Jump to content

Puppy blues

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, I got my lovely 3 chickens almost 6 weeks ago with not an egg in sight as yet. I have a new problem however that my 14 week old pup has suddenly started taking a very barking fuelled interest in the poor chooks and has even started ramming over the chicken netting to sit in their area and bark at them furiously. Its real got me down though its only been twice but that being last night and this morning. Any ideas gratefully received. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'm no dog expert but i think with puppies socalisation is the key, and the more used to things they are the better - and they get bored of it too. you could maybe try encouraging the puppy to be around the chickens a lot (reverse phsycology????). Also, they can learn things from a few weeks old. If you stay with the pup and reward with a treat every time she STOPS barking she may get the idea.

I think with the chickens its best to treat life as normal and they will accept it - a few days of a barking pup and as long as it doesn't hurt them i'm sure they will ignore it.

perhaps in these cases we are our own worst enemy and cause more stress to the animals than they would have if we let them 'get on with it'.


let us know how it goes...it could help someone else to know (and i'm a nosey pants)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What sort of puppy do you have Julieann??


we had our hens when we got our GSd Flint and think the thing is start as you mean to go on but some dogs are definitely easier to teach than others!. With Flint we kept him on a lead whilst the hens were out and a firm no everytime he showed interest seemed to work , I know others have had to resort to slightly firmer methods , I think one that has worked well is a water pistol in the face accompained bby a firm no, I'm sure someone else had a try with a citronella collar but can't remember who .


If you are out with the puppy saying no and then when he/she stops reward her with a game but if she persists just take her away ought to work but some dogs definitely learn faster than others. Have to say that Flint is a year old now and I would havve said he wasn't 100% trustworthy with the hens except that when they all escaped from the netting at the weekend we looked round to see him standing amid the chickens looking confused , even though when they are one side of the netting and he is the other he still occasionally looks like he's going to make a grab for one :!:


Good Luck ,I'm sure with patience you'll get there but definitely some breeds of dog are more hunters than others

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting dogs to associate unpleastentness with unwanted behaviour is key.

A plastic bottle with a dozen stones in it makes an unpleasent sound to dogs.


Next time the dog barks throw the bottle to the floor - near - not at it. :wink:


This should work after a couple of goes, unless he/she is particurally slow on the uptake.


You'll soon be using the bottle for other things you don't want it to do!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies, sorry I have been offline for a few days. My pup is a "Goldendoodle", he's very clever and training well but he still has his chicken obsession. I found him in there this morning having got through 2 layers of the netting in heir little free range area. I put him in his pen for a while but he went straight back once out again. Other than watching him all the time which is obviously impossible vI am still hoping it will pass. The funny thing is he came to us at 9 weeks from a farm that had free range chickens and we got our chickens and the pup around the same time and let them totally free range and he was fine then. I've got pretty attached to the chickens now but they aren't laying yet and I am worried this will keep shocking them and they never will! Plus the neighbours aren't too happy :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Julieann


Sorry - don;t come on to forum too often so have just seen this....



You don;t say what your dog does once he has got into the chooks free range area? Does he just sit there and bark? Does he chase them? What is his motivation?



Have you given him attention FOR barking? Just going out and yelling at him, giving him eye contact and (in his eyes) getting excited (in yours getting cross/agitated) is attention (ie reinforcing) so as far as he is concerned barking is rewarding behaviour. Unfortuantely untraining that is hard.......



It could be that he has even (already - they are like sponges puppies!) worked out that going in there gets your attention FAST!


So (unless he is trying to harm them - in which case i'd suggest stronger and higher fencing at least until you have sorted out the behaviour) ignore him and AS SOON AS he looks like he is losing interest ie sniffing, looking away and QUIET call him for a good game with you (with a tuggy or ball). You'll need to be observant and it is proabably best not to be standing nearby - perhaps in a room overlooking but not so he can see you looking......


You might need to warn your neighbours if they are being funny that you are on the case and working on a solution.


Another thing you can do is teach him to bark. Jump and down or do something excitable that will make him bark at you - say the command 'bark' as he does so and give him a treat. Do that a few times a few times a day for a few days and fairly quickly you'll be able to get him to bark on command. Once yo have that you can teach a 'quiet ' command to stop him from barking...and then you have a command that will work when he barks at other times..........By doing this you have turned the Quiet command into a game rather than a punishment. This is much more motivating to a dog!


I recommend a clicker but you need to read up about them as a lot pf people just get one and think the click is a reward - however, the click is a marker for a behaviour that you want. You have to teach them what a click means (ie a reward is coming) but that can be done very quickly. The principles of it are that you introduce the word you intend to have as a command WHILE the behaviour is bieng done....Anyway, as I say, I recommend it. It is positively reinforcing and it works.



The can of pebbles is another idea I think another person has mentioned - a loud noise that happens when a behaviour occurs can make a negative association with that behaviour which is good. The only problem is if the dog associates it also with the owner - it can becoame more sneaky about doing it ie when the owner isn;t around....They aren;t daft!



One of the best examples was one of the ladies who comes to my dog training told me that her little dog was ken on raiding the veg rack and of course she had been told off for it so she beacme more sneaky. One day she went to raid it and the owner was in a different room (well, yes!) and there was an almighty crash. The owner rushed into the kitchen to find her dog looking ver silly surrounded by veg and saucepans etc on the floor. She had left these on top of the veg rack, the dog had pulled the rack over in an orgy of veg theiving and the whole lot had fallen around her landing heavily on the hard kitchen floor . the big crashing metal pans made such a noise thT THE DOG HAS NEVER SINCE RAIDED THE VEG RACK! As far as she thinks the veg rack bit her so she keeps her distance! Brilliant.



You could booby trap you hen run.........no harm to be done - just a short sharp shock while you are nowhere in sight!



However if your dog motive is fear then you have a different set of problems - ditraction training would be better.


And if he is trying to play - perhaps he is bored? he needs to have more time and attention from you in short bursts throughout the day and evening - again clicker training helps a lot as you can use it for obedience training and tricks. Anything that will keep him more mentally engaged and which switches him on to you as an object of entertainment and fun - not your chickens.



I would suggest you join a really good positive reward based dog training programme and when he is old enough conside things like agility, heelwork, obedience competition, working activities, flyball...whatever you and he enjoy. And of course good walks everyday (once he is big enough)



Keep him busy, find out his motivation and get out an meet other dog people through classes and trainers who can help. Poodles are bright dogs and even though he is part poodle he will test you out.........



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...