Updated: Feb 5
When the pups become confident on a leash, we use the chicken coop as our destination, and the pups learn about chickens too. There are also pigeons flying overhead!
We move the pups around the ranch on a leash frequently and visit the chickens several times before they leave me. It doesn’t take the pups long to figure out the birds.
Note: The introduction of pups to chickens is a training area that many owners struggle with; in their effort to teach the pup to be calm around chickens, the pup is “cautioned.” This is a mistake! What the pup hears is: chicken=bad because just before the chicken came along, his owner was happy with him, and life was a fun adventure.
When you watch the video below, watch Krysta closely; she is a master at work. She is calm and adds none of her own energy when her pups get springy. Instead, she physically and gently limits the movement of her pups, placing a steady hand on them from time to time. She does not speak until her pups give her the briefest of the behavior she is looking for. When they do, she is quick with her praise, all the while communicating calmly to her pups and her confidence in them. In this way, the pups learn what behaviors are appropriate around chickens.
Training should never convey stress to the pups; fear impedes learning.