Even though having a dog obsessed with your birds is really adorable, there could be a significant risk behind this relationship. Let’s understand how this happened and what you can do about that.
Here is why your dog is obsessed with your bird.
Your dog may be obsessive with your birds due to affection, higher prey drive, bird’s behavior, jealousy, past history of chasing birds. Leave it & recall training, positive reinforcement techniques, regular exercises, attention redirection, separating them, & noise aversion are possible solutions.
It doesn’t matter whether your dog is obsessed with the bird or vice versa; there is always a risk has involved with this. So, you gotta figure out the reasons behind this and take necessary actions to eliminate the danger.
Why is your dog so obsessed with your bird?
Having a dog that is so obsessed with in-house birds is too risky for your cute little minions.
Even the bird responds to your dog while continuing a close bond, and they have been living in harmony for years; birds are fragile, and a blink of a time is enough to happen a tragedy.
So, you gotta figure out the reason behind your dog’s obsessiveness with the birds and take necessary precautions and actions to promise the safety of your birds.
Let’s explore the possible reasons why this happens.
1. Because of affection.
Have you ever seen a dog nudge on babies, cats, and other cute animals? My Lassie used to do on the birds, squirrels that we’ve rescued.
Essentially nudging means, the dog is ready to bond with that other animal or toddler. Especially, female dogs fond to do this.
Therefore the reason behind your dog’s obsessiveness with your birds could be sacred affection, and it finds birds are cute.
2. The dog has a higher prey drive.
Even the dog is trained to live in harmony with your birds, it might tend to chase after them or attempt to play with birds due to the strong prey drive running inside their bodies.
Therefore, that’s why you gotta be tremendously careful when choosing a dog to live with your birds.
If this is the circumstance, your bird(s) are at considerable risk. We gonna cover everything you can do to ensure the safety of your birds within this article. But for now, let’s head over to the following reason.
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3. It depends on the birds.
When you own a super calm dog with no interest in birds, that’s a plus sign.
However, if your bird always flies toward the dog, lands on its head, scraping the dog with a beak, anything that can make your dog reactive at the bird could cause some level of obsessiveness over time.
In fact, this reaction could be either an affectionate rejoinder mixed with affection or an attempt to scare off a trouble maker.
It’s is extremely dangerous to your bird as they are so fragile, and even a small dog can do significant damage.
4. Dog is jealous with your bird.
As human beings, we all feel jealous. It’s a completely natural phenomenon that isn’t true only for humans, but for dogs too.
When you always cuddle and play with your birds in front of your dog, the dog will feel jealous even birds are completely different creatures.
Frankly, it’s not about the other creature; it’s all about your attitude. You should spend sufficient quality time with your dog without just ignoring him by providing exercises, playing in the backyard, having a long walk, or simply playing a small in-house game.
5. The dog has past histry.
If your loving pooch tries to chase after and injure the bird as a part of his obsessiveness, chances are your dog has a past history of chasing after birds and just hunting down them.
This fact is so true when it comes to adopting a rehomed dog or rescued dog, and you don’t know how its former life was.
If you’re not how the dog reacts around the birds, it is better not to get a bird.
However, confirming whether a dog is obsessed with birds isn’t that much hard. Explore a little bit around your neighborhood and figure out which areas birds are used to hang in.
It’s better to keep the dog leashed and take him on a walk toward these birds. If it doesn’t interest them whatsoever, good for you!
However, if the dog’s prey drive becomes skyrocketing, it definitely needs proper training to ignore the birds. In most cases, rewarding and praising the calm behavior around birds tend to work for most dogs.
What can you do if the dog is obsessed with your birds?
Now you know the possible reasons for this matter. Even though there aren’t tons of reasons, above mentioned causes are adequate to do substantial damage to your bird.
With that, it raises the question of how to address when a dog is super obsessed with in-house birds.
Well, I’m gonna give you some of the proven, actionable tips that I’ve learned over the course of past years to keep my Rottweiller, Doberman, and the rescued dog super calm and gentle around the rescued birds.
1. Educate yourself about dog’s body language.
Firm stare at the bird while whining could be a warning sign. The restless behavior of the dog when cuddling the birds could be another example of danger.
Check if the dog is shaking and stiffening when you play with birds. If so, the dog needs to be trained to ignore the birds.
If the point is to be emphasized, every dog has its own personality, and the body language could differ from dog to dog. However, as the dog parent, you gotta understand the body language of your dog thoroughly.
