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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We just got a new addition to the home (a bird). I have a chihuahua mix and she of course is very interested in the new addition, which is fine. Unfortunately, I am beginning to have a problem with her trying to attack the bird in its cage. She also sits and runs back and forth by the cage and whines a lot. We have scolded her and she responds on occassion but more often than not she is jumping @ the cage and snapping at the bird. I doubt that she could get through the cage and hurt her but could scare the poor thing to death or knock the birds cage over and could be injured that way as well. Please please!! anyone have any tips on how to control this problem so we all can live in harmony!
 

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What you want to teach her is that the bird belongs to you.....don't go near the bird....don't even look at the bird. You do that by staking your claim to everything in the area of the bird. When she goes toward the cage, you step between her and the cage...declaring that this is your territory.
Here's the important move.....she must back away. That shows that she understands she is not allowed in that area. No need to yell, scold or threaten. Use your body language to say MINE!....use a hard look, a slightly intimidating body lean towards her, a half step towards her, a hand held out like a stop sign....she should back off.

You have to be consistent with this. You can't allow her into the area sometimes and sometimes not. She can never be over there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you very much. We will start doing that immediately. Do you have any recommendations for when we are not home? She is not crate trained and is pretty much free to roam the house while we are gone. Also what is a good way to have her keep away from the bird while it is out of it's cage. At this point we have to lock her outside to handle the bird for fear that she will attack it?
 

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When you are away can you bring the bird cage into the bedroom and close the door? A bathroom may work as well.

When you want to play with the bird put your pup in a locked room, again, bedroom or bathroom. No sense taking the bird out and tempting fate by leaving the dog out too.
 

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When you're gone you'll have to confine one or the other. We had two parakeets and taught our Shelties to leave them alone whether the parakeets were in the cage or not but, it took time. When we were sure the dogs would leave the birds alone then we stopped the segregation.
 

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Be careful with the bird when it is not in the cage also. Both our dogs left the bird alone when it was in the cage. One day, I heard my son shout and when I went to him he had panic on his face. I asked him what happened and he said he wanted to show his bird to Lola and Lola tried to eat him.

I don't suggest getting the dog to treat a bird like a pal.... and our dogs had a different kind of alertness to the bird when it was in or out of the cage.
 

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I'm in "ecollar mode" this week..lol.

Get an electronic collar. Place it on the dog. Wait a few days to use.

Dog approaches bird cage, you say "No!".

Dog ignores you.

Dog gets shocked.

Repeat as necessary..probably after 3 or 4x it's over and done, the dog will not even think about going near the bird.
 

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How big is the cage? Is it too big to build a shelf to keep it up out of dogs reach? I also know of people who have somehow mounted cages to the wall high enough to keep out of dogs reach.
Hopefully, after lots of time, your dog will come to think of the bird as part of the furniture & basically ignore it.
 

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How about a squirt gun? I have used them in the past and they have worked out good but try not to let the dog see you shoot it.

If that were my dog the last thing I would use is an ecollar on him for that!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
How big is the cage? Is it too big to build a shelf to keep it up out of dogs reach? I also know of people who have somehow mounted cages to the wall high enough to keep out of dogs reach.
Hopefully, after lots of time, your dog will come to think of the bird as part of the furniture & basically ignore it.
The cage is really too large to build something around it, especially b/c its in the living room and would look pretty redicuclous.We have started trying the "my territory" approach. So far it is working fairly well. She hasn't hardly whined around it at all. We just got it yesterday so it will take some adjusting time but this approach is working very well. As for now, when we take the bird out we make sure they are separated into different rooms. Even if Molly did seem to not attack anymore, I just don't know if I would have the guts to actually test it out. Better safe than sorry. Thanks so much the the tips!
 

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How about a squirt gun? I have used them in the past and they have worked out good but try not to let the dog see you shoot it.

If that were my dog the last thing I would use is an ecollar on him for that!
Why?

You'd squirt him in the face with water which is aversion training using an unpleasant stimulus, however, it's nearly impossible to squirt a dog with a water gun and not have him see you do it, whereas an ecollar delivers an unpleasant stimulus as well, but it's easy to do it so the dog doesn't know where it's coming from.

At low levels, the stimulus is just an unpleasant "tingling" sensation, it's not a blast of electricity that's intended to short circuit the dogs central nervous system.
 

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I'm in "ecollar mode" this week..lol.

Get an electronic collar. Place it on the dog. Wait a few days to use.

