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ktluvszoe

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Hi, I notice that some of you seem to have birds and dogs. Wondering how you manage to get peace for the two? Currently I live at home with my parents and expect to for at least the next 2 years. We used to only have my lovebird and she got lots of out of cage time, but my grandmother recently passed and we had to take in her yorkie mix. Blacky (the dog) shows a lot of aggression towards her (Lola) and vice versa. They both lunge at and stalk each other and get upset when the other gets attention. I’ve worked on training blacky (he was previously completely untrained) and taught Lola some basic commands (but she’s not very obedient). Blacky’s training has gone well for the most part but becomes very shaky when she’s out of her cage. He becomes very excitable and starts to shake and really stalk/hunt, only occasionally listening to my orders. All the while, Lola is trying to swoop down on him. He once grabbed her and had her in his mouth (called 3 vets, over a month ago, she’s fine) because she was teasing him. I was trying to separate them but he got around me.

The resulting situation has turned into very little out of cage time for Lola, because it’s not safe for her to be out unless Blacky can be caged or out of the room. It feels extremely cruel, because I love Lola, am committed to having her for the next 25 years (if she lives that long), and am not open to the idea of rehoming her. My parents are not open to the idea of rehoming Blacky because they think of him as the last part of my grandmother we have and he’s an otherwise very sweet dog. I’m grieving and under so much added stress by this situation, worrying about my poor bird’s safety, listening to the dog cry, seeing Lola get frustrated in her cage wanting to come out when she can’t, and seeing her be hormonal when she finally gets out after being caged too long.

I’m looking for some tips to facilitate them getting along. I know I can never leave them alone, but basic training (sit, stay, shhhh, no, leave it////step up, down, no, come here) isn’t working. I’ve also tried letting her fly while holding him and petting him, and she just comes over to swoop him or land on me, which triggers a response from him I’m too scared to let play out. I have a fearless bird I’ve tried to work off this video
but anything else is widely appreciated!
 

Sparkles99

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My condolences on the loss of your grandmother. :sorrow:

If your home contains 3+ rooms/hallways, then divide the house between the bird and the dog, with the third section being a neutral, just in case someone escapes, in between area. There is no need to rehome anyone. Consider a sign that can be flipped on the entrance to the bird area, letting people know she's out. If it's open concept, add some walls/doors.
 

Zara

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I´m very sorry for your loss.

I can understand your family wanting to hang on to Blacky. And I understand your frustration of having Lola caged more than usual.

Working out a rota where Lola gets to come out and Blacky has to stay out of the room is a good idea. Set up a wooden board along the bottom of the door, should someone open it by accident Blacky won´t be able to squeeze past them and enter. Perhaps a curtain on a tension rod also, just as extra security.

I babysit a little Yorkie dog, she weighs all of 2 kilos, super tiny but I just do not trust her around my birds at all, meaning she would be closed out while my birds flew, and my birds caged while she was in the room. The thought of them being in the same room and the bird uncaged frightens me, I don´t trust it at all.
Before that I had my 35kilo Chow chow, and he wanted to be around my birds just as much as I wanted him to, he was much happier sleeping in peace out in the hallway or in my bedroom while I let my birds out for a fly. If one of my birds ever slipped past me and escaped their cage when I was changing food or water, he would look at me and not move until I got the bird in their cage, but if the bird started flying, he would get up and go wait by the door to be let out.

I think your safest option is complete separation at all times.
 

ktluvszoe

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Thank you @Zara and @Sparkles99 this is great advice! I had totally forgotten about the use of doggie/baby gates and other props to help separate them. Recently I was thinking about starting to muzzle train him, so if he was incapable of hurting her (with his mouth anyway). The sign is a great idea!

I guess I really just wanted them to get along well enough to coexist, because they’re both sooo utterly needy and whine and cry//yell to be with me all day and Blacky causes such a fuss when he’s caged/locked out of a room and he knows she’s out. But I suppose I don’t necessarily ever need to make them get along if it isn’t safe for them, my mom works from home too, and while Blacky seems to prefer me, I can see if I can force a switch. One of the problems might be territory, that I’m the dog’s favorite and the bird’s favorite.

Usually, they both spend all day napping in my home office, him in his bed, her in her cage. Occasionally, if I don’t have to be on camera, I’ll kick him out so she can fly 1-2 hours, aside from the time she gets every morning when we wake up and potentially at night during shower time. He becomes hysterical at my door which makes it hard for anyone to work, so it doesn’t last that long, but if has gotten better over time. She sleeps in my room & he sleeps in my parents. The bathroom is her established safe zone. The hallway and communal areas like kitchen and living room is where we run into problems. Lola loves it there, because they’re much bigger flying zones and have high “perches” to land on plus bigger windows, but this is also where the co-aggression happens.

I’ll have to see if I limit him to other zones while she’s out there or if I just cut her off from those places entirely and give her more time in the other spaces. I imagine just putting a doggy gate out across the hallway to separate it and the rooms from the communal areas won’t be enough, because while he can’t come to the kitchen/living room, she can still fly into his zone. Thank you for your great advice.

p.s. @Zara I don’t blame you about yorkies! They seem to be super into small prey. Also, the same grandmother had a chow-chow when I was a kid. Super tough to train and nasty bite! So cute though. I named her Chi Chi the Chow Chow
 

Zara

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I was thinking about starting to muzzle train him, so if he was incapable of hurting her
I don´t think that would work. So it´s not worth putting poor Blacky through the ordeal of being muzzled.
Recently a lorikeet I have babysat was killed by a dog, a small dog who saw an opportunity when the bird escaped the cage and she jumped on him. Something a dog can do even if muzzled.

