Parrots, apartments, and dogs

I am sure you have answered this question many times, but I am wondering if you all would be willing to look at it again and give me some advice.I had two Sun and Green Cheek conures when I was in high school, and I really really adored them. Now that I have a stable life as a young adult, I have considered getting into birds again. I have more than enough time and money to devote my my two dogs, and have waited several years to be in a place where I could fit a parrot into my life. I always dreamed of getting an African Grey, Macaw or Cockatoo, but I can’t image the size and noise of those species would really be manageable in an apartment. So, quiet is important, but I would love something that could talk. My first impressions were Senegal or Pionus, but I am also worried that they may be too small to be sufficiently deterring to my dogs. Neither of my Akitas have high prey drives and are very well behaved, but if a situation arose in which the dogs were triggered to hunt, or perhaps were playing too rowdy, I want a bird that can defend itself. So, what suggestions do you have for birds that are good in apartments and potentially would be good around dogs? I really would like something that will be more interactive and exotic than a parakeet or a cockatiel, but is still going to be happy with my situation.

No bird can defend itself from a dog. The most it can do is scare the dog away. If it is a surprise attack the bird does not have a chance.

What I mean by defend itself, it hopefully be large enough and confident enough to be a deterrent to start off with. I feel like a parrakeet has less chance of surviving an encounter with a large predator than a Macaw or Amazon, who could deliver an intimidating scream and painful bite. The chances of my dogs getting near the bird while I’m not around are very slim, as they are crated while I am gone and are never home alone for more than 4 hours, average 2-3. I think my dogs would have less likelihood of viewing a large bird as possible prey than a small one. Honestly, I am more concerned about what the parrot could do to my dogs. Parrots are the species that is more likely to be possessive and potentially bite in an attempt drive off challengers for the attention of it’s human.

Welcome to the forum! I saw this post earlier, and almost said that the parrot that you needed was a plush parrot, but I did not think that my attempt at humor would have been appreciated. Your first choice of parrots would not be suitable in my opinion, mostly because of the sheer amount of time that each of these three species require just to remain somewhat emotionally stable. You already know that parrots are not quiet creatures and they so love drama and being able to get loud, but the real drawback to that is not the neighbors who would not like their screams or calls, but in the fact that when they get to be loud they tend to get excited and that often leads to humans getting bitten as they don’t allow sufficient time for the bird to calm back down. Excitement is very close to aggression in birds. Still in an apartment setting the noise is a big issue and that is going to mean that you need to remain with some of the smaller species of parrots and still you will have to choose carefully as even some of the smaller parrots are prone to being very loud, such as the Sun Conures. Since noise is going to be such a major factor in your choice of birds, this means that no bird that you get that might work in an apartment setting is going to be large enough to inflict any serious damage to any dog and has no chance of defending itself from a dog by any means other that flying as a means of escape. While a parrot may well try to defend its human from other birds, humans and even dogs They are really not that aggressive and biting is normally a last ditch effort on their part. They are really not well equipped to defend against a dog. The only real recourse is to not allow dogs and parrots of any species to interact at all as it is a disaster waiting to happen.

I just came across this site and it says what I was wanting to put across in my previous answer better than I knew how to say it, so here is the link for you.

Akitas don’t generally have a low prey drive either. Yours may be more suppressed than the average due to training/genetics etc but I wouldn’t risk it unless you can 100% separate at all times. I wouldn’t allow interaction under supervision either.

Until Rambo was 15 he lived uncaged in a household of dogs and cats. I was there visiting one day. The dogs greeted me at the door, the cats came to me because I was their next door neighbor and played with my cat. The funniest thing I think I have ever seen is when an Amazon with a Cockatiel behind him came walking into the room between all the other critters.I had Cockatiels but cared for them the way most do with water, seed and some fruit and veggie hand outs. I rarely let them loose and was always in a closed room without other critters (except for my Fancy cat who was a bird protector and not a preditor). So when I took Rambo he had to teach me and he was a very good teacher. After seeing him walking between dogs I just assumed he could do it anywhere. I was wrong but Rambo gave any dog that came close an attitude adjustment by spreading his wings and getting as big as he could and screaming loud enough to scare the neighbors. To live the way he was used to he had to get the other critters in line. Myrtle saved him from a dumb Boxer puppy by swooping him when he was too dumb to know that Rambo was trying to scare him away. He put them all in line.Now other than Rambo taking over I have no idea how this kaotic zoo came together and would not suggest trusting any animal including another parrot together. I just read on facebook about two birds who were out and an IRN in his cage. The two that were out opened the IRNs cage and killed him. I don’t know how is human will live through her baby being tore up.When I bring a new baby into the house I introduce it to the others and they know it is my keeper and has joined the family. They have respected this and even try to teach the new one what is happening in the house. Chloe, Chihuahua, was trying to teach Myrtle the dog door when I caught her. My son’s dogs have not been raised that way and I am always on my guard when they come to visit. Rambo knows but I am trying to instill fear in Myrtle so she will stay up while they are here.Well this post went on too long and I wandered around. What I am trying to say is don’t expect your household to be like mine. My critter “aint right” and I don’t think there is another house like this one.

