Hi, I just got a 2 year old male Brittney about 4 days ago, and last night it killed my girlfriend's African Grey house bird. Obviously she was quite distraught. So I am left with the option of either finding some kind of training to teach the dog not to go after birds, OR, get rid of the dog. My girlfriend NOW has only 6 birds left. Is there anyone out there that can offer me some sound advice on this matter? I sure would appreciate it if there was. I really would rather not get rid of the dog if I do not have to.. GHarlydude
Hi, thanks for your imput. Unfortunately for the dog, my girlfriend says that in that the birds were here long before the dog, she wants to let them be outside of their cages. I suppose in as that is they way she wants it to be; it is most unrealistic to think that there can be any solution to this matter, huh? Anyone else want to weigh in on this?
well, guess what, spaniels are hunting dogs, they hunt and retrieve birds, why you did not do any research on the breed before you got him? No you cannot teach him not to go after birds, tah would be pretty much the same like to teach not to eat
My brittany points at birds-she doesn't attack. And even a dog that is taught to retrieve birds does so with a gentle mouth. No hunter wants his kill to be mauled.
But yes, I have to agree-getting a bird dog when you have pet birds is not really fair to the dog (or the bird, obviously!) It is what they are bred to do, and it would be an uphill battle to train it otherwise.
If your dog were a puppy, I'd say there was a chance of peaceful coexistence. But as you only recently got your 2 year old dog, I sincerely doubt it, as she hasn't been raised to see the birds as part of her 'pack'.
Is there a compromise that you and your GF could agree too? Like part of hte day the dog is crated and the birds have the run of hte house, and part of the day the dog is free and the birds are kept away (or at least in a seperate room). You can try to help train the do by keeping a leash on her at all times and giving her a 'leave it' command when she 'zeroes on' on the birds...
Out of curiosity, aren't birds incredibly messy out of their cages?
I have a congo African Grey as well as a Blue and Gold Macaw. I am so terribly sorry for your girlfriends loss, I know it has to be just awful.
Here's a short video of Bumbles, my macaw...he's truly a kick in the pants, as is my grey...they are very intelligent and have very distinct personalities, and if you've seen any of Irene Pepperbergs studies with Alex, then you know that grey's are just phenomenal...
Our cats are terrified of the birds, so I don't worry much about that...they've all had their tails and noses tweaked at least once so they steer pretty clear of their feathered friends.
We had a shepherd who lived with us for a short time, he only expressed a mild interest in the birds (he was pretty much terrified of everything) and the first time he stuck his nose in a cage to go after a bird treat, he got his nose bit, so he figured he wasn't going to do that again. Despite that, I always kept an eye on him, and he was never allowed in the room with them when they were out on their playpens.
We're looking into getting a puppy soon, and he's going to learn right off the bat what he can and cannot do with the birds, and again, I don't know if I would ever fully trust any dog around them.
You're going to have to make sure that there is an area of your house that the birds are in, that your dog NEVER goes into. I think that, because he's already killed once, it would be really hard to alter that behavior, and by not allowing him into the birds living space, you're removing more possibilities of kill or danger.
I would be devastated if I lost one of my birds. They're like...the soundtrack to my life.
African Greys have this uncanny ability to imitate voices so well, that you can't tell the difference between the bird and the person they're imitating. Same thing with sounds, too.
I recently lost a grey that had been in our family for years that my mother had given me when I moved out on my own...we figured her to be in her 60's...but even as I was an adult with my own child, that bird would still yell at me in my mothers voice to sit down, drink my milk, clean my room, shut the door...she imitated voices of relatives that had been long gone and sounds that were from growing up. Losing her was like losing a memory stick of all the wonderful voices and sounds of things and people I loved from my childhood. Somehow when she was around, I could sometimes close my eyes and all those people were back and I was just a kid again.
There was such an unbearable silence in our house when she died..our other Grey quit talking, refused to come out of his cage, and our vet came out to visit several times and determined that Darwin was suffering a loss just like the rest of us...which is when he suggested we look into another bird, and that's when Bumbles, our macaw, came into the picture.
Our newer Grey one is starting to be just like our first Grey was...he does my 8 year old sons voice...he meows like my cat who recently passed away after 18 years...he yells "HONEY!!" in my husbands voice, the water dispenser from the refrigerater, the car alarm, the microwave...the phone rings and he yells "hello?" in my husbands voice...and that will only grow with time.
And then, let's not even get into the financial investment we put into our birds....
So I understand how your GF's loss is unbearable, and if I were you, if you want to keep that dog, you should bend over backwards to make sure that the dog can remain in the house without taking away from the quality of life those birds are used to, because I firmly believe that it's unfair to leave a bird in it's cage for it's whole life, especially if it enjoys time out in it's playpen.
***Edited By: lorrix on 1/18/2007 2:17:37 PM*** Reason: add link
A friend of mine had a similar problem and what she ended up doing was making one room in her house for birds only. The took off the regular door and put in a screen door so that the birds could still feel like they were part of the house but the dogs and cats couldn't get in.
I had to get rid of my birds because Oakley really wanted to play with them and I didn't want her killing them accidentally.