If you own a bird or birds and are considering getting a dog, it is crucial to choose a bird-friendly dog breed for the safety and well-being of your feathered friend(s).
In this article, we will explore the 17 best dog breeds that are safe and compatible with birds, allowing you to enjoy their company without any concerns or issues.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Bird Friendly Dog?
Before we explore the best bird-friendly dog breeds, it is important to understand the characteristics of a dog that is compatible with birds. This will allow us to evaluate potential dog breeds based on several factors.
My mother is a compassionate animal lover. Our neighbors often bring injured animals to her without hesitation, as they know we have rescued and released many animals in the past, including parrots, pigeons, yellow-billed babblers, common emerald doves, giant squirrels, and regular squirrels.
I want to emphasize that we have rescued and released birds and other small animals around our dogs, including a Doberman, Rottweiler, and a stray dog.
Without further delay, let’s explore the factors to consider when choosing a bird-friendly dog breed.
|Level of aggression.||The higher the aggression, the lower the compatibility with the birds.|
|Prey drive.||Birds are unsafe around dogs that have a higher prey drive.|
|Sociability.||The higher the sociability, the higher the compatibility with the birds.|
|Obedience.||If you own a high obedience dog, you have more control over the dog. Thus, that’s a plus point.|
|Trainability.||If a dog is highly trainable, it can be easily trained to behave around birds.|
|Level of energy.||Birds are unsafe around dogs that have high energy levels.|
|Intelligence.||A highly intelligent dog can easily understand what you want them to do.|
|Level of affection.||An affectionate dog is very compatible with birds.|
|Tendency to bark or howl.||Because the birds are frightened by the sounds, a calm dog fits well.|
Apart from the above primary considerations, certain minor factors can hugely impact the compatibility of dogs and birds. Here they are:
- The time the owners set aside for the dog.
- The amount of and quality of training the dog had.
- The nature of your house.
- How good the introduction is.
- Sensitivity of the dog.
- Owner’s personility.
- Amount of excersies the dog gets.
- Health status of your dog.
- Mentally stimulation level of the dog.
- Resourse garding behavior of the dog.
- Psychological issues in the dog.
Top 17 bird friendly dogs.
Disclaimer: We cannot say for sure whether a single dog breed is compatible with birds as it depends on various factors, especially on the individual personality. But what we do know is that chihuahuas are more aggressive than Golden retrievers. So, the dogs we gonna suggest here have a high tendency to get along with birds. Even in the same dog breed, there can be two dogs with completely different personalities. We aren't responsible for your choice.
After considering and analyzing all of the above factors, the Dog Breeds Experts team came up with the top 17 bird-friendly dog breeds according to their rankings.
1. Border Collie.
The border collies have earned the title of the most intelligent dog breed in the world.
While Loyalness, responsiveness, keenness, tenaciousness, and alertness are major plus points to becoming a bird-friendly dog, they are highly energetic and athletic, making them seek strenuous exercises daily.
Read this to understand whether border collies are good first time dogs.
2. Shetland Sheepdog.
The Shetland Sheepdog, or shortly sheltie, is one of the most affectionate, loyal, intelligent, alert, responsive, reserved, gentle, and highly trainable dogs in the world.
Considering their behavior, temperament, characteristics, shelties can be the second most bird-friendly dog breed in the canine world.
However, they are highly active, strong, eager, playful dogs. So, the dog’s parents must be able to meet its exercise requirements in order to keep them quiet and calm.
Read this to understand whether shelties are good for first time owners.
3. Australian shepherd.
The Australian shepherd belongs to the herding dog breeds group, making them perfect companions for other dogs, and pets including birds.
They are affectionate, highly trainable, good-natured, intelligent, and easy-going dogs, which gives them the third most bird-compatible dogs.
However, the Aussies are strong, active, and playful dogs, making owners be vigilant of their birds around an energetic Aussie.
