introducing dogs to parrots

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
I know from the sounds of the title it's bad, but I do not mean the dog to be interacting with the parrots directly. Hear me out. Sorry for the long post in advanced. It's mostly rambling.

TLDR: I might be getting a puppy next year and I want advice on making it go well.

My situation has become complicated and I need to retire my service dog. She's healthy and young but she has lost her drive to work, and that's okay. I'm not gonna force her to do something she doesn't want to do. She will live out the rest of her life with me as a pet. Now, with this dog, Seph, I got lucky. When we got her I was in a very bad place and me and my parents had no idea what we were doing and just got a random puppy with intentions to train her up. Now, if you don't know, with service dogs you USUALLY a very particular with the pups and go to breeding pairs that have good temperament and then temperament test the puppies and etcetc. You don't just pick up a random puppy. So we got lucky that Seph is as wonderful as she is. She was neutral to the birds from day one. I only had Lincoln at the time I got her but even as a tiny pup she just did not care about this bird that was as big as she was. When I first got her, i had a wire crate shoved against my bed for her to sleep in. Lincoln climbed up that onto my bed and came to say hi, and she just slept through it. (Picture here). After I got Apollo, she was obsessed with Seph. Seph would lay under my desk while I was at my computer and Apollo would sneak down from her cage and climb on top of Seph. Seph didn't care at all, just relaxed. Obviously I didn't encourage this though and would move Apollo back to her cage and etc. Anyways, in short, I got lucky that I didn't have to do much of any management to deter prey drive in Seph.

Now, since Seph is being retired, I need to work towards getting a "replacement" for her. I'm doing it right this time around and I've already been in contact with a breeder that I feel confident in. We are aiming for sometime next year, but for a variety of reasons it's not guaranteed that I will be getting a puppy next year. I'm hopeful, but there's a lot that goes into it. This breeder seems like she would be very willing to work with me in finding the perfect puppy to train up for service work. She is very experienced and has shared a lot of her process with me and has produced prospect quality pups before. She just finished raising up a litter that had a few prospect quality pups in it and I COULD have gotten one but I simply didn't have the finances or ability to take them at the time, another reason why I'm waiting till hopefully next year. The breeder is debating if she's gonna use the same mom/dad pair that produced this litter or use same mom/different dad, or if she's even gonna breed at all next year. Apparently a lot of quality breeders are considering holding off on breeding for a bit because during covid a lot of backyard breeders were just PUMPING out puppies and the economy is kind of in shambles.

IF there is a litter next year, I plan to ask her if I could bring one of the birds in a carrier over to see how the puppies react and hopefully go for a pup with low reaction to the bird(s). I am sure she would let me, but I want to ensure the safety of the bird first. The bird will never leave the carrier, and the carriers I have are rather puppy proof so I'm not worried about the puppies getting to them. However I would still likely request only 1-2 pups at a time instead of just putting the carrier in with all the pups. And I would be holding the carrier the entire time. Do yall think this would be okay? I would probably take Aster as she wouldn't be scared and still being relatively active. Lincoln would just sit there unphased, I think Apollo would be to freaked out.

I have a lot more experience with training now than I did when I got Seph. So even if the dog does have some prey drive, I am confident I could train self control into the pup and have it be non-reactive. But I just want to ask yall if you have experience with managing these kinds of situations just encase I'm missing something. I don't intend for the pup to have free access to the birds, they will still be separate, but I want the pup to be able to go into the bird room with me and have no issues.


(Note: if you saw my post about maybe getting rabbits, that will not longer be happening. Service dog > rabbits)
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I have thought about someday getting a service dog, and have read that herding dogs would be best around parrots as they have little prey drive. Terriers and hunting dogs should be the most dangerous to have with a parrot.

That said, the seeing eye dogs that I’ve met were all so well trained that I would have been shocked if they chased a bird.

I think your idea of choosing the pup that reacts less to your parrot is a good idea. But I am thinking of my friend who went to the humane society and chose a very mellow kitten. Brought him home and then learned the kitten was sick. Once the kitten was well he was a very energetic little cat. So her plan didn’t work out as she’d hoped.

Mostly I would stay away from hunting dogs, terriers, retrievers, badger dogs, were I looking for a dog.
 
OP
Owlet

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
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The breeder I am looking at does standard poodles. I'm not worried about possible sickness. I still have to ask her what kinds of vaccination and deworming she does but based on what I read on her website she follows the proper vaccination time frame for pups still with mom. It also sounds like I would be visiting multiple times week(s) apart so I would be seeing the puppies and how they react in multiple situations and timeframes.

