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My Grey Attacked A Baby Bird


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Horrifying, but I was able to stop the attack 1ms after it started. I saw her prey drive go crazy, I was out the door in a blink of an eye screaming "drop it!!" She was more or less throwing it in the air... Sadly I was not in time to save the baby bird...

 

After being a 3 time grey owner, this is the first time something other than a stuffy toy got attacked and killed.

 

I discarded the poor bird, but now I'm concerned for Khaki. Typical prey drive? Is she now a killer? She's up to date on all her shots as of Feb 2017. Any medical concerns???

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She's a dog, with some prey/play drive. Not excessive, unless she focuses hard on anything that might be prey (birds, animals at a distance, etc.). Personally, I think almost any dog when given a chance at an awkward, small moving thing would think it was a toy. Our nongrey caught voles while walked on a 6-foot leash repeatedly one year - we must have had a large number of stupid ones in the neighborhood for a while. Other than those and squirrels and cheeky chipmunks, she paid no attention to creatures, and wasn't really in it to kill, just play.

 

If she actually ate it, there might be some tummy gurgles, but depending on the size maybe not even that. Dogs are pretty hardy...even the relatively delicate-stomached ones.

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I discarded the poor bird, but now I'm concerned for Khaki. Typical prey drive? Is she now a killer? She's up to date on all her shots as of Feb 2017. Any medical concerns???

 

 

I understand you are upset, I would be be too if my dogs killed something, however it is something we have to accept with a breed that was bred for thousands of years to chase and kill small prey that moved. This is her job. Some greys take that job more seriously than others, but with any hound with a certain level of prey drive we need to be prepared that if they catch something, they might kill it. This is why we're careful with trying to cat test, with introducing hounds to cats and small dogs, why outdoor cats are different than indoor cats, why most people are cautioned to keep their hounds on leash at all times. If it moves, if it cries or squeaks or chirps... a hound is liable to want to kill it. This doesn't make them bad dogs, or scary dogs... in fact, according to her breeding it makes her a very, very good dog.

 

Bury the poor little birdie, and take a look for a nest that he may have fallen out of so you know whether you need to keep watch for more babies or fledglings. If there's a nest in your yard you will need to watch her closely... perhaps no unsupervised or unleashed time outside until the fledglings are flying.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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It's their instinct, not all of them, but many. I get what you're feeling, I was horrified when Leo got a baby squirrel, but he's not a bad dog, it's just in his nature. If she didn't eat it, I wouldn't worry. If she did, I'd worry (but probably for no good reason) and check with my vet. She's not a killer, she's a dog. I don't personally have bird feeders, because Leo is very high prey drive, it doesn't make him dangerous or bad, it just means his instincts out doors, with wild prey, are a bit stronger than some dogs.

Beth, Petey (8 September 2018- ), and Faith (22 March 2019). Godspeed Patrick (28 April 1999 - 5 August 2012), Murphy (23 June 2004 - 27 July 2013), Leo (1 May 2009 - 27 January 2020), and Henry (10 August 2010 - 7 August 2020), you were loved more than you can know.

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I had a Sheltie/Spitz mix & an Aussie/healer mix that both caught a baby bird at one time, this didn't make them terrible & I just cleaned up the mess without scolding the girls. Does it bother you if a cat catches a bird? Same thing.

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No. No medical concerns, and it is a TOTAL myth that once a dog kills something it becomes a savage blood lusting repeat killer.

 

It's a DOG. Dogs are omnivorous creatures with large teeth. That you've made it through multiple dogs without one of them doing something similar is more amazing to me than the fact that this dog caught a baby bird.

 

Deep breath! It's actually no big deal for anyone but the bird.


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Over the past 22 years my girls have killed plenty of birds and other critters. My current two got several baby and adult birds. They leave my free range chickens alone. So even though they are all noisy, feathered, flighty creatures, my girls know to leave the chickens alone.

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Thanks all, Khaki is fine today... it's a new environment for her, and us, especially dragging her all the way from NH to AZ. Our back yard in NH was expansive with a fence, and grass and soft earth for her to dig and run around in. No trees along the fenced in yard, plus two flights of stairs to get from the house to the yard meant critters got a good head start and chance to escape through the chain link.

Here it's a small yard, with a wall rather than a fence and an neighbors tree overhangs the wall... which is where the bird fell from.

 

I just wish she'd eat her food with the same gusto as she did going after the bird.

Edited by paulg
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Joy has gotten 3 doves. The 3rd one she actually ate right in front of me. After my initial horror, I realized her ancestors probably ate worse. We see lots of birds on our walks--mostly robins, sparrows, and blackbirds. She barely pays any attention to them. We see the occasional dove but she ignores them.


Carol, missing Magic (1/5/01 - 4/15/15) but welcoming Fuzzy's Joy Behar (Joy) into my life on 5/31/15.

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They do that. It's their nature. The kill-list is high in my household. Birds, rabbits, mice, moles, a RAT (we had nasty neighbors for a while and actually had RATS around here -EEEEK!) the neighbor's chickens that got on my yard..... it's what they do.

 

Keep your dog up on shots and a good worm-med, and it's fine. Not fun to deal with at all, but fine.

 

Killing an animal does not make your dog a killer. It does not now have "blood lust". RELAX. Same dog.

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We've lost 2 birds, 2 chipmunks, 3 opossums and a squirrel (that I know of). I was able to thwart what I now call "bunny-pocalypse" when our current two discovered 3 sweet baby bunnies in the backyard. They each picked one up and ran in opposite directions...I have no idea how I stopped that.

 

It's horrifying - but I only really worry about scratches/bites. We did see a scratch on one of our greys after an opossum attack - vet said he should be fine since he was up-to-date on vaccinations, but we should monitor. He was fine and still hunted those darned critters every night when we'd let him out.

Edited by Sundrop
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We've lost 2 birds, 2 chipmunks, 3 opossums and a squirrel (that I know of). I was able to thwart what I now call "bunny-pocalypse" when our current two discovered 3 sweet baby bunnies in the backyard. They each picked one up and ran in opposite directions...I have no idea how I stopped that.

 

It's horrifying - but I only really worry about scratches/bites. We did see a scratch on one of our greys after an opossum attack - vet said he should be fine since he was up-to-date on vaccinations, but we should monitor. He was fine and still hunted those darned critters every night when we'd let him out.

Oh I forgot about the bunny nest incident here. That was bad. Diana found a rabbit nest in the yard and ... well.... it was BAD. I was SO mad at that mamma rabbit for not nesting OUTSIDE the fence.

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My yard is completely wildlife free thanks to four Ibizan Hounds that spend their outside time actively hunting prey and dispatching it. It makes me sad for the animal but the hounds are proving that they are functional, well-bred animals by doing the job that they have been specially bred and developed for. There is no concern about her now being a killer or anything like that.

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This happened to us about a month ago! During an afternoon walk, I was trying to help a small bird that was wrapped up in string and Ringer looked over and just grabbed the bird in his jaws with no expression whatsoever. He wouldn't drop that bird for anything, by the time I pried his jaws apart, it was a sad and lifeless bloody heap of feathers. Although it kind of unnerved me, I realize instinct is instinct...you can't fight it. Just today, he grabbed a goose feather at the fairgrounds as though it was a prized possession. Clearly, mine has a thing for birds and he is not alone! ;)

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