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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I currently own three dogs. My dogs are pretty well behaved for the most part thanks to some recent training with a trainer.

However, due to recent circumstances, my older sister might need us to take her 5-year-old Miniature Pinscher, Milo, for a while if possible. She has a wild two-year-old little boy and she is about 6 months pregnant. Her two-year-old loves Milo with a passion. So they do not want to get rid of him. But he can be a bit of a handful and he has lots of energy. Too much energy for their apartment. My sister tries to take him for walks, but it's typically in the high 90's or low 100's and she can only be in the heat for so long before she feels sick. Her husband works almost all day and when he is home he wants to spend it with his family. My sister has mentioned that they would like Milo to come stay with us temporaily. The only issue is my chickens.

My dogs all love the chickens and we've never had a problem. But Milo is obsessed with trying to kill them. He will constantly run up and down the fence for hours trying to figure out how to get to them. About a year ago he even managed to get a hold of two of our chicks when my sister's back was turned. He didn't seem to be killing them to eat them. But rather he just had a hatred for them. He killed the first in a matter of seconds before attacking the second. After he was done, he dropped them and moved on like it was no big deal. He seemed surprised when my sister reprimanded him. As if he had no idea that was wrong.

We tried bringing a chicken out to show him what they were, but all he wanted to do was to bite it. After a long time of just holding him and the chicken, he finally calmed down. But it was almost an hour. The next time he came over we had to repeat the whole process.

Does anyone have any ideas for what we could try? I want my sister to be as stress-free as possible, and taking Milo away for a while would probably help. But I don't want to constantly be watching to make sure he isn't in the backyard killing chickens.

Any advice is helpful! Please be kind and understand that my sister and I only want what is best for the dog. I know some people might think that he is being neglected or that they are being irresponsible by wanting him to spend some time away. They love him dearly and just want him to be happy and well cared for. Not to mention the health of my sister is very important right now.

Thank you so much in advanced.
 

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This is a prey drive thing that is often hard-wired into dogs. You could spend weeks teaching him impulse control, and it could still pop up at any time. Pinschers are, after all, largely bred to kill little pests and vermin. They don't need to eat it, as soon as it stops squirming and moving, the fun is over and they are onto the next quarry.

Frankly, I think the easiest thing to do is simply keep him separate from the chickens. Throw up some lattice in a corner of your backyard and make a little pen for him, tether him to your patio, muzzle-train him (go to www.muzzleupproject.com for great instructions) or keep him indoors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a prey drive thing that is often hard-wired into dogs. You could spend weeks teaching him impulse control, and it could still pop up at any time. Pinschers are, after all, largely bred to kill little pests and vermin. They don't need to eat it, as soon as it stops squirming and moving, the fun is over and they are onto the next quarry.

Frankly, I think the easiest thing to do is simply keep him separate from the chickens. Throw up some lattice in a corner of your backyard and make a little pen for him, tether him to your patio, muzzle-train him (go to www.muzzleupproject.com for great instructions) or keep him indoors.
Thank you for taking the time to respond!

I figured it was probably something like that. I just don't want to bring him here and have him tied up or caged. But if it looks like it's our only option, That's what I'll do.

I'll have to look into the Muzzle training. Something like that might be a good option as well.
Thanks again!!
 

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Thank you for taking the time to respond!

I figured it was probably something like that. I just don't want to bring him here and have him tied up or caged. But if it looks like it's our only option, That's what I'll do.

I'll have to look into the Muzzle training. Something like that might be a good option as well.
Thanks again!!
Dogs can crate for a few hours per day, up to a max of about 6. I'm a pro dog walker with a young, active 1 year old. Think she wants to come on morning shift with me? Nah! She'd rather get some more shuteye in her crate. If I had to guess, she voluntarily naps in her crate for at least 4 hours per day. Mind you, she came to me wonderfully crate trained. You can also freeze the minpins food into Kongs (use wet food or plain yogurt to get the kibble to stick). Or buy the Wal-Mart off-brand, Sumo, for half the price. Between Kongs and crating, that's 5-6 hours away from the chickens right there.
 

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...um, I've never had to muzzle a dog, but I am guessing a muzzle dog can still kill a chicken, even just by running it down repeatedly--there is a term called 'muzzle punch', feels just like it sounds, chickens are fragile.
Here's a what a dog in a muzzle can do. (police dog in training--wearing a muzzle, practicing a 'take down')

Her dog probably doesn't hate chickens at all, probably loves them a lot, as in, fun, wow! Thrills! Chills! Lemme' at 'em fun.

Removing the visuals 'might' help. Adding a visual barrier to the coop, so her dog can't see the chickens may calm Milo down enough to end the fence running.
 

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Ahh the lively little minpin. Very efficient killers of vermin and anything they haven't been socialized with.

First question comes to mind, what does the dog eat? Many cheaper foods contain so much sugar, carbs etc and it's like jumping up a 2 year old on sugar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ahh the lively little minpin. Very efficient killers of vermin and anything they haven't been socialized with.

