How do you introduce a puppy to a flock of chickens?
I have a client who just purchased a super nice male pup from us. They have 25-30 chickens and want to introduce him to the chickens... What would you suggest as the best way to do this? Thanks in advance :)
I don't ever really do an "introduction" when it comes to my puppies & livestock here, I teach them that they are a distraction to be ignored. I work my marker training and recalls until they are reflexive to the puppy. This is all done far away from chickens.
We have chickens, cats and horses and all my pups are kept on leash and gradually we get closer and closer to the animals as I get better control of the pup. To give you an idea, my current pup is 8 months old and she hasn’t been taken closer than about 20 yards from the chickens yet.
I don't want to put my puppy in a situation where they are fixated, over stimulated and wanting to chase the birds so I keep things under my control until I have better communication & training with the dog. With other pups I've raised, I've found the average age we get close to the birds is 4-6 months old. My current pup is a terrier and not as motivated by things I offer as some of the herding dogs I've trained.
I realize that this way takes a lot of patience and a bit of compulsiveness on my part but I can't and won't tolerate a dog that chases chickens and if I need to give a correction I want the pup to be older and have a great relationship with me before I go to such a high level distraction.