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Last Post 23-06-2011 6:49 AM by  Krystle
Jack the CAG's progress so far
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Krystle
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22-06-2011 7:07 AM

    Hiya,

    I thought I'd give everyone an update on how our lovely Jack has settled in.  As some of you may remember Jack came here quite a few weeks ago now so lots and lots have happened.  Initially Jack HATED Alex. Progress has been made there as now Alex can stroke Jack's beak and Jack will take food from Alex also.  Next, Jack would only allow for me to stroke his head and would not step up at all.  Since then Jack will now allow full body strokes at almost any part of the day, he steps up on my arm and hand when prompted for a good 10 seconds. He has climbed right up my arm then walked down and the other day he even climbed on my arm, walked up it and then stayed there and then when I offered him my other hand he stepped up onto that before losing his confidence and flying back to his cage.  We are working on that though and he gets better all the time.  He comes to find me in the kitchen almost every day and loves to cause mischief when he's on the side and create lots of mess which he thinks is a great time!  I've taught him what bedtime means and now tell him to "In your bed Jack" and he knows that means it's time to get in his cage and he does it now without me having to coax him in with food, etc. On Sunday we had the biggest bit of progress ever and are beaming with pride for our boy.  We were quite hungover from Alex's 30th birthday celebrations and so we were just chilling out on the couch eating some disgusting oven food (we never eat oven food lol) and Jack obviously felt that we were not paying him enough attention because he flew right over and landed on my arm of the couch.  He  then promptly hopped onto my plate and started having a munch!  He has been doing this every meal time and sometimes in between now for 4 days on the trot! I think it's going to be a regular occurrence!!!! Oh dear! Lol.  The next big bit of news is that yesterday when we again were chilling on the couch, Jack flies over and lands on my side as he does and started to faff about looking like he wanted to get closer to Alex, now Jack tends to try and bite Alex and has met flesh and blood a few times so Alex was a bit unsure of what was going on, before you know it Jack had hopped onto Alex's legs and just stayed there for about 5 minutes before flying back to his cage.  Alex was ecstatic and it was so sweet to see the trust building up before your eyes!

    Lastly when Jack came to us his age was unknown as he was an RSPCA bird, he said quite a few words and whistled a lot and liked to whistle pop goes the wheezle.  Now he calls each of the dogs names, Sahara who he calls S'Hoora, Mona (she is the barker out of the pack and I'm always shouting at her to stop so he usually screams MONAAAAA when does say it and tends to say it when she is barking!) and Lunar (Lunar he is just starting to say and is shy of sayin this name for some reason so only does it quietly now and again). I tend to call him Jack-Jack and so he now goes about saying Jack-Jack come on, come for a scratch Jack-Jack, Jack-Jack's such a goooood boy, Alex gets very excited when he is allowed to stroke Jacks beak and so says everytime no biting and when Jack lets him, Alex says Oh yeeeeeeah! And so now Jack spends the whole day saying Come on Jack-Jack but no biting NO BITING Jaaaack! Then he will do the Oh yeeeeeeah, come for a scratch Jack? Oh yeaaaaaaaah!  It's hilarious.  His funniest thing was the other day it was raining outside and so all the dogs were in the living room and were playing a bit and getting a bit rough with each other and making lots of noise, well everytime it escalated and got a bit rough Jack would start laughing hysterically!!!  He's such a cool bird and although it's taking time to earn his trust and him earn ours, it's well worth the time and perseverance!

    Here are some recent pics of Jacks antics!

    This is Jack calling Mona and Lunar over for a scratch.  (This was his temporary cage and now he has a much bigger and cooler one.)

    Jack loves his strokes and love and tends to close his eyes when he gets his loves!

    Jacks hiding, can you see him? (He genuinely was hiding! Very funny!!)

    Having a munch on Mummy's hangover food! Gross.  Dunno why you'd want to but hey ho, he loves a chip!

    Jack flew onto Sahara while she was asleep but then realised what he'd done and jumped onto the poufee instead.

    Look people if you've got it, like I have, then flaunt it! So I do! Aren't I soooooo handsome?

