Poultry Problems - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Poultry Problems

I'm having trouble with my dogs chasing the chickens in our yard. My family has two dogs, one is a border collie and one is a German shepherd. The border collie is older and when she is outside by herself, she is fine and doesn't even think twice about it. When ever I let my German shepherd out too, though, he starts after the chickens and then she follows suit. We cannot figure out if she is joining him in actually chasing them or if she is trying to stop him from chasing them because she plays mother to him all the other times. Either way though it usually results in us having to chase them both down or calling them to come back. Is there anything I can do to stop this?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 09:40 AM
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Unfortunately, you have 2 instinctual herding dogs there with pretty high prey drive. So there's not a whole lot you can do to stop their instinct to herd/chase. However, you can try keeping the dogs on leashes or long leads when they're out in the yard around the chickens. That way, if they do start to chase them, you can give a correction or at least prevent them from catching any. However, I would try to keep them separated from the chickens as much as possible because once that herding/prey drive kicks in, it's very hard to shut it down.

Maybe you should consider getting your shepherd into formal herding training.. Sounds like he has a nack for it.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:29 AM
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I have 9 chickens and unfortunately cannot let them free range because of hawks, varmints etc..They have a HUGE outdoor area, and will be buildng them a tractor type enclosure so I can move them around.

I have two aussies/1 gsd. The chicks were raised IN the house with the dogs, the dogs were fine with them in the house, and my GSD is still fine with them, she occasionally follows me into the pen (uninvited I might add and doesn't bother them.

My aussies on the other hand are just waiting for them to get out and unfortunately I can see that would not go well for the chickens.

Sorry I don't have any real suggestions, hope it works out

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 10:57 AM
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Are the chickens and dogs able to roam together?

I have a large run area with a chicken house for my chickens. It is reinforced with wire and a hot wire fence around it. High drive dogs and chickens don't mix at my house.


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 11:05 AM
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How did you train your first dog not to chase chickens? Do the same with the second dog, and work with him both separately and together with the other dog.

GSDs CAN be trained not to chase or harm chickens, my Luka is a perfect example of that. They can run right under her nose and she totally ignores them. It does take work, however, to get a dog totally trustworthy, and when two dogs get together unsupervised, they can easily revert to chasing.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2012, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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I don't really remember how we taught her. I think we used to shock collar on her, and we have done that a couple of times with him. I just want to make sure he'll do it whenever though, and not just when he thinks were gonna shock him. They do usually run together. The border collie(her name is Rebel if that slips out any) is out with them all the time and it does not ever bother her. She is actually really protective of all our animals, but when we let Blitz(the German shepherd) out of his pen, Rebel is completely different. They have gotten to where they aren't as bad. If the chickens are no where around they don't pay them any mind. They only time really is when they see them running or if they hear them hollering for some reason. Then they'll dart off to see what's wrong. We can't tell if they are just protecting them or actually wanting to chase them. My mom has even said that she caught Rebel one time with a chicken by the neck when Blitz was in his pen. We don't want her to resort back to killing them after she already knows not to. Blitz used to chase the cats too. But we have broke him from that, its just the chickens now. I know some may say its from him being in the pen, but we have to keep him there because he kills them so if he kills them from us keeping him in then were just running in a circle. I'm going to get him neutered soon so I'm hoping that may help a little. And I am wanting to get him some good formal training(I think I got cheated on my first one) just some he'll obey better in general. I don't know how the herding training would go, but I guess it would give his mind something to do!
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