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Re: Re: Breaking a Dog from Killing Chickens

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Posted by ldevoll on November 15, 2005 at 22:59:41 from (

In Reply to: Re: Breaking a Dog from Killing Chickens posted by tammy B on October 11, 2005 at 15:57:25:

here's the deal: dogs have a strong instinct to catch and kill things like chickens. I bought my first chickens about a year and a half ago. All of my dogs were full grown at the time and all them wanted nothing more than to snack on those juicy lookin' chickens. Fortunately I have always had a sturdy pen to keep my chickens in and so all the dogs could do was dream. Then a couple of weeks ago I had gotten so fed up with these 5 extra roosters that I had that were keeping my hens from eating, that I threw them out of the pen, without regard as to whether the dogs got them or not. There was nothing else I could do. To my complete surprise, the dogs not only did not chase them but they looked at them with complete disgust and walked away. One of them, the blue heeler (notorious chicken killers)even coward in fear as one of the roosters sauntered over to where the dog was tied up. It has been a couple of weeks and all are still alive and doing very well and I love having chickens in the yard. The moral of this story is: full grown dogs must be around, but not able to get to, chickens long enough that they become desensitized. There instinct seems to lessen as they have enough time to accept them as a normal part of the landscape and not a tasty meal. I think puppies will always chase them and dogs that are still dealing with the instinct will chase them. Given enough time that instinct sort of gets overridden. My dogs will tease these roosters some. One dog runs at them just enough to get them to flap and run a few feet away and then she stops and leaves them alone. Sort of a doggy practical joke, I suppose. :) I hope this helps somebody.
P.S. The reason I think that the beating the dog with the dead chicken thing and tying it around their neck thing don't work most of the time is because the dog is still controlled by that strong instinct. I'm sure that when it has worked it was just because of that particular dogs personality or because it become desensitized and just lost interest.

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