Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Chicken Trainer - Bob Bailey

My English Doodle, Mango, needs a bit of training. For a one-year old, things could be worse, but let's just say that her habit of shredding every bit of paper or stuffed animal that she sees along with jumping up on any guests who walk through the door doesn't make for the best dog in the world. She's made some progress since her Puppy Academy days (which she nearly flunked), but not much.

So, I started asking around for trainers and Sheila recommended Sarah Browne, a trainer who formerly worked with animals at Sea World. A trainer from Sea World? Perfect. If Sarah can handle a ton of blubber, she can handle little medium-sized Mango.

So, I called Sarah and she asked me to meet her at the local mall, which I did. The training commenced.  Sarah was so wonderful that people were stopping and asking her for her phone number. I swear Mango would have invited her out for margaritas if she could have.

During training, I casually mentioned to Sarah, "I also raise chickens. Perhaps you can come to my house and work with Mango so she doesn't chase the chickens."

Sarah looked at me with that wide-eyed trainer look and said, "Sure. But, in order to train the dogs, you also need to train the chickens."

Train the chickens? Gulp!

I asked her how exactly I was expected to do that. She said that the chickens would need to be desensitized to Mango so that they didn't fly when they saw her. "It's the flying that really makes a dog run after them," she said.

I started to count the required training time in my head. Fifteen chickens times ten hours a chicken (at least). One hundred and fifty hours? Yeah, right! Sweat started to trickle down the side of my face.

"But, I'm a working girl," I professed.

Sarah offered up the name Bob Bailey. He trains chickens to teach people how to train dogs, she said. I, of course, had never heard of Bob but Sarah assured me he's one of the top trainers in the U.S., and I trust Sarah.

So, here's a video of Bob training chickens.

Anyone have any luck with training their chicken? We'd love to hear your stories!

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