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VickiNumbers
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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PostSubject: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:43 am

*Sigh

Shame on me.

That's the best way to start. I know that dogs are natural predators. Really, I know. But for MANY months now our dogs have shown hardly any interest in the birds at all, especially the big one (dog). The only time she's seemed interested in either of the birds is when they've sounded distressed for some reason (I've tweaked a blood feather or while I'm filing their toe-nails), or when one of them (named JJ) lands on her back (she doesn't like that and has always come running to us to fix that particularly loathsome situation).

The other day however, the Fed-Ex guy came to the door. When he rang the doorbell (an exciting event in our house), my son jumped up and ran to the door, and all three dogs started barking and followed him. Upon the realization that he wasn't old enough to sign for the package, he called me. I went to the door to sign, and while I was signing, JJ apparently followed me over. I'm not sure where she originally landed, but as soon as I turned around, I saw JJ on the floor with three of her tail-feathers lying behind her. And I saw Big Black Dog with one at her feet.

Now, I can't be certain of what happened, but I'd say that either JJ had a very sudden and unusual molt of four tail-feathers at once, or Big Black Dog participated in separating the feathers from the tail they were originally attached to. I've started calling JJ, "Stubby."

My husband's response was, "Well? Did she learn her lesson?"

Really? Did SHE learn HER lesson? OMG! The lesson wasn't her's to learn. It was mine, and I already knew it. Birds and dogs/cats don't go together well. It's not an ideal mixture. It can be done, but has to be done with a high level of caution. And you can't let your guard slip - not even for a minute - because that's when the bad things happen. It's likely that JJ came within two inches of dying the other day and it would have been my fault. Fortunately, instead of losing her life she only lost four tail feathers. They'll probably grow back without any problem. Next time I may not be so lucky.

Learn from my mistake and be careful. Second chances like mine are few and far between.


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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:25 am

I'm so glad JJ is okay, and that this story had a good ending. Hugs to you and JJ, she will have her fancy new feathers soon.
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patdbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:43 pm

Glad you didn't lose JJ.

Rules for the birds (in addition to rules for the predators of the house) help. Mine are taught to stay where they're put and not to follow us around. That helps with avoiding predatory/prey run-ins.

One of the rules for the predators in my house is, not only do you not show interest in a bird, if a bird starts walking towards you, you walk (or run) away from the bird. Eric's been a bad boy and he's walked up to cats. The cats jump up and run to the next room.

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GlassOnion
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:57 pm

Yikes, birds on floor always makes me nervous. If my two weren't flighted, they'd likely have died many months ago.
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henpecked
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:12 pm

JJ may have just had his tail stepped on,hopefully no one was after him.My dogs go the other way when one of those green monsters is loose,but they only weigh 6-15 lbs.Funny story,when Merlin (the dog) was younger he'd lay in the bed between Josie and i,Marlin (immature OWA) would try and preen his tail,when you pet Merlin he would stop wagging his tail and Marlin would try and preen it.So we'd pet Merlin and when Marlin would reach for the tail we'd stop petting and the tail would start wagging ,slapping Marlin in the head(repeatily),we'd do this over and over again ,Josie and i called it whack em, whack em and would laugh for hours at this game.
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zazanomore
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:18 pm

I know this isn't a popular view here, but I think you should never allow your predatory animals and birds out during the same time.

I could trust my dog with my life. But that doesn't mean accidents won't happen. So, I never had my dog and birds out at the same time. It was either I was with the dog, and the birds were in their cage, or the birds were out and the door was shut.

Even though he never showed any interest in the birds, that doesn't mean I'm going to risk things.

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patdbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:26 pm

zazanomore wrote:
I know this isn't a popular view here, but I think you should never allow your predatory animals and birds out during the same time.

I could trust my dog with my life. But that doesn't mean accidents won't happen. So, I never had my dog and birds out at the same time. It was either I was with the dog, and the birds were in their cage, or the birds were out and the door was shut.

