Is it possible to have a Sporting breed that is good around birds?

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by SoCrafty, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. SoCrafty

    SoCrafty New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    US
    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?
     
  2. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    6,135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    two canines
    Location:
    Ontario
    Home Page:
    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.
     
  3. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    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.
     
  4. Zhucca

    Zhucca Lab Love

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,177
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada.
    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.
     
  5. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,953
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    OH
    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 :p
    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 :eek:
     
  6. SoCrafty

    SoCrafty New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    US
    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!!!
     
  7. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    19,779
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    8 dogs and 6 horses.
    Location:
    Ontario
    Home Page:
    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.
     
  8. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    15,349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    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.
     
  9. Pops2

    Pops2 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    3,072
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    UT
    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.
     
  10. Tazwell

    Tazwell New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My friend has a golden and Shes wonderful with the birds and critters.
     
  11. HayleyMarie

    HayleyMarie Like a bat outa' hell

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    7,058
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Beautiful British Columbia!!
    I know Teagan is ok with our rabbit. They have gotten into a few scuffels, but that was mostly the rabbits fault because it will attack Teagan and because my parents are retarded and allow Buns out with Teagan knowing full well that Buns will attack Teagan, Buns likes our other dogs though.

    I should add Teagan grew up with Buns and I know that if there was a wild rabbit outside she would chase it and try and kill it.

    My first Westie was also good with our "pet" rodents and ferrets, but if she was outside and there was rodents they were fair game and were gonna die.

    So really I think it depends on the dog. My next Westie could hate whatever small animal I have even if it grew up with them
     
  12. ~Dixie's_Mom~

    ~Dixie's_Mom~ ♥Chloe & Violet♥

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Messages:
    8,159
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1 hamster (and several fish)
    Location:
    Tennessee
    My childhood lab used to "mother" our baby ducks. She'd sleep with them, and they'd lay on her back. It was so precious. :) But that really depends on the dog.
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    Yes, it is possible.
     
  14. SoCrafty

    SoCrafty New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Messages:
    505
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    US
    Thanks guys, I am glad to know it is possible. I really wasn't looking for a puppy (I was more looking at an adult or young adult), so I am glad to know that I can have some type of success with an older dog.

    Thanks for all of your replies! I really appreciate them :)
     
  15. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Messages:
    10,233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    My cousin's gordon setter was her husband's upland bird dog. He spends his days in a house with cockatiels and hanging out with loose chickens, ducks, geese, and peacocks outdoors. He's never tried to mess with them except in the spring when the ganders start beating each other up. TJ freaks out and tries to break up the fight. He never learned. lol.

    His mindset seems to be, "if it belongs to my people, I'll protect it." He's a really good dog. One of my favorites.
     
  16. MicksMom

    MicksMom Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    3,978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    1 furry
    Location:
    Warren Co, NJ
    Mick was a Lab/English Setter mix and, he not only lived with a cockatiel, but loved it. They would nuzzle each other through the cage,and when the bird was playing on the table. Somewhere there's an old roll of film with pictures of Mick looking out the front door with the bird on his back. Mick was about 5 when we got the bird, so it wasn't like he had been raised with it.
     
  17. PitBullLove

    PitBullLove Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    WA State
    I'd go with a rescue. it is possible, i have had cats with birds, and labs with birds. don't give them the chance to do anything. most rescues and shelters will allow you to let the dog meet the bird before anything is finalized or you have the option to bring the dog back. i wouldn't encourage getting a show lab that can't do what its bred for just because the breeder is breeding dogs that cannot do what they were bred for and i disagree with that.
     
  18. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 Cat, 2 Dogs, 2 Parakeets
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I will second everyone else in that it is an individual dog thing. Jack and Missy are both completely fine with my indoor cat but will chase down any cats/squirrels/rabbits/ducks they see outside. They aren't left alone with the cat, however, because the dogs don't have free reign when we're not home.

    I have parakeets. When they're in their cage, my cat (and the dogs) has little interest in them - she'll watch them for awhile, but very lazily. When they're out of the cage, all bets are off. I would not trust her, nor my dogs, with the birds while they're out of the cage.
     
  19. Gypsydals

    Gypsydals New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,804
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It is possible. Our hunter(Peewee) who will catch and kill anything outside if given a chance will not even look at Cleo. I can have her safely out when he is in the house. Ivan on the other had has no impulse control. I don't think he would intentionally hurt her, but I'm not willing to take that chance. So they are never out together. He is pretty good at ignoring her now when she is in her cage. Which is very surprising considering she used to antagonize him all the time when he was little.
     
  20. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    3,452
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    6 + finches
    Location:
    Upper Left hand corner, USA
    Is it possible? Sure, why not. Do I think it's a good idea to get a sporting breed with the expectation that it just should learn to live with X thing against it's nature? Nope, I really don't. It's unfair to the dog.

    There was a guy back east that made the local news here because he bought a trained working line GSD, this dog was shipped across country, and was set up with the owner's unrealistic expectation that the dog *had* to just know not to eat the family cat, and be great around kids coming off of the plane. Was it possible he could have gotten a GSD who would have gotten off the plane like that? Yep, but really is the expectation realistic? No, not really.

    IME the really birdy labs don't take much to get turned on to OMG BIRD!! IT's a BIRRRDD!! STOP THE CAR I WANT THE BIRDD!!! WHERE'S YOUR GUN?! WHY DON'T YOU HAVE THAT GUN? IT'S A BIRD!!! I'M A DOG!

    Then add in the dirty look the dog gives you in the blind if you ever shoot and miss.
     

Share This Page