There has always been a particular kind of affinity, or connection, between humans and animals that has been built on mutual love.
This affinity is why domesticating pets has become an instinct of man, and the why the desire to have more than one pet is so strong.
But if we’re talking about owning more than one pet, let’s talk about two of the most popular kinds – dogs and parrots.
Dogs and parrots are among two of the most popular pets in the world, but can the two live together?
The answer to this question is yes, dogs and parrots can live in sync with one another, and a harmonious relationship between a dog and a parrot is possible.
The key to developing a working relationship between your parrot and your dog is being aware of your dog and parrots basic instincts, and being willing to dedicate some time to mental and behavioral training of each.
With that being said, the ability to develop a relationship between your dog and your parrot comes down to three things: a) your will power, b) your belief in the process, and c) how well you have judged the nature of your dog.
Keep in mind that training your parrot and your dog to live together is a process that takes time and dedication on your part.
The introduction between your parrot and your dog is not a one-time process, and requires strict supervision at all times.
Both pets need time to adapt to their new living partner, and both will do so on their own time.
You must be willing to be present during this process, and can never leave the parrot and the dog alone together during it.
Today, we’ll talk a little bit more in depth about the relationship between parrots and dogs, as well as give some tips regarding the do’s and don’ts about the introduction process.
Let’s not waste another minute!
Can parrots get along with dogs?
Both dogs and parrots are sensitive creatures that observe their environments very keenly.
In return, you need to make sure that you attend to the needs of both your parrot and your dog equally.
Putting the needs of one pet before the other can create jealousy (yes, animals and birds can get jealous), which can lead to animosity towards one another, which can lead to disaster, and an environment where co-habitation would be very difficult.
When dealing with the relationship and introduction between a dog and a parrot, you have to remember that it is a dog’s natural instinct to attack animals smaller than themselves.
Dogs have long been trained as herding, guarding, and hunting animals, and chasing smaller animals like birds has been engrained into their evolution.
As such, when first introducing your dog to your parrot, you need to make the assumption that its first instinct will be to attack.
On the flip side of things, it’s in your parrot’s natural instinct to “get away” from the dog.
In the wild, parrots are constantly aware of their surroundings, as they are often prey for larger animals.
Though dogs are not usually a concerning predator for parrots, their size alone may be enough to convince the parrot otherwise.
Upon introductions then, it will be your parrot’s first instinct to try to fly away of, if their wings are clipped, get away from the dog by whatever means necessary.
If the bird feels extremely threatened, they could also attack.
The key to developing a good relationship between your dog and your parrot then, is to show them that their initial instinct is not necessarily accurate.
This means teaching your dog that your parrot is not prey, and teaching your parrot that your dog is not a threat.
As such, introductions are vital to developing a good relationship between your parrot and your dog, but maintaining a comfortable environment where both pets feel safe and tended to will be just as vital to successful co-habitation.
With all that being said, let’s take a look at some tips for introducing your dog to your parrot:
How to Introduce your dog to your pet Parrot
Remember, it is your dog’s natural instinct to attack your parrot.
This may not happen, but in the case that it does, you want to make sure your parrot is protected.
Before any introductions, make sure you have a large cage where your parrot can feel safe.
Put your parrot in its cage, and your dog on a leash.
Choose a neutral area for the introduction.
Both dogs and parrots can be very territorial, so you don’t want the introductions to take place within each other’s space.
For the parrot, find a space that their cage is not normally located.
For the dog, select a space where they don’t spend a lot of time.
This will help to reduce any chances of aggressive behavior.
Introduce your dog and bird slowly.
Remember, upon first introduction, your bird should be in its cage and your dog should be on a leash.
At this point, you want to start introductions from afar.
Bring the dog and bird close enough that they can see each other, but stay far enough back that they are not in close contact.
If your parrot or dog start to get scared or excited, you are too close – move them farther apart.
Once both your parrot and dog seem comfortable with each other at a distance (no lunging, barking, squawking, wing flapping, etc.) then you can start to move them a little closer together.
Again, if your dog starts to get excited or your parrot starts to appear afraid, you are too close – back up and wait for them to become comfortable at a further distance.
Keep in mind that the introduction process between your dog and your parrot is not one that will take place overnight.
Rather, it could take several weeks before your parrot and your dog become completely comfortable with each other’s presence.
The key is to be patient and persistent.
It may take time, but eventually you will come to a point where your parrot and your dog can co-exist in close quarters without excitement or fear.
In other words, they will eventually get used to each other’s presence.
At this point in time you can try introducing them with the parrot out of the cage (from a distance at first, and then slowly moving closer), and eventually with the dog off of its leash.
Additional tips for introducing your Dog and Parrot
Look for their reactions
Always observe the reactions of both your dog and parrot.
If either of them seem overwhelmed, you need to move further away immediately.
Failing to do so could result in your parrot becoming afraid of your dog rather than comfortable in its presence.
Don’t leave them alone together
Never let your dog interact with your parrot in your absence.
Rather, any introductions should be done in your surveillance.
This is true even after your dog and parrot are comfortable with one another.
As soon as you leave, your dog could revert to its natural instincts, putting your parrot’s safety at risk.
Unless you are in the room, your dog and parrot should never be left alone together.
Have a lot of treats
Have ample treats ready throughout the introduction process.
Dogs and parrots are both easily distracted and trained by treats.
Any time you recognize positive behaviors (ie. Dog sitting calmly in presence of parrot, or parrot showing no reaction to presence of dog), reward them with a treat.
This will condition them to continue displaying that same reaction in the future.
Which parrots are the friendliest with dogs?
Some friendly parrot varieties include Pionus Parrots, female budgies, thick-billed parrots, and maroon fronted parrots.
Which parrot is the most likely to bite?
Hyacinth Macaws, though also considered gentle in some circles, have large, intimidating beaks that make their bite excruciating.
When not raised in a suitable social environment, this type of parrot has been known to attack often.
Other species like the Green Wing Macaw can also pack a punch behind their bite.
Smaller parrots that have been known to bite include both parakeets and cockatiels.
In conclusion, yes, dogs and parrots can co-habitat with one another, but safely introducing the two is a lengthy process that takes a great deal of time and patience on behalf of the owner.
If you are willing to put in the work, eventually your dog and parrot will get to a point where they are comfortable in each other’s presence and the two can live in harmony with one another.