Even though he never showed any interest in the birds, that doesn't mean I'm going to risk things.
Popular view or not, whatever you're most comfortable with is what's important. I'm not saying I've never lost a bird (or other prey item) to a predator.

Eric's episode w/ the cat was pretty funny - he walked up to the cat and bent his head down and asked the cat for scritches. Absolutely freaked the cat out.

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zazanomore
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:48 pm

Einstein would try to kiss the dog if I was holding him near the cage.

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ScooterNScotty
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:42 pm

I am SO glad JJ is OK!!! I got scared when I started reading.

I think when birds are out and about there is some element of risk, cats and dogs or no. I don't think it is so much about who is "out at the same time" but about us being vigilant. If I'm not careful, Scooter gets himself on the floor with some regularity. I've had more close calls with my rolling office chair than I've had with the cats. I've had more close calls with the cactus in the greenhouse window in the kitchen than I have with the cats. IMO it's not about predators and prey, it's about the risk associated with keeping an animal in an environment it's not really suited for. The cats (or dogs) add an extra risk, but there are so many risks I don't feel it adds that much more really.

I'm intrigued by Roz' strategy of teaching the cats to run away from the birds, but I have mixed feelings about it. I don't particularly want them to have a negative association with them, and it is also really hard to train cats to do things when you are not around, which is the situation I would most fear. I definitely want to impose a perimeter with Mattie. She's way less fascinated, but I'm still shutting her out of the room if I'm at all distracted.
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patdbunny
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:53 pm

ScooterNScotty wrote:
I am SO glad JJ is OK!!! I got scared when I started reading.

I think when birds are out and about there is some element of risk, cats and dogs or no. I don't think it is so much about who is "out at the same time" but about us being vigilant. If I'm not careful, Scooter gets himself on the floor with some regularity. I've had more close calls with my rolling office chair than I've had with the cats. I've had more close calls with the cactus in the greenhouse window in the kitchen than I have with the cats. IMO it's not about predators and prey, it's about the risk associated with keeping an animal in an environment it's not really suited for. The cats (or dogs) add an extra risk, but there are so many risks I don't feel it adds that much more really.
Agree w/ SnS about it being vigilance. Most of my pet rules evolved out of making sure they were all in my sight pretty much at all times.
And it has nothing to do w/ flight being safer or clipped being safer. Clipped - rolling chairs, feet, etc. Flighted - windows, toilets, stoves, etc.
Both - squished in couch cushions if that's where you allow them to play (happened to someone last Christmas w/ a flighted bird), squished in doors, etc.

ScooterNScotty wrote:
I'm intrigued by Roz' strategy of teaching the cats to run away from the birds, but I have mixed feelings about it. I don't particularly want them to have a negative association with them, and it is also really hard to train cats to do things when you are not around, which is the situation I would most fear. I definitely want to impose a perimeter with Mattie. She's way less fascinated, but I'm still shutting her out of the room if I'm at all distracted.
This isn't something I specifically trained for. Just whenever a bird's fluttered to the ground or near a cat, the cat's natural response is to look and crouch, and our natural response w/ the cats has been to hiss, stomp and shoo the cat. The cats have figured out that it's their attentive attitude that causes the hissing and foot stomping. Now our cats just nonchalantly look at the bird if one lands on the floor, but if the bird comes too close they run. There are just too many birds in the living room for the cats' liking so they've decided to just stay out of the living room. I don't think anything I've done has been intentional training. Right now my mix of predators is perfect. I always consider this when I want to add another one. We've been tempted to bring home another cat, but I just don't want to upset my perfect mix.
With the dogs, they get a stern "NO!" and shoo'd away in the same scenario so they've also gotten used to giving way to birds.

