Airedale and Chickens

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dinosaw
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Airedale and Chickens

Post by dinosaw »

Have just added the most adorable little airedale pup (Tuppence) to the family (well littleish she's already 6kg!!). I took her down to the run yesterday, very comical with the chickens puffing themselves up to the max when she approached on the lead, later I took her into the run in my arms and today on a short lead. To be honest the chickens have taken it far better than I thought and pup didn't make any attempt to go for them, however airedales become large and very boisterous and have a high prey drive so my question is how far can I get with socialisation?. I'm doubtful that I will be able to let her off lead with the chickens as one bite when she's bigger and that will be it, however this will probably mean the end of the chooks free range activity as I am going to need full garden space to give Tuppence an off lead run around. Any thoughts and advice appreciated, my replies may be sporadic as it's all go at the moment, thanks.
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Marigold
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by Marigold »

Congratulations on the new puppy, Dinosaw. You'll have a much better chance of socialising her with the chickens since she's not yet an adult and will learn very quickly. When we were training our Norfolk Terrier we just kept on going out with him on his lead, to see the girls, and got him to sit and watch them, and every time he got up and got excited we said a firm 'No! Leave!' and when he sat again, we rewarded him for not trying to chase them. It's really the same process as teaching a puppy to leave anything alone, whether it's your slippers or your chickens, except of course the chickens are SO much more interesting to a terrier! I think you have to allow a long period when you THINK she's trained OK, but still keep her on the lead, in case of lapses. In the end, one of my hybrids finished the training for me, by pecking my Trog hard on his nose, since when he's gone off hens altogether! It will be really good to train her well not to chase, as this will help when training her not to bounce up to people and other dogs out in the open, once she's out on walks.

Surely you can let them out a bit when the dog is safely indoors? - and then let her have her run in the garden when they're back in their run?
Do let us know how you get on.
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BabyBantam
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by BabyBantam »

I agree with Marigold, when I got my girls (although my dog is 7) I kept him on the lead and made him sit in the grass with us whilst the girls wandered the garden. If he got interested, a shap command and a tug of the lead stopped him. He's now (1 year on) able to be left in the garden with them quite happily and if the cat turns up, will run straight past them to get to the it. He also seems to have been adopted by the hens as an extra lookout and they gather round him when he's around.
I warn you though, Toby is the most laid back lurcher/bearded collie cross you'll ever meet, so could be some years before you get to this point. Basically, never trust anything other than a big fence with the hens on one side & everything else on the other :)
Aileen
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by Aileen »

Hi, I have a young dog (8 months) - Lab X and from day one I have taken him out (supervised) and let him in amongst my ladies and he has been very firmly put in his place. So my advice would be as much supervised together time as possible. It all boils down to the temperament of the dog in question really, I've just been lucky. In fact....
I have ex batts, and a couple of weeks ago I was out pottering in the garden, chooks and dog in toe, about 45 mins - 1 hour later when I was indoors I suddenly remembered I had, had the dog out in the garden with me.... yep I was up and down the street shouting for my Lester the Jester only to find him IN the run lying down with his feathery pals wondering what all the fuss was about, I hadn't spotted him as he is a "red fox" colour very similar to my little warrens LOL. Not many pups would do that with chooks around.... ;)
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dinosaw
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by dinosaw »

Thanks for your replies,gives me food for thought, I'll continue with the socialisation and see how far i can get with it then.

'Surely you can let them out a bit when the dog is safely indoors? - and then let her have her run in the garden when they're back in their run?'

Your quite right Marigold, must have been puppy fatigue that stopped me from thinking of that :lol:
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Marigold
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by Marigold »

I trained Trog on our first lot of hens, which were all dark colours. A year ago, I got a couple of new white hybrids, and had to start all over again - he just found the sight of amazingly white wings flapping about was too much to bear! Training him to ignore these didn't take so long as the first lot, though, and now I just don't worry about them all being out there together. Mind you, he is 10 now, and slowing down a bit, but he has his terrier moments, and still loves a new squeaky toy.
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chrismahon
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by chrismahon »

Hi Dinosaw. If you had a cockerel I would worry for the dog. Ours took on two 30Kg lambs and scared them away -luckily he missed the eyes when he struck at its face, but the claws in its nose was enough. They never went near his hens again.

We used to dog sit for a Golden Retriever. She never went near or bothered the hens at all and they got used to her quite quickly. Even Bottom got used to her. He used to move her off his spot on a rug!
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by Philcott »

It's as everyone has said, just keep on doing what you are doing and you will get there. I have a border collie, who was a nightmare when I first got her when it came to chickens. It took months of training to get her to stop chasing chickens. The final insult for the pup was a very fierce broody who decided that Storm needed a good lesson. It was rather comical to watch as, having pecked her hard on the nose, she then proceeded to chase her pulling her tail hairs. If memory serves me correctly, it was a little pekin!

These days Storm plays with the cockerels - she does a play bow and they respond by running towards her, she takes off (you know that playful run where the tail goes all waggly and loose) in a big circle before coming back and starting all over again. I know it is play for both bird and dog, because if Storm doesn't play bow, they will ignore her altogether, continuing to peck at the ground, or graze or whatever while she goes past or sniffs around and about them. I do still keep an eye though!
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dinosaw
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by dinosaw »

Have taken Tuppence down to the chickens two more times and she is being really really good. She already knows that pulling on the lead gets her nowhere and have had her within two feet of the chickens, she just sat patiently watching them, when she stood they moved away but the goldlines, especially GG the top hen are getting more confident, the skyline and leghorn hybrids don't even let me get too near them unless I am the bearer of food so no surprise that they keep their distance. She really has been amazing, not a single whine on her first night alone with us, and is very clever having picked up four commands in six days!!, obviously I'm very proud so sorry to sound like the first person to ever get a puppy :) , as this is a chicken forum not a dog forum I'll confine myself to how she gets on with the chooks in future ;)
Oh nearly forgot, like everyone elses dogs she likes trying to eat chicken poo, and tried to have a go at their pellets as well.
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Marigold
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Re: Airedale and Chickens

Post by Marigold »

[quote="dinosaw as this is a chicken forum not a dog forum I'll confine myself to how she gets on with the chooks in future ;)
.[/quote]

Please don't feel inhibited, Dinosaw, a lot of us know what it's like with a new puppy - do keep us up to date, you can always start a Tuppence thread in the General Chatter section. Any photos?
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