Does anyone have any hints on how best to introduce a
ES to chicks or chickens? We have a 1 1/2 year old
ES, who was raised around chickens, but seems to have
forgotten, and I started with baby chicks thinking
that would be easier. She appears ready to swallow
YIKES! You have a problem, indeed.
You have to convince the dog that 1) you are alpha and they are under you
in status, and 2) those are *your* chicks and not to be touched.
Start using NILIF - nothing in life is free. You eat in front of the dog
and only then do they get anything. And they have to do a trick or obedience
thing before they get anything. They have to earn their dinner, earn going
through a door, and you go first through the door. Don't let them get away
with anything. Take their food bowl up while they are still eating, and if
you get a growl call in the Marines and let the dog know they are half a
second away from a horrible death. You must be the Boss! Then let them
finish their dinner when *you* feel like it.
With the chicks, put the dog on a leash (preferably someone else holding
it). Hold a chick, pet it, croon to it "Good chickie, good chickie" and let
the dog sniff it. If the dogs gives a snap, a predator stare or a lunge,
correct him. Hard if need be. The dog has to think if he even looks
cross-eyed at the chick he will immediately die horribly.
He's tasted blood and has gotten away with this, so it's going to be hard.
It may be you can't fix this, and the dog either stays inside with you or
outside on a leash with you or in a pen. Or find a new home for him (without
small animals). She must stay restrained until she proves she won't hurt the
chicks or even stare at them.
Let us know how things go, and good luck.
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