I'm curious about you reading herding dogs would be the best, from what I understand the dog could be prone to herding behaviors which includes nipping at what they're trying to herd which could be problematic for birds. Less so for sheep/cows.
 

onamom

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May 9, 2022
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Ona: Dilute Green Cheek Conure
My experience with herding dogs: I have a border-Aussie and she is phenomenal with my GCC. All my dogs are great around her but she’s definitely the best. I think herding dogs are good at “knowing their pack” if you will and are protective of the family. She’s seen us interact with Ona and knows she is part of our family.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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My experience with herding dogs: I have a border-Aussie and she is phenomenal with my GCC. All my dogs are great around her but she’s definitely the best. I think herding dogs are good at “knowing their pack” if you will and are protective of the family. She’s seen us interact with Ona and knows she is part of our family.
That’s my experience. My best friend of many years had a sheltie, and she was great around my parrot, even though I wouldn’t have tempted her. The sheltie herded ME if I didn’t keep up on walks. But not with nipping but nosing and circling around tighter and tighter. Very funny!

Poodles are super smart and I don’t recall that they were bred to hunt. Also they’re less allergenic. I would think that they might work well.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Oops! I checked up on the origins of the poodle breed because I thought that they might have been some sort of retriever or gun dog. They were originally duck retrieving dogs, the name coming from a German word similar to “puddle” which means to splash. The curly coat is an adaptation for being in water.

That said, that original use was hundreds of years ago. Now, poodles are kept as companion dogs and are used in circuses and such because they are so smart and trainable. They are some of the most popular service dogs. Not good guard dogs, as not territorial, but particularly good family dogs.
 

Cottonoid

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Oops! I checked up on the origins of the poodle breed because I thought that they might have been some sort of retriever or gun dog. They were originally duck retrieving dogs, the name coming from a German word similar to “puddle” which means to splash. The curly coat is an adaptation for being in water.

That said, that original use was hundreds of years ago. Now, poodles are kept as companion dogs and are used in circuses and such because they are so smart and trainable. They are some of the most popular service dogs. Not good guard dogs, as not territorial, but particularly good family dogs.

There are a good number of standard poodles used for waterfowl hunting here - they can be more reliable gun dogs and less prone to hypothermia than more popular breeds. I agree with you, IMO a great choice for a service dog if trained from the get go. All my favorite service dogs I worked with in vet med were breeds that can be really headstrong and need appropriate training from the beginning of ownership - but to me that's why they're so fantastic as a service animal! Rottweilers from proper breeding lines are my all time favorite, especially for wheelchair users. Such love bugs with the mastiff type steadiness of personality 🥰
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Maryland - USA
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Oops! I checked up on the origins of the poodle breed because I thought that they might have been some sort of retriever or gun dog. They were originally duck retrieving dogs, the name coming from a German word similar to “puddle” which means to splash. The curly coat is an adaptation for being in water.

That said, that original use was hundreds of years ago. Now, poodles are kept as companion dogs and are used in circuses and such because they are so smart and trainable. They are some of the most popular service dogs. Not good guard dogs, as not territorial, but particularly good family dogs.

So breed standards try to keep that instinct. So with a well bred dog would still have those retriever instincts.

That said, as a rover dog sitter, when first starting out the birder breeds like spaniels, poodles, and various retrievers (golden, labs, etc) were some of the dogs i was most concerned about. However, over 4 years and about 100 unique dogs later, I watched many poodles (mostly miniatures, but one or two medium sized mixes) and they were some of the most well-behaved of any breed where it came to to the bird. Completely ignored him. I was surprised when I noticed that a couple years in!

Unsurprisingly, the dogs i had the most Issues with were the terriers: westies (resource guarders, the lot of them-cant stand the breed), yorkies (only one was problematic of the 3-4 we watched)…and one golden. By far the rest of them all left Parker alone, uninterested.
 

Cottonoid

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I totally agree, @chris-md, with my experiences with the different breed types. A good bird dog will almost always ignore a bird unless directed to do something about it, and even then they are bred to cause no physical harm to the bird while carrying in its mouth.
 
Jun 1, 2022
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Previous-Sydney, Australia current-Utah, USA
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Senegal parrot(male)Percival
Green budgie(male) Buckbeak
Clear wing budgie(female) Rowena
I would look into Cesar Millan he is really good and has a website and tons of videos, he works more on behaviour of dogs and less on the classic training, but his stuff guarantees your dog won’t chase members of your family, I did everything he talks about and my dogs who used to go mental at rabbits, chickens, parrots, now can be right next to them all!! It’s my parrot I have to watch now😂
 
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Owlet

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
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I would look into Cesar Millan he is really good and has a website and tons of videos, he works more on behaviour of dogs and less on the classic training, but his stuff guarantees your dog won’t chase members of your family, I did everything he talks about and my dogs who used to go mental at rabbits, chickens, parrots, now can be right next to them all!! It’s my parrot I have to watch now😂
I disagree. I am a dog trainer. I went through Karen Pryor Academy and I am currently going through the petsmart program to become an accredited trainer in their stores.

Cesar uses outdated methods of training. Dominance and/or fear based training which can have absolutely disastrous results. He has gotten animals under his care killed.

