bird friendly dog??

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stevowalker's picture
bird friendly dog??

My daughter turns 8 next march and I promised a dog (or 2). We live on 100 acres surrounded by bush, lots of small birds which we've purpose planted for.Don't want to scare the birds or dissapoint my daughter. any ideas??

we live near goulburn nsw and are at work long days. 



---'s picture

Kind of a hard question,but I do know a bit about dogs. I reckon a Golden Retriever(regarding the rather large size,a small dog would be much more dangerous to small birds,or any birds for that matter)would be fine in your situation.

Surely any dog doesn't need 1.5 Kilometers to run around in? Maybe if you fence off a small area of about 100m or so for the dog,and reduce the plants in that area,I think that would be a good idea. But the main feature is that you have a large sized dog,which would be more likely to give the birds a warning.

Araminta's picture

We live on a much smaller property, just 6 acres. We have always had dogs, we had Heelers and Labradors, and also a DingoX. We never had any problems .The dogs never attacked any birds or wildlife. Never dug any holes either. We got them as tiny pups and they were easy to train. Until we took over a Blue Heeler , she was 12 months and has been nothing but trouble, she diggs , barks and chases anything that flies. We put up a huge dog run, Wombat fencing, mesh flat on the ground, so she can't go under the fence. There is no grass left and it looks like a moon scape. I guess what the secret is, get a puppy and train it well.

This could be a big problem for you, a young dog is an all day job and needs full attention. Even if you have a kennel, a young dog will get bored and destroy things. That was the problem with the Heeler we have now. My daughter , it was her dog , did work all day and had no time for the dog. So far I haven't been able to change the dog's behaviour, it might never happen.

Think about the time you can spare for the education of a dog. I'm not sure an 8 year old can do it? I might be wrong though, and she is capable. Good luck.


GregL's picture

Obviously if you get a dog it has to be restrained or it will chase your neighbours sheep. I have constant problems with neighbours dogs on my property, they can't be bothered with a secure fenced area. If you are away all day the dog will get lonely and bored. Birds will be the least of your problems.

Woko's picture

Steve, if you have marsupials & reptiles in the bush I would imagine you'd be putting them at risk if you had a dog. In my oft-derided opinion Australia can ill afford to lose any more of its wildlife. And some of the reptiles might even be putting the dog at risk. Can you refocus your daughter's attention on the beauty of the wildlife around her & how it's so important to protect it?

Araminta's picture

Shirley just raised a few very valid points.I might also say that , if you care about any wildlife, and think for one moment dogs don't kill wildlife, you might be mistaken. It depends on the dog , the education it had, and how well you can control your dog. We had to put up very secure fencing for the Heeler. When I'm out, I can't leave her inside, she'll eat the house. So she has to be in the kennel. (1/4 of an acre, that's big?) But one day, I was at home, a Blue- toungue Lizzard got into the run. She attacked it within seconds. I had to take it to the vet, don't know if it survived? I'm also ashamed to say, my gorgeous LabX killed a Bandicoot, she was so fast, there was nothing I could do, I was standing next to the dog. She grabbed it, held it, and dropped was dead. Just the way a Labrador should do, they are hunting dogs.

But , what ever you do, please don't get cats, unless you keep them inside.


cassie.c87's picture

When I was younger I wanted a dog but my mum was worried about the same thing (we had horses, chooks and sheep), we ended up getting a fance built around the house allowing enough room for the dog without having full access to the property.

stevowalker's picture

thankyou so much for all comments on the issue regarding a dog. We appreciate and agree with all comments and this is helping us plan for our daughters birthday, weve discused everything suggested with her and she has taken alot onboard, we'll see how things turn out.

many thanks

steve walker

Araminta's picture

Let us know what you will do, and if you get a dog for her, post some photos. Good luck.


JessMess's picture

I know I am quite late into the conversation, and you've probably already made your decision.
But the biggest thing to consider in bringing a new family member, or two, into your home, is to source responsibly.
Never ever buy from a pet shop. The state of the mother's who are simply breeding, money-making machines, is just disgusting. See for more info.

I know that puppies have such appeal, especially little girls, but they are a lot of hard work and take a lot of time, which you may not have. The saying that old dogs can't learn new tricks is just rubbish. Something to consider in your quest for a new family member is that the local animal shelters are overflowing with dogs that need a loving family. Most shelter dogs are already trained in basic obedience also. If you're adamant on being breed specific, then check out and it will redirect you to cattle dog rescue, pug rescue, etc.
As everyone has mentioned, the smartest idea is to have a fenced off enclosed area for the dogs. Exercise them daily, engage them with stimulating toys, and ensure a healthy diet and regular obedience training. It's easier than it seems. A dog needs a forever home so take a lot of care and thought in the process.

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