I have dogs, cats and birds and the birds are not only parrots, I have passerines also but the passerines never leave their cages and most of them are housed in a separate room where no cat is ever allowed and the dogs just use to go in or out to the backyard. I have two cardinals and two button quails in my living room, where the cats have access to, and they are in a VERY tall cage with a solid guard all around the bottom (so the cats cannot even see the quails) and the cage is completely covered every evening. Now, my dogs have lived with parrots all their lives and, as they have also lived with cats, they have been taught the command: “LEAVE IT ALONE!” and, when they hear it, they immediately freeze. The cats have their own room where they are kept all morning long so the parrots can come out to fly - and the dogs are restricted to the kitchen when this happens as well as everybody is closely supervised by me so, although I do live in a multiple species pet household, as you can see, all measures have been taken to prevent problems. The point of this is that, yes, you can have dogs and parrots BUT you have to have:1) infrastructure that allows it (as a room where the dogs can be when the parrot is out).2) strict rules and training (you already have the dogs so they will have to be trained in advance -and you can’t do it with an object, it has to be something that moves and, if possible, also flies)3) strict schedules (and that means the dogs will have to be by themselves for about 4 hours every day while the parrot is out).Now, as to apartment living… well, for one thing, there are species that are out because of their loud and often vocalizations: quakers, jendays, sundays and sun conures and all the large ones. There are species that are considered ‘quiet’ but this is only in relation to other parrot species, it doesn’t really mean that they are quiet like a cat would be quiet. And, even the so-called quiet species could turn out to be noisy if the conditions are not what the bird considers ‘good’ or it’s lonely and/or hormonal so, more than the species itself, the consideration is whether you will be able to provide the amount of company, a solar schedule and a good diet that would prevent any of these problems to appear. Dogs are easy, cats even more so but parrots are not because they cannot adjust to our schedules and lifestyles so, for example, if you work full time and the bird is going to be kept at a human light schedule and alone all day long, you will end up with a screaming bird sooner or later regardless of the species you get. Even tiels can drive you crazy with their constant calls when they are hormonal and alone but, keep a tiel in a bonded pair and at a solar schedule with a good diet and you will hardly hear a peep out of it. See what I mean?

I live in a small apartment and surprisingly nobody has complained to the landlord that I know of in two years. With that said, he is loud and his shrill echoes in this dang building. Maybe no worse than a screaming child, but its the oddity and shrill that aggrivates people. They have no idea that he has destroyed the kitchen floor. And that I’ve had to do a few other costly repairs on his lovely behalf. I have a doctors note stating that my pets are a necessity for me as a companion. So that helps legally but if a bird is so obnoxious the landlord has a right to have it removed…which obviously leads to possibly having a rehomed bird unfairly. I haven’t yet met anyone who in their right mind would willingly wake up every single morning with a circus act of trick training, manage their routine and activity and noise level all around the necessary needs of their bird like I do. And, deal with being attacked when hormones are on the rise etc. Now, as I write this…he is balled up in a sleep position looking as sweet and innocent as ever could be. When occasionally I bring him to get the mail…people are tantalized but have no idea of how much I’m on pins hiding his destructive and just unrelenting he is constantly… But, I care deeply about him and he had a rough beginning in life being rehomed so much. And, those moments when he is comical or taking endless cute head scratching makes me happy. I’m attracted to nature which he represents bringing so much life into my humble city abode. However, I’m planning to install sound deafening pads to help. Also, I’m looking into quake adhesive for nick nacks (the ones he hasn’t broken yet). It is good for earth quakes so maybe its good for small and medium parrots. Its seemingly endless keeping on top of his needs too but I happen to like that added purpose in my life. I’ve a friend who writes about birding and has a column and in fact I just found out there’s a bird rescue in my city so I’m looking into it to volunteer maybe to learn more. But, if someone asked me personally, I’d say parrots don’t belong in an apartment. At all, even though I’m doing it.

One of the things I hate is that my parrot screams at the birds he sees through the window when they pass by. Its very loud!!!