He was the best dog I ever had, and I raise dogs.
Smart dogs can be taught to not destroy things. Dumb dogs can't be taught much of anything. Like I said, whip the dog with a bird if he kills again. If that doesn't work, you gotta keep 'em separated. Killing the dog is not the best solution, although I have heard it expressed many times on this forum and in the magazine, and always nearly had a stroke when it came up. Even if you don't want to fool with the dog anymore yourself, you should try to find a home for it with someone who has a fenced yard or lives somewhere that none of the neighbors have poultry. The only free range poultry I know of in this end of the county are mine and my cousin's who is my next door neighbor. That leaves plenty of other places for chicken-killing dogs to go.
-- Green (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
A few years ago, my husband also whipped our dog with a dead chicken. That did do the trick. I also have a friend who ties up their dog during the time the chickens are free ranging. As everyone else is saying, we still haven't much control over those loose dogs. They've been more of a headache than my own.
-- Pat (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
Some friends have a dog that killed chickens, they tied the dead chicken to the dog and made him wear it awhile. It did the trick.
-- Cindy (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
Thank you all for your swift and informative responses. We did beat the dog with the chicken before tying it to her. Maybe we didn't leave it on long enough? We only left it the afternoon and overnight. The next morning we took it off. I would really like to keep the dog and chickens together only because I do daycare and one of the kids favorite things was finding eggs the chickens laid in the yard. The kids also play with the dog. As far as stray dogs....we don't have that problem. We are starting some new chicks today and I think I may invest in some bird dog training books and possibly a remote shock collar. I would like to fix this before the new birds go in the yard. I could never kill or get rid of Sara. We have had several dogs in the past and this dog is the easiest to train and easiest going dog I have seen in a long time. She is perfect for my house (lots of kids) except for the bird thing. If we have to we can lock up the chickens but they look so much happier walking around the yard. :) Of course, dead chickens are not happy chickens. Thanks again!
-- Katie Bettendorf (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
I know it sounds awful, but once the dog gets the thrill of killing chickens, it can be hard to stop it. You have an advantage in that your dog is very young and trainable,but once they do it several times, and it becomes a habit, they often can't be broken of it, and also move on to larger prey. Such as,cats,rabbits,baby calves,sheep and goats of any age or size. When I was just starting out in goats, we had a dog that killed chickens. We beat her, we tied it to her,tried all kinds of things.None of it worked, and she was a very smart dog. It was just too exciting for her to chase and kill those birds.She also taght her puppies to kill the poultry, so we chained her up. Her pups didn't chase or kill the birds when their mother wasn't with them. One night,I was bringing my goat in from the field where she'd been tethered,and had to run and do something else, so I asked my sister to please put the doe in the pen for me. Well, it turns out she just took the doe to the pen and wrapped the end of the rope around a post on the pen,didn't tie it or put the goat inside the pen. In the morning, my goat had chunks of flesh ripped out of her, her nice udder was covered with bites, and her belly was ripped open. She was still alive. She'd gotten loose during the night and the rope had gotten caught in a place where she was within reach of the chained dog and couldn't escape. Unfortunately,that goat died, the dog didn't,that was my first goat, and I've not felt the same way about dogs since. When I see a stray dog roaming around on our place any where near the ducks or goat barn, I kill it. We do have a dog and we love her, but we tried to pick a breed that was not predisposed towards killing livestock, however if she started killing things we would have to put her down. If you absolutely can't break the dog from killing chickens, maybe you can trade it for another dog that is good around birds. But if your dog should happen to get into the neighbors' chickens,she'll probably get shot.
