How to Train a Great Pyrenees to Guard Chickens :
It was made to protect the Great Pyrenees, or the Great Pyrenees, from harm.
The Pyrenees in Southern France are a cross-breed created to protect all types of livestock.
For thousands of years, they have been used for this purpose.
The magnificent size of the Pyrenees serves to cow predators, and the shaggy white coat helps to keep the dog safe from all weather, enabling it to be easily spotted by predators at night.
As the Pyrenees are well known for being relaxed and pleasant, they are able to appear almost serene and jovial with a pleasant smile.
Livestock can be protected quickly, but when it comes to keeping them safe, they are rather slow.
Because they protect their assets and keep watch, cats naturally patrol and patrol their stuff at night and day.
The Pyrenees mountain range is a perfect natural barrier for any kind of livestock, from chickens to cattle.
How to Train a Great Pyrenees to Guard Chickens
Is there any particular type of livestock that isn’t present?
Is it possible that it is the most common livestock animal in the United States today?
That is correct; the chicken is delicious.
Okay, so chickens aren’t completely absent from the list.
The Slovensky Cuvac breed, which is uncommon in the United States, has traditionally been used as an all-around guardian dog, including as a poultry guardian.
The other breeds, on the other hand… not so much.
Is this significant?
Yes, it most emphatically does.
LGDs were bred to protect mammals, and one of the main reasons they do such a good job is because they have formed bonds with the animals.
Chickens are very different from mammals in many ways, especially when it comes to behavior.
Chickens can and do form bonds with members of other species.
They, too, are social beings.
I’ve formed strong bonds with many of my chickens.
They do, however, exhibit different bonding behaviors than mammals, and your dogs are unlikely to understand them.
Most chicken farmers have no idea what they are.
Chickens bond primarily through activities such as dust bathing, scratching and pecking at the ground side by side, perching together, talking to each other, and so on.
Your livestock guardian dogs are not accustomed to any of these behaviors.
Is it, therefore, impossible for your LGDs to bond with your chickens?
No, it does not, but it does imply that most LGDs will not bond with them in the same way that they bond with other animals.
Often, training your dogs to ignore your chickens is your best bet for protection.
Your dogs will then protect your chickens in the same way that they protect their territory.
They will want to keep predators out of their territory, including the farm chickens.
You may discover that your LGDs bond with and form relationships with your chickens.
Take advantage of your good fortune by photographing their endearing interactions.
Alternatively, training your dogs to ignore your chickens will keep them just as safe.
Your Pyrenees puppy is just about the cutest and cuddliest canine, but she is a true guardian only if she’s strong and disciplined.
The Pyrenees will love you and will enjoy your company, but she belongs to her livestock, and her real family is with them.
The Pyrenees has to learn at a young age that she must be gentle with the chickens.
Additionally, your Pyrenees must learn to be on the lookout for airborne and land-based predators.
Although the Pyrenees will not catch sight of the hawk if she is not keeping an eye out, the hawk is able to catch a chicken first.
It is important to accustom your Pyrenees to the fact that strangers will visit your property, as well as get your dog a vet’s checkup.
Do not think that she does not need social skills simply because she will live with your flock.
Choosing a Pyrenees puppy with strong guarding instincts is the responsibility of the puppy’s breeder.
While your Pyrenees grows, you won’t be training as much as you will be developing and shaping these innate abilities.
Although each Pyrenean valley is different, they are all distinctly individual.
Chickens may be calm naturally or have to be taught calm behavior.
Even if she is able to be watchful on her own, you may need to coach her to make sure she knows how to defend herself.
Even if she is brave, she may have to learn to attack predators.
When you get to know your Pyrenees puppy, keep an open mind and allow her to develop on her own.
There are five useful tips for training the Pyrenees to guard chickens.
Purchase them as puppies.
The earlier you purchase a Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog, the better off your chickens will be.
An adult Great Pyrenees is difficult to train, as puppies are.
Chickens may consider them to be food rather than an animal to guard, if you place them with them.
Raising them as puppies alongside chickens teaches them not to attack the chickens.
It is much less likely that puppies will hurt a chicken if they are being trained than a Great Pyrenees.
Two Great Pyrenees are better than one, so get two instead.
It is highly recommended that you purchase two Great Pyrenees instead of just one, if you intend on using them to guard your hens.
Bored children will engage in mischief with the chickens.
In that case, it is possible that the chickens may be harmed if they play with the birds.