    Sheena
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    22-06-2011 9:15 AM

    Well done with Jack. He is a lovely looking grey.  I must admit that I get very nervous if my dogs get too close to the birds.  They dont show much interest really but like dogs with children I personally would never trust them completely.

    steve b
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    22-06-2011 9:48 AM
    He does look a very happy and contented chap now Krystle.
    Daddy to 3 Budgies an Orange Wing Amazon, an African Grey and a flock of Lovebirds
    nigel
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    22-06-2011 2:15 PM
    High Krystle, he's a great looking bird! I hope you don't mind me saying this as I mean it with the best intentions, I agree with Sheena, you know your dogs better than anyone but please be careful, dogs even when playing, versus a little bird can have devastating consequences very quickly, I only say this as I know a case where this happened, an accident but fatal.
    Sometimes....priorities have to be reviewed!
    Ann Conway
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    22-06-2011 2:32 PM
    He is a great looking bird, but again I must echo my concerns with regard to your dogs, lovely as they are. The top pic looks to me like they are getting ready to pounce, and I would be very worried indeed.
    Please dont take any risks, Im afraid I have seen too many accidents with birds and dogs, and even the most placid , quiet dog should never ever be trusted. I dont want to appear rude, but to be honest, even the short distance you were away from them to take the pic, would not have been near enough should one or both of them had jumped and grabbed the bird.
    Rescue Manager North & Aco for Cumbria.
    Krystle
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    23-06-2011 3:31 AM
    Thank you all for your concern. Please be rest assured that although I have 3 large dogs, 2 cats and a parrot, who all get on fine together, none are ever left alone together unsupervised. In saying that I have to be honest that I am disappointed that people will see a picture of large dogs and automatically assume that those dogs "are ready to pounce". Both Alex and I are from dog breeding backgrounds, both of us have grown up with dogs and have both spent the past 5 years studying and researching dog behaviour and psychology. Although I believe that anyone should educate themselves before getting a dog, we feel that with larger more powerful dogs it is imperative to the dogs growth and development and the safety of the owners, children, other friends and family members, pets and even strangers that when you own dogs of this size and power that you are fully in control and understanding in the way in which they behave and communicate. The picture that has concerned people was taken because we understand the dogs body language, we understand their energy and we are very very quick to react to a change in body language or energy. A dog does not attack completely out of the blue, a dog does not "pounce" on other pets, completely out of the blue. There are triggers, even a subtle change in body language and the energy in the room or environment will change also, all of these are ways in which a dog communicates and we are always, always, vigilant for any of these changes. In this particular picture, the dogs approached the cage slowly with their tails lowered, ears are back, hackles are not raised and they are sniffing the cage, at the same time Jack is talking to them and whistling at them to get their attention. If the dogs were ready to pounce their body language would resemble more of a predator not a soppy dog, their ears would be up, gaze completely fixed on the bird, hackles up and most of all their tails would be poker straight in the air. They would also be crouching slightly lower to the ground. As you can see from the picture none of their body language resembles a dog ready to pounce.

    It's a bit unfair to presume that just because we have large dogs they will attack our other pets. Our cats sleep with and play with our dogs because they trust them. I have seen people post pictures on here of children with parrots and birds on their shoulders, the parents are usually the ones taking the picture which suggests that they are also not close enough to the child should that bird decide to bite the child. The parent probably trusts the bird because the bird has never displayed aggressive tendencies, neither have my dogs. The difference is that not all birds give a warning that they are going to attack and bite and there are thousands of stories on the net of this happening, dogs on the other hand do give warning, it just depends on whether you understand that even a look or a fixed gaze can be a warning, we do understand this and we take no risks. Whenever one pet approaches another whether it's dog to dog or dog to cat or dog to bird we asses every bit of their body language, the way in which they are approaching each other and the energy they give off too. If any of them are approaching in even a slightly hostile way we click our fingers at the dogs and the dogs stop and come to us and are told to lie down in their bed to calm down. We do not wait for them to be face to face before we interject, we correct the behaviour before it escalates.

