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Old 10-02-2011, 12:26 PM
SoCrafty SoCrafty is offline
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Default Is it possible to have a Sporting breed that is good around birds?

This is just a general question...

You know those dog breed quizzes that tell you the breeds that are good for you? No matter what one I take, I wind up with the following breeds as my top five:
Golden Retriever, Flat Coat Retriever, Collie, Cocker, Labrador. If the list is longer, it's generally English Springer, Corgi, German Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Brittany.

I do like the look of Goldens and my aunt has one...a couple friends growing up had one. My ex in high school had a Flat Coat. I like their temperments - my aunt's Golden is amazingly sweet and gentle which is what I liked about my Cocker. If I couldn't adopt or find a Collie, I would probably look at Goldens or Flat Coats...but I'm so afraid of pursuing a Sporting breed since I have birds.

Should I really cross Sporting breeds off of my list?
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:14 PM
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MafiaPrincess MafiaPrincess is offline
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Good in what way? Not attacking the cage with a bird in it, or being lose with birds flying around? The former, sure. The latter.. if you had a dog with zero prey drive..

Dekka has Jacks and rats. Her JRTs are high prey drive. The rats live in a multi level cage and while the JRTs are interested, the rats are safe. She puts the dogs away to play with the rats. That situation would work fine no matter what breed you pursued.

We had finches for a while, while having Cider. I dislike birds though, and my roomie was a poor pet owner so they were rehomed. Cider was fine, but the birds were only touched while Cider was crated.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:24 PM
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I've seen it work. But you'd be looking a lower drive dog, probably from a breeder that bred show/pet dogs that didn't work and were "watered down". Or for an adult rescue.

If you're bringing home a puppy, there's no guarantee he won't want to eat your birds if they land on him or right in front of him, but you can certainly teach most dogs to ignore a caged animal. And you could, by meeting the parents, discussing the issue with the breeder, and having someone experienced help pick the puppy, etc. increase your chances the puppy won't be have a higher prey drive.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:28 PM
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Depends on the dog I suppose. When my sister lived with me she had her budgie. Two labs I watch regularly had hardly any interest although it did capture their attention. Duke however, wanted to eat it. Very, very badly. Jessie had to go into her bedroom and sometimes Duke would just lie there and snuff hopefully. This is a dog who has captured and killed two wild birds (a sparrow and a adolescent duck) and chases anything else with wings.

I think getting one as a puppy would be your best bet. If they grow up with birds they likely will be better behaved. I still wouldn't let a bird lose in the room with one though.
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Old 10-02-2011, 06:56 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Depends on the dog... for Maddie, birds in the house are off limits (she pretty much pretend they don't exist) amd she's very good about it. When one got loose, a leave it sufficed until I put her away and then caught the bird Outside.. FAIR GAME though
But I've also had foster cockers who would probably bust though a bird cage and swallow one whole, if allowed. Heck, we even had one that almost flipped the huge FN 142 ferret cage
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:05 PM
SoCrafty SoCrafty is offline
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Good questions, I just mean where I can have my birds in their cages out in the living room and know that my dog wouldn't attack the cages, pace around the bottom of the cage which could be a danger to him or her and my birds, or be anxious just knowing that they are there. They wouldn't ever be out if the dog was free (loose) in the area. I plan on doing their outside the cage time while my dog is in his or her crate, in the other room, out in the backyard.

Are there specific questions I can ask to a rescue or breeder that would help me determine what the dogs disposition would be like? Are there specific traits that I can notice when I am looking at a dog no matter what breed? Are high prey-driven dogs apt to play more rough with toys? etc.

ETA: So, would getting a puppy be better than an adult training-wise?

I am glad to know that others have dogs and other species that co-exist peacefully! This made me smile!!!
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:25 PM
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I don't agree with the puppy route. I speak from experience, raising a dog with another pet does not make any sort of guarantee. Snip was raised with cats and started killing cats at maturity.

Your best bet is to get a young adult that has already shown it has very little interest in eating birds. You will still have to watch and train and proof... but you are stacking your deck in your favour.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:25 PM
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I think getting an adult who has been bird-tested (either from a breeder, or from a foster home with small animals) is a better idea than getting a puppy.

If you get a puppy, there's no guarantee. You can up your odds to have a puppy that WILL get along with the birds, but choosing a breeder with lower drive dogs, who may be raised around small animals, and having the breeder or a trainer/behaviorist look at the puppies to pick a lower-drive pup, but there's still a good chance the pup's prey drive will kick in at some point....getting an adult will allow you to know their temperament.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:11 PM
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i know a guy in IA w/ patterdale terrors that hunt coons and he has free ranging chickens. the dogs have been taught and know not to screw w/ the chickens. so anything is possible if you're willing & able to put in the time & effort.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:05 AM
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My friend has a golden and Shes wonderful with the birds and critters.
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