If you have two of something, the more likely possibility is that they will play together instead of with the chickens.
When out with your chickens, having two helps keep them from being lonely.
It is necessary to control children when they are playing with the hens.
When you first get your chickens, you’ll need to spend some time observing them while they interact with the chickens.
When I was young, I caught my chicks several times playing with the chickens, and I had to punish them.
Discipline Them When They Play With the Chickens
It is critical that they learn that playing with chickens is inappropriate at an early age.
Provide them with plenty of space.
The Pyrenees dogs are huge.
They need a lot of room because they are so large.
Letting them spread out gives them an opportunity to get some exercise while they are growing.
On our farm, we use pastured poultry netting to provide a lot of room for our dogs and chickens, which we then use for grazing.
In fenced-in areas, where they have room to run, they have plenty of opportunities to do well.
Therefore, if you’re considering getting a Great Pyrenees to place in a chicken coop or a small enclosure, I would advise against it.
Feed your chickens before anything else.
Egg-laying chickens have a tendency to want to eat dog food, so feeding your Great Pyrenees in the same chicken coop can be difficult.
Our system for doing that is to supply the chickens with food in one location and the dogs with food in another.
You may even have to chase chickens away while your dogs are eating while they are still puppies.
When they get older, the chickens stop bothering them because they are able to keep the food away from the hens.
The Together From the Beginning Method
Step 1: Pyrenees with a sweet disposition
If your Pyrenees is friendly with the chickens from the start and shows no signs of aggression, you can let her live with them right away.
Step 2: Her personal space
Make a bed and feeding area for your Pyrenees near where the chickens sleep and forage.
The chickens should not have access to this area, and your puppy should never compete with the chickens for food.
Step 3: Keep an eye out for
Keep an eye on your Pyrenees as she forms bonds with your chickens.
Is she staying close or leaving?
Is she concerned about the chickens’ plight, or does she appear unconcerned?
Step 4: Induce desirable behavior
Encourage your Pyrenees to defend your chickens by creating artificial dangers, then reward your Pyrenees with treats and praise when she does.
If you notice your Pyrenees wandering, make a commotion among the chickens and reward her for saving the day.
Step 5: Recognize and reward desirable behavior.
As your Pyrenees matures, keep an eye on him and continue to reward him for good behavior.
Go to her and praise and reward her if you hear her chasing off predators.
reward for remaining close to the chickens and reacting to their distress.
The Side by Side Method
Step 1: Take a cautious approach.
If you’re worried about your Pyrenees’ potential behavior with your chickens and want to take it slowly, keep the puppy and chickens separate but close for a while until they get to know each other.
Step 2: Create a space near the chickens.
Make a home for your Pyrenees near your chickens.
She should ideally be outside of their territory, interacting with them through a fence while protecting them from outside predators.
Step 3: Promote bonding.
Encourage your Pyrenees to bond with your chickens by rewarding her for being calm when she is with them under your supervision.
Step 4: Build trust Gradually increase the amount of time your Pyrenees spends with your chickens until you can leave them alone together for short periods of time.
Step 5: Elicit and reward behavior In order to encourage guarding behavior in the Pyrenees, you stimulate mild distress in the chickens.
Reward her well for her vigilance.
The Method of Distraction to Acclimate
Step 1: Get a rambunctious puppy.
If your puppy is too rough with the chickens and you are concerned that she will hurt them, you can distract her from playing with them until she gets used to them.
Step 2: Expensive treats
Choose treats that your Pyrenees puppy absolutely adores.
Choose healthy treats for her because she is a large-breed dog that is growing quickly.
Step 3: Reward yourself for ignoring
Reward your Pyrenees with food if she ignores the chickens.
Reward her for every time she looks at you and for remaining calm.
Step 4: Reduce your rewards.
Reduce rewards gradually as your puppy becomes less reactive to the chickens.
Step 5: Recruit and compensate guards.
Causing minor distress among the chickens, and rewarding your Pyrenees for their guarding behavior.
Continue to practice until you feel comfortable entrusting her with your chickens.
Three Things to Think About Before Purchasing a Great Pyrenees
Before you get your own Great Pyrenees to guard your chickens, there are a few things you should think about.
They make a lot of noise.
Our Great Pyrenees are some of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of owning.
They will bark at strangers, but I’ve never had the impression that they would bite a stranger.
They do, however, bark a lot.
