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Thread: Dogs and birds?

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    Egg's Cracking...
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    Dogs and birds?

    Hi!!! I'm not sure where to post this, but here goes: I got my first dog! He's a 3yr old Maltese cross, we adopted him from the RSPCA (a rescue organization in Australia.)
    As you might already know, I have 3 birds: a cockatiel and 2 budgies. At first (about a week ago) they completely flipped out when they saw him. Flapped around in their cages, screeching etc. The dog (Frankie) is not aggressive at all- He sort of looked at them and sniffed the air, then pretty much ignored them. The birds are much better today- Frank's asleep on my floor now and the birds are just eating and whistling and going about their business fine.

    So my question is; what are other people's experiences with birds and dogs? Will it ever be ok to have a bird on my shoulder while the dog is in the room? Missy seems keen to come out right now and I'd let her, but I'm not 100% sure if it's ok? I'd never leave them unsupervised together obviously. I'm not really even aiming for them to be friends, I'd just like the birds to be able to feel comfortable with the dog being around- I don't want them feeling terrified and upset about it, especially since I really don't think he'd harm them.

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    Hormonal
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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    we have five dogs here
    the only i dont trust at all is the sighthound
    he totally ignores them in the cages but he will go for them if theyre flying around so we always take him outside or take the birds to another room
    we have cats too and although they dont stalk the birds they will also jump at a flying bird (ours are clipped so they cant really get away if need be)

    the other four dogs have no interest in the birds and are very obedient ...can be called off instantly if a bird is on the floor
    but we never ever leave birds free and unsupervised
    in cages theyre not bothered by the dogs ..we got all of our birds as handreared babies and they show no fear of dogs or cats
    sometimes the sighthound will nose around for food scraps in the big birds cage and the eclectus will go for him...

    we are ever vigilant but it is usually fine...life with dogs and cats and birds can be surprisingly harmonious and easy if care is taken

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    Egg's Cracking...
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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Thanks! It's great to know it can be done! We have rabbits and fish too, so hoping we can all be one big happy family!
    None of my birds are clipped at the moment- I'm thinking I'll leave it that way for a while since they're cages never go anywhere near outside, and that way if it were ever necessary they'd have the option of flying away from the dog. He is a really obedient dog though, I can't imagine it being an issue.

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    I have five dogs as well, including a sighthound as well and I trust them all. Trust being a relative word. I would never, ever trust them unsupervised. But, if I am in the room, I have no issue having Quinn out at the same time as the dogs.

    If a bird hits the ground, down goes the hound. Simple training.

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    I am glad you posted this! Since I just got a puppy, we are trying to get them used to each other so that MAYBE eventually they can be out at the same time. It gives me hope though! So far, I don't trust the puppy well enough, mostly because he is a puppy...but I think he is going to be a really good/obedient dog.

    I would love to hear any suggestions people have on how to acclimate them to each other. So far, we get them each out while the other is "kennelled" and they pay very little attention to what the other is doing (good news in my mind). Today we kept the pup on a leash while Darwin was out, but the pup did not enjoy that too much.

    At what stage do you finally realize you have to just try it while they are both out? And even though they are supervised, I don't trust the rsik that Darwin (or the puppy really) could get hurt if something occurs.

    Ugh...sorry for the mini-rant...but this is something I have been stressing over as well. I feel like I am constantly busy with one of them and switching up who has playtime, which gives me little time to do anything else! There is only so much mamma-bird to go around.

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    Egg's Cracking...
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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Thanks for the replies!
    Barb, that's exactly how I feel! I have 8 pets and only one of me, it takes up the whole day to give each the attention they need. It'd be easier if I could multitask and do 2 species at once! I'm not sure either when that point is, of just trying it. I guess when we feel we can trust our dogs enough?

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    I have cats, and a dog, and bird. My bird for the most part ignores the animals when they are around/walking by her cage. However, I refuse to allow my cats or dog in the same room when I have my bird out. I keep my bird in my bedroom which is a large room so it is easy for me to kick the mammals out and let the bird roam free and give her treats and flying time. My motto is better safe than sorry...I don't want to go through the pain of losing my bird to my cats or dog.

    ~Heather~
    "If they give you ruled paper, write the other way." - Juan Ramón Jiménez

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    My experience is that dogs who are bred to be hunting companions i.e. hounds, retrievers, etc, don't do as well around birds as other breeds. There's no way to predict how your dog will act towards a bird, but like RoughCollies said, some simply training should take care of it.
    I can train a dog to be a bird lover too!

