How to Train Your Dog to Not Kill Chickens

Hard
1-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Does your dog chase your chickens? Has he managed to slim down your flock of chickens or, worse yet, your neighbor’s flock? While dogs are predatory by nature for survival, this trait is not a behavior that most of us want to see in our dogs. One thing that many people fail to consider when they choose a particular breed to add to their family is that some breeds are more predatory than others and some were bred specifically to hunt certain animals.

While you cannot take away your dog's inherent desire to hunt and kill, with the right training, you can teach him to stick to eating out of his bowl and maybe just hanging out with the chickens. You never know, they might even let him become an honorary flock member. With training like this, the sooner you start the easier it will be to train your pup to behave.

Defining Tasks

You can use your choice of commands as you train your dog to stop killing chickens, but no matter which command you decide to use, be sure you use the same one every time. At the same time, be prepared for this training to take some time depending on the breed of your dog. Some breeds are far more connected to their survival than others. While puppies tend to learn more quickly, with patience, you can teach any age dog to stop killing chickens or any other animal. This can help save your flock from becoming fast food as they run across the yard.

Getting Started

What you are likely to need to train your dog not to kill chickens will to a certain extent depend on the training method. However, you will need plenty of your dog's favorite treats, a leash, and tons of patience. Remember, you are trying to train your dog not to do something that is among his basest instincts, the desire to survive.

While it would be nice to train your dog not to kill chickens in a quiet atmosphere, most of his training is going to take place around your flock of noisy chickens. However, you do need to keep others (like the kids) away while you are working with your pup as they might prove to be too much of a distraction. No matter which command you will be using to train your dog to leave the chickens alone, be sure to use a firm "no nonsense" voice so that your dog knows you mean business.

The Restrain Method

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Restrain method for Not Kill Chickens
Step
1
On the leash
Clip your pup on his leash and walk him towards the chickens, praising him and petting him.
Step
2
Pull back
When he starts to show any type of aggression towards the chickens, stop praising him immediately.
Step
3
Stop him in his tracks
If his body language indicates he is preparing to lunge, give him the "sit" and "drop" commands. If necessary, use the leash to physically restrain him.
Step
4
Resistance is futile
As soon as your pup complies and relaxes, shower him with praise and give him a nice tasty treat. The positive reinforcement will help speed along the training nicely.
Step
5
Take a play break
Now is a great time to walk your pup away from the chickens and spend at least five minutes playing with him. Repeat this training exercise daily until he can walk up beside a chicken without being fazed.
Recommend training method?

The Proximity Method

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Proximity method for Not Kill Chickens
Step
1
Get close
Take your dog out near the chickens on a leash while you are doing your chores, you can tie his leash to a post if needed. When he calms down, heap tons of praise on him and of course a treat!
Step
2
Occupy with commands
Once he has become used to the chickens, try working him through several basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘leave it’, ‘down’. Watch him for signs he is no longer paying attention to the chickens.
Step
3
Lose the leash
Once this behavior has gone on for several weeks, try working with him off-leash. Tons of praise for getting it right.
Step
4
Step back if necessary
If he fails, go back to the on-leash training program for a few days. Then try again.
Step
5
Increase duration
Slowly increase the amount of time under supervision he is off-leash until he has learned to be around the chickens without dinner on his mind.
Recommend training method?

The Distance Training Method

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Distance Training method for Not Kill Chickens
Step
1
Get close
Walk your pup on a leash towards caged or penned chickens.
Step
2
Find a sweet spot
Move him to the point at which he first starts to react to the chickens and then move back to determine the distance at which he no longer reacts (this could take several attempts).
Step
3
Distract
Once you have the distance down, use a training clicker or your mouth to make a noise. If he turns and looks at you, give him loads of praise and a nice treat.
Step
4
Close in
Continue closing the distance for several days doing the same thing.
Step
5
Correct
When your pup gets too close to the cage, give the "leave it!" command and a gentle tug on his leash. Make the noise and reward him when he looks at you.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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