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Old 12-31-2012, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advise Needed - Nearly had a Disaster!

Hi Everyone,

Im new here and new to Boxers and im after some advise.

I have just rehomed a 3 yr old Male Boxer called Ricki. He seems to have settled and we are making progress with his training. So far he does 'sit' and 'lay down' almost on command!

I nearly had a complete disaster today and need some help i think.

I have a cockatiel. When Ricki moved in he made a total bee-line for the bird so i removed the bird to another room.

Today i decided to see how we got on. My plan was to take Ricki into the birds room on his lead and reward him when he ignored the bird or looks away. This was probably the wrong plan.

As soon as Ricki sees the bird he stands bold up right and nothing distracts him. He was quiet and calm for about 10 minutes. Then all of a sudden he became fidgety and started whining at the bird. I thought this was probably my cue to get him out!!

As i walked past the bird with Ricki, Ricki bolted for the cage and some how managed to slip his collar!!!!

It was awful, Ricki went mad and it was all i could do to get him out of the room. I feel sick thinking about it really. Bird is ok i think, if a little traumatised.

Can anyone offer any advice? I totally understand that this is my fault. Im also realistic and understand the boxers prey drive can be incredibly high so i may be trying to achieve the impossible.

At the moment, my thoughts are:

1. attempt socialisation (in a better way!!)
2. Put the bird cage up high so he cant reach her (he looses interest when she is quite or covered over)
3. Re home the bird. (a last resort)

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Liz & Ricki
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Honestly, if it was me, I would keep the bird in a closed room that your boxer has no access to. I would not attempt socialization at all, but that is just my opinion. Boxers prey drives are VERY very strong and I'm afraid no matter how much socialization you try it's just going to end badly. I def would not put the bird up high, because knowing how strong and smart boxers are, they will find a way to get what they want. Just my 2 cents. I don't have a bird :/ so I'm prolly not the best source of advice.


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Old 12-31-2012, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yikes!! We use the leave it command when our girls. Generally what you do is when your dog goes towards something you don't want them to you say "leave it" and reward with a treat. But it sounds like Ricki doesn't pay attention once he see's the bird. Another way is to maybe have a squeaky toy or something that makes a loud kind of noise that when you say leave it, you make a noise that will distract him. If that too doesn't work, maybe just put the bird up higher & leave matters alone for a little bit. How long has Ricki been in your home now?? He just might still need some time to learn his surroundings.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Liz! Welcome

I have two cockatiels myself (a cinnamon male and a lutino female ) as well as a very high prey drive boxer
I had the birds before we got the dog, so we were able to socialize them togther but it took a VERY long time for Bosley (boxer) to leave the birds alone. He still on occaision gets focused on them but I'm fairly vigilant in watching and making sure they are not set up for failure.

Don't close the bird up; not healthy for the poor bird and it will do nothing to help Ricky get over his 'enthusiam' over him. I would most defintely not rehome the bird. They get very attached to their humans and it would do more harm to her than good. Please don't rehome her, you can get through this for sure!

Because you've only just got Ricki I would try and work on his basic commands. Specifically a 'leave it' command. This is your best friend lol Once you have a good solid leave it then you can start letting the bird closer (perhaps in a travel carrier or something similar). Then when Ricki gets too interested tell him 'leave it'. When he listens or even just looks away from the bird then treat him with something yummy. He'll eventually start to associate the bird with getting yummy treats and will start to look at you when the bird is out for his treat

But, please take it slow. Do not leave them unattended together. Bosley, I can trust to an extent however he will still get 'alert' when the birds fly around. It's hard for him, but I can tell he knows what he is supposed to do.

Good luck and if you need anything else, feel free to PM me
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgibs View Post
Honestly, if it was me, I would keep the bird in a closed room that your boxer has no access to. I would not attempt socialization at all, but that is just my opinion. Boxers prey drives are VERY very strong and I'm afraid no matter how much socialization you try it's just going to end badly. I def would not put the bird up high, because knowing how strong and smart boxers are, they will find a way to get what they want. Just my 2 cents. I don't have a bird :/ so I'm prolly not the best source of advice.


