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German Shepherd?

Sodapop&Co.

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Lol I knew someone was going to point that out! Heidi isn't terrified of the birds, but she is wise enough to keep her distance. She knows that they hurt so she doesn't wan't anything to do with them. But she doesn't tremble at the sight of them or anything lol.
That's still fear, and what I'm saying is that if at some point something happens where for instance your dog feels cornered by a bird that she's afraid of ------ It happens in an instance. They never mean it. To preserve themselves they listen to their instincts. It just happens. Because they've been put in an unnatural situation that goes against the instincts of both species. I'm only trying to point out the flaw in your theory, that's all. Everyone gets to decide for themselves whether or not they want to gamble on this.
I've never had to make this decision for myself, yet. But I know I would at least have strict ground rules in place. I'd love to have an inside dog, but never out together in the same room would be a very strict rule. Plus closely supervised if they have access to the cages, even if it's only to keep the birds from being scared. It's an unnatural situation they're put in - stuck in their cage while a dangerous predator lurks outside.
 
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Gigibirds

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Good point! Yes, I have very strict ground rules!! And I only have 1 indoor bird, but Heidi knows her place (hint: she’s not first) and again, Heidi is not scared scared, she just knows that it is a better idea to give the bird space. And my Plet is too small to truly corner Heidi, although you raise a good point. Also they are not even in the same room together without me supervising them. But thank you for pointing that out - it is a gamble!
 

flyzipper

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I resort to math and relative size differentials whenever this topic comes up.
  • Green cheek conure - 65g
  • Severe Macaw - 450g
  • Military Macaw - 900g
  • Greyhound - 30kg
  • Me - 90kg
My Severe is 7x bigger than my GCC, and my Military is 2x bigger than my Severe (so managing even those size differences is essential), but my Greyhound is 33x bigger than my Military and a whopping 460x bigger than my GCC.

Here are those size differences relative to me...
  • 33x me = 2970kg (larger than a full grown white Rhino)
  • 460x me = 41400kg (3 or 4 full grown elephants)
... I don't care how gentle the rhino or elephants are, if I'm hanging out with them, they're going to do some damage when they accidentally or "gently" step on me.

Disclosure - I have a greyhound, and the breed is obviously designed to chase. She's a docile girl who sleeps most of the day away, and was well known to me before I added birds to the mix (observing that she didn't chase neighbour cats, or squirrels in off-leash parks, for example). That said, even though we have experienced no incidents (being conscientious about access), I probably won't be getting another dog after she passes. I've always been a dog person, but now I'm a bird person, and my flock counts on me to protect them. I know there are numerous examples of people who do it successfully, but the consequences of the risk are too dire for me.
 

Zara

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And my Plet is too small to truly corner Heidi
Another case was here on AA, a members friend went to their house and without asking, let the bird out of the cage. The dog got excited and accidently trampled the bird.
The bird I mentioned in the above quote was actually a parrotlet that got killed accidently.

Whether you´re dog is scared or not, sometimes it´s as simple as an accident.

Hey, lot´s of us have dogs, we just have to be vigilent.

I probably won't be getting another dog after she passes. I've always been a dog person, but now I'm a bird person
I feel the same way.
 

Destiny

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One of the reasons why I have an aviary for my parakeets instead of keeping birds in my house is because I also have three big dogs (and more recently a tiny doggo), as well as three cats living with me. As much as I love my dogs and cats, I would not trust them around a parrot, even if I was right there. It really only takes a moment for something to go wrong. And it is only natural for the bird to be afraid of a potential predator and for the dog to be interested in potential prey. This doesn't mean you can't keep predators and prey at the same time, but it does mean you need to fully acknowledge that is what you are doing.

The safest approach is to always have physical separation - a closed door, cage or other barrier between the two animals. Don't just assume your bird can fly out of danger in time or that your dog will remember his training. And don't assume that just because nothing has gone wrong yet, nothing ever will go wrong. If your parrot bites your friendly dog's ear, how confident are you that the dog won't bite him back? It could happen.

I'd also like to mention that I keep chickens and other poultry, so I have some firsthand experience training dogs to co-exist with birds. The chickens are kept in a fenced area to give them a safe zone, but they are able to fly and the younger or lighter birds will sometimes free range around the rest of the property along side my other animals, including the dogs. I have worked with all of my big dogs so they all understand that the chickens are off limits. I consider my dogs fairly reliable at this point. In fact, due to a gate malfunction, they once got stuck in our chicken yard for about four hours unsupervised with thirty chickens surrounding them, and nobody died. I don't usually allow them in that area unless I am there to watch them, even though they do fine with the free-ranging chickens. Dogs are very situational, so you must check and double-check before you know if the training is solid. At this point, I feel confident that even if I am not around, my dogs will not harm the chickens, which is great.

