[nagdu] Dogs and Pet Birds

Nicole Torcolini ntorcolini at wavecable.com
Thu Jul 31 02:44:37 UTC 2014

I think that you are doing all of the right things. You could also see what
the dog thinks of the birds by putting them in their cages and letting the
dog walk around off leash. If the dog approaches the bird cages, monitor the
dog very closely. If the dog shows too much interest in them, redirect the
dog to something, such as calling the dog or telling the dog to go somewhere
else. You can usually train a dog to not go in a certain area as well as to
stay in one, so you could train the dog to stay on a towel or dog bed unless
called and to not go into the bird cage area. I know that this would not
keep the animals completely separated, but it would at least give the birds
a place to go if they felt unsafe. Likewise, you might want to consider
keeping some kind of crate of dog house where your dog can go into it. The
dog might not like the birds and might want to get away from them. If you
have a crate but want to keep it somewhere else, you could get one of the
cloth folding crates to have as a second crate.

Nicole and Lexia

P.S. I know some pretty funny bird stories, so email me off list if you want
to hear them.

-----Original Message-----
From: nagdu [mailto:nagdu-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Alysha via nagdu
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 2:34 PM
To: NAGDU Mailing List,the National Association of Guide Dog Users
Subject: [nagdu] Dogs and Pet Birds

OK, so I have a question that may be a little unusual. After I'd had Hammer
for about 5 years, I decided to get a pet parrot. I knew that Hammer is
pretty much the most calm, gentle dog on Earth. He has never been distracted
by small animals of any kind and has no prey drive to speak of. I took him
with me to the breeder to regularly visit my baby African grey before she
came home, and the only interest he showed to anything there was the
occasional piece of bird food on the floor. A year after I brought home
Ellie, my grey, I adopted a second bird named Rocky (a green cheek conure).
The birds live in my living/dining room area where I spend the majority of
my time at home. They spend most of their time on their cages, their hanging
bird gyms, or on me, but they will occasionally fly to the couch or other
places in the room. Hammer has been perfect with the birds and even knows he
can safely ignore Ellie when she clicks her tongue and yells "Hammer, come
here!" Both birds are flighted (their wings are not clipped) and they are
allowed out-of-cage time pretty much whenever I am home.


Now that my completely trustworthy boy is retiring at the end of this year,
I'll be bringing a new, unknown pup home. One of my biggest fears about this
is that the new dog will not be safe to have loose when the birds are out. I
wouldn't leave the dog and birds out together unattended, but the worst
could happen in a split second even if I was sitting right there. And if
they can't all manage to peacefully coexist, it will mean that all of them
will have lots of serious restrictions (less out-of-cage time for the birds
and more time on a leash, in a crate, or in another room for the dog).


My plan (as far as it goes) is to keep the new dog on leash pretty much
constantly for a couple of weeks as recommended by the school and see how he
reacts to the birds. I can offer praise and treats if he seems to ignore it
when a bird takes flight. The birds will be caged or in another room when
the dog and I are playing. Does anyone have any more suggestions? Have any
of you dealt with this before? It's scary because birds are so fragile, much
more so than cats, and can be seriously hurt or killed by a dog, even if the
dog is just playing! It's definitely something I've already brought up with
the school and will continue to discuss with them, but I'd also love to hear
any experiences or words of wisdom you guys might be able to offer.



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