    Even though I've explained this which is merely to help people to understand that big dog does not equal viscious dog, we still are responsible and never leave our animals together. Despite the love and bond we have for all of our animals, we do not trust any animal 100% with children or other animals because they are just that, animals. So they are supervised, constantly.

    I wrote this little update as I thought people may be as excited as we are on Jack's progress, which is a detriment to his environment. It's unfortunate that noone realy acknowledged how much he must trust us, ALL of us to have progressed in the way he has. I trust animals far more than I trust humans and my animals trust each other because they do not show any kind of hostility or predatory behaviour towards each other. They have an understanding, and that is what I trust. Jack is comfortable enough to stand on his perch or on his cage and reach down to kiss the dogs because he does not feel that they are a threat to him, although I supervise any amount of interaction, I acknowledge the communication that goes on between my animals. I will add that I will not allow for Jack to be on the floor with the dogs and I never will, because a) he is below their eyeline so is there for in a submissive position and b) if they wanted to play with him physically they could hurt him badly.

    I'd like to also add that when Jack came to us he had no know prior experience with dogs or cats. I hope this helps to ease all of your concerns.
    Tiffany
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    23-06-2011 5:45 AM
    Krystal,
    I understand your need to defend your dogs - I myself have a neoxddb mastif and a sharpei. The large mastiff is by far the more timid of the 2 weighing in at 10 stones - she is alway very calm and gentle around my birds cage. However the sharpei has a huge prey drive - but poor eyesight and I would not trust him alone with any small furry or feathered friend and as such even though my kids are 8 and 12 now i have stairgates everywhere. i would love to think that at least she could be with us when we interact with our bird but I will not ever risk it - there are too many what if's in this world.
    I have owned large breed dogs for years and will always trust them over the smaller breeds but again always supervised.
    I'm sure no one meant to offend and you clearly know yr stuff regarding dogs and you have to with 3 large ones I think people would never want you to have any regrets regarding the interaction between your bird and dogs.
    It sounds like you are doing brilliantly with Jack - keep up the good work - they do indeed enrich our lives.
    SharonH
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    23-06-2011 6:06 AM
    Well said Tiffany. It sounds as if you are doing a brilliant job with, and for, Jack Krystle. But just occasionally we hear stories like the one recently where someone's trusted dogs killed the cockatoo that they had lived with for years, so people do worry. It sounds as if you have an amazing understanding of the psychology of and relationships between your animals so I am sure that all will be fine for you, as you say, you are vigilant and the pack leader, and that is the best protection for the little fella. Keep up the good work!
    clair
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    23-06-2011 6:09 AM
    sounds like a perfect house for your pets

    keep up the good work

    love the photos xx
    life is to short for regrets, learn from them and smile x
    Krystle
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    23-06-2011 6:49 AM
    Aw thanks guys, that's real sweet of you. I understand that my dogs are large and can be for some people, intimidating to look at. Unfortunately, so many large breeds of dogs (mine included) are judged as vicious or aggressive and don't get given a chance because of their size. Mostly I acknowledge that lack of experience can lead people to fear larger dogs like mine or not understand how they operate and so I just ignore it but sometimes I think it's important to let people know that we do what we need to do to ensure the safety of any animal or person that comes into our home. Just because we have and love our big dogs, it doesn't mean that we are naiive in thinking that they can't do damage even accidentally. For example, I don't even rough house with the girls, not because I am frightened of them because they have never touch teeth to skin, but just the jumping and exciteability can lead to bruises!! So for this reason I don't allow real rough play in the house and don't allow it with visitors or anyone apart from Alex who is a scaffolder and doesn't mind getting bruises! He rolls around on the floor with them all over him........but he is scared of Jack! Lol. And although my cats love the dogs, I don't let Mona and Lunar who are only 1 and still very playful, physically play with them as a playfull paw can hurt sometimes! So there are lots of boundaries in my house so that everyone can get on, happilly and safely. It seems to work because I think that when an animal realises you are in control and respected as the leader they trust you that much more!
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