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Hi Everyone, my first post here! My husband and I are considering getting a dog. We are avid animal lovers and have a zoo already including 2 Quaker Parrots, 2 elderly cats, 2 geckos and a Leopard Tortoise. We have the time, space and lifestyle that would allow us to provide a great home. My husband has his heart set on a Great Dane although I am leaning more toward a rescue puppy/young dog. I have issues with purchasing a dog when there are thousands sitting in shelters waiting for homes.

My biggest fear & concern is having a dog in the house with my birds as they both spend most of their day out of their cage. I do know people who have had their birds killed by dogs and others who have both that seem to live peacefully together. I would be devastated if anything happened to my green kids. We are thinking puppy, only because we feel it will be easier to train a pup from day 1 that the birds are family and not food rather than taking a chance on an adult dog that might have a stronger prey response instinct.

I would love to hear from others who have both parrots & dogs in the home!
 

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I have very little experience with birds and dogs together, but I'm housesitting this week, and the owner of the house has an African grey and two dogs. The bird stays in the cage mostly, and the owner's dogs ignore him. However, my high-drive dog was *very* interested, and spent the better part of an hour staring down the parrot (staring is a border collie thing). I would have feared for the safety of the bird AND the dog, had the bird not been caged. As it was, I kept the dog far enough away from the cage so that she didn't get bit - that beak looks sharp!
 

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I have friends that have two Macaws with weimaraners. The dogs don't bother them at all (and they even bring the birds with them in RV trips). What they have told me is that birds like Macaws don't smell like game birds. And yeah one nip from a Macaw or Parrot, etc will do the trick.
 

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Hello and welcome! :) Not much advice on dogs and birds together ... as I just acquired two parakeets. I am working on this myself with two Schnauzer mixes and a Dobie/Rott in the house. The two Terriers are the ones I worry the most about with their prey drive ... as my Terrier dogs prey drive is high. I keep my birds up where they cannot be reached or when they are out we are behind closed doors. :)

My Dobie/Rott could care less ... she just ignores them.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forem i am a 4 dog fur mom and a 4 feather mom
my amazon is out most of the time on a stand i am lucky the dogs could care less it took some work with training them the one thing i would never do is leave them alone toghter one of my keets got out tonight and i said leave it and they all walked away like i said you have to teach them
 

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I have friends that have two Macaws with weimaraners. The dogs don't bother them at all (and they even bring the birds with them in RV trips). What they have told me is that birds like Macaws don't smell like game birds. And yeah one nip from a Macaw or Parrot, etc will do the trick.
Ha, yeah, most of the large parrots could give most dogs a pretty fair fight! But Quakers are small; they can give cats a run for their money but probably not most dogs. My brother has a Quaker (that lives at my mom's house), and Shug wants to eat her. They aren't allowed in the same room together.

To be honest, a puppy probably wouldn't be safer. You never know what kind of prey drive that pup will have when he/she grows up. Plus, puppies are hyper and have no attention span and everything goes in their mouths! I'd start with an older dog who is known to be gentle with small animals (go through a good rescue that uses foster homes. That way the dog's personality is pretty well known), then gradually and carefully start training the dog to be nice to the birdies.
 

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I have 3 dogs and a Meyers. 2 pitbulls and a whippet.

My Meyers can be out with 2 of my dogs but not the third. If my King Predator is out, the bird is in. I essentially "crate and rotate" depending on who is out.

My 2 bird-friendly dogs will actively play with my parrot through the bars of her cage. The dogs know all about how hard a parrot can bite. They are respectful, knowing how bad a bite hurts. My predator dog is very well trained to Leave It and he respects me. On a couple of occasions, I have forgotten that the bird is out and have turned my predator loose. On those occasions, my training has held and my dog has not harmed my bird. Train, even if you intend to keep them seperate. This builds in room for error. It works if you are willing to build a life around it. And train for screw ups, but don't trust your training.
 

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Dogs may ignore a stationary bird or even a walking bird, but you have to watch out for fluttering, flying, and other fast movements that may trigger a deadly prey drive in both cats and dogs.
 

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I have parrots and dogs. Four years ago, my pbgv (in my sig) decided he wanted white meat for lunch; he tried to eat my cockatiel. The bird survived, after surgery. After that, the birds only came out of their cages in their room, with the door closed, unless the dogs were outside. It's not worth the risk. While parrots and dogs do co-mingle for some, don't take the chance. If your birds can have their own room, let them out in there. If they can't, don't get a dog or don't let the birds out when the dog is loose. You never know.
 

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I don't have inside birds, but I do have chickens. One thing I would say is that prey drive can apply to some preys and not others. When we got Tessa (husky x golden), the rescue tested her around cats and she showed no prey drive at all. We hoped it meant she didn't have much prey drive. We have cats at home and she has never ever tried to chase them. But we cannot trust her around the chickens at all. She has killed two already (our fault, we watch her more carefully now). Any bird in flight will trigger her prey drive.
See if a rescue will be able to test the dog around birds, or will let you introduce the dog to your birds before adopting.
 

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I have a high prey drive dog. It is highly genetically programmed to chase moving objects.
We live in bush land, i have a never ending supply of parrots that visit our garden and fly freely around. My dog does not chase them. Despite me having a feed area for the parrots within reach of dogs, they dont chase them.

Magpies, crows however, they do. My dog 'gets' the difference between, high prized object that i feed and care for, and vermin he can kill. When we first moved to this house 4 months ago, he chased them all, several "LEAVE IT" commands and now 4 months in, he doesnt chase.

It is something that is taught to your dog. Not something it wont do immediately. You need to have the "LEAVE" command sorted before you try this on one of your birds. I would teach from a young age, to leave it. Gentle etc. And not take the risk of having your birds and pup alone together till you have sufficient evidence to trust your dog, and then i wouldnt leave them unsupervised.

This traiing to leave parrots, is supported by a daily swim around ducks/geese etc that it also leaves alone. As i say, 4 months into this training, and now not even the geese/ducks pay any attention to my dogs. They too have been trained the neither Bernie nor Pohm are a threat. So they dont move. Yet when some other dog is nearby, the flap and squawk and escape. Woohoo, wild bird whisperer here lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for your replies and advice. Still not sure what the right choice is but we certainly have a lot to think about!
 

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My boss has 4 birds that fly free occasionally and 2 larger dogs - a Brittany spaniel mix and a hound mix. Its loud as hell, but nobody has ever gotten hurt or killed.
 

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it really really depends on the dog. I am LESS likley to trust a puppy, the reson because that puppy's no matter how well raised will still have cases of "puppy brain" and a large puppy with a case of Puppy Brain can easily injure or kill a small bird, my older dogs weather aquired as puppy or adults are allowed with the birds under strict supervision, my 2 puppies are not allowed period. they are large puppies and I have Cockatiels, one mistake and its my birds lives. I do have one adult dog who is not allowed with my birds EVER under ANY circumstances, she must at all times be seperated from my birds by a steel barrier, be that their cage or the steel door I had installed because of her, she is my little calm docile retreiver..who aint so calm and docile around a live bird! she was raised from a puppy with my birds.
 
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