Animal lovers out there are often keen on having different pets. It is normal and should not be a problem. However, there are cases when your pets clash with one another. The most common example is the relationship between a dog and a cat. It is proven that with patience, there is a way to keep them together. That case is already a cliché.
The more unfamiliar case of animal skirmish is between a dog and a bird. People would say that is a one-sided victory for dogs. They are bigger, tougher, and stronger. It is a dilemma for most pet owners who have genuine affection for animals in general. There is nothing wrong if you want to get a dog and at the same time, acquire a bird. Surely there is a way to keep them from bickering.
Dogs have a playful side, and they would always see the small bird as a little toy that it can play with. If you already have a canine and want to get a bird, remember that dogs are territorial. It is not going to be an easy task but plausible. Even if it is the other way around that you already have a bird and want to adopt a dog, there would still be worry regarding the safety of the feathered friend.
Co-existence is the key to keep them both. Let your worries down. Here are some ways that you can do to keep them from antagonizing each other.
You cannot just put the two together in an instant. Introducing a bird and a dog can be a disaster waiting to happen. They both need to get the familiarity, and one meeting will not be enough to establish that. This can take a week or more, so be patient. Put in mind that dogs have a hunting instinct. What do you think will happen once it sees a bird? You will be lucky if the dog does not charge in an instant.
These are the things that you must remember during the introduction period for the feathery and furry pets.
Keep it neutral
Dogs are territorial. Birds, despite their size, have territorial tendencies too. If you want them to warm up quickly, choose a neutral ground. Both of the pets should not feel threatened with their personal space. This is the first step to ensure they will off to a good start.
Look at it this way. Even with people, if we met anyone and there is a threatening vibe, it is not going to be a good impression. The same goes for pets.
Prepare their favorite treats ahead of time. When training pets, the most important tool you need is their treats. If the pets are behaving well, give them both a treat. This way, they will understand and develop it into a permanent practice.
Oversee the situation
Never let both pets on the loose, at least during the introductory phase. At this stage, always keep the birds on the cage and the dogs on a leash. Do not, in any circumstances, leave them unsupervised. Since they are not yet familiar, one wrong growl or one wrong wing flip can be catastrophic.
Take this introduction of your pets as an opportunity to observe their behavior. No matter how much you want the pets to get along, some situations cannot be controlled. Dogs, in particular, have their predatory nature. Instinctively, they will see the birds as prey.
Trying to see if your pets will be comfortable with each other does not guarantee 100% success. In this case, you need to observe them and see if it is plausible to keep them together. Check out these behavioral signs to help you figure out their compatibility.
Before you let your dog and birds interact freely, check first if your dog is showings signs of aggression. Be on the lookout on their body language.
- Ears up
- Jumping up
Seeing these signs from your furry pal means its hunting instincts are acting up. At this time, it is not recommended to let them on the loose. Your dog can pounce on the little bird at any moment.
Dogs are predators by nature. Their physical characteristic says it all. They have sharp teeth, claws, and speedy responses. It doesn’t matter how domesticated your dogs are; they will still have the urge to hunt for prey.
If you see your dog exhibiting the following signs, better be wary. Your dog is looking at the bird as an alpha on top of the food chain.
- Back hairs are standing up
- Jab and dart
- Ears pinned backward
- Still Tail
- Following the bird around
- Calculated steps
The moment you see these behaviors, keep your bird secured immediately. The dog is not in the mood to make friends. Keep both restrained until things calm down.
Things to consider
Though there may be signs of aggression, do not lose hope. There are a lot of successful cases when dogs and birds have managed to co-exist. As an animal lover, you both adore your dog and bird, respectively. Make sure to take note of these things for both sides.
They are small and most likely won’t be able to do anything against the bigger dog. It is up to you to keep it safe.
Secure – Keep in mind that a day will not be enough to create a harmonious relationship between these two. Ensure the safety of your bird. You can let the dog warm up of its presence but make sure the bird is inside the cage. This way, accidents can be avoided.
Birdcage – You need to pay attention to the bird sanctuary. It has to be on an adequate size where your bird would be able to move around. Check for the cage door and its lock. Dogs can be pretty persistent at times that they would try to get their paws in.
There is no doubt that dogs are the aggressors. They are the ones who need to warm up and stay calm. Between these two, keep a better eye on your canine.
Leash – This is a must. For the first time that you are introducing a new pet to your dog, better keep it on the leash. This is the best way for you to take control of the situation in case it gets out of hand.
Age – The maturity of your dog plays a major role in creating an amicable relationship. If you still have a puppy, there is a need to exert more effort. But if you have a well-trained canine, things could be better.
There is nothing impossible with patience. You just need to help the pets reach a state where they are both comfortable. There will be a need for continuous training, but it is worth it. While trying to figure out their co-existence, never forget facts. Instincts can kick in anytime. It doesn’t matter if the pets are already getting along. They can revert to their original behavior. You need to be cautious as we cannot change the fact that these pets are a good example of prey and a predator.