If someone is looking to train their dog I highly suggest any reading material from Karen Pryor such as "Dont Shoot the Dog". Its a positive reinformacement, clicker based training which is scientifically proven to be effective. It is commonly used in zoos with aquatic animals, big cats, any really all animals.
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
100% agreed. I work for an animal behaviorist part time. She had the opportunity to get him to come drum up publicity for her business. She told me her answer was “he would not be welcome to step foot in my facility. If never be associated with him or his methods”.

The big problem with dominance training - as conveyed to me - is that it puts you in the pack hierarchy. When you are the alpha, betas will always look to eventually overthrow you. You’ve got a social dynamic set up to fail.

We arent one of the pack, much as we pretend. Dont act like it.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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100% agreed. I work for an animal behaviorist part time. She had the opportunity to get him to come drum up publicity for her business. She told me her answer was “he would not be welcome to step foot in my facility. If never be associated with him or his methods”.

The big problem with dominance training - as conveyed to me - is that it puts you in the pack hierarchy. When you are the alpha, betas will always look to eventually overthrow you. You’ve got a social dynamic set up to fail.

We arent one of the pack, much as we pretend. Dont act like it.
I totally agree, @chris-md, with my experiences with the different breed types. A good bird dog will almost always ignore a bird unless directed to do something about it, and even then they are bred to cause no physical harm to the bird while carrying in its mouth.
My dad’s springer spaniel almost ‘got’ my bronze winged Pionus, but I’m guessing the dog was more of a pet and less a hunting dog. Scared the snot out of me and the parrot anyway.

In my experience terriers love to chase little animals that scoot across the floor.

I probably would not live with terriers again.
 
Jun 1, 2022
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Previous-Sydney, Australia current-Utah, USA
Parrots
Senegal parrot(male)Percival
Green budgie(male) Buckbeak
Clear wing budgie(female) Rowena
I disagree. I am a dog trainer. I went through Karen Pryor Academy and I am currently going through the petsmart program to become an accredited trainer in their stores.

Cesar uses outdated methods of training. Dominance and/or fear based training which can have absolutely disastrous results. He has gotten animals under his care killed.

If someone is looking to train their dog I highly suggest any reading material from Karen Pryor such as "Dont Shoot the Dog". Its a positive reinformacement, clicker based training which is scientifically proven to be effective. It is commonly used in zoos with aquatic animals, big cats, any really all animals.
I’m a dog trainer I follow his advice I rarely correct a dog, i mostly focus on energy and body language I see it like communicating to a dog in their language instead of teaching them your language and if you watch carefully you see the dogs don’t fear him they enjoy having a good leader makes them feel safe…any way do what you do :) I don’t want to cause an argument or anything.
 
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Owlet

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
2,412
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Colorado
Parrots
Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
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I would appreciate if you didnt post on my thread promoting him. Great that you've had success with his methods but it doesnt nullify that his methods are dangerous. He gets bit frequently and dogs and other animals have died/been killed under his direction. Dominance based training is a long outdated method of training that was based on studies of wold etheology and has since been completely debunked and the scientist that did the study on wolf hierarchy has publically said he was wrong about wolf hierarchy.

Cesar is not a safe man to be taking directions from when it comes to training.
 
Jun 1, 2022
37
Media
3
41
Previous-Sydney, Australia current-Utah, USA
Parrots
Senegal parrot(male)Percival
Green budgie(male) Buckbeak
Clear wing budgie(female) Rowena
I would appreciate if you didnt post on my thread promoting him. Great that you've had success with his methods but it doesnt nullify that his methods are dangerous. He gets bit frequently and dogs and other animals have died/been killed under his direction. Dominance based training is a long outdated method of training that was based on studies of wold etheology and has since been completely debunked and the scientist that did the study on wolf hierarchy has publically said he was wrong about wolf hierarchy.

Cesar is not a safe man to be taking directions from when it comes to training.
Got it! Sorry if i over stepped! Just trying to be helpful.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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100% agreed. I work for an animal behaviorist part time. She had the opportunity to get him to come drum up publicity for her business. She told me her answer was “he would not be welcome to step foot in my facility. If never be associated with him or his methods”.

The big problem with dominance training - as conveyed to me - is that it puts you in the pack hierarchy. When you are the alpha, betas will always look to eventually overthrow you. You’ve got a social dynamic set up to fail.

We arent one of the pack, much as we pretend. Dont act like it.
My animal behavior professor (McConnell) way back when, used to point out that all but the smallest dogs could kill a human. Which is a good reason to treat your dog with respect.

My uncle has tried to do that dominance crap with my parrots and now I just tell him to leave them alone. He can’t understand that birds think they are LUNCH to a larger animal and he is not being the “boss” and getting obedience, he is scaring the bird.

If you want to get along well with your parrot, live with them in a studio. If your bird sees you sleeping every morning they will trust you well. A bird that knows it will not be hurt by you will be a very good friend and flockmate.
 

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