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I've always loved dogs, but I've never owned one. The closest I came to owning a dog was watching my aunt's dog for a week. I'd love to own a dog in the future. Right now a dog is an impossibilty, but in a few years, if the circumstances are right, I'd love to get a dog. But, my whole life I've owned birds. I wonder if I should give up on getting a dog to keep my flock safe. My family currently owns four birds, 2 of those of my birds. One of the birds is very old and realistly probably won't be alive in a few years. The other one is a 7 year old (? don't know her exact age, she was a rescue, she's at least 7)cockatiel. My cockatiel only wants a little bit of attention a day, then shell go off and do her own thing. She had a rough past and isn't the most social bird. Does anyone here successfully and safely own birds (or other small animals) and dogs? I worry about the dog killing my cockatiel or any other bird I may have in the future. So, what do you think? Also I assume prey drive is very important, so what breeds have low prey drive? I love herding breeds, but hear they have a high prey drive.
 

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I can only tell you that I have owned birds and dogs at the same time. My last cockatiel was a friend to my Lab/Rott rescue and the dog was actually afraid of the bird. I never had a problem. I think it is up to the dog as its own individual self. I also had a terrier mix as a child and a parakeet and the parakeet rode on his back. :)
 

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I own a parakeet and a siberian husky (and a mini american shepherd but she doesn't have near the prey drive as the husky).
If you want the bird and dog to interact get a dog small enough to have a harder time doing harm to the bird and does not have a high prey drive. My husky will kill my bird if given an opportunity so he gets to come out when she goes out to sun bathe on the patio. His cage is 5 feet up in the air on a stand (the pole with the circle at the top) and she is able to leave him alone when he is there but not if he is out. It will be a matter of finding a breed that can be trained to safely interact with the bird or rotating the animals if not.
 

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Ditto to the prey drive! My old golden is pretty good with anything, she will ignore the cats, doesn't care about the fish or geckos. Storee is 4 and she was bred for hunting/retrieving, so taking her into a place that has birds means she's at the cages and intense! Not just the 'oh look there's birds' but more of a "OMG GIVE ME THE WORD AND I'LL GET THEM ALL". She's worked live and not so live birds in the past so she has the total concept of what birds are for in her mind. That being said she will retrieve a live bird to hand without damage but I wouldn't want to live with her and a bird! Ticket is very prey driven as well and quite intent on birds and such including the cats, who have learned to tolerate his stare, but not sure how impressed a bird would be with that.

If you got a pup that wasn't from as high prey drive lines or breeds, and did lots of training on 'leave the bird alone' from day one, you should be fine.

Lana
 

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This is really too general a question to give a good answer. I know only a few people who have both pet birds and dogs, and they do not let them interact on their own and do keep them separated.

Obviously, birding breeds (retrievers, spaniels, setters, pointers and similar types) would be problematic around birds in general. So would most terriers.

But I would say that there is no such thing as a breed of dog which is "good with birds".

Probably, any dog would - in certain 'wrong' circumstances - injure or even kill a pet bird if it got hold of it. Even if you considered your dog to be "trained to safely interact" with birds, I would think that is not something you would want to put to the test, despite the anecdotes. I know I wouldn't.


I'm not trying to discourage you or to be negative, but you do have to be realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I do know that. I wonder if I'd need to have them absolutely seperate. (not out if the other one is out). I have time to access my situation and decide. I might just give up on getting a dog.
 

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I've had labs and birds , a cockatiel and an Indian ringneck, at the same time. My dogs couldnt care less about the birds. I would never leave the bird out of his cage, in the same room with the dog, unattended, but I would take my bird out all the time and let him run around the couch with us, while all the dogs sat around our feet. My cockatiel is at my daughter's house now and her lab never bothers him there either. I think as long as you supervise, it'll be fine :)
 

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I have 4 dogs (one of which has a moderately high prey drive...not like a husky, but enough to where she can't be trusted with a cat.) and 2 budgies. The dogs pretty much ignore the birds unless they get to flapping around in their cage, which generates a small amount of interest. I don't let the birds out of their cage when the dogs are around though...my poodle thinks they are toys. He doesn't hurt them, just wants to play chase and pick the up with his mouth. Not exactly great for the little birdies...I think that if you choose the right dog, you can make it work. :)
 

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If you get a puppy and you socialize it with house pets - birds, cats, rabbits, other dogs, then you can usually avoid the prey issue, at least in the house. Socializing a dog is a little more iffy, because the wrong flutter could set off a prey behavior.

On the other hand, you probably should never let they interact unsupervised, simply because of the massive difference in size... A dog can play with a bird or rabbit, and crush it unintentionally.
 

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train them and supervise, dogs and small animals are not impossable, I have a house full of small animals(2 rabbits, 2 birds, 120+ Gerbils, 1 Steppe Lemming, 1 snake) plus 7 dogs. the only issue I have is between my Retriever and birds, so I have to take safety precautions to make sure the retreiver never comes in contact with the birds unless they are safely caged, it can be a little annoying, but whatever..its only 1 dog out of 7 with an issue.
 
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