First question comes to mind, what does the dog eat? Many cheaper foods contain so much sugar, carbs etc and it's like jumping up a 2 year old on sugar.
That's a good question. I'm not exactly sure what they feed him. They are on a pretty strict budget though so I imagine it is some cheaper store brand food. That might be a good place to start.

I know he had a very bad reaction to some vaccinations earlier last year. He had a seizure and was unable to walk for a few days. I think they might have put him on some better food during that time. But I'm not sure. I'll have to look into that.

Do you have any suggestions of a food brand they/I could try?

Thank you so much for taking your time to respond!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dogs can crate for a few hours per day, up to a max of about 6. I'm a pro dog walker with a young, active 1 year old. Think she wants to come on morning shift with me? Nah! She'd rather get some more shuteye in her crate. If I had to guess, she voluntarily naps in her crate for at least 4 hours per day. Mind you, she came to me wonderfully crate trained. You can also freeze the minpins food into Kongs (use wet food or plain yogurt to get the kibble to stick). Or buy the Wal-Mart off-brand, Sumo, for half the price. Between Kongs and crating, that's 5-6 hours away from the chickens right there.
Thankfully he is crate trained and stays in the crate at night and when they are away. I know he would probably love the kong idea. So right there he would have some time away from them.

Thank you so much for your response!
 

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That's a good question. I'm not exactly sure what they feed him. They are on a pretty strict budget though so I imagine it is some cheaper store brand food. That might be a good place to start.

I know he had a very bad reaction to some vaccinations earlier last year. He had a seizure and was unable to walk for a few days. I think they might have put him on some better food during that time. But I'm not sure. I'll have to look into that.

Do you have any suggestions of a food brand they/I could try?

Thank you so much for taking your time to respond!
Our pin is raw fed so it's a moot point. Small dogs are not so expensive to feed, Acana or Orijen are typically good choices but I'm sure others can throw some others in as well. Low quality foods are probably the number one issue with so many dog issues.

They are your chickens, you should be the one to step up and teach the dog that they don't need to be dead, in the dogs eyes they are vermin. I'd personally do what is needed to burn off the excess energy (not wear him out) and then begin training. If the dog is brimming with excess energy, then chances are good you won't get very far.


Introduce him to the chickens on leash outside the fence, but relax. I'm not a big fan of treat training, but when he relaxes and listens to you, then give him a treat. He's probably going to lunge and act the same way, but you need to control him. Once he relaxes, then can probably introduce him directly without the fence. Mind you, I wouldn't do this on the first day. You must have full control of the dog and you must be aware of the different intensity levels. Pins can be weird, there can be a fine line between excited and red line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
...um, I've never had to muzzle a dog, but I am guessing a muzzle dog can still kill a chicken, even just by running it down repeatedly--there is a term called 'muzzle punch', feels just like it sounds, chickens are fragile.
Here's a what a dog in a muzzle can do. (police dog in training--wearing a muzzle, practicing a 'take down')

Her dog probably doesn't hate chickens at all, probably loves them a lot, as in, fun, wow! Thrills! Chills! Lemme' at 'em fun.

Removing the visuals 'might' help. Adding a visual barrier to the coop, so her dog can't see the chickens may calm Milo down enough to end the fence running.
I didn't think of that. And yes, he does seem to think its a fun game!

We could try removing the visuals. Once before he came over I gathered all the chickens and put them in the coop and locked it up to see if that would help. But of course, he could still smell them. So while he calmed down a little, he was still pretty fixed on finding a way in. But if they weren't visable for a long enough period of time, I could see that working.

Thanks so much for your response!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Our pin is raw fed so it's a moot point. Small dogs are not so expensive to feed, Acana or Orijen are typically good choices but I'm sure others can throw some others in as well. Low quality foods are probably the number one issue with so many dog issues.

They are your chickens, you should be the one to step up and teach the dog that they don't need to be dead, in the dogs eyes they are vermin. I'd personally do what is needed to burn off the excess energy (not wear him out) and then begin training. If the dog is brimming with excess energy, then chances are good you won't get very far.


Introduce him to the chickens on leash outside the fence, but relax. I'm not a big fan of treat training, but when he relaxes and listens to you, then give him a treat. He's probably going to lunge and act the same way, but you need to control him. Once he relaxes, then can probably introduce him directly without the fence. Mind you, I wouldn't do this on the first day. You must have full control of the dog and you must be aware of the different intensity levels. Pins can be weird, there can be a fine line between excited and red line.
I agree he should probably be on some better food. If he ends up staying here long term, or permanently that will probably be one of the first things I fix. We switched my dogs off of cheap store brand food and it helped so much with some of their behavior issues. Not to mention the shedding levels.

And I will most definitely be the one working with him. He is a smart dog. And he is pretty food motivated. So I could see that working.

Thank you so much for your response!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They are amazing little dogs, my favorite toy breed by far. They are smart but they can be stubborn.
They are a lot of fun! But yes smart and VERY stubborn is a good way of describing them :D
 
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