Here is an in-depth guide to identifying a purebred Australian shepherd.
4. English shepherd.
The English shepherd also belongs to the herding group, which gives them extra credits to become bird-friendly dogs.
Moreover, they are independent, highly intelligent, kind, adaptable dogs making them fun and loving partners. However, the bird owners need to realize that English shepherds are highly energetic and often exhibit bossy behavior.
5. English sheepdog.
According to our research, English sheepdog ranks fifth among best bird-friendly dog breeds as they are intelligent, loving, adaptable, sociable, bubbly dogs.
However, please consider that they are considerably playful herding dog breeds.
7. Golden Retriever.
Although the Golden Retriever is a hunting dog and was bred to retrieve waterfowl, they are friendly, kind, intelligent, trustworthy, affectionate, reliable, confident.
So, they do well with other dogs to small pets, including cats, rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and birds.
8. Labrador Retriever.
Even though Labrador Retrievers are also bred for hunting purposes, they are intelligent, outgoing, trusting, gentle, intelligent. So it makes them perfect companions for birds.
If you are wondering why these extremely loving and sociable dogs are in 8th place, they are even-tempered, agile, and energetic, making them less compatible with birds compared to the above breeds.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terriers are ranked in 9th place as they are intelligent, confident, and affectionate. The main advantage of having such a dog is they are independent and less likely to care what other small pets do, including birds.
However, note that they are bold, courageous, confident, and noisy, frightening birds.
Read this to understand whether Yorkies are good for first-time dog owners.
10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi or simply Corgies can be ranked at the 10th place among top bird-friendly dog breeds as they are Tenacious, outgoing, affectionate, friendly, and do well with small pets.
Being a herding dog is extra eligibility to rank in a higher place. However, just be aware that corgies are playful, bold, and protective.
11. The Great Pyrenees.
Although the Great Pyrenees are bred as livestock guardian dogs, they can live in harmony with birds as they are gentle, affectionate, extremely patient, trustworthy.
With regards to the size, of course, they are giants! But what I wanna emphasize is that even a small dog can harm a bird if it tries to do a small friendly nip as birds are so sensitive and fragile.
So, it’s not about size! However, note that the Great Pyrenees are fearless, confident, and strong-willed canines.
12. Bernese Mountain dogs.
The Bernese Mountain dogs can be ranked in 12th place among the best bird-friendly dogs as they are intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and faithful.
Moreover, they are less likely to chase after birds due to low prey drive.
13. Great Dane.
Although the Great Danes are considered a giant dog breed, they can live in harmony with small pets, including birds, as they are friendly, loving, calm, gentle, overall attitude, reserved, devoted.
Moreover, They are less concerned about what other small pets do.
14. Saint Bernard.
Despite the fact that their calmness, gentleness, liveliness, friendliness, watchfulness, saint bernards must be closely supervised around other small animals, including birds, during the introduction period.
Their tranquility is really advantageous in order to raise them around birds.
15. English Bulldog.
The English Bulldogs generally have a fine personality to get along with other small pets, including birds, as they are friendly, affectionate, gentle, Gregarious, Docile.
However, the owners should be closely supervised during the introduction and training because the English Bulldogs are known to have willful personalities.
Since the Boxers are intelligent, devoted, friendly, loyal, obedient, bright, and calm, they can be fine with other small pets, including birds.
However, the owners should be aware that these dogs are energetic, playful, and cheerful.
Among the bird-friendly dogs, Keeshonds are at least at the end of the list as they are very obedient, bright, and can be an excellent pet for a family with kids and other small pets.
However, these dogs must be socialized well with other small pets, especially birds, as they are playful, quick, agile, sturdy creatures.
Things to be aware of.
Well, it seems like now you know the best bird-friendly dogs. However, certain things you need to be aware of to keep your dog and birds in harmony. So, let’s find out several crucial things that are worth considering.
