New Protectors of the Chickens

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The new protectors of the chickens have arrived. They are settling in well into their new home. They were part of a pack of seven dogs found in Okanogan, hanging out near an airport. The pack ended up in the Humane Society in Kitsap county. They could not handle the whole pack, so three siblings ended up in The Noah Center in Standwood. We wanted to take all three siblings, but were limited to two. The Noah Center was concerned that taking three might be overwhelming for us.

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We need to train them that chickens are not for hunting but protecting. They sure love eggs. They are very calm and well behaved. Hard to believe they are feral dogs. They are believed to be eight months old and border collie mixes.

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6 Responses to New Protectors of the Chickens

  1. Susan Goss says:

    I’m so happy about the new additions to your family! Names?

    • The names the shelter gave them are Brewster and Alma. We haven’t decided yet if we will keep the names. Brewster, a male, is the black one. Alma, a female, is the white one. They are both neutered. In Washington state, many shelters spay and neuter dogs and cats soon after they take them in. They used to hand out vouchers for people to go have their adopted pets spayed and neutered, but that often did not work, so the policy now is to spay/neuter and then put the dogs and cats up for adoption. As a result, there are far fewer stray dogs and cats available in Washington state, and shelters coordinate with each other so that if shelter has an influx of animals they can’t handle, they send them to shelters needing animals. Evidently, California has a surplus of animals, and many end up in Washington state shelters because there is a shortage here for people to adopt.

  2. Cindy says:

    Congratulations! I am curious as to how you go about training the dogs not to attack the chickens… especially since these dogs were used to foraging for themselves.

    • It is a matter of establishing trust with them, keeping them on a leash as we walk them around the property and introduce them to the chickens, and being firm with them when they show any aggression towards them. It will probably be a few months before they can roam on their own.
      With our previous dogs, also rescue dogs, we did have a few incidents of them killing chickens. The first few times they did it, we didn’t see them do it, so we weren’t sure it was them. One day we witnessed them, and after giving them a thorough scolding, they had never seen us so cross, we boarded them up in a dog house for most of the day. They did not touch a single chicken or chick after that, even when hens would sometimes go into one of their dog houses to lay an egg.
      One thing about stray dogs is that they know how hard life can be, having spent many a day and night with empty bellies. Once they realize that you are giving them good meals every day, they are grateful and do not want to make you upset. We feed our dogs very well, making most of their meals from scratch.

  3. Cindy says:

    Thank you for your explanation. As the dogs get used to their surroundings, do they then warn you of any predators? I can see that all this would be a bit of a process, but how nice when everything comes together 🙂

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