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
I must comment on the last response -- any tied dog is going to be more of a threat to anything that gets within reach. I'm not sure why . . . Several years ago some friends of my brother lost their two- year-old daughter when she got too close to an otherwise-friendly-but- chained dog. I think it was a german shepherd, but still, no one had any reason to believe that the baby wasn't safe around that dog.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
Most dogs will respond better to praise of good behavior than they will to a beating. Reminds me of the people who can't get their dogs to come. The longer the dog won't come, the louder they scream and the madder they get. When the dog does come, the people usually beat it. Would you come? We get our dogs to come instantly by yelling "cookies". That's a treat of some kind. It doesn't matter what words you use as long as you are CONSISTANT. Put the dog on a leash and take him over to where the birds are. When he shows an interest, even just looking at them, say "No, that's mine". It will take some time but if you praise the dog lavishly, especially a young dog, when it does what you want, you will have a well behaved dog who will do ANYTHING to please you. Say the words over and over again until the dog understands exactly what you want of him. Then watch him carefully until you know what the dog will do when you aren't around. This will take some effort on your part but you will have a good dog for years to come.
-- Peg (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
I think that this comes down to the owner. And a lab isn't working with any ingrained ideas of what stock guarding is. Just couldn't imagine having a dog around that for the next 14 years, that you will have to worry about the gate being left open, or a chicken is loose. If she will kill a chicken she will kill a lamb or a kid (baby goat) and as she gets larger who knows? I also would never allow a puppy (we have Rhodesian Ridgebacks) and anything not yet a year old is a puppy, alone with any stock, let alone a 4 month old puppy. They are kenneled in a nice clean area, and are allowed with the stock only when I am with them. When they go into the kid pen they are allowed only to lick and smell and if they try to play they are immediatly removed. It is very much like teaching your children to be nice to the baby animals, you surely wouldn't let a city kid go play with your hens without supervision. Same goes for a dog. You have to teach him what you expect him to do, it is not alright to jump on your children and it is not alright to play with the hens, to death. Because that is what he did, he played with them to death. Take a deep breath and start over, keep him in a small yard of his own, when you let him out, let him out on a leash and teach him to mind. Introduce him to the stock, here it is not just for the sake of the goats its for the sake of the dog, my adult does will really hurt a puppy given the chance. Then as you build trust in him and he will sit on command and come to you when he is doing something wrong is when he can unsupervised times alone with any stock. Vicki
-- Vicki McGaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
About 6 weeks ago, our dogs got out of their pen and attacked two lambs at the nearest neighbors. These dogs never got out and never attacked anything. I guess the latch didn't hold and they pushed the gate open. The g'ma followed the dogs home and well... Anyway I put the dogs down.(my husband wasn't home) We could get sued over this. The insurance co. will pay if they think we're negligent but won't if we were responsible citizens. And if there is a suit, they will go to court with us and pay if necessary. I heard from everyone around here and city people how once a dog tastes blood, that's it, they'll attack again. The insurance co. seemed to be relieved that the dogs are gone. I'm glad I had the courage to do it so the sheriff wouldn't have to be called, and yes g'ma would have called the sheriff even though she told others she was sorry it had to be done.
-- Cindy (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
Vicki, wise advice.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
I agree with Vickie.I never beat a dog in my life and our two dogs are the best behaved animals (just ask Brad)..Our mutt,Molly, will start after wild rabbits in the yard..all I have to do is say "NO" and she stops dead in her tracks....always....this is how I raised her.In an old thread someone had asked about introducing chickens to an older dog and I shared our story of our black lab who would kill the neighbors chickens if they free ranged.This was how I learned to teach a dog to respond immediately to "NO"...we could do nothing with our first lab,because we did not train her properly from the beginning..the one we have now ,like Molly, also responds immediately to "NO".A well-trained dog is the perfect pet/worker...Vickie has all the right advice....If someone had told me years ago that a person by saying "NO" could stop a dog who was chasing a rabbit at full speed, I would not have believed them.Patience,loving firmness, and instant praise or correction will train any dog to do whatever you require of it in time..meanwhile, lock up your chickens...an untrained dog, chickens and children all in the same place at the same time is a disaster waiting to happen.
-- Lesley Chasko (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
I would like to say thanks to everyone who added in the no beating .As a dog trainer I often got people who would bring there dogs to be trained and could not figure out why they would not listen .Come fido COME FIDO wham they get a smack for not coming the first time ! Doesn't take long for them to say %$#@* YOU ! Lets try this again Fido on a leash come fido a little tug , what a great dog hugs,kisses and a cookie ! Which would you prefer ?
