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"leave It" When It Really Matters.


Guest Wasserbuffel
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Guest Wasserbuffel

The other day i had a horrifying incident that turned out well.

 

One of my chickens got out while the dog was in the yard. (It was completely my dumb fault, I was dumping the water dish out the coop door and Tatsu bolted). Jayne was on her in an instant and chased her around the coop and run area once. I shouted "No, LEAVE IT" and much to my relief, she did. I was at least 15 feet from her and Tatsu with the run fence between us, but she stopped chasing the still squawking bird and came over near me. She didn't come to me, but she walked to where I could put myself between her and Tatsu. I did and said leave it again because she was still eyeing Tatsu. Jayne looked at me like she thought I was going to beat her and sat while I approached. Once I had hold of her collar I praised her and said "Let's go inside" (easily her favorite phrase)in a cheery voice and she bolted right up and headed for the door.

 

Once Jayne was inside, I caught Tatsu and looked her over. Other than being a bit freaked out, she was fine. A handful of sunflower seeds got her calmed down quickly.

 

Usually when I'm out working in the coop while the dog is in the yard it is in the evening and the chickens are roosting, so they don't try for the door, my mistake was that this time it was morning and they wanted outside. I usually let Jayne poke her head in and look around, so she can see and smell her feathered siblings. We've also worked on up-close meetings with the birds so she could sniff them and learn what they are and that they are not for eating. I've had her leashed in the yard while the birds wandered around us so she could learn that she's not allowed to chase them.

 

I'm very lucky Jayne listened in the heat of the moment. It was an act of iron self-control on her part to back off from something so stimulating to all her instincts. I will be much more careful in the future so, hopefully, nothing like this happens again. Plus, I'm going to keep on with the up-close introductions so that in the future a chicken or duck outside the fence of their run is just as un-interesting as one inside their run; she doesn't even look at the birds in their run, even when the rooster crows.

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That's awesome! It's so gratifying when our pups respond to our training when it counts, right? And to think, I was really excited when yesterday Zuri picked up a chicken bone on our walk and when I told him "give" he literally spit it out (it went flying :lol). If Jayne heard that, I'm sure she would call child's play. :lol

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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  • 3 weeks later...

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