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ScooterNScotty
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:18 pm

Hey Roz, I haven't had dogs in a long time (I like them, but it was add a puppy or add a bird and we wound up adding a bird...) but I have the impression that on the one hand it is easier to train a dog to "leave it" than a cat, but on the other hand a dog is more prone to an instant step and snap, where a cat is just plain hard to train, but they usually give warning by stalking prior to a pounce which gives you more time to react. Do you have the same impression or not?
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:38 pm

ScooterNScotty wrote:
Hey Roz, I haven't had dogs in a long time (I like them, but it was add a puppy or add a bird and we wound up adding a bird...) but I have the impression that on the one hand it is easier to train a dog to "leave it" than a cat, but on the other hand a dog is more prone to an instant step and snap, where a cat is just plain hard to train, but they usually give warning by stalking prior to a pounce which gives you more time to react. Do you have the same impression or not?
Yes, I do. I'm more careful about the dogs because one snap and it's instant death or severe maimage. The dogs are easier to train in general, but the one snap might come with less warning and more severity. And the dog might one day be fed up w/ the bird(s) or having a bad day that causes the snap. Also, the dogs tend to not be as careful about their personal space so yeah, I worry they'd step on a bird. I raise the dogs around the birds like I raised them around EC - they need to be aware of the birds/child and it's their responsibility to stay a safe distance from the birds/child or they get in trouble. I think I've read somewhere that that "giving way" to the child elevates the child's pack status in the dog's mind, which is where I want the dogs - last in the pack since they can do so much damage so easily.

The cats - I've gone to only getting kittens. From day one they get to check out the birds, watch the birds, but right away there's no batting at the birds or otherwise treating the birds like toys or prey. So far so good. Only had problems once w/ a kitten raised this way - cat knew not to harass the birds, but button quail didn't work. They move more erratically than parrots and the cat couldn't resist and broke into the button quail enclosure and killed them. Can't remember if she actually ate them, too.

My prior cats that were mature and I had before ever getting birds - 2 were reliable with the birds (those two were never really great hunters to begin with), 1 was a great hunter and could never be trusted (she took down a canary hung off the middle of the ceiling. No idea how she did it. She would have had to jump 6 ft straight up.). As for more warning on the cats, yes. But the really good hunter, she'd stalk and you wouldn't even notice her until she'd go in for the pounce. Once she got a hold of a prey item you wouldn't be able to get it from her. She'd see you coming and run with her prize. If you cornered her she'd crunch and make sure what was in her mouth was dead. The other two cats were slower and less deliberate about their stalking so you'd see them and could stop them. They weren't really determined. One of them got my hamster once and I smacked him on the head and he spit the hamster out. Total Sylvester/Tweety stuff.

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zazanomore
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:01 pm

Some great visuals there Roz Shocked

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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:16 pm

zazanomore wrote:
Some great visuals there Roz Shocked
NOM!NOM!NOM!
Crunchy and they taste good with ketchup!

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henpecked
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:26 pm

Both of my brothers have "Bird Dogs" for hunting birds,that are both pets and working dogs,as well behaved as they are both would kill a bird quickly if given the chance.All of the dogs are regular visitors and we have to keep them away from the birds.Same applies with the aviary birds and the chickens.It's a full time job keeping up with all the action and the dogs where abouts when everyone is over ,it's stressful and don't envy ya'll dealing with that on a daily basis .
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:33 pm

henpecked wrote:
Both of my brothers have "Bird Dogs" for hunting birds,that are both pets and working dogs,as well behaved as they are both would kill a bird quickly if given the chance.All of the dogs are regular visitors and we have to keep them away from the birds.Same applies with the aviary birds and the chickens.It's a full time job keeping up with all the action and the dogs where abouts when everyone is over ,it's stressful and don't envy ya'll dealing with that on a daily basis .
My dogs are pretty much fine with the parrots. Keeping them off the chickens is a little harder. The way poultry/game birds move trigger the prey drive. Needless to say, I don't have free range chickens.

