Your Great Pyrenees was made to protect. Pyrenees were bred in their namesake mountains in Southern France to protect livestock of all kinds. They have been used for this purpose to this day. The Pyrenees' immense, majestic size helps to intimidate predators, while the shaggy white coat protects the dog from all weather while making it clearly visible and distinguishable from predators at night.
Pyrenees are known for being calm and laid-back, appearing almost zen-like, with a happy smile. They can move quickly, however, when it comes to protecting their livestock. They naturally patrol and protect their property and charges, and nap throughout the day and night so as to remain vigilent. With their powerful frame, excellent protection instincts, and weather tolerant capablities, the Pyrenees is a natural choice for guarding any sort of livestock, including chickens.
While your Pyrenees puppy is insanly cute and cuddly, she cannot be thought of as your pet if she is to be an efficient guardian. While your Pyrenees will love you and enjoy your company, her real family must be her livestock. Since chickens are small and fragile, your Pyrenees must learn from an early age that she must be gentle with them. Furthermore, your Pyreneese will need to learn to watch out for predators from the sky as well as from the land. A hawk can take a chicken before your Pyrenees can notice if she is not on the lookout. Finally, you will need to accustom your Pyrenees to strangers coming to your property, as well as having a vet examine her. Just because she will live with your flock doesn't mean she doens't need social skills.
I thought I trained the dogs to protect our birds and not kill them but Tracker, the male dog, is still trying to play with them and licked a few birds to the point where feathers are missing. What can I do to fix this? thank you in advance.
Hello, I'm surprised the birds let Tracker get that close, long enough to lick feathers - I guess they are not afraid of the dogs at all. I don't have a lot of experience with that but I can recommend this to read: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-chickens. All of the methods are good. As well, https://wagwalking.com/training/not-kill-chickens. Brush up on Tracker's (and Tundra's) obedience skills so that their recall is impeccable and their Down, too (to have them drop on command).https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-down. For recall, to have them come back to you and leave the chickens, this is excellent: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall. Good luck!
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Keto was doing great with the chickens and ducks. My sisters dog came over and killed a chicken. Now Keto wants to carry chickens at times, he picks them up by their back feathers and brings them down to the porch. What can we do?
Hello Michelle, I would pen him next to the chicken and ducks but keep him from directly accessing them, so that he can spend time near them and feel like he is guarding them, but not be able to grab or chase any, until he gets used to simply being near them without bothering. To do this, you can either keep the birds penned and him outside the pen, or set up a pen or him (if you have predators and no other dog to guard the bird, penning the birds would probably be the safest for them. I would also spend time walking him around the area where they are on a long training leash, discouraging him whenever he shows any inappropriate behavior toward them, and praising whenever he does well around them. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Chasing chickens and has actually hurt two and they died. Seems to be playing because obviously he could kill them immediately but he had one for hours before we found it, it was still alive but dies. He is very good natured but we have to stop him or find him a new home
Hello Sharon, I would pen him next to the chicken and ducks but keep him from directly accessing them, so that he can spend time near them and feel like he is guarding them, but not be able to grab or chase any, until he gets used to simply being near them without bothering. To do this, you can either keep the birds penned and him outside the pen, or set up a pen or him (if you have predators and no other dog to guard the bird, penning the birds would probably be the safest for them. I would also spend time walking him around the area where they are on a long training leash, discouraging him whenever he shows any inappropriate behavior toward them, and praising whenever he does well around them. Unfortunately, this behavior is more common with young dogs, and the more they practice it while young the worse it can get. Dogs are less likely to guard birds than larger livestock - they don't always create the bond they would when raised with larger animals, needed to protect them. They can guard the birds as part of the larger territory they are used to guarding once pup has developed that instinct. I would also check out some livestock guarding forums, and see what others in your situation have had success with to help along the way. https://www.dogforum.com/threads/lgds-livestock-guardian-dogs-breeds-problematic-behaviors-temp.331882/ https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/looking-into-getting-great-pyrenees-for-guarding-chickens.654034/ If you are not needing the dog to guard the birds but simply to leave them alone, your chances of accomplishing that are even better. I would work on teaching pup an avoidance of all the chickens instead of focusing on bonding and guarding them. This is often done with the help of a professional trainer who is experienced with low level remote collar training and a long leash and teaching commands like Leave It. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining on Youtube and his work with livestock chasing animals. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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