-- Patty Gamble (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
I've had a similar experience, I recently penned my chickens up after a year of free range due to the fact that we are trying to sell our house to move to "our homestead", and do not want the chicken poop on the front porch. Well, Two chickens decided that they didn't want to be penned up and had to lay their eggs by the back porch, so they escaped every day, don't ask me how! We would put them back in the pen and BAM the next day they were out! Anyway, our 10 month old springer spaniel at first was great! He would herd the chickens to the pen until we could catch them. He wouldn't hurt them just pin them with his paw. We thought that this was great, a herding bird dog! Anyway, one afternoon I sent my three year old daughter to fetch the eggs and apparently was trying to catch her favorite chicken(whom we have a video of her reading a book to this chicken)the chicken must not have wanted to be caught and was running around the pen. The dog was excited by the chase and began barking around the edges of the pen. He was instantly corrected. Needless to say, the next morning when the two girls escaped for their daily egg laying they were found dead, with the suspect on the premises. You can't beat a dog for doing what is naturally ingrained in his genes. He knew he had done wrong, and instantly cowered. I have found in earlier experiences that beating, tying a dead chicken around the neck, just don't work. I think (with a bird dog especially)the two have to be separated. I have a German Shepherd who is afraid of my chickens and will not fight a 2 pound bird for her food. The only other advice that I have is get a rather large nasty rooster and introduce it to a puppy. That did the the trick for my mothers' Newfoundland. He won't even go into his pen until someone chases the chickens out!!!
-- cara lewis (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
Hey Patty! Thats works on husbands too. Everytime I start chasing expensive cars Barb gives me a gentle tug, some hugs and kisses then I go back to my old old truck.....Kirk...P.S. I also get a cookie!!!
-- Kirk Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 18, 2000.
Hello, Yes, I agree with putting the dog down. Once dogs start to kill they will always want too. Not only will they go for your own poultry or livestock,, but will go and kill your Neighbors animals just the same. Livestock your neighbors may NOT want killed. I have been on the receiving end of too many dogs that kill livestock. My son has been attacked twice,, both times on our own land once when he was 1 1/2 year old and again when he was 2 1/1 years old.Both times he was play quietly by himself and both times luckly I was in within 2 ft of my son. Or he would of been dead! So tired of it in fact, I now have a Shot Gun, no questions, no second chances to kill my animals or hurt my son again. (my place is fenced like Fort Nox) Sorry to sound like this,, but anyone says the word Dog, it now gets a Bee in my bonnet!!!
-- Bergere (email@example.com), April 18, 2000.
Well, you all certainly trashed me about beating my dog with a dead chicken. That is the only time I ever beat that dog. He always came to me gladly. I loved that dog. He went with my kids every time they went into the woods. He stayed between them and the wild hogs when the hogs came. He stayed between us and the coyotes and wolves when we encountered them. He stayed between me and anyone who came to the house until I told him it was all right. He died last week. We buried him. I planted flowers on his grave. He was the best. I have plenty of other dogs. They are not beaten. The only reason I beat him that time was because he went INTO the pen to get the chicken. Free range chickens are free for the taking by anything that comes by. No one has any right to get mad if they lose what they don't keep up with. And unlike many others on this site, I would NEVER, EVER shoot a dog simply for being unfortunate or ignorant enough to walk on or near my property.
-- Green (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2000.
Green, you brought tears to my eyes reading your post about your dear dog dying. Brings back memories of a sheltie we had for 13 years. Took the darn thing to Korea, against everyone's advice, (because they eat dog there, everyone was afraid he would be dinner for some one). In fact, the local folks loved him, would come feed him dried squid through the fence, and try to get him to do all the tricks he knew. Before we moved back to the US, he developed prostate cancer, which we were told was rare in a neutered dog. We had night to spend with him before we had him put down, when the pain got too much for him. He put his head on my husband's knee and just looked at us, as if to say "it's ok, it's time". Even the vet cried when he had to administer the last shot. That dog was a real jewel. Jan
-- Jan B (Janice12@aol.com), April 19, 2000.