This is possible if you can spend sufficient time with him. Then you will be able to observe specific behaviors in terms of warning signs when the prey drive is much higher.
2. Hang a bell around his neck.
Hanging a bell around the dog’s neck is something worth trying. This is because if the dog slowly approaches the birds, you and the birds can recognize the dog whenever it’s not visible to you.
Therefore, a small bell can buy enough time to execute yourself to prevent danger from happening not only during this essential training period but after that.
3. Training the dog to leave it.
It’s really important to train your dog to leave the bird alone when he’s really obsessed with your bird. Choosing a distraction-free environment at the beginning is the very first thing you should do.
Don't choose a much busy area in the house. Instead, consider selecting a quiet and calm room that has sufficient space. In fact, keep dog treats to praise for the good behavior to reinforce positive things. Moreover, it's better to start the training from the puppy stage as it's much easier for them to learn and you have more control over them at that stage.
If your dog isn’t a puppy, look forward to following best practices and remaining calm throughout the process while ensuring birds’ safety.
The prominent things during this process are training the dog “Leave it” command and recalling.
The following video will be super helpful to introduce the dog to birds and ensure the safety of little ones.
4. Don’t forget regular exercises.
Having excess energy in their bodies is one of the main reasons some dogs become hyper and inclined to exhibit behavioral issues while prone to common psychological issues.
Providing sufficient regular exercise is key to burning off their excess energy in order to keep calm and quiet.
Therefore, make sure to provide a long walk or playtime before taking birds out of the cages. In that way, your dog won’t be obsessive at the birds as it doesn’t feel any interest in playing with birds. Perhaps, he just wanna have a good nap!
5. Redirect the attention.
When your dog is obsessed with your birds, consider redirecting its attention from the birds. Frankly, this is also part of the training process.
I assume you know the body language of your dog.
When the dog provides a hard stare at the birds with having plenty of prey drive, consider redirecting its attention by showing its favorite toy of recalling its name and providing a puppy treat.
This positive association will teach the dog that he gets rewarded as soon as he doesn’t focus on birds.
6. Keep them separately.
Make sure to keep them separate when you’re away from home, or literally when they aren’t under your supervision, even when you having a quick nap.
As I mentioned earlier, a snap of a time is enough to a disaster happen. It doesn’t matter whether a dog is well behaved around your birds, don’t take risks by allowing access to the dog to the bird’s place without your awareness.
7. Get a noise aversion dog whistle.
Even I personally don’t like to use this method, it works like a charm!
Blowing it when the dog is super obsessed with your birds or when the dog is restless around bird cages will make the dog associate that unpleasant noise when they do things they aren’t supposed to do.
The dog will get this 100% by being consistent with this. Moreover, providing a treat with nice verbal praising would be a great way to keep him away from birds after he gets the focus out from the birds.
Using this whistle during the early days of training will help fall into the track pretty much easily. However, I wouldn’t recommend using this regularly as it increases the anxiety level in your dog.
Things to be aware of.
Okay, now you know the reasons why your dog can be obsessed with your birds. After discussing the possible solutions, I have several other things to share with you.
So, here are several things worth considering.
Bird eating from the dog’s food bowl: Don’t let the birds eat from your dog’s food bowl as it can make your dog aggressive toward the birds even if they lived in harmony; especially this behavior can be seen among dogs with resources guarding behavioral issue.
Rewarding: Don’t reward for negative behaviors to avoid confusion considering the welfare of your birds.
Licking the bird: Don’t let the dog lick your birds as dog saliva contains certain bacteria that could be dangerous for birds. Moreover, wash your hands throughout after having some time with your dog and prior to touching the birds.
Don’t punish the dog: NEVER EVER use physical punishments or yell at in order to behave the dog around birds. Instead, consider using positive reinforcement techniques, as we discussed earlier.
Keep the dog on a leash: Since prevention is better than cure, it’s better to keep the dog on a leash during the early days of introduction training. Because in that way, you have more control over the dog whenever it tries to lunge or jumps at your birds.
Hire a dog trainer: If you’re unsure whether you can train the dog to stay without being obsessed with your birds, consider getting help from a professional dog trainer.
Suggested Reading: Read this if your bird is also obsessed with your dog.
Many bird owners are curious to know why their dogs are obsessed with their birds. It can be due to many different reasons, including both normal and abnormal circumstances. However, having a close relationship with a dog and bird isn’t good for the welfare of pet birds. Therefore, we’ve discussed the possible solutions to take and other related concerns you need to be aware of through this comprehensive article. Hope you found this helpful.