This is one of their defense mechanisms, and it helps them keep predators at bay.
If you have close neighbors or simply do not want to hear a barking dog, you should probably avoid getting a Great Pyrenees.
Because we raise our chickens on pasture, our dogs are rarely close enough to the house for their bark to bother us.
However, if your dogs are close to your home, keep in mind that their barking may wake you up at night.
They’re also big dogs.
They can also knock you around and knock kids over because they are so large.
This is not on purpose; it is simply due to their size.
Because they are nearly the same height, our toddler dislikes being around them.
They also enjoy licking her and unintentionally bumping her around.
If you have small children, keep this in mind.
They might wonder off.
If they are not fenced in, they will wander around the farm and occasionally off the farm.
We almost always fenced in ours.
When we let our dogs out, however, they sometimes wander off and we won’t see them for hours.
They once went missing for an entire day.
As a result, we had to exercise extreme caution when allowing them to roam freely.
If you are comfortable with all of this and want to get your own Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs, here are 5 tips for training Great Pyrenees to guard chickens.
Can All Livestock Protection Dogs Be Trained to Protect Chickens?
I’m never comfortable making all or none statements because there are always exceptions, but in general, yes, if the following conditions are met:
LGDs are derived from a working line – if your LGDs are not derived from a good working line, you never know what you’re going to get.
Furthermore, many working-line LGD breeders regularly expose their puppies to poultry before selling them.
Non-working line LGDs will be more difficult to train to chickens, but many will be trainable.
See the video below to see a young Spanish Mastiff puppy from a working line getting to know a rooster through the fence.
You have the knowledge, time, and patience to train your LGDs – this is by far the most important factor in their success.
I don’t mean to be harsh, but the majority of the time, your dogs’ training failures are actually your training failures.
How Long Does It Take to Train Livestock Guard Dogs to Protect Chickens?
Training your LGDs to chickens will most likely take weeks or months if you are patient, consistent, and use positive training methods.
Some of you may be fortunate enough to have natural guardians who require little to no training, but don’t count on it.
When Should You Begin Training Your Livestock Guardian Puppies to Protect Chickens?
You can begin introducing your puppies to chickens as soon as they are comfortable enough to accompany you on a walk around the farm.
Problems with Teaching Livestock Guardian Dogs to Protect Chickens
LGDs and aggressive chickens
Allowing chickens to be aggressive toward your dogs is not acceptable.
The only time a chicken should be aggressive is in self-defense or as a warning.
If your dog approaches a hen in an egg box, for example, and she pecks him, this is perfectly normal.
She is drawing a line in the sand for her personal space.
The same can be said of a hen who does not want a dog to approach her chicks.
Don’t let hens or roosters attack your puppies without provocation.
Come on in.
Don’t let roosters get too close if you have them.
This isn’t a case of “pecking order” (which is mostly a myth) – it’s bullying.
It’s terrifying for the puppies, and they’ll associate bad feelings with chickens.
You never want your dogs to be afraid of their charges or to regard them as enemies.
When Your LGD Causes Harm to a Chicken
One of the most common misconceptions about livestock guardian dogs is that if they kill or injure a chicken, they are “ruined” as poultry guardians.
False! False! False!
You do not properly train your dog if he kills or injures a chicken.
This is your fault, not your dog’s.
But you can make it better.
This scenario is unfortunately very common because many people do not know how to properly train their LGDs as chickens.
However, if owners take the time to learn how to train their dogs, their dogs can still be excellent guardians.
One woman said in an LGD Facebook group that her dog killed 15 chickens before being properly trained, but he’s now a perfect guardian.
She also claimed to be the third owner of her second LGD, a notorious chicken killer.
This dog, too, has been completely reformed and now serves as an excellent guardian.
She shared a cute photo of one of her dogs with his ‘boyfriend,’ a duck.
Before training, this dog had killed ducks, but now he is bonded to them.
This is something you can do.
Your dogs have not been “ruined.”
They simply require more assistance and understanding.
Begin with training from the beginning and don’t give up.
Bringing in New Chickens or Other Poultry
You will need to train your dogs to accept any new poultry that you bring in.
Don’t overlook this step.
It may be obvious to you that your dogs should protect the new poultry in the same way that they protect the old, but it is not obvious to them.
Shaggy, my neighbor’s Great Pyrenees, was an excellent guard dog for chickens and turkeys.
He guarded their flocks as well as mine.
