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So my dog ate a little nestling bird today

ktluvszoe

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Wanted to talk to my bird people about this traumatic experience, as I’m sobbing hysterically and my family doesn’t get it.

We caught my little dog eating something today, assumed it was grass and then realized it was a baby bird. I myself pried it from his mouth in a desperate attempt to save it but it was really young and looked absolutely terrible. My dad assumed it was dead and threw it away. He didn’t even try to save it. The dog was yelling and biting me the whole time as we did it.

The reason I’m crying hysterically is that this dog has already caught and attempted to eat my bird once & I saved her. Since then I’ve held a lot of hate for him (and also love) and been distrustful of him. He came in sort of as rescue, as we inherited him after my grandmother’s passing. At the time we got him, Lola (my bird) was the only pet in the house. Up until then, she had free range of the house & flew for 2-6 hours a day. Now she’s reduced to flying only in the bathroom or my room, and gets 30 mins-3 hrs a day because my parents make such a fuss about locking him up in their room or his cage. I was really hopeful they would eventually reach some sort of camaraderie and she would be able to be out at the same time as him, while supervised 100% of the time. I see now that this is never going to be possible and he is not to be trusted. I’ve been dying to give him away, to my grandmother’s other son perhaps, as his stay with us was only ever supposed to be temporary and he has another small dog. He’s now been here a few weeks short of a year and my family says if it’s such a problem, the bird goes. I’d never get rid of my bird, I choose her and made a commitment to raise her for the next 25 years. I’ve been hoping to get her a friend but refraining because of the danger the dog poses and the lack of free flight time that is a direct result of his presence.

I’m sobbing and being told to “stop it already,” “he’s just a dog,” “it’s his instinct.” Just needed to talk to some people who would also cry about a dead bird.
 

April

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That's horribly traumatic I'm so sorry that you had to experience that. I'd definitely agree that he's a huge danger to your bird. I wonder if it would be possible to make an alternative schedule with him that your parents would be willing to abide by. Like say Monday,Weds,Fri your bird gets the most out of cage time and then the alternative days your dog is able to have more free run and maybe Sundays yall split the time half and half or whatever days would work.
Maybe if possible(not sure your age or ability to drive) you could take your pup to a dog park or normal park for some exercise to help burn off some energy and see if that helps your family be more willing to have him crated since he'd still be getting exercise and stimulation vs just being in the house or yard.
 

Shezbug

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The dog knows no better than what it was taught and if it wasn’t taught as a young pup that birds are off limits then he doesn’t know he’s doing wrong… it’s what would happen in nature.
I have a dog who loves everything and her only kill was accidental while she was trying to snuggle with the poor little animal, I’d still never allow her in the same room as my uncaged birds. I use my bedroom to let the birds fly as I can close the door to the room and not cause anyone else issues, I hang out in my room a fair bit since my mum let the dog in and nearly let Burt out more than once by leaving the outside door open while Burt was in the room- safest to stay in my room where no one but me needs to have access to thdoor.
You know you can’t trust that dog ever with your bird- that’s a much better position to be in than thinking they might be ok supervised in the same room as each other- this is where many end up finding out the hard way that they actually can’t trust their dog.

I am really sorry you witnessed what you did, I’m even more sorry your family don’t seem to understand that your feelings are a valid as theirs. When sharing a home with family, friends, others there will always be compromises we all need to make for comfort and safety, easier to focus on what you can do than what you can’t.
 

ktluvszoe

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@April thank you for understanding! The schedule actually sounds like a great idea and I think I’ll try it out.

Unfortunately, I don’t think he would do well at a dog park as he’s really aggressive with other dogs and has almost bitten them in the past. He’s estimated to be over 8 years old so I don’t think we can fix major behavior issues like that.
 

ktluvszoe

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[QUOTE="Shezbug, post: 3685869, member: 26516You know you can’t trust that dog ever with your bird- that’s a much better position to be in than thinking they might be ok supervised in the same room as each other- this is where many end up finding out the hard way that they actually can’t trust their dog.
[/QUOTE]

Honestly, you’re so right about this!!! Thank you for helping me find a positive in this really shizzty experience. I’m so sad that a poor little bird lost its life but it could’ve been my bird. Now I definitely know better.