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It can work. Like I said before: I have two birds who are out freely and they have survived the two years that Bosley has been around.

If you don't try to socialize them with things then they will never know how to react to those things.
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Old 12-31-2012, 12:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Again,

Turns out it was worse that i thought and in all the drama Kirby (cockatial) cut her leg! So just back from the emergency vets! She seems fine - just antibiotics for a few days in case it was Ricki who scratched her.

Im so angry at myself more than anything.

Ricki has only been here for 3 days - he is so well behaved otherwise i just thought he would respond to me (other than stealing oranges?!). When he sees the bird nothing seems to distract him. I tried leave, loud noises, favourite toy and favourite treat!

Ricky is being castrated in a week so i dont know if that will help?!

Still, a lesson learnt definitely. I have have totally learnt not to take his strength or IQ for granted.

I will keep working on getting his response to commands stronger and see how it goes. Boxers are totally new to me so i still have a lot to learn.

For the time being, Kirby is going in my office so i can shut the door and she will still get time with me in the afternoons.

Funnily enough, Ricky isnt remotely interested in birds outside.

Thank you all for your advise and help!

Liz
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Old 12-31-2012, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz & Ricki View Post
Hi Again,

Turns out it was worse that i thought and in all the drama Kirby (cockatial) cut her leg! So just back from the emergency vets! She seems fine - just antibiotics for a few days in case it was Ricki who scratched her.

Im so angry at myself more than anything.

Ricki has only been here for 3 days - he is so well behaved otherwise i just thought he would respond to me (other than stealing oranges?!). When he sees the bird nothing seems to distract him. I tried leave, loud noises, favourite toy and favourite treat!

Ricky is being castrated in a week so i dont know if that will help?!

Still, a lesson learnt definitely. I have have totally learnt not to take his strength or IQ for granted.

I will keep working on getting his response to commands stronger and see how it goes. Boxers are totally new to me so i still have a lot to learn.

For the time being, Kirby is going in my office so i can shut the door and she will still get time with me in the afternoons.

Funnily enough, Ricky isnt remotely interested in birds outside.

Thank you all for your advise and help!

Liz
all fruit esp oranges and apples are favorites of my fur kids and will be stolen if left unattended including lemons and limes !!
and find a high value treat (I use liver treats used to use store bought ones then switched to my dehydrator made ones ) to teach the leave it command mine will leave a raw steak at their eye level alone if told leave it but I'm still working on Squirrels the bane of my existence right now LOL they simply do not hear me when chasing one be it outside or through the window and we have one that LOVES to torture my pack it is also the one my daughter can and does hand feed peanutbutter bread to it has a broken tail ( caused by the pack 2 years ago ) so he is easy to identify
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Boxers do have a strong prey drive and it doesn't take much for them to go into prey and play mode. They're working dogs, and isn't it fun to watch them play hide and seek? Our cat, Divinity, has outlived our first 2 Boxers. She has her own, inaccessible area to the dogs. Now, the boys "help" us feed and take care of her boxes. However, she still needs her own spot/sanctuary for her peace of mind. All it takes is the boys' ears to perk up and we know they want to chase and find the kitty. I can't imagine how fun and irresistible a bird might be to a Boxer! Best wishes!!
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When we first got our bird, a Senegal parrot, last May when she "flew" into our lives ( yes she was flying around outside and we caught her) we went and got a cheap cage from Walmart - so we had her in a spare room closed off to the dogs.

After we couldn't find her owners, we got a cast iron cage and moved her to the living room. We blocked off that corner of the room at first and now Maggie and Mongo don't pay any attention to her. She doesn't really get much "out of cage" time though.

Do you have a nice sturdy cage?

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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and find a high value treat (I use liver treats used to use store bought ones then switched to my dehydrator made ones ) to teach the leave it command
I completely agree with this. If you offer a high value treat such as hot dog, beef, etc, he will be less likely to resist than with normal treats. In training my VERY high energy poodle/terrier mix, I thought I was at my wits end. Then I took him for a class and found he responded wonderfully to hot dog and chicken that the trainer had. Worked wonders. Luckily my boxer girls will turn their attention to me for any food. Lol


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