My neighbors then added some more ducks to their flock.
They didn’t bother training Shaggy because they assumed he’d be fine because he wasn’t a poultry killer.
So he killed them all right away.
You must also teach your dogs that new animals are there.
Guardian Dogs for Livestock and Chicks
Many people have discovered that their livestock guardian dogs, who do their best to protect their chickens, are capable of killing chicks.
Chicks differ greatly from chickens in appearance, and your LGDs may perceive them as intruders.
You must socialize your dogs with these ladies.
Furthermore, your LGDs may kill chicks by accident because they are curious about them.
I’ve heard numerous stories about people’s dogs simply placing a paw on a chick to get a better look, resulting in serious injury or death of the chick.
You’ll need to satisfy your dogs’ curiosity about chicks.
Introduce the chicks to your dogs and then train them to ignore them.
Poultry Predators and Livestock Guardian Dogs
As you navigate the potentially frustrating world of training your LGDs to chickens, keep in mind that the effort will be well worth it.
The majority of people who have LGDs guarding their poultry do not have a single loss.
This is something I keep hearing.
Remember Shaggy, my neighbor’s Great Pyrenees, the duck killer?
Before Shaggy, these neighbors decided to let their flock roam free.
They quickly lost all of their chickens to predators.
Every single one of them.
They went an entire year without losing a chicken after bringing Shaggy home and starting a new flock.
Then they had one (and only one) chicken killed by a coyote.
Shaggy, they said, ran up to them the next morning with a coyote leg in his mouth.
When they arrived at the coop, it appeared as if a coyote had exploded.
These dogs will go to any length to protect your flock.
Though training can be time-consuming and frustrating at times, your efforts will be rewarded many times over, and your chickens will thank you for it.
What are the instincts of Pyrenees?
Your puppy’s breeder should have helped you choose an individual Pyrenees with strong guarding instincts.
What are the best ways to keep your Pyrenees safe?
She may be consantly vigilent of her own accord, or you may need to teach her what to watch out for and practice attack drills.
What are your training tips?
Keep an open mind as you get to know your Pyrenees puppy and shape her training.
Why Do Great Pyrenees Protect?
Pyrenees were bred in their namesake mountains in Southern France to protect livestock of all kinds.
What are the benefits of a Pyrenees dog?
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.
Can I let my Pyrenees live with chickens?
If your Pyrenees is sweet with the chickens from their first interaction, and you see no indication of aggression from her, you can let her start living with the chickens from the beginning.
Where Should My Pyrenees Be?
Create a space near where the chickens sleep and forage where your Pyrenees can have a bed and feeding area.
How do I introduce my puppies to chickens?
You can start introducing your puppies to chickens as soon as they are comfortable enough to walk around the farm with you.
Can Livestock Guardian Dogs Protect Chickens?
Yes, most livestock guardian dogs from working lines can protect chickens and other poultry.
What are the training requirements for livestock guardian dogs?
In this article, I cover why livestock guardian dogs need additional training to guard chickens, how to do this training, and the problems you might encounter.
How long will it take to train my LGDs?
Assuming you are patient, consistent, and using positive training methods, training your LGDs to chickens will likely take weeks or months.
Can I train my livestock guardian dogs to chickens?
You absolutely will want to train your livestock guardian dogs to chickens using only positive methods.
Is there a guarantee that your LGD will be safe?
I’m never comfortable making all or none statements as there can always be exceptions, but generally, speaking, yes, if these conditions are met: LGDs come from a working line – if your LGDs don’t come from a good working line, you never know what you’re getting.
What Are The Training Failures?
I don’t say this to be harsh, but more often than not, your dogs’ training failures are actually your training failures.
What are the differences between a chicken and mammal?
However, they display different bonding behaviors than mammals do, and your dogs probably aren’t going to understand them.
What Are Chickens Like?
They too are social creatures.
What are the dangers of dogs?
And because they are so large, they can knock you around and knock kids over.
How Do Great Pyrenees Guard Chickens?
They live with our chickens and they protect them.
Do they wander around the farm?
If they are not fenced in, they do tend to wander around the farm and sometimes off the farm.
Can Great Pyrenees guard chickens?
If you are ok with all of this and you want to move forward with getting your own Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs, here are 5 tips on training Great Pyrenees to guard chickens.
Do you want to get a Great Pyrenees?
If you have close neighbors or just don’t want to hear a barking dog, you probably don’t want to get Great Pyrenees.