I pretty much do the same thing with my bird in my room, but I wish she had more space to fly in like she deserves.

Thank you so much for understanding why this was such a huge deal for me❤
 
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fluffypoptarts

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I’m sorry that you went through that and that your family is so lacking in compassion and empathy. :( Please make sure to keep closed (and locked) doors between your lovie and the dog.
 

Kelpie067

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I’m really sorry you had to go through something so traumatic, and that your family doesn’t seem to understand. To some people, animals are just animals but to people like us they mean so much more, even wild animals. It can be hard but at least there are communities like this one to help!
 

fashionfobie

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I am so sorry this happened. My thoughts are with you. Although your dog didn't do it intentionally it is indeed traumatic.
 

SumitaSinh

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Wanted to talk to my bird people about this traumatic experience, as I’m sobbing hysterically and my family doesn’t get it.

We caught my little dog eating something today, assumed it was grass and then realized it was a baby bird. I myself pried it from his mouth in a desperate attempt to save it but it was really young and looked absolutely terrible. My dad assumed it was dead and threw it away. He didn’t even try to save it. The dog was yelling and biting me the whole time as we did it.

The reason I’m crying hysterically is that this dog has already caught and attempted to eat my bird once & I saved her. Since then I’ve held a lot of hate for him (and also love) and been distrustful of him. He came in sort of as rescue, as we inherited him after my grandmother’s passing. At the time we got him, Lola (my bird) was the only pet in the house. Up until then, she had free range of the house & flew for 2-6 hours a day. Now she’s reduced to flying only in the bathroom or my room, and gets 30 mins-3 hrs a day because my parents make such a fuss about locking him up in their room or his cage. I was really hopeful they would eventually reach some sort of camaraderie and she would be able to be out at the same time as him, while supervised 100% of the time. I see now that this is never going to be possible and he is not to be trusted. I’ve been dying to give him away, to my grandmother’s other son perhaps, as his stay with us was only ever supposed to be temporary and he has another small dog. He’s now been here a few weeks short of a year and my family says if it’s such a problem, the bird goes. I’d never get rid of my bird, I choose her and made a commitment to raise her for the next 25 years. I’ve been hoping to get her a friend but refraining because of the danger the dog poses and the lack of free flight time that is a direct result of his presence.

I’m sobbing and being told to “stop it already,” “he’s just a dog,” “it’s his instinct.” Just needed to talk to some people who would also cry about a dead bird.
I can understand your pain, dear, but we can't fight against the nature. You can use a safe schedule already mentioned by experienced people here. Also, dogs are very intelligent. If you just explain that your bird is off limit and use positive reinforcement, may a situation will improve. Please don't be upset, a peaceful cohabitation is possible. Lots of love.
 

Icey

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So sorry you had this experience.
It's a shame your parents aren't more willing to work out a compromise that benefits everyone. If they had the dog first, I could understand their reluctance to keep the dog caged when your bird is out, but as you stated that you had your bird first, they should try to accomodate you somewhat.
 

ktluvszoe

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I can understand your pain, dear, but we can't fight against the nature. You can use a safe schedule already mentioned by experienced people here. Also, dogs are very intelligent. If you just explain that your bird is off limit and use positive reinforcement, may a situation will improve. Please don't be upset, a peaceful cohabitation is possible. Lots of love.
Thank you❤
I would appreciate any tips if you have them! I was trying to train the dog to be around her for a time, when he first came, by doing obedience training with her while he was in the crate watching us and giving him treats when he was calm and quiet & vice versa. I moved onto having them out at the same and was giving him treats for staying with me instead of following her, but stopped because she taunts him and flies low to get at him and that’s how he caught her. I made the mistake of trying to get between them and catch the bird instead of the dog (which would have been much easier) and he caught her instead. Now I give him treats before crating him away from us and after he comes out. He’s usually very willing and happy about it but won’t tolerate being in there long. Additionally, if she ever escapes around him, I know to catch him instead of her.
 

ktluvszoe

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So sorry you had this experience.
It's a shame your parents aren't more willing to work out a compromise that benefits everyone. If they had the dog first, I could understand their reluctance to keep the dog caged when your bird is out, but as you stated that you had your bird first, they should try to accomodate you somewhat.
Exactly! I think it’s because they’re slightly afraid of the bird as she’s bitten them several times, but that’s just a matter of getting comfortable around each other. They’re not willing to get to that point though, because there’s lots of biting along the way.
 