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    I tried it with Missy today, since she's probably the most assertive and willing of my birds. I did it after Frankie had been for a walk, so he was tired and relaxed. Mis was on my shoulder, so there was no way he could reach her. They were both fine. He looked at her, looked at me, and sat. About a minute later, he got up and moved across the room, away from me and the bird. Then he left the room. I think she's pretty good at claiming her space, always has been with the rabbits and other birds too. They don't mess with her lol.

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Before you let your bird and dog in the same room you usually want to make sure the dog will obey your command for ANY reason if you say "Sit" or "down" or whatever you want to use.

    Best way to test this is take your dogs favorite food and when your dog no longer lunges after it and will wait until YOU say it is ok, then they are probably obedient. Then work it with a leash and the bird.

    Last thing you want is a dog that gets over excited and ignores commands due to it - like puppies often will. If the bird does something to catch the dogs eye, the dog HAS to obey sit without even thinking about it, or the bird is in danger.

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Just a follow up note on this for other bird and dog owners..
    I had Missy out with Frankie in the room several more times. He's not aggressive at all, and he completely ignores her- BUT we did have a slight incident.
    Something frightened Mis (no idea what) and she flew across the room, before landing on the floor. Frankie, who never chases anything and always obeys me, was asleep at the time, but woke up with a start and suddenly kicked into some kind of prey drive- and he did chase her. She's fine, thank God- he didn't bite her, but he did grab her tail for a second before letting her go.
    My point is (kinda answering my own original question here!) It's not always a matter of aggression- I don't think my dog would ever intentionally hurt my birds, but he could have accidentally injured or killed her, and it was a very scary moment. So I'm going to keep them separate from now on. Better safe than sorry!

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Oh sorry to hear you guys had an incident, but at least it turned out ok. What you wrote is exactly why we haven't tried it yet at our house, since my dog is still a pretty young pup (5 months) I don't think he will be out of that chasing thing. He also ignores my bird if he is just sitting there, but when Darwin goes flying, Huxley (my dog) wants to chase him. I think he actually wants to play with him, because he will sit there and "talk" to the bird to try to get him to play back, but of course he is so much bigger than my bird that he would hurt him. Darwin on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the puppy...no curiosity at all. haha

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    I'm glad it worked out ok.
    i was going to add that you can never, ever be 100% sure as animals arent 100% predictable. 99 times out of 100 i would trust my beagleman. But the 100th time he couldnt find his favourite toy and Sammy decided to mimic it from in the cage. Dog went up, bird freaked, both got told off lol if he had been out his cage- eek

    Funny thing is i did trust Rolo (dog) with my last bird- but that was very much on Spark's personality. She was calm, didnt take off suddenly making squeaky toy noises, and would happily settle on my shoulder or hand for hours- if something scared her she ducked and hid in my hands, or behind me. She also knew recall without fault, and would stop and freeze if i told her too.

    Sammy on the other hand doesnt do recall everytime, does take off swooping down low, does go off zipping about without warning, and does make noises like a squeaky toy. They arent even allowed out in the same room unless someone has a firm hold on the dog. I'll move Sammy from one cage to another, but that's it. Anything else would be too tempting in my mind.


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Well, I think it depends on the dog tbh. I currently have a dalmatian who when he first saw my budgie in her cage sniffed it, but then walked away (then again, he is a wimp. a puppy bit him on the nose once!). However, my aunt used to have some birds, and one escaped whilst a dog was out and the dog tried to catch the bird, and the bird died not long after from fright. :/

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    Re: Dogs and birds?

    Something to keep in mind when you have dogs or cats with birds... the other animals may be very friendly and trustworthy (under supervision), but birds can get stressed out just with the presence of cats and dogs (even small ones). The vet we send our fosters to has stories of birds becoming pluckers because they would get stressed out from the family dog or cat, even though the birds would be in their cages and the other animal didn't pose any REAL threat.

    I have heard just one too many horror stories of people's birds and the other family pets... even with constant supervision, not everyone is faster than a dog or cat. In a split second a cat can pounce, scratch, and bite a bird. A dog can end up stepping or laying on a bird walking on the floor.

    Not knocking people who own other pets besides birds, just giving food for thought... I'm just thankful neither my bf or I like anything other than fish and birds.

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