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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:18 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:39 am
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Location: Hawkesbury Region, NSW
I have a newly bought koolie cross puppy... It is crossed with a Kelpie and looks exactly like one (irrelevant though). I only hatched 10 chickens this year and he's nearly killed all of them, plus one pullet :upset:

I was about to order an electric collar to zap him whenever he starts stalking the outside perimeter of the chicken pen, but just wanted to see if anyone else had any experience with this and whether the collar is worth getting.

If more information helps: the entire chicken area is fenced off with chicken wire, he did eventually bend some of the wire up to get in there one day while I was out (which is when he got the chickens). Being "older" baby chickens but not quite pullets - I just started letting them free range with the hens during the day. The dog is approx. 8 - 10 weeks old and is fed 3 times a day plus leftovers and those chew bone things, but never seems to be "enough" to keep him happy.

Any advice would help! :th

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:02 am 
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Gallant Game
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Location: NE Vic
I have no experience with the collars but you might have to think about a lock up dog run for when you are not home. I doubt he will ever be safe around the chickens.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:15 am 
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Golden Kingfisher
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Very sorry that you have had this scare :( Did any birds survive? I'm not sure from your post....

Just check the legality of those collars in the state that you are in. They cannot be used in many states. Aversive methods like shock collars can work as they represent a powerful punishment for the behaviour that occurs at the time of the shock but they can also backfire as they can also create a negative association with locations, things and people.

First thing I would do is strengthen the fence around your run, and put a skirt of mesh around it so it cannot be lifted up.

Second thing I would do is do some reading about dog training. I've trained two dogs to be safe around my birds but in each case it took many months. They are/were both Labradors who did not have a huge hunting instinct. Personally, I would be relying on good fencing and positive training (rewards for calm behaviour around the birds, gradually allowing more freedom under very close supervision and on-lead at first).

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:37 pm 
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Showy Hen
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I have a German Shepherd who is 18 months old now, I am training him around chickens and using an electric collar to help, he is fine with chickens when I am around but he still wants to play with them (if I let him) which would result in him killing them I have no doubt.
It is a bit of a long haul I'm afraid but can definitely be done. Once your dog matures (two or three years old) he will start to calm down. I have friends with working Border Collies and Hunting dogs which do not touch their chickens even though there is sometimes no fence in between. You can't begin using an electric collar on your dog until they are at least 6 months old but If used correctly they are an awesome tool.
I have put a link to a website I use a lot and whom I bought my electric collar from, I think they are the best by far, so have a look and tell me what you think.
It is very important to learn the correct way to use an electric collar before using it otherwise as 70%cocoa says you can cause problems with your dog.
The website below will give you all the info and equipment you need, you should buy a DVD telling you the do's and don'ts and everything else before using the collar and only after your dog is 6 months old.

http://leerburg.com/electric.htm

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Last edited by Cackles on Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:36 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 3:30 pm
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Location: S.W. Slopes NSW.
Electric collars are illegal to purchase in the state of New South Wales....


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:49 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Good point Klondyke, sorry I'm not from NSW your not allowed prong collars some states too, if used incorrectly these collars can be cruel no doubt.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:26 pm
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Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
This is a thread topic that comes up a couple of times a year. Dog and chooks are simply not a good mix. Training a dog not to go near chooks is changing behaviour perhaps but it does not change instinct.

Over the years we have seen multiple stories where people have ultimate faith in their dogs around poultry and then one day they post here say "I dont know what went wrong, I just went down the shop for ten minutes and when I got back............. the dog has never done that before."

Its simply easier to keep the dogs and chooks separate - especially once a dog has had the thrill of a kill and the taste.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:58 pm 
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Clever Cockerel
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Location: Yarra Junction, Vic
Sorry to hear what your puppy did CJane but I think once its happened it will definitely happen again and again. Perhaps that breed of dog is just not suited to be around chickens at all.
I also have a new puppy, a red heeler. She was 8wks old when I got her I've had her for 1 month. I've trained her to be around all my chickens and so far so good. My chickens get right up close in her face and she can be surrounded by 18 chooks at any given time. She comes into the chicken coop with me and does the daily routine of food, water and cleaning poo. I was very firm with her from day 1 and gave her a good whack if she wanted to play with the chooks. All I have to do now is yell a loud 'no' and she immediately drops. Her instinct is to herd and play rather than hunt. But she is learning not to play and has accepted them really well. However, birds are a different matter. Maybe your puppy hunted your chooks as he would a bird because he wasn't trained to accept them? Or his hunting instinct is too ingrained perhaps?
I know dogs and chooks can end in disaster but I do think certain breeds of dog can work out ok. When I was a kid we had leghorn chooks that free ranged in the garden with our Samoyed dog. We had our Samoyed for 13 years, there was never a problem. Labradors are also fairly placid around chooks. My neighbour has an older border collie who isn't the slightest bit interested in the chooks.
You will always have to keep your dog separate from your chooks after what has happened. Personally I told my partner if our puppy harms just ONE chook I will rehome the dog.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:10 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:56 pm
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Watch this video it should answer your questions It is very interesting and excellent information, these guys know dogs.
It may not be everything you want to hear but it is true and works.

http://leerburg.com/flix/player.php/109 ... _Chickens/

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:55 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
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My partner has a 16 year old Jack Russel and he is RELENTLESS. Even at the age of 16 he's always scoping the fence and trying to get under, over, through it. He's only managed to get one rooster which is very lucky - it's fort knox at our place though.

They are hunting dogs and sometimes an instinct can't be conquered. My mum has a border collie (a herding dog) and although Maggie doesn't touch the chickens, she does try to 'round them up. Doing the classic sheepdog pose - which is quite stressful to the chickens.

A lot of it has to do with 'flapping' as well. If your chickens run or flap in a dogs mind they instantly become targets.

It's a problem. :-?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:04 am 
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Junior Champion Bird
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We tried a citronella collar years ago, with a poodle X collie who used to bark incessantly at the chooks. The citronella sprays them in the face every time they bark, and is supposed to stop them. It just made her go crazy barking even more until the stuff ran out and she calmed down and went about the job of chasing the chooks again.

The training collars are not expensive, but you need to be there to give them a jolt when they do the wrong thing. A smart dog will learn that they aren't allowed to chase the chickens WHILE YOU ARE THERE. Koolies and Kelpies are up the top for doggy IQ.

we have chook chasing dogs. we have lots of chooks. There are enough fences and gates to keep them well seperated, and when I have baby chicks in brooders in the bathroom, there are enough doors to keep the dogs and cat away from them. It's all in the management.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:00 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:39 am
Posts: 75
Location: Hawkesbury Region, NSW
Thanks to everyone for your input :-)

I won't bother with the electric collar. I really do think there is no way of stopping him going after the chickens now that he's eaten some. I did put hardwire mesh all around the bottom of the chicken wire but now he's been trying to dig under (and is quite a good digger). His parents were working dogs, used for rounding up sheep. I do suspect out of boredom and instinct, he's chasing the chickens.

I have started putting him on a long lead as soon as he's caught stalking the chickens through the wire. If I go out, he gets dropped off at my husband's work.

hahaha @ lovemygirls - I made the same threat about rehoming the dog before the chooks, but the idea was turned down :-(

Barnz G - Thanks for the link, I'll have a look at it.

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