If you already have dogs and are planning to buy a bird, you will need to take certain steps before bringing this new pet home.
It is important that you do everything in your power to make sure they get along without any issues.
Don’t Rush it
The worst possible thing you could do when introducing a new bird to your dogs is to rush things. Instead you will need to start off slowly so that things go as smoothly as possible. You should bring your pets together for five to ten minutes at a time every other day. Keep doing this for a couple of weeks.
By allowing the bird and dogs to spend time together in small bursts, you will effectively socialize them with each other. It shouldn’t take too long before they begin to feel comfortable in each other’s presence. Keep in mind that some birds require more time and patience than others when it comes to doing this.
Decide a Meeting Place
It is also important that you choose a part of your house that neither animal feels particularly territorial over. You don’t want to choose the area that your bird’s cage is typically in, or a part of the house where your dog spends a lot of time. This can make it much more difficult to encourage your pets to get along.
Use Positive Reinforcement
You’ll want to use as much positive reinforcement as possible when introducing your birds to the dogs. This means giving both animals treats that they enjoy when they display calm and friendly behaviour towards each other.
You never want to use any negative reinforcement methods like yelling or hitting. This will only serve to upset both animals, which can destroy any progress you’ve made thus far.
Keep a Close Eye on Them
When you bring your bird and dogs together, it is crucial that you keep a close eye on them at all times. You need to make certain that neither animal is behaving aggressively. It is crucial that you not allow this to happen, even a little bit.
Make sure that you keep your bird in its cage while it is around your dog. This will decrease the chances of any regrettable accidents. You don’t want to trust your dog implicitly, which is why it is important to protect the bird, at least at first. You never know what could happen, so it is always better to be cautious.
Once it seems like your pets are getting along a bit better, you can probably take the bird out of its cage when it is near the dog. You’ll still want to be very cautious when doing this though. As stated above, you don’t want to rush this process.
You should keep your dog on its leash during the first few interactions. This will help to make the bird feel more comfortable, which is definitely important. You can let your dog off the leash when you feel confident that it has become more accustomed to the bird.
Consider Your Pets Age and Breed
If you want to introduce your pet birds to your dog, you’ll need to consider their age and breed. Younger dogs will most likely need more time to adjust to a pet bird in the house. There are some breeds of dogs as well as birds that are more stubborn than others. This just means that you might have to be a bit more patient that you initially thought.
Some dogs naturally have a stronger instinct to hunt than others, so you’ll want to factor that in as well. If you have a very docile dog that isn’t particularly hyperactive, this process could go very smoothly. These factors are important in shaping your expectations before you begin doing this.
Recognize the Signs
You’ll also need to be able to recognize the signs that your pets are still skittish around each other. When a bird is afraid or agitated, you might notice it starting to vocalize. Screaming is a sure sign that your bird is not in a good mood.
If it starts doing this around your dog, you’ll want to end the session and pick it up again on a different day. Feather plucking is another sign of stress that you should be aware of.
It is usually pretty easy to tell when a dog is feeling anxious or acting aggressively. If you have a puppy, it might start going to the bathroom on the floor. Barking, growling and snapping are common signs of aggression to watch out for. All of these things are clearly indicators that your dog is not ready to spend time with your bird.
What Not to do
There are some things you’ll want to avoid when introducing a bird to your dogs, including:
- Leaving them alone in the same room for any length of time.
- Trying to punish either of your pets if they don’t get along with each other.
- Continuing an introduction session even when one or both animals exhibit aggressive or fearful behaviour.
- Keeping one of your animals loose when they are together.
- Some dogs and birds can be pretty stubborn when it comes to being around each other, but you can train them to get along.
- Make sure that you consider the age and breed of both animals before getting started with this whole process.
- You’ll need to take things slowly at first, exposing your dogs to the bird for only a few minutes at a time every other day.
- It is important that you always keep a close eye on each pet to see how they are reacting to each other.
- Look for aggressive, fearful or territorial behaviour in both pets while they are spending time together.
- When you first start off, keep the dog on its leash and the bird in its cage.
- Use positive reinforcement in the form of giving treats to your pets when they are good with each other.