Hello, we are new to farm life

WildBird

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Welcome! Here's some advice I've learned: if you train the puppies not to hurt the chickens, then let those puppies (once they grow up, of course) have their own puppies than the second generation will be taught by their parents not to harm the flocks. Well, that works with cats anyway (I have now fixed my cats, this is an older story).

Thanks for joining us and have a great day!
 

Beekissed

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We work with the the puppies everyday but can't get them to leave the chickens alone. I'm hoping with consistency we will get them to guard and not try to play and corner the chickens.
It's a simple thing, really, and once you see how easy it is, you'll have to chuckle. Take the pups out on a pack walk, teaching them to walk appropriately on the leash~not pulling ahead or any other direction....the goal is a loose leash right beside you. Give a quick tug and release, along with a correction sound or word that you will use from then on to get them to pay attention to you....try not to use "no" or their names....a simple "AAAAaaaaattttttttttttt!!!" or "HEY!" will do.

Stop and have them sit, reward them for sitting, start without saying anything and give them a quick tug if they don't follow immediately. Do this all throughout the walk, stop, sit, reward, start, turn, go back, etc. They need to learn to follow you by watching what you are going to do, not because you tell them to. Never let them walk ahead of you, not even a little bit. No sniffing or stopping on their own accord unless they just HAVE to pee or poop. Keep them walking.

Work them alone at first until each pup gets the drill. Then walk them together and don't forget to reward good behavior with either a tidbit or praise...I'm not above using a treat as food is a good motivator for pups and can keep their attention from wondering if you have a pocket full of treats.

Then, confine one so you can do one on one with the chickens, catch you up a chicken(don't chase one or pick one up in front of the dogs until they are fully trained on chickens....if you do, they will copy your behavior, as they are great mimics...preferably do a catch in the coop out of their sight), tie its legs for this training session. Sit down and hold it on your lap, have the dog on a leash next to you~have him lie down or sit down~once he's calm~ pet him and the chicken. If he looks at the chicken, give him a jab in the neck with your fingers kind of clawed out and stiff, and say firmly, "MY chicken!!!". Be firm and mean it. The goal is that he no longer gets excited by the presence of the chicken and doesn't want to look at it. Once he consistently avoids looking at the chicken and remains calmly beside you, you can offer the chicken for him to sniff....if he gets into the sniffing too much, correct him with the word and jab.

Then, let the dog go and put the chicken down in the yard~legs still tied~ and watch the dog. If he looks at the chicken too long, give the correction word and tell him "MY chicken"....this should get him to look away from the chicken. The chicken will soon start to try to hop or flap and this should draw his attention, if it does, give the correction and words. After he consistently ignores the chicken as it flaps or squawks, have the pup lie down on his side and lay the chicken across his neck....the goal is that he lays still as the chicken is in place on his neck....even if it flaps or squawks. After about 10 sec. take the chicken off and let him up, giving him a lot of praise for lying still and remaining calm while under the chicken.

Place the chicken in the yard and go in the house, but leave a window open and watch the pup. Anything beyond a quick look and then away, any prolonged staring or moving towards the chicken, receives a shouted correction of "MY chicken!!!"....the correct action when you shout it would be for him to duck his head and move away from the chicken.

Then let him be in the same place as the free ranged chickens.....if he walks towards them to make them move, shout the correction. If he stares at them too long, give a correction. Every single time he perks up his ears when they run or squawk, give a correction.

This is all to teach him that you will only accept calm behavior around the chickens and won't tolerate even the "slow herd" or the seemingly innocent gallop in play~right into a bunch of chickens~just to see them run and scream. All great fun to a pup, but a huge NO NO to a LGD. Never too young to teach these things....I start pups at 2 mo.

Rinse and repeat with second pup. Remember to exercise with the leash training before the chicken session. Then, it's time to try them together, as they will feed off one another when it comes to chasing things. Learn to anticipate their moves by watching the tension in their ears, tails, stance and the intensity of their gaze....and stop it before it starts with the "HEY!" or "MY chicken!".

You'll never trust them if you don't let them make mistakes while they are in front of you. Never pen a pup next to a pen of chickens and expect he'll not learn bad habits while you are gone....they learn to pounce, bark, pace the fence, etc.~all bad behavior if you want them to not chase and kill one later on. Penning next to one another doesn't "get them used to each other"....it gets the pup used to scaring the chickens without any consequences. That's one reason it takes so many people 2 years to trust their dogs, sometimes even longer....they've basically let the dogs train themselves and that's about how long it takes.

If you do this right, it works and it's solid training that will last their lifetime. I've used it on 2 mo. pups, 5 mo. and 6 mo. old pups...even used it on a neighbor's dog that came for a quick visit one evening at dusk and had been allowed to chase and kill chickens at their own home...she immediately honed in on my chickens and repeated shouting from her owners did nothing. I caught her on the fly and had one quick session with her~without the walk or anything, just the jab in the neck and corrective word while the dog was lying down, with chicken on the neck afterwards~and that dog never chased another one of my chickens. Don't know what it did at home, but they let it run loose all the time and I never lost a bird to it. All my pups were trained in under 3-4 days on this and never had to receive additional training.

I've had dogs clear up to age 13, if I said "MY chicken" in that tone of voice, though he hadn't had training on it since he was 5 mo. old, would duck his head and move away from whatever chicken was standing around. If the dog is smart, he understands this training to mean all the chickens are yours and they are not to touch them....ever.

I wish you the best on your pup training and welcome to the forum!
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Hi there! Welcome to BYH! I used to live in the suburbs too! :lol: oh geez...I wouldn’t go back if you paid me!! I’m really glad you are loving your new way of life! You sure sound like you’re having fun! I can’t wait to see pictures of those puppies!! I have goats and chickens too!! Goats are just the best!! You will learn soo much on this forum and everyone is so wonderful and nice! They are full of such great information and it’s like a big family! I can’t wait to hear more about your animals and and life on your farm!
 

YourRabbitGirl

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We recently retired a year and half ago, from surburbia to 10 acres of country life with 1 Australian Sheppard and 3 cats. We have since added 2 great pyrenees puppies (4 months and 5 months), 26 chickens, and most recently 3 dwarf nigerian goats. So far we love our new life and jobs. Lol. We work with the the puppies everyday but can't get them to leave the chickens alone. I'm hoping with consistency we will get them to guard and not try to play and corner the chickens. Anyway, thank you to those that read all of this. Lol I'm excited to be here and learn from all of you.
Welcome to the forums, :welcome:clap:clap
The best decision you've ever made after retirement. :yesss:
Please make use of all the information that you'll get from the forums.. and hope to hear from you more...
 

Bcolpetzer

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We recently retired a year and half ago, from surburbia to 10 acres of country life with 1 Australian Sheppard and 3 cats. We have since added 2 great pyrenees puppies (4 months and 5 months), 26 chickens, and most recently 3 dwarf nigerian goats. So far we love our new life and jobs. Lol. We work with the the puppies everyday but can't get them to leave the chickens alone. I'm hoping with consistency we will get them to guard and not try to play and corner the chickens. Anyway, thank you to those that read all of this. Lol I'm excited to be here and learn from all of you.
When we forst got our chicken our toy rat terrier would go after them. She was older , but I had to keep her on a leash with a muzzle and walk her around the chickens, when she stopped trying to bite after them I removed the muzzle and kept her on the leash. Eventually I let the leash drop so I could quickly grab it if need be.eventually she adjusted and now she watches out for them. I just got Nigerian goats and they are curious , but thank goodness not trying to chase or bite at them. Time , lots of patience and training.
 
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