1. Never trust the dog: It doesn’t matter how well your dog socialized with your birds; NEVER EVER trust the dog around birds regardless of training. Remember that It just only takes a split second to make a tragedy happen. So, you gotta always supervise the dog around birds.
2. When birds take out: Every time you bring a bird out, you have to put the dog in the crate. It’s better to keep him in a separate room if the dog barks and whines, resulting in scaring the dog. Moreover, if a bird lands on the top of the crate, you cannot expect what’s gonna happen.
3. Patience matters a lot: It’s possible to have dogs and birds coexist in the same households. However, it won’t happen overnight, and it will take lots of hard work, training, supervision, precautions, and especially patience.
4. Birdcage: Make sure the birdcage is large, heavy, sturdy, and has a lock that your birds or dogs cannot open. The cage should have appropriate bar space, making they won’t stick body parts out, and the dogs can’t stick their paws in.
5. Don’t clip bird’s wings: Don’t clip your bird’s wings as it’s crucial that birds flighted, especially with a dog in the house. Because flying is the only option birds have to escape from danger. If your birds are clipped, wait until their flight feathers are grown in until they can navigate around living space really well and recall train the birds prior to getting a dog.
6. High places around the house: You need to ensure that your birds have access to high places when they are out of the cage.
7. Wash your hands: Make sure to wash your hands throughout if you come into contact with dog spit prior to handling the birds again because dog saliva might have bacteria that can be harmful and dangerous for the birds. So, that’s why you never let your dog lick the birds.
8. Crucial training for the dog: The dog should respond positively to the commands sit, stay, lie down, leave it, recalling, especially they should be able to stop an unwanted behavior on to the command “no.” Crate training is also important
9. Dog behavior and body language: You should educate yourself about dog behavior and body language, especially being able to tell if your dog is showing stalking or hunting behavior.
10. Get a puppy: The introduction and socialization process will be pretty much straightforward if you get the dog as a puppy. However, just be aware that puppies are playful, full of energy, and naturally tempted to play rough. Chewing, nipping, pouncing is common among puppies.
11. When you are away from home: Keep them in separate rooms when no one is at home.
By the way, read this to understand why do dogs become obsessed with birds.
Frequently asked questions.
Here are several frequently asked questions.
Are german shepherds good with birds?
Since Most german shepherds are Stubborn, courageous, confident, curious, dominant, and prey-driven dogs, they aren’t good with birds. However, GSDs can be trained to live with birds in harmony, with a proper introduction, crate & obedience training, close supervision, getting the dog as a puppy.
Are yorkies good with birds?
Since Yorkies were initially bred as ratters, they’re enjoying chase after small animals. However, they are intelligent, confident, and affectionate, and trainable. So, they can be trained to live with birds with obedience & crate training, proper introduction, supervision, get the dog as a pup.
Are border collies good with birds?
Border collies are the best bird-friendly dog out there because they are intelligent, loyal, responsive, tenacious, alert, and highly trainable. However, supervision, proper introduction, crate & obedience training, socialization, meeting exercise requirements, getting the dog as a pup are musts.
Are beagles good with birds?
Since beagles are excitable, even-tempered, determined, and have strong prey drive with hunting instincts, they aren’t good for living with birds. However, beagles can be trained to live with birds with proper introduction, crate & obedience training, close supervision, & getting a dog as a puppy.
Are golden retrievers good with birds?
The Golden retrievers are the 7th best bird-friendly dog out there because they are friendly, kind, affectionate, trustworthy, reliable, and confident dogs. However, proper introduction & socialization, close supervision, crate & obedience training, getting the dog as a pup are must considerations.
Most bird owners are curious to know about the dogs that can live in harmony with birds. So, the Dog Breeds Experts team came up with the 17 most bird-friendly dogs after considering numerous factors. Moreover, we’ve discussed other related concerns and facts that most bird owners need to know prior to getting a dog. Hope you found this helpful.