Your cockatiel might be the friendliest, sweetest, most brilliant parrot on the planet, but that doesn't mean that he'll necessarily get along with a new dog right off the bat. When bringing these two very different types of animals into each other's lives, it is vital to exercise utmost caution.
Cockatiels With Dogs
You may be able to safely keep a cockatiel in a home with a dog or dogs -- as long as you combine caution with practicality. As cuddly and sweet as your dog honestly is, it's important to remember that he possesses predator instincts, just like all other canines on the planet. Nothing unusual about that. By viewing your cockatiel flying around loudly and conspicuously inside of your home, it could just bring out those innate feelings in him, according to the website BirdChannel.com. As for whether cockatiels and dogs can get along, it depends on the specific cockatiel and the specific dog -- and also a lot on their introduction.
Out of the Cage
When your cockatiel is outside of his cage getting exercise, do not leave him unattended with your dog -- or any other pets, for that matter. This simply is too dangerous. Also, when your bird is inside of his cage, be sure to always put it somewhere that your dog cannot get to easily -- or at least somewhere that is constantly in your field of vision. Also make sure your bird's cage comes equipped with a lock.
If you want to test out how your dog acts when your cockatiel is outside of the cage, do so very carefully. To ensure the well-being of both your birdie and your doggie, Susan Chaney of the Dog Fancy publication suggests temporarily placing a size-appropriate muzzle on your canine. If your dog remains calm and well-behaved while your cockatiel is outside of his cage, make sure to give him some positive reinforcement when your bird is safely back inside -- give him a yummy treat, pet his back and enthusiastically say "Good job!" to him. Give his brain a "happy" association to your cockatiel. The happier your dog feels about your cockatiel, the better chance you have of them getting along and having a harmonious -- or at least safe -- relationship in the future. Remember to never allow your dog to wear a muzzle unless you are watching him closely. It is never safe to let your pooch wear one when you're not around, so take note.
At His Own Pace
In trying to foster a peaceful relationship between your cockatiel and doggie, being pushy about it is never a good idea. If your cockatiel seems frightened by the presence of your dog, don't press the situation -- all that will accomplish is stressing your bird out and perhaps ensuring that the two never develop a good relationship.
Assumptions are never a good idea. Even if your dog is the most docile, well-mannered creature on the planet, caution is your greatest friend. By simply trying to play with your bird, your dog could accidentally hurt him. "Supervision" is the key to the entire situation.
- Canadian Federation of Humane Societies: Cockatiels
- BirdChannel.com: Information About Cockatiels and Dogs
- ASPCA: Teaching Your Dog to Wear a Muzzle
- North American Cockatiel Society: Other Pets and Cockatiels
- BirdChannel.com: Top 10 Pet Cockatiel Questions Answered
- AvianWeb: Keeping Birds Together With Cats and Dogs
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images