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Old 06-27-2020, 07:07 PM
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Bird Walking

After several months I have finally gotten my Scarlet Macaw to put on a harness with little fuss. We go for walks but there are a lot of dogs around and sometimes off their leash. Some of the dogs have tried to "approach me" sometimes with a little aggression. So far the owners have all been able to defuse the situation. Has anyone else come up against this issue and have any suggestions?
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:16 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

LOL, yeah, teach your Macaw "Attack" !
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:44 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

It probably goes without saying, but a guy walking a bird is...unusual, and you’ll have to teach a lot people how to behave with their dogs. Just comes with the territory, so handle it with grace. I walk my bird, and I don’t use a harness (my boy destroys his flight and tail feathers Through babering, so is completely flightless 6 months out of the year). Just the owners to keep the dogs at bay. Or walk around them/cross the street on your own - take initiative so it doesn’t become an issue to begin with.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:45 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
LOL, yeah, teach your Macaw "Attack" !
Lol, it took me 2 months to get that damn harness on.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:12 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

Quote: Originally Posted by BirdieDad View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
LOL, yeah, teach your Macaw "Attack" !
Lol, it took me 2 months to get that damn harness on.
You should be elated at that! It took me the best part of a year, training every single night, to get Salty comfortable putting on and taking his harness off. We still do it, or most of it, every night during our training sessions. Even if we only get his head thru the head loop and drape the rest over his wings, doing that makes sure that when it comes to putting it fully on, its no big deal.

But really, Chris' suggestion to just cross the street before the confrontation happens is likely the best solution. A lot of dog owners have very poor control over thier dogs, big ones especially, and before they can reign in Rover, your macaw will get frightened, and a scared parrot is one ready to take flight.
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Old 06-27-2020, 10:43 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

Is it legal to carry pepper spray with you?

Some dogs have a crazy prey drive and clueless owners.
Things can easily escalate, and better safe than sorry.

It's one of my biggest fears also, and sadly kept me from taking my bird many places.

I ended up walking where dogs didn't.
Stores, fairs and festivals.
Kids sports games I've always been welcomed. I also had a kid there though...
Places dogs aren't allowed, birds can usually squeak by.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:39 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

I use to carry a flashlight with a built in stun gun function.

I found just hitting the button and making it "pop" was enough to make a dog decide he had somewhere else to be.

I did not do this with my bird though, just used it when I got home late at night. never know what stray dogs might be wandering around.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:20 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

Quote: Originally Posted by macawpower58 View Post
Is it legal to carry pepper spray with you?

Some dogs have a crazy prey drive and clueless owners.
Things can easily escalate, and better safe than sorry.

It's one of my biggest fears also, and sadly kept me from taking my bird many places.

I ended up walking where dogs didn't.
Stores, fairs and festivals.
Kids sports games I've always been welcomed. I also had a kid there though...
Places dogs aren't allowed, birds can usually squeak by.

I have been trying to find places where there are no dogs but it can be a little difficult. However, the places you mentioned seem like great places to start. I am planning to purchase a stun baton. It is hard for people without birds to understand how much of a personal investment on so many levels a bird can be.
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Old 06-28-2020, 11:23 PM
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Re: Bird Walking

Quote: Originally Posted by texsize View Post
I use to carry a flashlight with a built in stun gun function.

I found just hitting the button and making it "pop" was enough to make a dog decide he had somewhere else to be.

I did not do this with my bird though, just used it when I got home late at night. never know what stray dogs might be wandering around.

This is exactly what I am planning to do, carry a stun gun. the neighbors dog sometimes waits in front of my door waiting for me to come out with my birds. My neighbors are much older and think it is cute that their pitbull wants to play with my birds. I am actually not amused in the slightest and wish they would put the dog on a leash. My neighbors are nice and I moving soon, so I just being extra careful when I open the door.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:43 AM
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Re: Bird Walking

Wow! A surprising amount of weaponry discussed for use of keeping dogs at bay! It's a bit of a shock (no stun gun related pun intended), but I'm a Brit, so having weapons on me to solve a problem just isn't really part of my thinking and I also have dogs and a parrot and I've never walked mine - the parrot that is, not the dogs.

I'd just like to ask how much of a problem is this? If the dogs would attack you or your bird, then that's one thing and causing physicalpain to the dog is sad, but entirely justified, but a dog running up and barking at your macaw...well...that's what dogs do. You're taking a parrot for a walk. Most dogs burst with excitement when they see another dog, never mind a tiny, brightly coloured dinosaur with feathers on. If there is no physical harm to you or your bird and the concern is fear, then perhaps you need to condition your parrot to dogs like you did the harness? I'm honestly not sure I would behave in a sensible, adult, parrot owning manner if someone walked past me in the street out for a stroll with a macaw nevermind my dog be able to control himself, he gets almost too excited to remember to breathe when my husband comes back into the room after he went to make a cup of tea!

If it were neighbourhood children running up and jumping about and screaming and shouting and trying to poke at your bird - as on board as I am with the stun gun approach in this case - you would have to find a different solution to keep your bird safe. Probably you would both ignore them until a little finger got a bit too close at which time your bird would swiftly bite it completely off and you could chew on it as you walked off...sorted.

Dogs off leads is not good and I recognise that the people who have their dogs off the lead are usually the people who should REALLY not have their dogs off the lead, but it's about level of risk I think.

Also you need to be careful that you don't grab for you stun gun rocket launcher taser torch as soon as you hear the pitter patter of tiny feet on the pavement beside you, because you will become tense, your bird will become tense and the dog will become tense.

I can only apologise for the above ramble, but somewhere in there I think there's a reasonable point or 2, even if they are well disguised...
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