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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:57 am

I'm glad JJ is safe, could be he just got stepped on and not "bit" by the dog. At least I hope that's the case



patdbunny wrote:
Rules for the birds (in addition to rules for the predators of the house) help. Mine are taught to stay where they're put and not to follow us around. That helps with avoiding predatory/prey run-ins.



How do you make this work Roz? Merlin will stay for a few minutes, but not that long. I am also curious about your "no floor" work. Merlin is constantly on the floor and my efforts so far have produce pathetic results at best.
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Thu Sep 08, 2011 1:14 pm

RogerP wrote:
patdbunny wrote:
Rules for the birds (in addition to rules for the predators of the house) help. Mine are taught to stay where they're put and not to follow us around. That helps with avoiding predatory/prey run-ins.

How do you make this work Roz? Merlin will stay for a few minutes, but not that long. I am also curious about your "no floor" work. Merlin is constantly on the floor and my efforts so far have produce pathetic results at best.
Non-flighted: Consistently putting them back on the playpen (or cage top) where they were originally placed. Also, I have a habit of putting goodies on the playpen (cage top) so they're occupied. Whenever I walk by and they're where they're supposed to be I have a habit of scritching, kissing, talking to, or other animated behavior towards them. The drama reward works. If they refuse to stay put (i.e. going to the floor), they go back in the cage. I give them 3 chances - then back in the cage. Everything is done w/ no emotional fanfare, just a lot of consistency.

Flighted - Minion's flighted right now. She's been very reliable w/ staying in the living room and on authorized places. I have a cardboard tube from wrapping paper. I don't use it to hit the birds, but I use it to push them off places. It doesn't hurt them but they've associated it w/ being somewhere they're not supposed to be. So if I pick it up, most times Minion will fly to an authorized landing area without needing to shoo her off w/ the cardboard tube (including off the floor). She's also taken to flying laps around the house, but there are no authorized landing areas in most other rooms so she keeps going and loops back into the living room onto a playpen or cage top. If I don't want her following me and she flies at me, I raise my arms and mildly wave. She turns around mid-flight and goes back the way she came. If I want her to land on me, I raise my hand and present it to her like a landing platform.
(Funny side story about the flying around the house - Last week I closed one of the doors and forgot about it. Minion's doing her supersonic flyby and comes upon the closed door. *SQUACK*! She's flying these teeny tiny circles in front of the door and screaming. She's a baby so she was completely confused and didn't know what to do.)

I've actually been doing a lot of thinking lately about my informal training methods of my animals - birds, dogs, cats. I don't actually use much "punishment" like squirting the cats w/ water; but I use "cues" and a lot of body language that they catch onto - Bird: cardboard tube=cue to move from location; Dog: I walk directly at them in an assertive manner and tell them to move = cue to move out of the way; Cat: hiss & stomp = cue to move from location (I was wondering why my cats aren't afraid of us. It occurred to me that we don't/very rarely actually do anything physical to them and they've figured out we don't hurt them with the stomping and shooing, but it's a cue for them to do something.).

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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:52 pm

I came across this:
http://heckledbyparrots.com/blog/2008/12/dogs-parrots-some-training-tips/

I like her idea to have a dog trained to kennel up when a bird's loose or comes too close. My dogs are kennel trained, but not in association with loose birds. For anyone who thinks kennel training a dog is cruel, I can assure you it's not. Think about it - every time you walk by your bedroom there's something special in there like a pizza, $100 bill, ice cream, beer, whatever are goodies to you, you'd look forward to going into your room, too. Even if the door were locked behind you for a few hours. My dogs race into their kennels, tails wagging in anticipation, if we so much as walk by the kennels.

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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:39 pm

patdbunny wrote:
I came across this:
http://heckledbyparrots.com/blog/2008/12/dogs-parrots-some-training-tips/

I like her idea to have a dog trained to kennel up when a bird's loose or comes too close. My dogs are kennel trained, but not in association with loose birds. For anyone who thinks kennel training a dog is cruel, I can assure you it's not. Think about it - every time you walk by your bedroom there's something special in there like a pizza, $100 bill, ice cream, beer, whatever are goodies to you, you'd look forward to going into your room, too. Even if the door were locked behind you for a few hours. My dogs race into their kennels, tails wagging in anticipation, if we so much as walk by the kennels.



