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Impact of Puppy

Hello all
My wife and I are planning on investing in a puppy to extend our little family.
My concern, however, having spent most of the lockdown discovering a love of gardening, in particular, encouraging birds into the garden to eat and bathe, I am worried that having a puppy even a smaller dog such as a cockapoo would scare the birds off and lose all of the birds that have frequented my feeding boxes.
Could you tell me about the impact of having a puppy on the wildlife that might visit the garden.

Thanks very much




  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Welcome to the forum.
    Hard to say what your dog will do. My cocker spaniel isn't really interested but she's old. Our garden is small so birds don't stay if anyone comes outside. 
    There are some tips here that might help you.
  • Thanks very much for sharing!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,350
    Surely it's not that different to children. Training  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 11,126
    I have an extreme dislike of pigeons and have managed to transfer that to my dog somehow - I'm so pleased :) she waits until they get reasonably close then launches herself into the garden to chase them off.

    All other birds she ignores

    Best bit of training I've done with her :)

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • It depends on the character of your puppy/dog! I have two that play rough and have chewed branches off shrubs and trees and pulled bulbs out of pots and would kill (and eat) any bird that can’t get out of their way fast enough. They are a handful but I’ve had other dogs that were gentle and harmless.  I need to put fencing around planting areas I really don’t want trashed (next project) and I can’t leave the dogs out unsupervised for any length of time without repercussions.  Hope I haven’t put you off! I do love them to bits. 🐕👹😊
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,545
    I would invest in a little fence to segregate parts of the garden you don't want puppy accessing without supervision. My attitude is it's my garden not a dog toilet/playground, and so I don't let mine use the garden unless I'm out there, but I still need to protect my borders. I'm lucky, some canes and a length of twine at about 2ft high is enough for my greyhound!
  • BijdezeeBijdezee Posts: 1,484
    I have known dogs that will chase after birds but mine never have. Our current dog used to just lay there whilst a couple of brave blue tits pecked his long hairs. Great for nesting I suppose lol. 

    The worst thing about young dogs is the digging up of plants or other misdemeanors. We used to call it 'reverse gardening', he loved to watch me put stuff in but would be running around the garden with it in his mouth five minutes later. Luckily he soon grew out of that. 
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,986
    Like others said, depends on the dog.  My lurcher will chase a bit after larger birds like grouse, pheasants, and quail (maybe he knows they don't fly far?), but isn't bothered to make any effort for finches, magpies, or the others.

    Consider raising all your bird stations well above the ground, including birdbath and such.  Maybe even put a bird table under your feeder to catch stray seeds for the 'ground feeders' to stay elevated.  I also attached a dead branch to my feeder pole for birds to perch on while waiting their turn (in my case, so they don't feel the need to perch/poop on my patio furniture). Birds will soon grow accustomed to the dog in the garden, if they know they are safe.  
    Utah, USA.
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 22,687
    edited October 2020
    A lot depends on the breed of dog, assuming that it has an identifiable breed.

    Retrievers were bred to swim and retrieve shot game birds. They still have the instinct to find water, jump into it and being back sticks and things.

    Border collies can’t resist trying to round you up, even when you are trying to go for a walk in a straight line.

    We had dachshunds for many years. Bred to hunt badgers, they dug holes all over the garden. (Never caught a badger or showed any interest in doing so.)

    Here’s a funny little story. Our local rescue centre ran a competition to raise money. Guess the breed. They ran a DNA test on Freckles here.

    It turned out that she is 38% rottweiler, 25% border collie, 12% smooth terrier and the rest is ????? 😁
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • In our garden it's the birds who harass our big friendly cat. They shout at him and hop around him and generally make his life miserable. Even when he is sleeping in the conservatory, they sit on the door step and ''yell'' at him  :D
    Luckily they only do so for a couple of weeks in the summer whey they are having babies, so most of the time the birds and the cat ignore each other.
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