Introducting Dog to Livestock - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 09-24-2012, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I just moved and there are various animals here: goats and chickens right next to the house, cows and horses a bit aways. I am confident my dog if she got off leash could not get to the cows. However I would like to find a way to get her to respect and not try to attack the other livestock. She is afraid of horses somewhat because of their size but I think if she was loose she would catch and try to eat a chicken.

Right now she is either in the house with me or tied up and in a dog run (she's a digger and climber). I believe I can keep her from getting loose but just in case one of the other folks here lets her out and looses control of her I would like her to not go for another animal. She is dog aggressive, does this mean she will want to attack other animals too? How can I get her to loose interest in chasing other animals? Do dogs ever catch chickens, goats or horses? I doubt she could make it down to the  cows and there so giant I don't think she could hurt one if she did.

be good family...

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#2 of 4 Old 10-09-2012, 02:09 PM
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I have a dog who tried to herd our neighbor's goat when we were all trying to take an off-leash walk together!  She doesn't have the training -- neither do I -- for off-leash time without vigilant humans around.  Not sure about chickens, which DH and I are talking about getting.  We'll have to train ours pretty thoroughly before thinking of cutting them loose together; how is yours around other small animals?  A squirrel chaser, etc.?


A breed-specific or even ag forum might have more ideas for you.  The only other thing I can think of is maybe try an obedience course of some sort.

Empty-nesting SAHM to DS1 (1989) and DS2 (1992). Caregiver to my mother (1930). Married to DH since 1986.
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#3 of 4 Old 10-15-2012, 11:37 PM
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I have a dog who is a chicken attacker... Right now, I'm working the boundary training more than working on his insane prey drive. I'm teaching him not to go within 1 foot of the fence (that he digs under) it works when we practice. I walk toward the fence and if he follows me up to the fence he gets a small correction (a poke basically) and I say "Off the fence" if he stops before he gets to it he gets lots of praise. That simple. But once I don't do it for a week or so, he starts to go back to his old digging ways... 


Any tips on desentizing him to the chickens would be great, we'd love to get our own someday! 

- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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#4 of 4 Old 11-29-2012, 06:25 PM
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Yeah, I agree with looking for some good obedience training, etc.  We train ours and make sure we're 110% sure ours won't attack our day range ducks, chickens, etc. before they're trusted off leash.  Our best livestock guardian ever was a mutt that just took up the job when she was about 6 years old....who knew?  She would actually guard newly hatched chickens in our house and we'd never miss the start of their hatching...she'd let us know when she heard the first peep.  I think our goats actually thought she was a goat as well, it was pretty funny.


Dogs can learn the difference between it being okay to chase off squirrels, versus leaving poultry, cats, etc. alone.


I'd see if you could get their permission to work near their animals with your dog...keep it on leash and teach it the boundaries and giving  her the message that those animals are "yours".  We started fostering a bulldog mix puppy a few months ago who needed that lesson....."My ducks, not yours!"  LOL  He just wanted to play, but that can go too far too fast.

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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