That's a really interesting training technique...I wonder if one could clicker train to do that...



We'll have to do that with our younger pup - he's a bit excitable, and I don't totally trust him when the fids are about...
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:48 pm

crystalsbirdtoys wrote:
patdbunny wrote:
I came across this:
http://heckledbyparrots.com/blog/2008/12/dogs-parrots-some-training-tips/

I like her idea to have a dog trained to kennel up when a bird's loose or comes too close. My dogs are kennel trained, but not in association with loose birds. For anyone who thinks kennel training a dog is cruel, I can assure you it's not. Think about it - every time you walk by your bedroom there's something special in there like a pizza, $100 bill, ice cream, beer, whatever are goodies to you, you'd look forward to going into your room, too. Even if the door were locked behind you for a few hours. My dogs race into their kennels, tails wagging in anticipation, if we so much as walk by the kennels.

That's a really interesting training technique...I wonder if one could clicker train to do that...

We'll have to do that with our younger pup - he's a bit excitable, and I don't totally trust him when the fids are about...
Don't even need a clicker.
I take a favorite treat or toy - the more exciting the better. Go near the open kennel, point to the kennel, give the command "kennel" (hubby uses "go home"), toss the item in. Dog usually will dive into the kennel to get the item. If the dog's a tentative type, just leave the open kennel around for the dog to explore. You can also feed the dog in the kennel to make a positive association. First time you close the kennel door, it helps to have the special item be something that will take the dog time to consume or will hold its attention to play with. A Kong stuffed w/ squeezie cheese or peanut butter, bowl of food, chewie toy, raw beef bones, etc. A lot of times the dog will finish the item (long time to consume item - at least 15 minutes or longer) and realize the door's locked and just lay down and take a nap.

Once dog's trained to the command "kennel" to then correlate it to the fids -
Take a bird into the room w/ the kennel. When the dog looks at the bird or shows any interest at all in the bird give the "kennel" command and toss in special item when dog goes into the kennel.

I save really special items for "kennel" that the dogs don't get ordinarily. Makes them shoot into the kennels like a bullet and they stand in their kennels, tails and bodies wagging. Got to the point I'd have to keep kennel doors closed so they're not diving in when we walk by. I didn't want them to undo their kennel training by going in when I haven't commanded and there's no reward.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the U.S. Department of Justice.
Do not attempt this at home. I'm a professional.
thinking
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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:43 pm

Hi again. I know I started this interesting thread then didn't post to it again. (Mainly because I didn't have anything worth contributing.)

BUT... I thought I'd add an update!

JJ's four tail-feathers are already growing back in quite nicely. About 1.5 inches (3.75 cm - I think) so far. Interestingly, they're not the same color they were the first time. Last time, one was tipped with red; so far I'm not seeing that this time. Of course, they're still under the coverts so I'm sure I'll see them better later but that's what I've been able to see so far.

So, I just thought you might be interested!


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"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed."
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.....
....... ~*~ Vicki ~*~
.... Allie.... Sam.... Caesar
...... Mack...... Micky


http://BunchesOfBudgies.blogspot.com/
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RogerP
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 51
Location : Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
My Birds : ~Merlin - Maroon Bellied Conure
(Hatchdate May 15, 2010)

~Arthur - Red Bellied Parrot
(Hatchdate January 7, 2009, rescued October 7, 2011)

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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:57 pm

Glad to hear the feathers are coming back in, thanks for the update!
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patdbunny
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 47
Location : San Diego County, California
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:16 pm

Yay!
So happy tails grow back. . .
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
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PostSubject: Re: Of Birds and Dogs...   Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:18 pm

Yay for tail feathers!
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