Dog approaches bird cage, you say "No!".

Dog ignores you.

Dog gets shocked.

Repeat as necessary..probably after 3 or 4x it's over and done, the dog will not even think about going near the bird.
You really should not be advising people on how to use a e-collar over the internet. In fact, none of the e-collar users on this forum do it either for obvious reasons.

There's a million positive ways to handle this problem, there's no point in using aversives. I taught two Siberian Huskies to leave cats alone using positive methods. If I could do that, then there's absolutely no point in using a ecollar.
 

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Rambler,
I am pleased the e-collar work was a good adventure for you and dog. You can believe this or not, there have been many good dogs ruined by e-collar use. This is a fact, not a guess or an assumption. You just are not going to get many people jumping on and saying they ruined or hurt their dogs with an e-collar.

One quick little edit suppose the dog when hit by collar just runs around scared and peeing, just think now you could have a dog that still wants to eat bird and also pees in home. especially when you say just put collar on and start buzzing.
 

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Why?

You'd squirt him in the face with water which is aversion training using an unpleasant stimulus, however, it's nearly impossible to squirt a dog with a water gun and not have him see you do it, whereas an ecollar delivers an unpleasant stimulus as well, but it's easy to do it so the dog doesn't know where it's coming from.

At low levels, the stimulus is just an unpleasant "tingling" sensation, it's not a blast of electricity that's intended to short circuit the dogs central nervous system.
No where did I write squirt him in the face and yes it is possible to do it with the dog not seeing. Anyone purchasing an ecollar should also be looking for a trainer to teach them the right way to use the collar. So I myself would not be pushing the use of them on here especially when there are plenty of other methods that work. I am also done talking about ecollars on this thread but would be glad to continue if you would like to start your own thread.
 

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No where did I write squirt him in the face and yes it is possible to do it with the dog not seeing.
Where else would you squirt him that would make him stop the behavior?

Rambler,
I am pleased the e-collar work was a good adventure for you and dog. You can believe this or not, there have been many good dogs ruined by e-collar use. This is a fact, not a guess or an assumption. You just are not going to get many people jumping on and saying they ruined or hurt their dogs with an e-collar.

One quick little edit suppose the dog when hit by collar just runs around scared and peeing, just think now you could have a dog that still wants to eat bird and also pees in home. especially when you say just put collar on and start buzzing.
I would think if a low level stim is delivered to the dog just as it approached the bird cage there's virtually no opportunity for the dog to associate the stimuli with anything else.

Sure, it's a timing thing, and of course it's gotta be done properly and not abused by simply hitting the dog with repeated stimuli, but it goes without saying that my recommendation to use the ecollar means using it properly (not simply hitting it repeatedly at the highest setting) and timing it so the dog makes the proper association.

When I said "repeat it 3-4 x" I didn't mean just sit there pressing the button multiple times, I meant that you may need to do it other times if the dog approaches the cage again after the first time the ecollar is used.
 

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Do you have a bird cage hanger? I doubt a chi mix could mess with a cage that's hanging up out of reach so if you don't have one I would get one.
 

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Rambler
I got nothing more to say, by your own replies in other e-collar threads you have had your collar a week and evidently you know all there is to know about e-collar work. The good, the bad, the ugly stuff. I do commend you on your quick learning skills and know there is absolutely no training advice that I could help you e-collar or otherwise. Good luck to you, your dog, your future dogs and e-collars.

Edit
I see now you have had one dog many years ago that you worked(checked other thread)That does definitely enhance your abilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What kind of bird is it? I'm an avid bird lover myself & live with 4 of them. I'd LOVE to see some pictures!
BTW, how old is your dog?
Thanks for the change of subject :). The bird is a cockatiel a/b 10 mo old from a friend that no longer had the time necessary to care for it. I always had one in the house as a kid so thought it would be fun. Molly is a year old this year so still pretty wild and curious a/b just ab anything that moves... or doesn't move for that matter. She is responding very well to the territory training as I said before, shes become a pretty quick learner with some patience. I am at work currently so I dont have any pictures to post of the bird but I will try to get some out this afternoon. I have a TON of homework do to tonight so no promises. (nursing program is a lot of work) But I will get some out soon.
 

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Ah! I have a cockatiel too! He's 15 years old & he & his partner were my first birds. He's quite a character & beautiful! He grew up with my cats, & my oldest dog George.
I'll look forward to seeing pictures whenever you get a chance.
I'm glad that things are going well with the territory training.
 
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