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Gutted! Dennis Has Killed The Neigbours Chickens

Discussion in 'Hound' started by Rachel, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. Rachel

    Rachel New Member Registered

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    Hi all,

    what a traumatic day. Dennis has discovered yet another escape route out of the garden - mostly they are made by a fox using our garden as a run thru. - he knows where they are thru smell - I only discover them when I see him disappear. To cut a long story short, he escaped within minutes of being let out for a wee, but was only gone for minutes, but there was a lot of clucking and swearing before he reappeared panting heavily.

    It turns out that he has discovered a fox run along the back of the gardens which leads into the home of some chickens which unusually had been let out with their owner whilst she gardened quietly. I'm gutted to say that he dived straight in, even in front of the lady and killed one of three and maimed a second. We have chickens ourselves, although penned, which he appears to take no notice of.

    Ironically, (he had escaped the night before and I could hear foxy noises), so had JUST returned home with a new length of wire to take the fence (presently from ground to 3.5ft high within the hedge, to 5ft high - he is jumping from vertical through a privet hedge, not being able to see the other side! Too late.

    The lady with the chooks tracked me down - (he had run appr. 100 yards down the road via the fox run), and whilst she was terribly understanding, I feel absolutely devastated.

    I have now reinforced the gaps to a level I never thought I would need to - this is a thick hedge! but am just terrified of letting him out again. The escape route he has is almost an impossibility. I can 'think dog' but this isn't an ordinary dog and I can't anticipate what this one might do next - I can't let this happen again.

    He was a preloved dog who had not had the best beginning and I am still trying to work thru some of his difficulties, but I just feel like giving up. I have never had an escapologist dog before - he currently lives with five other adults who would not dream of going out of my sight.

    He has adequate exercise but would love more, but makes it difficult for himself in being very unpredicatable around other dogs - unusual for the breed, and given the chance of a fox chase v ball session/treats/ etc. opts to disappear wherever he goes - tough if you're walking multiples though he is just the same alone.

    I've got him in a crate at present. We are both licking our wounds.

    Where do I go from here?
     
  2. AndrewPocket

    AndrewPocket fatboyslim Registered

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    sorry to here about the trouble with yer dog but on a lighter note ide keep some paxo handy :thumbsup:
     
  3. eve

    eve New Member Registered

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    It sound like you may have to take him out for toileting on an extending lead for a while at least. Perhaps this will break the escaping habit.

    How long has Denis been with you for and how old is he?

    Both are factors in how long this habit may take to cure.

    I do not know how big your garden is but would it be possible to fence off a secure area that he can run about in without him having access to escape. Rescues / Preloved do improve with time but it can take up to 18 months for a dog that has a bad start to really 'turnaround'

    Good luck with Denis :luck:
     
  4. Rachel

    Rachel New Member Registered

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    Hi Eve, thank you for your optimism!! Dennis was actually in the 'secure' part of the garden - but obviously not secure enough - it's only when he escapes when I discover the breaches. Analysing it, there is probably a fox at the other side of the hedge when he leaps - even the chook lady thought he was chasing the foxes - I think on this occasion he's had a good fast run and unfortunately arrived at her garden in a pumped up state and the rest is history. I feel even worse this morning, thinking of the family and their empty chicken house and the sunshiney day the chickens won't enjoy.

    He is now just 18ms and we've had him since he was 7ms. He had clearly never been trained or socialised in any way or kept in a house - didn't even realise he had a name, but is very friendly. I consider myself a good dog manager but this one is really giving me a run for my money! We,ve cracked separation anxiety, his nil house training (not fully), basic training - though recall is still an issue. Still working on fear behaviour around other dogs, and the tendency to bully small, submissive dogs. I think his problems stem from fear, and whereas our pups look to me for reassurance, this bond is not there with him - possibly as he was neglected as a pup? Not sure if it will come or not?

    Regardless, he's obsessed with foxes and I don't think I can crack that one. A bit like what they say about securing your house against burglars - if they want to get in they will find a way - he wants to get out!

    I'm slightly considering rehoming to a hunting home - that would be his 4th home - poor boy. Any thoughts? :(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2011
  5. TillynPip

    TillynPip Active Member Registered

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    Am sorry to hear of your troubles but the first reply had me rolling around (w00t) . My whippies will chase and kill rabbits and squirrels and am sure, given half the chance, they would at the very least, chase and probably kill the chooks through sheer terror if nothing else. Regarding the escaping, three legged Tilly is our escapologist and after five years, we still can't contain her. We are fenced and chick-wired and regularly (every week), fill in the escape tunnels. She also goes over 6' fences and through dense, mature shrubs, trees etc. I don't know what else you can do to keep them in but if you find a way, can you let me know! :wacko:
     
  6. Dezmand

    Dezmand New Member Registered

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    hi racheal ive had the same problem with one of mine. bo is the escape artist in our house.never had any trouble with the other 2 but with her if you blinked she was gone i spent months trying to block every hole making fences higher she always found another way out. it got to the stage i darnt let her out. she would eventually turn up coverd in cuts and blood from sqeezing through the smallest gaps in everybodys gardens. when i finally found her on the shed roof (shed been waching the cats get up there and drop down into next doors garden ) she must have thought she would do the same. i think the break through with us was when we started to take her out and let her do what she needed to do which was go off and explore with her nose. poppy and milly have always been quiet happy chasing one another on walks or running after a ball bo on the other hand bo used to just stand and watch she had no intrest in that silly game.

