Catching Birds!

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

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Cindy
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Catching Birds!

Post by Cindy »

Now what do I do? Pippa has decided that's it's fun to snag birds off the feeder!! I haven't actually seen her do this, but I've definitely watched her hanging around our bird feeder alot. Tonight I caught the tail end of her landing with a small purple finch in her mouth which she quickly killed and tried to eat. I was soooo mad at her, and after screaming a bit she dropped it, tucked tail, and headed for the house. Even our cat doesn't do this!!! Any suggestions other than taking down the bird feeder? I know she's a "bird dog" but I thought that meant pointing, not killing!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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britlover
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by britlover »

I have a bird-snatcher too. My Piper has snagged birds out of the air as they flush from a bush. No suggestions on how to train that response out of the dog other than working with her on lead and rewarding her for pointing and not jumping at the birds. If that doesn't work then I'd empty the feeder.
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Puddin Man
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Puddin Man »

It's really a tricky one if you sorta cherish the birdies. Mine would go thru all the motions of pursuit, but not actually catch any of 'em.

There's the obvious stuff: Can you position the feeder outside the fence (if any)? Outside the yard? Leave the dog in until the birds are thru eating? Etc.
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Cindy
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Cindy »

Our dogs have always pointed at the feeder but that's as far as they went. Since we live way out, our yard covers a big area so there's really no place o move the feeder to other than take it down. We do try to keep the dogs in until the birds are done feeding but this time of year they seem to come all day long AND they bring in their babies which are fun to watch. I "thought" Brittanys were supposed to point and not catch!!??!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Puddin Man
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Puddin Man »

Cindy wrote:... I "thought" Brittanys were supposed to point and not catch!!??!!
And so did I, until I read about various little "kill" incidents in this forum, after which I viewed "point only" as a learned trait in some Brits.

P

Cindy
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Re: Catching Birds! - AGAIN!!

Post by Cindy »

So Pippa has continued to spend alot of time under and around the bird feeder. Every time I see her she gets yelled at and brought inside but I guess I'm not much of a threat. Tonight I looked out and saw bright yellow feathers protruding from her mouth! I yelled "drop it" and nothing - she just crouched down until I reached her and was able to pull the gold finch out of her mouth - dead of course.

Is it time to bring in the feeder? If so, what will stop her come winter when we really do need to feed the birds? Does anyone think the e-collar might work???? I hate to use it for discipline purposes when she's done so well wearing it off leash. I wouldn't want her to get confused but I AM MAD!!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Puddin Man
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Re: Catching Birds! - AGAIN!!

Post by Puddin Man »

Cindy wrote:...
Is it time to bring in the feeder? If so, what will stop her come winter when we really do need to feed the birds? Does anyone think the e-collar might work???? I hate to use it for discipline purposes when she's done so well wearing it off leash. I wouldn't want her to get confused but I AM MAD!!!
Being quite fond of gold finchs as well as safety of the local birdies in general, I, too, would be mad.

For now you could just pull the feeder. In the long run it looks like the feeder needs to be high enough that the dogs can't get to it. A really long shepherds hook, perhaps?

P

Cindy
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Cindy »

Now you have us thinking ... the feeder is quite large and mounts on the top of a pole. I can just barely reach it to unscrew the top to fill it. But maybe there's some kind of telescoping pole that we can lower and raise.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Barb Wright
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Barb Wright »

Cindy wrote: But maybe there's some kind of telescoping pole that we can lower and raise.
There are telescoping flag poles that might work just right. You would need to figure out some kind of platform, but that shouldn't be a problem, I would think.

And there is a flip side to this problem of the dogs catching birds.....having to be on the alert for attack does help keep the birds paying attention. Birds that are caught by dogs would most likely have been caught by some other predator for the very reason of not being wary enough. It's the age old premise of "survival of the fittest". The "survivors", the more "fit" birds, will produce smarter and longer lived progeny. That said, it would be caring to give the birds a little more edge in the survival scenario. Life is pretty tough in the wild....evening the odds a bit is something we can do.
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Puddin Man
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Puddin Man »

A really long shepherds hook and a ladder in the short term? In the long run you might want to consider mixing/pouring some concrete to form a platform for a flagpole or similar structure?

Shouldn't be too difficult, and should provide protection from tomcats as well as dogs.

P

Cindy
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Cindy »

I wish you could see our feeder - it has a dome on top to keep the squirrels away and also from them leaping to it from the nearest tree. It has this gigantic steel baffle on the pole to keep the racoons away (we saw a family climbing on each others backs to try and reach over the top of it!), and now it's going to be 15 feet tall to keep Pippa from jumping up and snagging the birds. Our cats have NEVER presented this much of a challenge when it comes to hunting! :lol: :lol:

I'm trying to adopt Barb's "life is pretty tough in the wild" attitude and let nature take it's course but you all know me better than that!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Puddin Man
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Puddin Man »

Cindy wrote:I wish you could see our feeder -
Picture!! Picture!!!
Cindy wrote:it has a dome on top to keep the squirrels away and also from them leaping to it from the nearest tree. It has this gigantic steel baffle on the pole to keep the racoons away (we saw a family climbing on each others backs to try and reach over the top of it!), and now it's going to be 15 feet tall to keep Pippa from jumping up and snagging the birds. Our cats have NEVER presented this much of a challenge when it comes to hunting! :lol: :lol:

I'm trying to adopt Barb's "life is pretty tough in the wild" attitude and let nature take it's course but you all know me better than that!!

You may have sorta "fenced yourself in" on this one. :-)

Gotta really tall tree? Got a kid that can climb it, run a single wire from a branch to the top of a feeder?

P

Cindy
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Cindy »

Here's the "bird friendly" feeder along with the killer dog just waiting and hoping. If you look carefully you'll see a gold finch on the side!
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Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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Barb Wright
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Barb Wright »

That feeder looks pretty skookum to me already 8) Most I would do is maybe raise it a bit more, give the birds just a little more space above the dogs. BTW the dogs look in super shape, lovely tuck up 8) 8)
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Alifaire
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Re: Catching Birds!

Post by Alifaire »

Could you use some temporary fence, like the wire garden borders, to keep the dogs far enough away but still make it easy to move for mowing?
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