How to keep dogs away from Chickens?
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Thread: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

  1. #1
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    How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    So, I love my Danes. More than anything in the world. However, my mother loves her chickens, more than anything in the world. These animals do not mix, unfortunately. We have an older dane who is very strict about keeping anything foreign out of her yard. Despite being raised with livestock since she was about a year or two old, she use to attack these animals .I think it started because when we first moved in, it was all country fields around us so mice, and opossums and skunks would invade our yard and she would be praised for killing them. However, when we started bringing in other animals (besides cats and dogs, she's okay with those guys) she would go nuts. She is queen of her yard, and these animals are not welcome, so she assumed. She would break down their fences or they would break down their own fences and escape and she of course would seize the day. We started to use electrical wire and that worked for a while but one of our dogs had an accident with it ( He's fine btw!!) and we shut it down. Now in her old age, she usually doesn't initiate the attacks but she damn sure will finish them. Problem is, she taught a younger Dane to do it, and now the younger dane is getting to our youngest Dane. He isn't fully converted into a chicken killer but he is getting there. Of course we keep them separated , but animals are smart , and break out sometimes and that leads to accidents. Now we have a puppy and I don't want her to turn out the same way and I also want to break the existing habit with the other dogs. I was reading about different smells dogs don't like that may keep them away, but I read that it could annoy the chickens just as much and I wouldn't want to do that. I don't exactly like them, but I don't wish any ill-will towards any animal. We've gotten tips from older farmers but they were just plain inhumane and unsanitary. I'd really love to stop getting an earful from my mom about how my sweet babies are cold-blooded killers.
    Last edited by Kowcy; 01-28-2013 at 02:32 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    Its tough once your dog gets the taste for chicken. Things got so bad with my giant schnauzer that I ended up attaching a 5 lb tire (its one of those tough chew toys) to her collar-- the only thing it does is allow the chickens to escape her (she 's killed 8 despite out efforts at fencing the animals apart) and it also stops her from investigating ways to dig out of our fencing.... I usually put it on her when I am going out to get groceries or whatever and take it off when I am around... and its been 6 months and no more dead chickens-- I know this sounds inhumane, but I believe is better than chaining her up (we have 2 acres)... The chickens have a big yard (its our backyard) but they like to get over their fence and free range into the back pasture to forage along the stream and eat fresh greens etc, which I dont mind them doing-- but this one dog will wait for them and try to catch them (since the tire, she seems to have quit this, she may have made the connection as I did walk into a couple of the chicken attacks, and intervened and put the tire on her-- the chickens died anyways though-- also I have caught her killing rats while wearing the tire and told her good dog for the rat, so I think she is discriminating)... The other 2 dogs a Berner and a Boxer leave the chickens alone....
    for more/better dog- chicken info checkout backyardchicken forum
    Last edited by Candydb; 01-28-2013 at 02:57 PM. Reason: typos , clarification

  4. #3
    Senior Member Selah Cowgirl's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    Aversion training, I had the problem of my WPG chasing sheep and horses. I put an electronic collar on him and supervised heavily while he was outside. If he started to focus/fixate on the sheep I would zap him at a low level. He did not know I had the remote and has never associated ME with the correction. After a few weeks of constant supervision on the outside of the pasture we moved to inside and did the same thing, if he focused on the sheep he got a zap and I would redirect him to play fetch, after he was ok in the pasture I started to make the sheep move around and run, if he chased he got zapped.

    I did this the first year we had sheep, then we went a year without sheep, when we brought in our new crop of lambs he did not bother them once. When used correctly an E collar is a great and amazing tool.
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    I think that might actually prove effective, when we had the electric fence she got one zap and did not go near that fence for a long long long time, so I think the zaps would definitely discourage her, and hopefully once all the dogs learn to stay away from the chickens , the new one won't have teachings to attack animals we bring in. Thank you!

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    Senior Member Selah Cowgirl's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    I am going to recommend you contact a bird dog trainer and ask to work with them a few sessions with the E collar so you can get your timing down and have proper instruction with them. IF you use it wrong or over use it, you can shut the dog down and really screw them up.
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    They don't like to eat them, its just a quick kill and they leave em alone, its like dang I mean don't waste the dang thing now that you got it! I don't thing the Danes would even notice the tire tbh XD but yeah it'd have to be a bigger weight. Our mastiff leaves the chickens alone, she use to join in but she got fussed at once and she was done.o I understand, it is better than chaining them up. We have 5 acres and I absolutely hate having them chained when they have so much room to run and play but sometimes we have to cause they dig there way out and then we have to fix the fence and they do it AGAIN. and atleast the tire slows em down so you have a chance to save them!

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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    I would never personally over use it, but it would be ideal to know the limit, I definitely wouldn't want the shock to really hurt but maybe more just surprise them and annoy them a little bit but not too much more than that. I didn't know there were trainers for that, thank you!

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    Senior Member Selah Cowgirl's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    The issue is that you don't know when you have over used it until you've gone and done it. That is why I recommend working with a trainer familiar with aversion training (some areas have snake aversion training as well)
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    Okay! Well thank you!
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    Senior Member spotted nikes's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    A securely fenced yard area for your dogs would be most effective. And a pen for the chickens with poultry netting on the top to protect from predators and keep them from flying out.
    Spay or neuter your pet! Founding President Of Thread Killers Anonymous.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Selah Cowgirl's Avatar
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    ^That too, but it does not change the dogs behavior or do anything to break the dogs fixation with them.
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    Well we've got the fenced yard, I have been pestering them about the netting for AGES. So I completely agree with what you're saying
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    I wish I could just like this like on facebook but I can't...so here is your like!
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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kowcy View Post
    I would never personally over use it, but it would be ideal to know the limit, I definitely wouldn't want the shock to really hurt but maybe more just surprise them and annoy them a little bit but not too much more than that. I didn't know there were trainers for that, thank you!
    Our giant schnauzer WAS on an ecollar for a year, she went 3 weeks to a professional trainer(his speciality is shutzhund, and working with "difficult" dogs, I found his background in shutzhund made him a very "fair " trainer) and Boot camp and came home with it. That said, I like the tire solution best, an ecollar should have professional supervision especially if you are new to them (and a trainer can help you time the correction and work with you around the specific training issue, ie attacking chickens-- mine doesnt eat her kills either, she kills to kill not b/c she is hungry or wants to eat)....

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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    Try putting any chicken and eggs in the refridgerator...
    and also cheese.
    Most dogs dont know how to open a refridgerator door...

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    Re: How to keep dogs away from Chickens?

    I want to just say that Danes are an especially sensitive breed and I would not use an E collar on them. My family has had 2 previous Danes, and the neighborhood does not allow traditional fencing. So, my parents chose to put in an invisible fence. Both dogs were terrified to go out in the yard for weeks after a single, light shock. And, since my mom worked in Dane rescue, we know It's fairly common to have a terrible reaction to a shock.

    I'd supervise the dogs when they are out, and invest in some quality chain link and flight net for the chicken pen. Prevention is the best method, because, let's face it, dogs are dogs and have a prey drive. Don't give them the opportunity to be tempted by it.

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