Can I put Great Pyrenees with chickens?
If you put them with chickens then they might see them as food rather than another animal to guard.
Why should I raise Great Pyrenees as puppies?
A full grown Great Pyrenees is harder to train than a puppy.
What are the Best Dog Fencing Options?
If the wires are close enough together (most of the barbed wire fences I’ve seen have wires that are far enough apart for a dog to easily get through) then it will work, but if not you might want to look into radio fences.
What are the best ways to keep your dog safe?
1. All dogs, no matter the breed, are prone to wandering/establishing a territory and should definitely be fenced in.
What is a dog collar?
I also attached an empty 2 liter soda bottle to his collar as a drag so that it is between his legs when he walked, preventing him from running around and jumping as easily.
What is the Pyrenees?
My reasons for picking the pyrenees, is because I have heard them to be good around chickens once trained, and their long coat is ideal for minnesota weather.
How long will it take to train the dogs?
I am willing to do the training though I know it can take a year or more.
What are the Best Methods to Train a Dog?
One of the people I am looking about seeing getting the dog from says they trained their dog to stay on their property by teaching the dog its boundrys.
What is the best diet for Figure?
I am looking into a raw meat diet, as I believe that would be healthier.
What happens to the puppy?
The one breeder said that if I should choose the puppy will be put in the barn and raised with the animals.
What are the benefits of training a dog to be around chickens?
Once the dog is trained to be around the chickens without fear of them being killed, can the dog live in the coop or should he have his own house.
What are your concerns?
I read in one post that the dogs are prone to wandering.
What are the benefits of a fence?
A fence will also aid in keeping predators out.
What are the differences between a male and female puppy?
Males take longer to mature mentally. Girls get protective sooner.
Are they prone to wandering?
Grifton NC Quote: Yes they are prone to wandering No, a barbed wire fence wont keep them in or predators out No they won’t stay with the chickens Some people trying to SELL you a dog will tell you anything you want to hear If you don’t have actual LIVESTOCK, and don’t have PASTURES, don’t get a Livestock Guardian breed You probably won’t be happy with the results Thread starter a123andpoof
What are the best ways to train your birds?
Supervised time is key and also them having their own area next to the birds so they can get use to them with out hurting them.
What do you think about the geese?
Geese are good at training puppies too.
What is the best way to keep your dog safe?
Strick supervision is ideal for a good fowl dog.
What will he do?
@ Bear foot He will have access to all the acreage, but his job will be the chickens.
What kind of training would he need?
I also plan to give him basic training, such as sit, and come and not to jump on people.
Can Livestock Dogs Protect Poultry?
livestock dogs Livestock guardian dogs don’t just protect sheep and goats, they can also protect poultry.
What if your Great Pyrenees are guarding over anything you feed?
I didn’t train them; it just comes natural for them to protect and love any animal that we feed.
What is the Livestock Guardian Dog Pup?
Starting the Livestock Guardian Dog Pup by Catherine de la Cruz [outdated in the feeding advice given/has been dispelled by latest research] Did you know that you are endowed with an almost magical ability to shape your puppy’s future?
How do I train my puppy?
YOU have the power to change the outcome of his life by what you teach him in his first 12 weeks!
What is Livestock Guardian Dogs?
The New Complete Great Pyrenees ( Hardcover Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care and Training ( Paperback To our knowledge, this is the only educational video about Livestock Guardian Dogs available today.
What is the best way to protect Poultry?
X Research source If you have trouble with your dog pursuing chickens with the intent to kill or eat them, a muzzle will make training safest for all of your animals.
How much will a Pyrenees weigh?
A male will weight anywhere from 90- 120lbs and with our females around 80+ pounds.
What is a Good Working Dog?
First and foremost, is that the dog must come from working parents.
What is the difference between working and non-working dogs?
First and foremost, is that the dog must come from working parents. This does not mean parents who came from “working lines” but parents who are actively engaged in protecting livestock.
Where Should My Dogs Be?
It is normal for working dogs to spend daylight hours relaxing in driveways, around shops, or away from pastures but they always should be within a short distance of their stock.
What are the steps to getting a puppy home?
The second most important step is to bring your puppy home and settle them right in with their livestock.
- Farmers in Australia who owned Maremma sheepdogs actually reported a 35 percent reduction in livestock fatalities from the likes of foxes, feral dogs and birds of prey. (k9ofmine.com)