But getting to that point was not a perfect process. I lost chickens. And every time we get a new puppy, I have to start the process over and be hyper vigilant during their entire adolescence. Dogs are fast and birds are fragile. It really only takes a second for a dog to kill a bird, trust me on that. :(
 

Sylvi_

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My personal view is that it’s never worth the risk. No matter how much you trust the animal, they’re predators and our birds are naturally prey animals. Separation and vigilance is a must.

I’ve had dogs for many years, same with my two cats. My current dog is a nine month old lab mix and will happily let neighborhood ducks pass by if I ask him to leave them. But will I risk that with my own small birds, just because he is trained? Absolutely not.

It sets your dog up for failure and a slip up for a dog is almost always fatal for the bird. 100% not worth it.
 

Sparkles99

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I don't think it's worth it. There are people with dogs so highly trained they could call them while they were actively chasing a cat, bird, squirrel, etc. & they'd listen, but most people know they don't have that, if they're honest. And what about if your back is turned? You can enjoy species separately.
 

Gigibirds

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Everyone makes a good point, but I still think you can have a dog even if you have birds. Now preferably the dog would be small and not bred for hunting, and the birds would live outside in a nice big aviary, and then you would have no problems! That’s how I would like to do it!
 

Reds

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While your photos are cute, they give new members a bad idea.
Your bird in these shots is not 100% safe.
Dogs and cats are faster than we are.
Thank you, I don’t expect everyone to agree with my decisions, nor am I suggesting anyone to do what I do, I’m sorry I should have clarified that in my post. I just wanted to show that is possible to live together, and training will be an everyday thing for a life time. I personally am against keeping my animals separate because they will never know correct behavior if I don’t teach it, for instance if I never allowed my dog to be around my bird and teach him how to properly interact then if somehow my bird got out around my dogs without me knowing or around then there is a greater chance of something bad happening. Each person has their own opinions, and I greatly respect that.
 

macawpower58

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I actually 100% agree with the dogs learning about the birds, and the proper behavior to have around them.
Dogs that never see them or learn the rules, will act on instinct in an accidental meeting.
So yes, desensitization and training IMO is needed.

I just don't agree with the behavior of free mingling yours seem to be doing.
My 3 GSDs knew my birds well, but were trained to exit a room if they saw a bird out of it's cage.
A surprise escape I had while I was out, ended with no problems as the dog who was lose, followed what he'd been taught and went and slept in a bedroom. It could have ended tragically, even with training.

I and my Too, were very lucky that he was a good dog that day.
 
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AussieBird

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As a dog lover and a bird lover, i still would never allow interaction between the two. These are living creatures and you're not the one who suffers if something go wrong.
 

Gigibirds

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Thank you, I don’t expect everyone to agree with my decisions, nor am I suggesting anyone to do what I do, I’m sorry I should have clarified that in my post. I just wanted to show that is possible to live together, and training will be an everyday thing for a life time. I personally am against keeping my animals separate because they will never know correct behavior if I don’t teach it, for instance if I never allowed my dog to be around my bird and teach him how to properly interact then if somehow my bird got out around my dogs without me knowing or around then there is a greater chance of something bad happening. Each person has their own opinions, and I greatly respect that.
I completely agree with you, @Reds! It might not work for everyone, but it is possible for them to live together! I also agree about teaching a dog the correct behaviour so it knows how to act! You phrased that very well, and I 100% agree with that! :)
 

kayosa

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I actually 100% agree with the dogs learning about the birds, and the proper behavior to have around them.
Dogs that never see them or learn the rules, will act on instinct in an accidental meeting.
So yes, desensitization and training IMO is needed.

I just don't agree with the behavior of free mingling yours seem to be doing.
My 3 GSDs knew my birds well, but were trained to exit a room if they saw a bird out of it's cage.
A surprise escape I had while I was out, ended with no problems as the dog who was lose, followed what he'd been taught and went and slept in a bedroom. It could have ended tragically, even with training.

I and my Too, were very lucky that he was a good dog that day.
I Love that idea, if I ever get a dog training for leaving the room if the bird is out will be a priority.
 
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