> > I love my Sophie, but I love my Cocker Spaniel too. She is 6, and
> > loves to hunt, and is a bird dog, so the introduction must be slow
> > and careful. She is a smart dog, so I think if I do this right, it
> > will be OK. She knows that the pigeons outside (rollers) are off
> > limits, so I think in time, she will learn that Sophie is off limits
> > too. I am looking forward to 40 years of Sophie. She is a great
> > little bird. I will work on the self entertaining...... I think I
> > need to get her a gym.
> > Bedtime for Sophie is 10, and she is ready, and gladly goes to bed
> > then. What else do you suggest I do to make her a happy girl?
> I just thought this was a good opportunity to make fun of my little
> bird dog... I've got a Gordon Setter mix who should, theoretically,
> want to hunt. And when she sees birds outside she does love to chase
> them (not really what a setter should be doing, but she has fun).
> However, she is terrified of pet birds. My Green Cheeked Conure loved
> to climb all over her and preen; she would either freeze or crawl up
> into my lap and beg me to get him off. The Nanday isn't fond of her,
> but he's not afraid either. She was quite content chewing on a
> Nylabone a couple days ago. Kiwi, who occasionally enjoys wandering
> around underneath the couch, waddled right up to her and started
> chewing on the other end of the bone. Of course I was quick to get
> him a)away from the dog whose treat he was stealing and b)away from
> that dirty bone, but I wish I could have gotten a picture of the
> terror in my dog's face. But she's not actually a hunting dog; I
> would be a bit more careful if she had been trained to hunt,
> particularly as a flusher (like a Spaniel).
> A play gym is a good idea, in my opinion. It's out-of-the-cage time,
> but your bird isn't expecting you to spend every second you're home
> with her. Kiwi uses his while I'm getting dressed and ready in the
> morning, then again for at least an hour in the evening. I think some
> change from the cage is stimulating, but you don't want a bird that
> insists on being on you while she's outside of the cage. The play gym
> just seems to be a good middle ground... Just remember that she'll
> still need to be supervised (Kiwi's flown off of his four times this
Well, I introduced my Precious to Sophie tonight, and Precious had the same look of terror on her face. Sophie bit her on the nose, my dog just sat in my lap and shook. She looked at me with fear in her eyes, not seeming like she was afraid of Sophie, but more like "If you don't get this bird away from me, I will kill it, and I know you wouldn't like that." I think if I let my Precious know that it is a very bad thing to hurt Sophie, but still love her, it will be OK. They may never get along, but at least I can teach them that they can both share the same space, and me equally.
As far as the gym goes, I have some great ideas. As far as I can tell, her favorite color is yellow, she is not much into fruits (except pumpkin.....she loves pumpkin),loves vegetables, especially carrots and lettuce. She loves bells, so I think if I build a gym with several ladders, and a skewer with her favorite foods, fresh vegetables, and a toy or two with bright wooden playthings and bells, she might enjoy that. It might stimulate her a little more than just hanging out on my shoulder all day. To be honest, her intelligence and need for new ideas intimidates me. I feel like if I don't give her every opportunity to grow and learn, I will end up with a bored and unhappy bird.