I know it sounds mean to kill a dog that hasn't actually gotten in and attacked the goats, but realistically,I may not be nearby the next time that dog comes around. And,they do come back, again and again. The first time I see a strange dog,if it seems like it's just wandering around,I shoot near it,don't aim to kill. If it's barking or chasing stock I shoot to kill even if it's the first time. Warning the owner does NOT work 90% of the time. You'll hear about how nice and harmless that dog is,never hurt anything,blah,blah,blah.The next day the same dog comes back after your stock and you kill it, now the owner knows who did it, and boy, don't they get mad! We have a local reputation for being dog haters because we shot the neighbors rottweiler,when it along with three others, had the neighbors' horse cornered in a barb wire fence and were leaping at it's throat. They were the same rottweilers that had attacked me just a few days before when I was walking along minding my own business. We told the owner,and they said that the dogs were nearly always penned up except when the owners were home.Unfortunately,we didn't kill the dog,it was just injured,and we all dread the day that those dogs get out again.If beating a dog with a chicken once will get it to stop,it's better than killing the dog, but nothing we did worked for the chicken killers we had.
-- Rebekah (email@example.com), April 19, 2000.
Well Green, I'll have to side with you. I don't beat my dogs for anything because I don't think that's the way to bring them up but there are times when it may well be a last resort.
When I was a young man we had an english boxer which turned out to be the finest watch animal we ever had. Unfortunately he was a former city dog (he was given to us by friends) and had never been around livestock of any sort. The first week we had him he killed half of our flock of chickens and two thirds of our turkeys in addition to attacking a yearling heifer and even a full grown boar hog. My step-father had finally had enough and grabbed up a turkey he'd just killed and began beating the dog with it until there was nothing left in his hands but a pair of feet. Both he and the dog were covered in feathers and bits of gore from the bird. The dog never again went near a bird (A hoof in the rib cage convinced him to leave the larger stock alone).
Many years later when the dog died of heart problems it was the only time I've ever seen my step-father cry. He was the best dog we've ever owned and none of us ever regretted beating the dog with the bird - it was a kinder alternative than shooting him.
Now beating a dog because it won't come to you is not good sense.
-- A.T. Hagan (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2000.
3 years ago my dog, Jesse James, and his little nephew-son, Frankie, died while chasing an old possum. They died in a dry creek bed of natural gas posioning. The large, high pressure pipeline running across country had developed a massive leak and ole Jess was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I never beat him and he certainly was a good companion and friend. He and Frankie were rat terriers. I STILL miss them! Matt. 24:44
-- hoot gibson (email@example.com), April 19, 2000.
All these sad stories about people losing their dogs -- we had a dog that we'd gotten from the pound in Fairbanks. We thought she was part Border Collie when we got her, but having been doing some reading about English Shepherds (old-time farm collies) it seems like she may have been one, or very like one. She was the best dog we ever had, we all loved her, but when we moved here (right on a highway, and she wasn't used to roads) she got hit by a car. She wasn't really loose, she was in voice control of my husband, standing only a few feet from him, but it was dark, she was mostly black, and the kid that hit her was speeding. We still miss her, and I'm kind of starting to look around for another one like her -- to be kept leashed when outdoors until we can find a place that won't be so close to a road.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 19, 2000.
