Train Your Dog to Get Along with Your Bird
Have you wondered if you could train your dog to get along with your bird? Many people drop the idea as they think the animals will be unable to adjust and get along.
The thought of keeping birds or other small pets with dogs does seem impossible at first. What we don’t know is that dogs are quite capable of living in harmony with animals of prey such as birds and cats.
What’s required is proper training with persistence and consistency, and you will have a house filled with joy and happiness.
6 Tips to Train Your Dog to Get Along With Your Bird
If you already have birds in the house and are planning on adding a dog, you should definitely consider the following tips before even considering bringing a new pup into the home.
1. Your Pups Breed
Although all dogs have a natural prey drive and the instinct for hunting, certain breeds such as the sporting breeds and the terriers can be the most dangerous.
These dogs have the unstoppable urge of chasing any small thing that moves hence should be avoided.
If you do want to get a dog, look for friendlier breeds with low prey drivers:
- Great Pyrenees
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
- Border Collies
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs
- Old English Sheepdogs to name a few.
Some of these such as the Border Collie are submissive to their human leader and are therefore easy to train. These breeds are termed as biddable and are the ideal choice for multi-pet households particularly those with birds.
2. Age of Your Dog
When adding a pooch to the family, another crucial factor is age. Although puppies may seem more appealing as pets, you must remember that they are young, full of energy and unpredictable.
With these little balls of fur, it is almost impossible to evaluate the behaviors or the prey drive of the specific dog.
Adult dogs are mature, gentle, and easy to train and have predatory instincts that can be accurately assessed.
When You Bring a New Dog to the House
After you bring your new member home, the initial days are critical and set a precedent for your future training. There are a few common mistakes that pet-parents may make without realizing the dangerous consequences.
For instance, when you bring the dog home, he will be confused and overwhelmed by the new surroundings. The chances are that he might ignore the bird giving you an impression that the furry companion isn’t interested in Miss Birdie and won’t harm her.
However, when your pooch does get comfortable, he might suddenly attack. To avoid situations like these carefully begin by introducing your pet dog to your bird.
3. The First Few Interactions
After your dog adjusts to the new home, introduce him to the birdie. The initial interactions must be controlled and continued over a passage of few weeks.
Don’t rush the process as it requires patience and consistency for the animals to be able to understand the training.
Also, don’t let any of the animals near each other, keep the bird inside the cage and keep your pup on a leash.
It is crucial as in case either of the animals charges on the other; you can prevent a disaster from happening.
As the two begin to get comfortable, you can put your dog off leash. Afterward, you can finally let your pooch lose around the bird's cage.
4. Choose a Neutral Space
Since your dog is new to the home, he probably will not consider any area as his territory, but the bird has been around and will think of the room where you keep her cage as her space.
This feeling can trigger an aggressive reaction in your bird, therefore, ensure that you schedule the interaction in a neutral area.
5. Treats Can Help
When your dog exhibits good behavior, appreciate him with treats and praise. For instance each time you tell your dog to distance himself from the bird, and he follows the command give him his favorite treats to reinforce the behavior.
As the training sessions proceed, incorporate different tricks and teach various cues. To be on the safe side, you can even train your pup to move inside the crate as soon as the birdie comes out of the cage in case the cage door breaks open in your absence.
6. Protect Your Bird
Lastly ensure that you are well-equipped, with the right sized bird cage that is strong and proofed against the dog. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your pup has learned the accepted behaviors and won’t make mistakes, especially in a matter of a few weeks or months.
Never take the chance of leaving your bird outside the cage when the dog is in the same room.
In a nutshell, to train your dog to get along with your bird will require persistence and consistency so keep trying, and hopefully, you will have multiple pets thriving happily under the same roof.
About the Author
Danica Boyd is a bird enthusiast and nature lover. She has been keeping pet birds for several years and now has tons of practical experience in caring for birds. She writes for the team behind https://www.birdcagesnow.com/.