Fergus Mom

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Awww - I'm sorry, and yes, I would have cried too!

You know you can’t trust that dog ever with your bird- that’s a much better position to be in than thinking they might be ok supervised in the same room as each other- this is where many end up finding out the hard way that they actually can’t trust their dog.

I am really sorry you witnessed what you did, I’m even more sorry your family don’t seem to understand that your feelings are a valid as theirs. When sharing a home with family, friends, others there will always be compromises we all need to make for comfort and safety, easier to focus on what you can do than what you can’t.
Such wise words - and I agree 100 %! Especially with realizing that they cannot be in the same room no matter what!
 

fluffypoptarts

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Thank you❤
I would appreciate any tips if you have them! I was trying to train the dog to be around her for a time, when he first came, by doing obedience training with her while he was in the crate watching us and giving him treats when he was calm and quiet & vice versa. I moved onto having them out at the same and was giving him treats for staying with me instead of following her, but stopped because she taunts him and flies low to get at him and that’s how he caught her. I made the mistake of trying to get between them and catch the bird instead of the dog (which would have been much easier) and he caught her instead. Now I give him treats before crating him away from us and after he comes out. He’s usually very willing and happy about it but won’t tolerate being in there long. Additionally, if she ever escapes around him, I know to catch him instead of her.
It’s way too risky to try to have them in the same room. No amount of training will be enough or make it safe - dogs may be smart but not smart enough (nor are they smart in the right way), and they have prey drive and are much bigger than birds. Plus lovebirds are very brassy and will endanger themselves with no regard or how small and helpless they really are. Better to avoid that scenario all together.
 

Sparkles99

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I agree that no training or training method will erase this. Also something to remember is that a dog that’s dog aggressive is more likely to be aggressive with other species & this dog has proven to be actually violent with both dogs & birds.

Positive reinforcement will not override a dog’s drive to hunt, which is far more psychologically & physically rewarding than treats & praise.

Separation is the only solution.

I’m sorry you witnessed this. IME, most dog people seem to view other animals as less worthy. They talk like that in front of me until they realize I have other, dearly loved animals.

They talk about the many amazing things dogs can do, like guide the blind, even if their dog won’t even sit for a biscuit, & they act like other animals are worthless.

These people have acquired the arrogance that is all to often that of adults. Ignore them. Your attitude is wise. They are too busy thinking they have forgotten to feel.
 

rocky'smom

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Just my 2 cents here: your bird was there first correct? The dog has prove time and again that it isn't trustworthy of being around birds any size shape or form. The dog's prey drive is super high and there is no amount of training that you or anyone else can do to stop it.
My thinking is this crate time for the dog so bird can be out for short periods. Make sure where bird is living there is a tightly closed door that cannot be opened by the dog. (We have dogs at the farm that can open every door that have L style handles on the doors.) Try to set up a agreement with your parents that it's unfair for the bird to be locked up all the time. That maybe they could walk the dog for a set amount of time so bird can have some freedom
 

ktluvszoe

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I’m sorry you witnessed this. IME, most dog people seem to view other animals as less worthy. They talk like that in front of me until they realize I have other, dearly loved animals.

They talk about the many amazing things dogs can do, like guide the blind, even if their dog won’t even sit for a biscuit, & they act like other animals are worthless.

These people have acquired the arrogance that is all to often that of adults. Ignore them. Your attitude is wise. They are too busy thinking they have forgotten to feel.
I agree!! Most people I talk to think of birds as lesser, some kind of decor, and not a living, breathing thing capable of affection and bonding, able to do tricks, and having needs. My friends and family look at me like I’m crazy because I’m always like “I have to get home to the bird, she’s been in the cage and/or alone for too long” or “it’s almost her bed time,” not realizing that they would never neglect a dog the way they expect me to neglect my bird. It’s always “it’s just a bird.”
 
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