Usually, they both spend all day napping in my home office, him in his bed, her in her cage. Occasionally, if I don’t have to be on camera, I’ll kick him out so she can fly 1-2 hours, aside from the time she gets every morning when we wake up and potentially at night during shower time. He becomes hysterical at my door which makes it hard for anyone to work, so it doesn’t last that long, but if has gotten better over time. She sleeps in my room & he sleeps in my parents. The bathroom is her established safe zone. The hallway and communal areas like kitchen and living room is where we run into problems. Lola loves it there, because they’re much bigger flying zones and have high “perches” to land on plus bigger windows, but this is also where the co-aggression happens.
It sounds like you are doing well at working out a system that works for you and both Lola and Blacky, it can take a while to figure out as you sort through the kinks in time.
Perhaps Blacky is grieving his prev. owner too, maybe feeling a little sad and wanting more snuggles from people.

I imagine just putting a doggy gate out across the hallway to separate it and the rooms from the communal areas won’t be enough, because while he can’t come to the kitchen/living room, she can still fly into his zone.
Coupling the curtain can really help, it´s not 100% safe as Lola can grab on to the curtain and then get around it, but it buys you time to get over there. If you use a tension rod, you don´t need to drill any holes and you can take it down at the end of the night or if you have guests over.

I don’t blame you about yorkies! They seem to be super into small prey.
I was quite shocked when I first brought her into my home and she circled the cages. I felt awful thinking how are we gonna make it work. Luckily my birds couldn´t give a hoot about her being around them but I worried about it a lot. Luckily she stopped on the second day. Not that I would have trusted her around my birds anyway, but that really did concrete it in my mind.
 

Shezbug

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I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother.

My dog who’s over 50kg used to squeak and cry and try to push the door open when I locked her in another room or out of the room I was in with Burt- she wasn’t wanting to get at him (although I have no doubt she try to love him up if she got the chance- she’s no hunter at all lol) she wanted to be with me, she learned over time that she would get a treat if she cooperated leaving and then she’d get another when I was ready to open the house up again. She looks forward to being locked up or locked out now lol.

Even though she has no prey drive I still won’t let dog and birds be free in the same area as it’s just not safe for the birds.
 

fluffypoptarts

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We do absolute separation in our house, and a locked door between birds and dogs. Your lovie and the dog will never get along - he’ll just kill her at some point if you’re not careful. Also, she was there first, so the dog is just going to have to choose another favorite person! Please keep her safe. :)
 

ktluvszoe

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I don´t think that would work. So it´s not worth putting poor Blacky through the ordeal of being muzzled.
Recently a lorikeet I have babysat was killed by a dog, a small dog who saw an opportunity when the bird escaped the cage and she jumped on him. Something a dog can do even if muzzled.

wow thank you for sharing this, major eye opener. Definitely going to focus more on separation.
 

ktluvszoe

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I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your grandmother.

My dog who’s over 50kg used to squeak and cry and try to push the door open when I locked her in another room or out of the room I was in with Burt- she wasn’t wanting to get at him (although I have no doubt she try to love him up if she got the chance- she’s no hunter at all lol) she wanted to be with me, she learned over time that she would get a treat if she cooperated leaving and then she’d get another when I was ready to open the house up again. She looks forward to being locked up or locked out now lol.

Even though she has no prey drive I still won’t let dog and birds be free in the same area as it’s just not safe for the birds.
I think this would really work for Blacky!! I was already trying something like this and getting pretty good results. I was working on getting him to reduce his barking and desensitizing him to her presence by giving him treats through his cage bars for good, quiet behavior, obedience tricks, & ignoring her while she was out. I noticed it really works for him first 30 minutes or so, no more barking and begging, but visual tracking continues. I put a towel across the top of the cage and most of the sides so Lola can’t land on it and get bitten/sucked in, and I only have to keep an eye on the one side. After 30 minutes, my success starts breaking down, and he tries to get out.

I think given this, continuing the treat process but putting him in a whole other room will work great!! When you do this, does someone stay in the room with your dog to dispense treats and supervise? Im a little wary to lock blacky in a room unsupervised, as when we adopted him just a couple months ago, he wasn’t even potty trained (despite being 8 years old). He still has accidents.
 

ktluvszoe

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We do absolute separation in our house, and a locked door between birds and dogs. Your lovie and the dog will never get along - he’ll just kill her at some point if you’re not careful. Also, she was there first, so the dog is just going to have to choose another favorite person! Please keep her safe. :)
:( sad to even think that! But 100% my priority and loyalty is always to my lovebird who was here first. Thanks!
 

Shezbug

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I think this would really work for Blacky!! I was already trying something like this and getting pretty good results. I was working on getting him to reduce his barking and desensitizing him to her presence by giving him treats through his cage bars for good, quiet behavior, obedience tricks, & ignoring her while she was out. I noticed it really works for him first 30 minutes or so, no more barking and begging, but visual tracking continues. I put a towel across the top of the cage and most of the sides so Lola can’t land on it and get bitten/sucked in, and I only have to keep an eye on the one side. After 30 minutes, my success starts breaking down, and he tries to get out.

I think given this, continuing the treat process but putting him in a whole other room will work great!! When you do this, does someone stay in the room with your dog to dispense treats and supervise? Im a little wary to lock blacky in a room unsupervised, as when we adopted him just a couple months ago, he wasn’t even potty trained (despite being 8 years old). He still has accidents.
No, she has learned to be alone in a room or alone outside and be calm, she spent the first three years of her life basically glued to someone and she only ever had to go outside a few times a day for a few minutes at a time (for toilet and drink) but now she usually spends most of the day light hours outside mostly by herself.
Im not sure what your home is like but everywhere I’ve lived the bathroom and laundry (obviously with cleaners put away) were always fairly safe to leave a pet who might dirty the floor.
 
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