    i was always worried about letting her off in woods in case she didnt come back because she never had good recall she just ignored you. it was my brother that said i had to start trusting her more. and trust in the fact that she would come back so now when we take them out she gets togo exploring in the woods on her own. i have to say she is like a diffrent dog she comes alive.when we go on the fields near us the other 2 still run round after one another or chaseing a ball and bo is left tto mooch through the trees and bushes . and yes my brother was right once she was allowed to do what she needed to do she never goes far she always comes back eventually(lol) when called

    shes even diffrent at home more relaxed and is quiet happy in the garden yes every now and again you see her looking for ways to get out but if she finds them she wouldnt go she just likes using her brain and exploring. bit long winded but hope this helps
     
  7. TillynPip

    TillynPip Active Member Registered

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    Am sorry to hear of your troubles but the first reply had me rolling around (w00t) . My whippies will chase and kill rabbits and squirrels and am sure, given half the chance, they would at the very least, chase and probably kill the chooks through sheer terror if nothing else. Regarding the escaping, three legged rescue Tilly is our escapologist and after five years, we still can't contain her - our other two whippies who we've had since pups aren't in the least bit interested in getting out and have never tried to follow her. We are fenced and chick-wired and every week, fill in the escape tunnels. She also goes over 6' fences and through dense, mature shrubs, trees etc. I don't know what else you can do to keep them in but if you find a way, can you let me know! :wacko:
     
  8. eve

    eve New Member Registered

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    Hi Rachel

    I do feel for you. My Toddy was also poorly socialized when he came to me at 7 months (over 2 years ago) and the dog from hell to live with.

    I am lucky that my garden has a 7ft wall and gate all round so at least I did not have your present problem.

    He also has fear agression with other dogs although strangely enough has improved beyond recognition since HE attacked a Weimeriner 4-5 times his body mass and came off the worst. He was very lucky that the dog just pinned him down and caused minor injury. Since then, he is wary but happy to play if the dog is friendly. A complete turnaround.

    I have found that lurecoursing has been the making of Toddy. (Not possible for everyone). He adores it and it knocks the excess stuffing out of him for a day or two.

    I had a similar problem to yours with Bella whom I have now found a wonderful home for. She had been used for hunting foxes and was completely unreliable around small or red dogs. She always had to wear a muzzle off lead and was a nightmare leading the others off on 'the hunt'. She was rehomed to a couple that live nearby who do not have a garden but walk her 5 times a day. She is their only dog and without the pack to back her up on the hunt has vastly improved off the lead. Sometimes rehoming is the best (but not the easiest) option for all concerned. I know I did the right thing for both Bella and myself but I still miss her all the time.

    You sound like you have brought Denis a long way. Sometimes a whippet rescue comes along to test even the most experienced whippet owner. Some just require more time. Toddy was the full 18 month turnaround.

    I think that hunting whippets used for 'legal' prey require the dog to have fairly good recall.

    If you do reach your wits end and want to rehome, contact Jane at Scruples Whippet Rescue. Jane is ultra experienced and they could find a suitable home for him. I do understand that it would be a 'last resort'.

    I hope that you can resolve the present issues.

    :luck:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2011
  9. jinnyfizz

    jinnyfizz Coataholic Registered

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    Hi Rachel

    Dennis is a bit of a lad, isn't he!! (w00t) I'm so sorry about the lady's chooks :(

    Scruples would be more than happy to help source the right home for him if you do decide that is the route you want to follow. We have many homes waiting who are experienced with whippets that have a high prey drive and we can make sure that Dennis goes to live in a situation where he will have all the exercise he needs along with the chance to chase a few bunnies!

    Please do let us know if you decide to consider rehoming him ....... we will help in any way we can :thumbsup:
     
  10. Rachel

    Rachel New Member Registered

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    Thank you everyone, especially Eve who has given me a bit of hope (and to Andrew for the paxo recipe)! For now Dennis stays! we have forked out another £150 on wire for inside the hedge! - probably cheaper to chop down the hedge and grow some leylandii! Ironically he has been on the very best behaviour he has ever demonstrated!

    The same cannot be said of my husband however, who loves any excuse to tell me I should just get rid of 'them'. So I think I may need to rehome him.

    Thank you for the offer Jinnyfizz - it's good to know that your organisation exists - I've watched many of its success stories since you begun, but for now he has a reprieve... the chook lady has £30 for some new ones and all is well on that front.

    Dennis is 'back to basics' on training, although he has 'watered' my sofa this morning all is eclipsed by my old nearly 15yr old (looking extremely like your Lily Eve! - (Chyton/Molvine breeding)) having just returned from an emergency pyometra operation - looking good so far, but still very very worrying.

    :unsure:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2011
  11. eve

    eve New Member Registered

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    Don't they just know when to up the anti and be on their best behaviour :devil: :ph34r: :shaun:

    Sorry to hear that your old lady is not so good. GA is hard on them at her age.

    My Lilly is Cornstalk breeding but is very small by modern standards.

    Hope the oldie is OK :luck:
     

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