Dog breeds for bird owners?

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Dog breeds for bird owners?

This is a discussion on Dog breeds for bird owners? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi, asking for a friend. She recently lost her pug of 14 years, and has decided to get a new dog. Her main concern is ...

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Old 10-06-2017, 01:12 PM
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Dog breeds for bird owners?

Hi, asking for a friend. She recently lost her pug of 14 years, and has decided to get a new dog. Her main concern is that she has a medium-sized parrot, who does not fly, and occasionally gets on the floor. Therefore, she wants to find a breed that can be trusted around birds. She said she would prefer a medium sized dog, preferably under 5 years old (so I know a lot of it depends on training, previous behavior, etc.) but she's pretty open as to what she's looking for. Any breeds, or mixes, to definitely stay away from, or look for?
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Old 10-06-2017, 02:12 PM
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Hello, I recently lost my quaker parrot so I feel her pain. I've owned several dogs with my parrot. Its going to depend more on the individual dog than the breed. I had a bullmastiff who was best buds with my birdy, and another bullmastiff I wouldnt trust for a second with her. .....its really hard to tell....
If your friend is going to get a dog from a breeder, she needs to specify low low prey drive...and thats not a guarantee.
I've had a dog with a very very high prey drive who was safe with my birdy.
In a perfect world, I would find a breeder who has dogs that are proven safe with birds and then get a pup from those dogs. Flappy flying things in general are hard for dogs to resist.
We have a german shepherd pup right now who can be trusted not to kill our chickens, but still likes to chase and scatter on occasion.
There are breeds out there who are bred for no to very low prey drive, bust most are over 100lbs
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:35 AM
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Agree. Dogs with high prey drive can still learn that individual pets in the house are their family or pack and be good with them. My last dog was an Akita pit bull mix and akitas are not supposed to be trustworthy around cats. I always locked him in his own room when I wasn't home as a precaution but he loved the cats and at one time I had seven when my mom died and I inherited hers as well as mine.

Current dog has high prey drive and will chase a rabbit but is fine with my cats and they're in charge. I do leave them alone.
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Old 10-07-2017, 02:48 PM
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I think all dogs can be trained to make an animal that would be prey a friend. Huskies are supposed to be cat killers but mine get along great with mine. :-) I think it matters at what age you get the dog. :-)
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Old 10-07-2017, 03:04 PM
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Be warned that if she gets her new dog from a shelter or rescue their behavioural analysis is likely to be based on their observations while the dog is in a different and sometimes stressful situation. My dog was identified by the shelter as having a low prey drive. It took us less than 7 days to discover that this was far, far from the truth. But I agree that even dogs with an instinct to chase may behave differently to recognized members of their pack/household.
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Old 12-19-2017, 05:51 PM
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Although some breeds tend to have a higher prey drive than others, it depends on the particular dog more than it does the breed.

Pugs are fairly unique. Maltese dogs can be adorable but not exactly medium sized.
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Old 12-19-2017, 09:08 PM
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It's a good idea not to over-generalize "prey drive". Some dogs, like many herding dogs, tend to have a high prey drive for animals that scurry on the ground, but don't generally care much about birds. Many hunting dogs gravitate the opposite way.

I would consider a low-energy breed that is not known for a particularly high prey drive, particularly with birds. If you're looking at a rescue dog, that's about the best you can do. Most everything else is up to chance. It helps if the dog comes from a foster home, since you sometimes get a little better insight into the dog's personality.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:19 AM
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I have parakeets that I let fly around my house from time to time. I had to train both my dogs (a chow/shepard mix and a border collie/lab mix) to not be reactive to them. Still working with the younger dog because he is very prey driven, and I had to teach him "gentle" with the smaller animals in the house. It took almost a year with the birds. But our box turtle and bearded dragon can walk around freely with no issues, supervised of course.
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