Just a few minutes ago I answered an email from a client. I think her email, and my response, are worth posting in full, without editing.
From: Sharon xxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 7:49 AM
To: Bryan J Pulliam
Subject: Re: Chicken Killer Dogs Contact request
Thanks Bryan. We have very good friends in Kansas. My friends all think
this no kill chickens thing is a scam. But I have my trust in it and hope
together we can proove them wrong. This does make sense to me. Everyone
thinks I should just beat her and wait for her to kill a chicken then tie it
around her neck. That is not my nature though and I just couldn’t do that!
So I will spend the next couple of days viewing the Videos, then I will
I’m hoping it won’t be as chaotic as the dogs first encounter with our pet
rabbit. The kids dropped the rabbit outside while the dog was loose. The
dog chased, the rabbit ran, the kids screamed. I ran out (shall we say, not
quite dressed) the neighbors gaulked. I’m running after the dog who was
running after the rabbit and yes….then the U.P.S. truck drove into the
driveway. I yelled (from sort of partially hidden behind a bush “Leave the
package on the porch”! Well, our rabbit now lives peacefully on our porch
and the dog goes in and out without bothering with it. Well, I hope the
chicken/dog thing gets off to a better start. I’ll keep you posted!
Hope this started your day out with a morning chuckle!
From: Bryan J Pulliam [email@example.com]
To: Sharon xxxxx [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Mon 6/20/2011 8:15 AM
RE: Chicken Killer Dogs Contact request
That is a funny story, Sharon. And there’s a signal in it that should help your friends overcome their scam fetish.
The dog no longer bothers the rabbit. Ask yourself why. The day the dog first chased the rabbit, it was because of elevated excitement. Now it leaves the rabbit alone. It no longer is visually excited when it sees the rabbit. And that is the sole, entire issue that you must solve with the chickens.
There are many ways to do this. Sometimes beating a dog works. Dogs will sometimes train out of fear. However, this type of training often backfires. Take the dog that took me 45 to 50 hours to correct. She had been beaten, and shocked with a collar, etc. What helped me finally solve her issue was to recognize during the training that her aggression wasn’t out of being a chicken killer…it was out of a fear of being exposed to chickens, because chickens meant bad things would happen to her. As soon as I saw that in her, I changed up the program by reversing a couple steps, the problem resolved very quickly, and changed my program for the better. I’m building out the video on that now, and you’ll get to hear her story sometime soon. These types of negative training can cause manias and fears to develop in a dog. Why would anyone prefer that?
The bottom line, essentially, is that anything we can do to cause the dog to understand that it needs not get excited when it sees and hears a chicken will solve the problem. We need to make the chicken boring, to be a creature it can coexist with. Many people have succeeded in doing this in a great variety of ways; yet all dogs respond differently to various training techniques, and it can therefore take a skilled trainer to find and pick the right technique for a given dog. What I’ve done is figured out a way to not train the dog, but let the dog train itself, simply by controlling is body long enough for its mind to get the message.
But even better, if we can, is to get the dog to not only ignore chickens, but to accept them into their pack, to become friends worthy of protecting. And that’s what my technique will often lead to, if it is done very well. But at the very least, it is a technique that even people without any dog training sense can do. And further, it is a technique that is kind, loving, and gives the dog the opportunity to figure out chickens on its own, rather than being beat into submission.
I have one dog, quite old now, that I handled, ever so briefly, the way your friends suggested. It is a lab mix. It killed two chickens…this, before I fully developed my understanding of my current techniques. So, in my anger and disappointment, I whipped the dog with the dead chicken, yelled, screamed, and demonstrated to the dog how unacceptable her behavior was. She got the message; she’s never bothered a chicken again. Before that incident, this dog was a lively, fun, vibrant animal. Ever since that incident, she has been submissive, with a sad look in her eye. I have never since lifted a hand to her, but I also have never been able to love her enough to bring her back to what she was. I have lived this past ten years or so with a sadness every time I look at her. I will probably cry harder when I lose her than with any other dog I’ve lost, as a final act of apology.
So, my hat is off to you in your preference to avoid the same bad advice you can find all over the internet. I hope I’ve been able to give you a better way of accomplishing the goal: make the chicken boring, and if possible, get the dog to adopt them.
P.S.: Scams are anonymous. My name and face are on this. After doing the program, and corresponding with me if you have any disappointment or lack of success with which I might help, if you aren’t able to proudly tell your friends it wasn’t a scam after all, let me give you double your money back. I have never had this technique fail for me. It would be interesting to find the first failing…and I mean within the dog, not you or me.