Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My "stupid chicken-eating dog"-progress report.

I had a fellow remind me about my Red, the airedale that decided he liked to eat chickens.  I wrote about him being too interested in chickens here, and then about my use of a chicken necklace to try to get him to not eat chickens here

So 4 months later, where are we? 

Red is the best herding dog I've got out of the airedales.  He understands balance points and flight zones, and he's very helpful when moving pigs, cows and sheep.  He does take the occasional nip at the animals he's herding, but he follows directions and can be called off.  That's a clear win. 

He's still interested in poultry.  He's ok if he's left alone with them for an hour or two, but if he's bored or left too long with them, there's a fair chance that he'll catch one and kill it.  So I have to make sure that he's in his kennel if I'm going ot leave him at the farm for any length of time.  We have a large flock of free-ranging chickens, and they think that his dog food, in the kennel, is tasty.  So they've been jumping into his mouth, and I finally solved that by moving his feed dish into his dog house so that the chickens couldn't see it from outside the pen. 

That said, his interest in poultry is less than it was, and as he gets more sure of his role and job herding, I think it'll be better yet. 

I'm pretty stubborn with animals, and particularly with dogs.  I'll go to great lengths to work out an issue with a dog, and I make the commitment when I undertake an animal that it will be with me for life.   Red is a challenge, but it's one that seems to be resolved to both of our satisfaction now. 

Thanks to Jed, the country bumpkin, who reminded me about red in a comment he made on this post. 

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