Birds are great pets, and so are dogs, but can they coexist happily?
Of course, they can! As different as the two can be, there are plenty of cases of doggos and bird-brains living together in peaceful harmony. But how do we go about this?
If you want some tips and tricks on how to make sure your pup and your bird are getting along, or want to look for some signs that you might want to keep them separated, read on! We've constructed the perfect, go-to guide for mutual bird-dog owners. Read on to better understand what makes your animals tick, what their issues could be, and how to implement a few ways to help them get along better!
Signs That your Dog and Your Bird Aren't Getting Along
As far as your doggo goes, look out for signs that your dog is crouching and stalking your bird. Your sweet pup is just that, but don't forget that dogs are animals led by predatory instincts. If you feel like your dog is spending too much time skulking around the birdcage, crouching low and watching your bird's every move, stiffening his tail, standing the hairs on his back straight up, and sending a lot of verbal cues at the bird - whining, barking, panting, etc. - it's probably not a good idea to let the two co-exist.
If you notice that your dog is drooling a lot near your bird, this is also a sign that the instinctual, predator-prey relationship is at work in your doggo's head. Keep an eye on your dog's movements, too. If you notice quick or sudden jabs or darts toward your bird or his cage, it's probably best to keep your animals away from each other.
- Jumping up
- Lips pushed forward
- Pupils dilated
- Ears up
- Intently Focusing
- Calculating Their Steps
- Hair on Back Standing Up
- Stiff Tail
- Darting and Jabbing Toward Your Bird
- Ears Pinned Back
The Historic Relationship Between Birds and Dogs
While you can train your dog to respect the bird's boundaries and not try to eat it, that doesn't mean your dog isn't subject to his natural instincts. There are always inherent dangers when combining a dog with a bird under one roof, and precautions must be taken. While you can certainly train your dog and your bird to get along, we always advise that you remember the natural order of things. Your dog, a predator, will always have an inherent instinct to hunt his prey, in this case, your bird.
The Science Behind Bird and Dog Interactions
Predators have special body parts and functions that help them with their mission - think about your dog, he has sharp teeth, claws, and can move quickly. He's a hunting machine! He is designed to feed off prey - smaller animals that are part of the predator's environment in the wild. Your dog is driven by natural impulses to kill his prey for food - and unfortunately, that prey includes your bird.
How to Train Your Dog and Bird to Coexist
Start slowly when introducing your animals and make sure they are getting used to each other bit by bit. Bring them into contact with each other ever so slightly over the first few weeks so they can get comfortable with each other.
For a while, keep your dog leashed and your bird caged, then reward them for good behavior as they learn to mingle together successfully. Make sure when they share space, it's in a neutral environment. Don't give one animal an edge over the other so that they don't feel like they have to protect each other from their territory.
Most of all, never leave the animals unsupervised together. While they might behave around you, it's important to remember their natural dynamic - either of them could easily slip back into their natural state! Never leave them alone, no matter how well they interact with each other when you're around.
How to React if Your Dog and Bird Don't Get Along
Keep them in separate areas.
Never leave them alone.
Introduce them slowly and with a lot of restraints.
Keep your dog leashed and your bird in his cage when they have to be around each other.
Any of their interactions should be in a neutral area.
Train your pup to listen when you say "no!" so that he knows to leave your bird alone.