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Dog Training: Chicken and Egg Vices
( Originally Published 1943 )
Some dogs worry chickens and kill them; some eat chicken eggs; some do both. It is difficult to reform the old dog but it can be done. The puppy really should be the pupil. Start the training in puppyhood, at the early age of about three months. Walk with the puppy amid the chickens and check roughly the least inclination to annoy chickens or touch eggs.
Put him on a long lead and walk with him into the midst of chickens. When he moves toward a chicken, pull him back sharply, talk to him roughly, and perhaps rap him on the rump. But you may come out some morning and find a chicken freshly killed. Cut the chicken into halves. Place a half before the culprit, speak roughly to him, add a few slaps; then tie it with wire tightly and closely on his collar, on the top of his neck so that he can not reach it with his mouth or paws. Leave it there for a number of days until the odor has made chicken loathsome to the dog.
Another method is to take a freshly killed fowl, place an abundance of pepper, ipecac, aloes, ammonia or other foul smelling or irritating substance on it, and leave it where the dog will find it.
In some instances, merely tieing the dog in the poultry yard day after day takes away the desire to attack chickens.
Most humans like to eat eggs and so the desire of the dog to eat them is not entirely unreasonable. Farmers usually have a problem in preventing their dogs from eating eggs. As stated previously, the best method to avoid this egg-eating habit is to have the dog as a very young puppy accompany you where there are eggs and to stop him instantly when he makes the least effort to touch an egg.
But as in most things, problems of training and conduct are impressed upon dog owners when it is too late to correct them in puppyhood. There should be severe punishment for the habit of eating eggs. Be sure that the dog is caught in the act or immediately afterwards, so that he connects the punishment with the act.
The oldest and most effective remedy is also the simplest particularly in its appeal to the psychology of the dog's mind. It is based upon the theory that "it hurts to do this-so I won't do it."
Make a small opening at both ends of an egg with an awl or other small pointed instrument. Blow out the contents of the egg, close one end with wax, then fill the egg thru the other opening with ammonia, strong pepper, syrup of ipecac or other like substance offensive to the dog. This may not prove effective against a certain dog as, for instance, some dogs actually Iike pepper.
Close the open end with wax and place one or more eggs in places where the dog has been in the habit of picking them. Remove all other eggs. Let the dog wander among the treated eggs and usually after he has eaten the first egg, he is cured of the desire to eat eggs in the future.