I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Discussion of behavior issues, training and solutions here....

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Brendainnj
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I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by Brendainnj »

I posted this in the general & still haven't gotten any responses, so I thought maybe it belonged here, since it is related to behavior. Since the Brit is a "bird dog", can it ever be taught to leave pet birds alone? We have a clipped cockatiel who flies down to the floor sometimes. This was never a problem for our Lab, but he has passed now & we are looking at different breeds (hoping to downsize & less shedding). The Brittany seems like it might be a good fit...except with the bird. Just wondering if it's a deal-breaker and we should consider a different breed altogether. I've heard if they're raised with other animals, they're ok, but this is a bird after all.

Thanks, hopefully I haven't broken forum rules by posting 2 places; I'm just impatient to hear some feedback.

kat
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by kat »

No broken rules, most likely just timing - we've all been sleeping! This is a tough call to make, I'm sure there are Brittanies all over living nicely with birds, but I wouldn't do it myself. I only know of one instance personally, and it didn't work out, the bird didn't survive the relationship. Others may chime in here later, maybe some more hopeful advice....
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Barb Wright
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by Barb Wright »

If you are getting a young puppy I'm certain that with constant vigilance in the beginning that you can train the dog to leave the bird alone. In fact, they might even become best buds. But remember, puppies will try to "touch" things with their paws (along with mouthing everything in the world!!) and just reaching out to touch the bird could do some damage. If you are getting an adult it can also be trained, but you are talking CONSTANT VIGILANCE for a long period of time !! Here's the thing, most bird dogs will point, it's what they do, but when the creature moves, as in your bird hopping along the floor, well, the predator in the dog will kick in and s/he will go after the creature. So, you're not just talking about the Brittany, but ANY dog.

The bird is especially vulnerable since it can't fly. I'd want to keep the bird confined and only allowed freedom of the house when someone can be present so that the interaction between the dog and the bird can be observed and controlled. It's really a management issue, both for bird and for dog.

So, the answer is yes, dogs can be trained to leave other creatures alone....it all depends on the humans doing excellent management and using positive training methods to get the message across to the dog. Again, plan on constant vigilance and controlling the situation for a long time.

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dmedric
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by dmedric »

I don't own birds, but my sister does. She has a Golden Retriever and a Plott Hound mix (big dogs). She lets her birds out to fly around the family room, but has to watch her dogs (and she has worked with them). The Plott Hound mix got one of the birds once when it landed on the floor, but fortunately my sister was nearby and the bird was unharmed. Like others have said, it takes constant supervision. I know I wouldn't trust my Brittany -- he will sit for hours in front of her bird cage "watching" the birds. But, If they get startled or move quickly, he jumps up and wants to get to them.
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britlover
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by britlover »

My Piper has snatched birds out of the air, meanwhile Bryce hardly notices a bird. I think it completely depends on the prey drive of the individual dog. I wouldn't think of getting a bird.
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Brendainnj
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by Brendainnj »

[quote="I wouldn't think of getting a bird.[/quote]

The problem is...we already have a bird :(

Hoping (no, praying) that IF it's raised w/the bird from a puppy, it will be OK. With supervision of course.

Brendainnj
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by Brendainnj »

Well, I have a some reassurance...the breeder we are getting our puppy from actually has 3 birds! He also has a vizsla, GSP, mastiff and french bulldog along with the brittany mom! They are conures, which are bigger than my bird, but not much. Hopefully, I can get some training tips from him!

rtropeano
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Re: I'll try again...can Brittanys be trusted w/pet birds?

Post by rtropeano »

I think you can do it - but it's going to be constant management.

When I was a child I had a shih tzu and a parakeet - the bird could fly and my shih tzu still caught him.(like Barb said, any dog)

Luckily my mom was there and made the dog drop the bird = who ended up being ok.

I'd be very very careful with a bird who has clipped wings - maybe just keep the bird caged when you're not there to supervise.

Teach this pup a good leave it command.

Good luck
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