I could kill my dog

Discussion in 'Other Pets' started by Zelda, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    I am bummed - she killed one of the barn kittens yesterday, the really friendly one. We have been trying to keep them separate until the kitties are bigger and can fend for themselves, but one wandered into her yard - I think he climbed through the fence and followed me to the house after I milked in the evening. :(

    This dog is from a rescue (we've had her for several years now) and she was OK with cats at the rescue - but they were indoor cats. She's a blue heeler/Aussie shepherd cross. Unfortunately we can't have indoor cats due to DH's allergies. I think it would be much easier to train her with indoor cats, as she is indoors most of the time, too. She is funny - won't chase rabbits out of the garden. But she has killed a chicken and had previously killed a kitten (a stray).

    So I'm wondering if she can be trained or if it's better to just rehome the surviving two kitties. She had been avoiding them when I was around so I thought she might be OK - when they are in the garage she won't even go near the door. It makes it very hard to train her when she behaves if I am around. She's the sly, quick type of killer, not the over-excited type. When she killed the stray kitten a few years before, I had never seen the kitten before and didn't see it until she grabbed it and shook it - it was out near the chicken house around dark and I thought - well, it's a stray animal out near the chickens. Maybe she is being protective of the chickens. I wasn't happy about it, but made an excuse for her behavior. :(

    Back to the present, I did tie her outside last night next to the dead kitten overnight and picked it up and kind of whacked her with it a few times, didn't hurt her physically but did try to hurt her feelings and make her afraid to go anywhere near the kittens. It definitely upset her. I don't know if it will work, but I did something similar after she killed a chicken and she leaves them alone now if one happens to get out.

    The big training problem is how do I get her around the kittens and train her without making the kittens less afraid of the dog? The kittens are safer if they are wary of the dog and stay in their safe zones - basically most of the farm just NOT the dog yard. I thought about putting a crate in the garage at night (where the kittens stay) and make her sleep out there. Maybe she would get desensitized, I don't know. But I worry about the kittens thinking the dog is their friend.

    All advice is welcome.
  2. Tarheel Acres

    Tarheel Acres New Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    It is tough when you have a dog that is aggresive towards other animals. The bad part is that in my experiance they usually do not change. Even with training some dogs just cant be trusted around weaker or smaller animals.

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    That's like my dog. I have a jack russel/shih tzu cross (yeah, weird mix..I know) She killed an entire litter of kittens! And she's not even an aggressive dog, she's very submissive and quiet, so maybe she was playing with them or something, but I don't know. It was sad. I have no tips or tricks, our little dog hasn't ever done it again. I don't think it's something you can train them to not do though. :shrug:
  4. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I am so sorry ..for your loss.....it is heart wrenching ..... :( :hug:
  5. Riot_My_Love

    Riot_My_Love New Member

    What I've found, there is no "cure" or training for dogs that have killed once, now its set in, they will do it again. It's instinct. Sorry for the loss, my guard dogs have killed God knows what in the past 3 years,
  6. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    My dogs have actually been doing better - though they aren't left around the cats unattended anymore.

    The Aussie who kills cats actually stayed away from the skunk that was in the yard twice this Fall. I know she behaved herself, because she didn't get sprayed and the poodle got absolutely nuked. :greengrin: When she has been around the kittens, she flat ignores them (walks away, even).

    One of the things I did for a month or so was put the dogs inside a chicken tractor, and left them in the poultry yard for a few hours every day.

    They didn't seem to mind being in 'jail'... The kittens and all the poultry hung around the tractor and taunted them until they got bored with it all. I will repeat this exercise with them in Spring - I think it's very good for them.


    ETA: I meant to start leaving the Aussie loose in the poultry yard w/ her muzzle on, but never got that far. I'll probably do that next year, and hopefully work up to being able to leave her loose out there (with supervision).
  7. bheila

    bheila New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    I hate to say it, but.....I'd get rid of the dog :shrug: Even if you rehome the kittens you'll still have to worry about your poultry. My husband and I agreed that if one of our dogs EVER showed any kind of aggression towards our animals or kids, they'd be GONE! It's just too risky.

    We have a friend whose weiner dog bit my daughter in the leg about 8 months ago. When we went back to their house 2 weeks ago their other dog started growling at my 3yr old. We will not go back there if the dogs are around. My friend informed me the last time we were there that her dogs had been chasing the chickens and killing them :hair:

    I don't even trust my children to be around our dogs by themselves...we're always with them.
  8. jduwall

    jduwall New Member

    Aug 7, 2009
    I had a dog like that when I was a kid and she did quit after she got older but we did lose a lot of chickens and 2 kittens....so sorry for your loss...
  9. I have to say I agree! My husband and I have the same policy. I would not only be worried about the poultry, but also the goats. I don't know what kind of goats you have(ie how big they are) but I would be worried about them too!
    But having said that, I have never been in your situation. Our dog snuggles with the cats at night, and licks the chickens(who free range with the dog).:shrug:
    So sorry you have to deal with this issue. :hug:
  10. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    I have had dogs that would / have killed my poultry and i still kept them, I know all dogs have a " predator instinct" somewhere inside and I just trained and supervised, trained and supervised until the dogs where trained. I think SOME dogs can be trained not to kill / harass livestock. But those dogs have to have a strong " must please master" thought.
    I had a Rat Terrier that I rescued from the pound. She was the the sweetest thing, for some reason I knew she understood she was getting a second chance, I know her old owners hurt her, I could tell by the way she would cringe when i first got her when I would try to brush her. But soon after I got her she trusted me fully and acted like she would do any thing for me. Her fault was she liked to chase Guineas she killed one once, by scaring it to death. I trained her be taking her for walks in the poultry yard and scolding her when she showing "chasing signs"...... ok I'm rambling now :oops: but what I am trying to say is that certain individual dogs can be trained not to kill livestock. LGDs are easier to train.
    Just my thoughts!! :hug:
  11. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    You can't save them all and I have learned this the hard way from animal rescue so I no longer go out of my way for animals that are impossible at our farm. If they can't get along safely they don't stay. There's always room for a good pet to stay here and we have lots of those.
  12. Jenna

    Jenna New Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Yes, I also agree with Sweet Gum minis, very good point, you can't save them all! If you feel you can't live with the dog or you couldn't trust it with your livestock ever, rehome it. Do what you think best for your family and livestock. :hug: