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Old 07-06-2009, 08:09 PM
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Hello from Parront Wanna-Be

Hi - just introducing myself. I have been doing a lot of research on parrot care and have taken a class from a wonderful Avian rescue not too far from home (The Gabriel Foundation). My family applied to adopt from them although we still have not decided if we should or not.

We're committed to the lifetime care and enrichment of a bird or birds; but we have two small dogs that bark at things real and imagined. We're concerned that barking dogs would stress a bird into plucking, and let me tell you, we've seen a whole bunch of featherLESS birdies at the rescue. We had no idea birds did that so often and with such conviction!!

Of course it's not the actual plucking that worries us, it's the fact that the bird would be expressing fear and/or stress. We've met a Goffin's Cockatoo that we fell in love with, but aren't ready to bring him home until we've thought of good ways to handle the barkies. Any suggestions would be welcomed, I'm about to search the forum for answers as well!

Thanks everyone, so glad to have found you!

Denver, CO
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:41 PM
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Re: Hello from Parront Wanna-Be

I think if you are committed to providing a good home to a parrot, which it sounds like you are, then you should not be at all concerned with the dogs - or at least not to the degree to make it stop your from getting a parrot.

Pets tend to get along far better than people do. Also I have very little doubt that with no training or intervention at all the dogs would at least get used to or habituate to the bird and stop barking. With some training this could be done much faster.

One thing you could do is ask if you could bring your dogs in to visit one of the birds (on leash and with the bird in a cage of course). This way they could see one another and you could see how they would react. I suspect at first they would be a little nutty, but pull up a chair (and perhaps read a book) and wait a bit I doubt the dogs would keep at it long.

Every introduction of parrots to dogs that I have seen has played out precisely opposite of what the owners expected: It tends to be the dogs who are scared and the birds just pleasantly curious... pleasantly curious that is until they get close enough to lay down the law with the dogs real fast.

Even if the dogs do bark at the bird would it really stress the bird? If the bird had no escape and the dogs were right there at the cage then perhaps. But with a good cage that is inaccessible to the dogs I suspect most parrots would just look down and laugh at a couple of crazy dogs that couldn't touch them. In fact the dogs could provide some entertainment and stimulation while you are away.

In many years of animal training I've never ran into an issue with pets that was unmanageable due to the pets, but only situations that were unmanageable due to the owners, the owners laziness, or the owners unrealistic expectations.

I highly doubt that your dogs would be a problem for a bird, and if they were you seem to be dedicated and reasonable enough to follow through with dealing with any situation that arises.

So my advice, sure, have a look around the forums, but go for it if there is a bird you want. I doubt there will be serious issues, but I suspect there will be little issues that come up - and when they do you can stop back in here.
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