African Grey parrot attacks my dogs!

by Lisa, Lexi, and Lady
(Minnesota)

I recently got a beautiful, healthy, happy AG parrot. The former owners had no trouble with the bird and their dog. However, at my house, she viciously and mercilously attacks my German Shepherd and my Rottweiler. They are gentle souls who don't even want to look at her, much less cause her harm. She latches on to their backs and bites and flaps-- if it were a hawk and a rabbit the rabbit would be toast.

I discourage her and try to prevent it as much as possible, (and lock her up when I get them separated) but she looks for every opportunity to attack them. At my house she gets much more attention and free time than she did at her other home... I'm wondering if maybe she a) is jealous b) thinks she is protecting me? c) OR??????? Help!

OH! On a side note, I also have a mini doxie that is cheerfully obsessed with the bird, but the bird totally ignores that dog, and even interacts with her!!!

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Nov 18, 2009
African Grey parrot attacks my dogs!
by: Linda

This is a serious problem, and I recommend you look at some of the bird training materials out here and see if you can find an answer. You need to talk with a bird behaviorist about this negative behavior.

Parrot Training page.

For now, I'd keep the dogs in another part of the house when bird is out of cage or let them out into their yard while bird is out. The other owners could have had this same problem and just wanted to get rid of the bird, so not exactly saying they lied, just that there may be things you don't know about the bird. Bird sounds like one who was attacked by a big dog at some point either at the other house or another one before that.

For now, keep them away from each other when bird is outside cage. Have vet clip the Grey's primary flight feathers which will enable her to glide down and not fall like a rock. Bird will get no lift to fly all around at will. It may just be the thing you need to do right now. Wing feather clipping will let the bird know it does not have all the control it used to have.

You are right to be concerned because eventually, one of your dogs will kill this bird just to get it out of their misery. They have, so far, been good to not have already taken a swipe at the bird, so don't put them in this position any more. Parrots can also be very vicious in their attacks including putting eyes out and such. Please protect dogs AND bird.

Check out the training materials, get bird to Avian vet for primary flight wing feather clipping, and keep birds and dogs separated for the time being. If this bird was attacked by a dog in the past,it may never accept big dogs in its vicinity while out of cage. Working with a bird behaviorist may be the only way to reverse bird's negative perception of big dogs. Someone is going to be badly wounded here, so take precautions. Birds are wild animals and can inflict serious damage when they wish.

Thanks for writing and let us know how this works out.

Linda

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