Green, my friend, I hope that you did not think I was criticizing you (or anyone else)....I was pointing out that I do not believe that beating a dog is ever the "best" way to train them.You sound like a sweetie-pie, and I am so sorry to hear about your dog.I got an e-mail the other day about dogs...it seems an old man and his dog died and found themselves on a dirt road..they walked along and came to a gate where a man stood with a white robe on.The man said "come in..this is heaven" The old man and his dog started in, but the gatekeeper said,"hold on there.You can come in, but not the dog.There are no dogs allowed here, he'll have to stay outside on the dirt road.You come on in and enjoy the sparkling pools and the cool shade."The old man shook his head and turned around to stay on the dirt road with his dog."Nope" he said,"my dog has stayed with me all of his life as a faithful companion, I'll not leave him now." and they both continued walking down the dirt road. After awhile, they came to another gate.There was another gatekeeper who invited them in.The old man asked if the dog could come too, explaining how heaven had turned his dog away.This gatekeeper laughed and said,"Welcome to the real heaven.You and your dog are both welcomed here! That other guy was the devil, father of all lies.Selfish, uncaring people agree to leave their dogs in the road in exchange for his promises.They go in and find out their mistake, but it's too late.God gave you that dog, you kept him well, so welcome to heaven, both of you."I like that story.
-- lesley Chasko (email@example.com), April 19, 2000.
I got to agree with you Green. I have a female dog, that I raise with my chickens since she was a pup. She would sit there and watch the chicken eat her food. But ever since these two pit came over and broke down my coop. Killed almost all my chickens, and ducks. My dog now kills for the fun of it too, don't even eat'em. I was wondering why she wasn't eating her dog food. I've tried training her saying "NO", beating her while making her smell piece of chicken. Then I built a kennel for her but in the morning she's out and injured some more chicken. She's a very smart dog she would watch me to see how I open the kennel door. She would test the kennel for weak points. And now I'm feeling that she's not such a loyal dog to me, cause when I'm there she acts all inocent but as soon as I shut the door. I know one thing is she don't get to run around much but this is why. My brother would put her down if I ask him to, but I just couldn't do it. There must be a way for her to help me herd, but understand not to kill them. I like to know. I was thinking maybe somebody out there might know some kind of taste that dog doesn't like, to put on the chicken but not harmful to dog. Well I know my dog doesn't like it when I blow smoke at her but thats not going to work.....
-- Xzwua Hang (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 15, 2002.
We just got our (sunday) siberian husky, always wanted one. Shes been great except for our chickens. We have them pinned up, but yesterday she kept going around the pen, for 1 hour and 1/2 she paced around the pen. She is 1 1/2 years old. We got her from the city, and now shes on a 30 acre farm . She has never killed anything (that is what I was told). I brought her in for a while and then later let her out, I looked out and they were feathers everywhere and the chickens were out. I ran out and she was standing in the chicken pen and had killed a chicken! I was devastated! I have no idea what to do! Help! I have never had one of these dogs, but have read up on them. It never stated anything about them killing anything! We have a cat that the dog is dying to get close to. I am so afraid it will kill my cat. I want to be patient with our new dog , but what do I do next? Please if anybody know what I should do , please offer any advice you might have!!!!!! Shelia
-- Shelia (email@example.com), March 01, 2002.
I have a basset/spaniel. he was about 5 months old when i got chicks. i let him up on the edge of their starter box to watch them. i also held the chicks and let him put his nose on their feathers and beaks. (i watched him very carefully) Dusty is now 2 yrs old. when i say 'chickens in the front yard' or 'chickens in the garden' or 'time to put the chickens to bed'he moves them from the front yard or out of the garden and gathers them to the chicken house at night. he makes the larger chickens "fly high" but is gentle with the small exotics.he never-ever hurts them but few time gives in to a chaseing urge..just for the fun of it. i sternly tell him 'no'. i have never beat him. i think before beating or shooting a dog for killing chickens the smart thing to do is find him a home that does not have farm animals.
-- Marcine Bice (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2002.
I too have a 2 year old Siberian Husky and 9 months ago we moved from suburbia to a 2 acre property. My next door neighbour has chickens and my dog worked out how to remove her collar and has killed about 6 chickens to date. At this present moment I have her last kill tied around her neck and we are now entering night number 2 I will let you know the results in a few days. He chased them because they were easy and doesnt eat them but he is true to his name "Bandit"
-- miss huskie (email@example.com), April 27, 2002.