Question Future gun dog and chickens.
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Thread: Question Future gun dog and chickens.

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    MissyM's Avatar
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    DefaultQuestion Future gun dog and chickens.

    My chocolate lab Phoebe is just over 10 weeks. I bring her around to do chores with me as I live out in the country the farm animals are outback away from the road. You may be able to see where this is going....Anyways today while I was working with the goats Phoebe came running up to me with one of my 4 month old chicks in her mouth. Luckily the chick was unharmed. She seemed proud as a peacock that she "captured" this winged beast for me. I gently removed it from her mouth, which see immediately let go when she realized I wanted it. Then I checked over the chick and locked up all the chickens in their run and coop. They were not pleased with me to say the least. I did nothing to Phoebe, no praise and no punishment. I am not sure what my reaction should have been. I want to train her as a duck/goose dog. She loves the water and is already going out in the lake to the point she has to swim. However I do not want her thinking my chickens are a treat. The chickens have do not have to come out of their pen at all, it is VERY large considering the small amount of hens that live there. Advice please?
    Phoebe -Chocolate Lab - DOB 6/22/13

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    You will need to teach her "leave it" when it comes to your chickens. Maxx is allowed to play with my inside kitties, he really plays with my youngest, stray cats outside are off limits. No matter how bad he wants to test the waters. It was a process teaching him this but it is certainly possible to do.
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    MissyM's Avatar
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    You know, that never occurred to me yesterday. lol. I have trained beagles for rabbit hunting and that was always one of the first commands I taught. Somehow I convinced myself that with the chickens it was a lose lose situation. lol. Thank you.
    Phoebe -Chocolate Lab - DOB 6/22/13

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Labs are too smart for anything to be a losing situation, except perhaps when it comes to food. Just don't ever feed her chicken, lol!
    Tammy
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    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

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    You have a lab. If breed worth a hoot, its genetics say "Birds are the enemy, pick 'em up." You just calmly teach them WHICH birds are the enemy. I work my duck crazy psycho's at the park all the time swimming through flocks of live ducks to the dead duck I have thrown them. They will quickly learn from the situation WHICH birds are the "enemy" and that sometimes the enemy is NOT the enemy in this situation. Just be patient, fair and calm.
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    I was assuming training labs must not be a ton different from training hounds which I have tons of experience with, however I am finding it is much much different. personality wise alone......


    ....On a positive note, I was impressed how gentle she was with the poor chicken. Not a mark on it.
    Phoebe -Chocolate Lab - DOB 6/22/13

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    At least you know she has a soft mouth! Glad to hear the chick wasn't harmed. I think with proper training, and teaching her which birds are for retrieving, and which birds she should "leave", she will be fine! Labs are incredibly smart. Kai loves chasing squirrels outside, but we have a captive southern flying squirrel living in our bedrom, and she loves him.. lets him jump on her (supervised), and if he is in his cage, she will just sit and watch him.

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    Dogs will learn situationally what birds are "the enemy," and under what circumstances they are "the enemy." Just teach them.
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    Destinfam5 is offline Senior Member
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    It's funny because my pup (8 months old) has never given squirrels a second look, or even the ducks at our local pond, but she notices every single bird, even if she is in the middle of swimming in our pool she'll look up and follow the birds.

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    Just an update since it has been so long, Phoebe has forgotten the chickens are birds now completely. She can go in the chicken coop with me, walking by my side without any movement towards my dear little egg layers. She is also excelling the field. We take her on all our walks and has retrieved 2 grouse this year, not a mark on them and drops them upon reaching us. Due to it also being deer season, we have not had a lot of time to go actual birding, we have flushed quite a few more out but just have not had the clear shots to take. We have also been working on water fowl, not shot anything with her, but she has done remarkable with retrieving, even in the water.
    Phoebe -Chocolate Lab - DOB 6/22/13

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