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Thread: Stopping my dog from killing chickens.

  1. #1
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    Default Stopping my dog from killing chickens.

    HEy ya'll, I recently aquired a black lab, showed up before christmas and i havn't been able to find the owner. and like any normal dog, it eats my chickens (not that I would mind if it killed all the chickens, but its bad behavior) I have am in the process of training it to point and retrieve, and occasionally run rabbits, and she is doing great, and I have got he to not kill the chickens so much anymore, but seems once a week she can't resist it any longer. Then as son as she gets a hold of one, she lets go and runs up to our house.

    I having a hard time deciding on if she should run rabbits, or not eat chickens, or is there something I can do to get her to not chase chickens and still run rabbits and retrieve animals?

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    she flushes grouse too, like a pro, stays about 15-20 yards out.

  3. #3

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    You don't want her to damage any animals you get, so you want to change the whole behavior across the board.

    Generally speaking, animals kill becasue their owners haven't channeled their energy properly. Give her a job, scold her when she kills, and be consistent. After that it's fine tuning. Maybe some of the retriever guys can chime in on softening up her bite.
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

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    She doesn't chew on the animals she retrieves ( I think she had previous gundog training, because she knew quite a bit about retrieving when she showed up) and she doesn't chew up the chickens, mostly she grabs thier neck, shakes them a little and brings them to me (with out me asking)

    I have never trained a dog to retrieve before, only ever flushing, and I am wondering if I break her form killing and chasing chickens how she would react to ducks?

    Thanks!

  5. #5

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    She will understand the difference between the two. If she kills a chicken, roll her on her side until she is calm, as a punishment. As she learns that you don't like it when she kills chickens, you can start easing her into being with chickens again.
    The trick here is you need have her around chickens, she needs to make a mistake to learn. You are gonna lose a couple chickens in the process. Dogs learn quick, if you do this right, she could have it figured out by dinner. A week is more likely. Good luck.

    btw:That is one lucky stray, I bet you two are gonna have some serious fun.
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

  6. #6
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    We already have!

    I don't mean to be disrespectful, but may I ask why rolling her on her side would be a punishment?

  7. #7

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    You don't seem disrespectful.

    Genetically speaking, all domestic dogs are 99.99% wolf. Alpha wolves control their packs by dominating the other members and gaining respect. That is all you are doing, being the alpha wolf. Some will disagree and say that no physical touch is needed to control dog(s), I disagree. Every dog is different, and it's up to you to find out what works for your dog. Good luck!
    "When the time comes for a man to look his Maker in the eye, where better could the meeting be held than in the wilderness?"

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    I'd just not allow her near the chickens at all. When she goes near to the chickens I'd tell her "No!" and take her away. I'd start there and see how it progresses. Teach her it is not appropriate for her to approach the chickens at any time.

    Jim

  9. #9

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    You teach her how to act around them. You make formal obedience lessons around the chickens. She simply hasn't been taught how to properly respond. Her natural instinct is kicking in. Control the instinct and you control the dog.
    I would try a lesson or two with a long line. Bringing the dog up to the chickens making her behave calmly around them. Any focus towards them is corrected by a quick snap of the lead to get her back focused on you.
    Continue like this for as long as it takes to reeducate her.
    Alpha rolling works for dogs that are stubborn or won't think about giving you the time of day. Most don't need it to train them.
    I wouldn't scold a retriever for bringing me something. Even if it is something they aren't suppose to have. In this case the chickens. I wouldn't want to take away her hunting or retrieving skill. Punishing her for retrieving will confuse her and ruin her confidence. Just educate her on how to respond and act around the chickens or even around wild game period. It is the same training we put forth into a good hunting dog. Work when I say and retrieve when I say.

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    Thanks all, I took her out this evening, and when she went after the chikens, I pinned her down till she relaxed, it only took 2 times of doing it till she quit getting after them. Thanks!!

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    I think a couple day of that and I'll be good.

    she still "stalks" the chickens, and I talk to her and she quits for a few seconds.

  12. #12

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    I have been through this with about 5 dogs in the last 8 years. Get a shock collar and set her up when she is excited, then take her by the chickens. As soon as she shows interest, shock her and yell no. Then call her over to you, have her sit, and give her some praise when she sits. Walk towards the chickens with her, and if her interest spikes up again, zap her again. Take her away from the situation and throw a bumper with a wing on it. When she retrieves, give her tons of praise. Then take her by the chickens again. Once that is going good, leave her outside with the chickens and watch from inside the house. She goes near them, zap her and yell NO. Go out, heel her around the chickens and if she doesn't go after them or pay them much attention, give her a lot of praise. Take her in the chicken house and do the same thing, lot of interest- zap, no interest-praise. It takes a while but it works. My lab would loose his mind to get a pheasant or duck, but would lie in the yard and the chickens would walk past his paws and he would just look away.
    I tried the gentle persuasion method on several dogs, but apparently I wasn't doing it right because when I tried, we ended up eating a lot of leftover chicken. Try the wolf roll method first, and if it doesn't work, go to the shock collar set just above "irritation" level for the dog. When I first did it, I would test it on my hand just so I knew what I was going to be doing to the dog.

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    Would a leash and a chain collar (the ones that tighten up when being pulled, then let off when given slack)work, instead of a shock collar (kinda expensive)?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  14. #14

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    You could try it. As long as you can get her to stop what she is doing with a hard NO. Problem is when you go inside the house. You would have to watch her out the window, then come out of the house yelling NO, NO, NO, NO, until she stops completely, call her to you, then give her praise for coming. My first dog figured it out from just verbal and a chain collar in about a half hour. Other dogs were a different story. It matters partially how strong of a relationship you have with the dog, and how much she wants to please you. Your gonna have to set her up to fail so you can be there to correct her when she does, along with watching from inside the house. It's a lot harder once they kill a couple and see how much fun it is. It's still can be done. If you can't get her to stop with the chain collar, see if you can borrow an electric one from someone, or find one on craigslist for cheap.

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