Yes, peacocks can get along with dogs in most instances, but sometimes there are a few problems.
A lot depends on both animals and how they behave. These behaviors can get complicated when other factors come into play like breeding season, feeling cornered and protecting one’s territory.
Most often when there is a problem between dog and peacock, it’s the dog’s behavior that’s the problem.
Most dogs see a big new bird and want to sniff and check it out. If it runs up to the peacock, the bird can feel threatened and either fly off or feel cornered and stand its ground.
When cornered a peacock will fight back. Sometimes viciously. They are large birds with strong legs and sharp talons that can easily do damage to any animal. Then there’s the beak.
How to Introduce Peafowl and Dogs
If you plan to keep peafowl as pets and you already have a dog, or visa-versa, you need to prepare each party before introducing them to each other.
Your peafowl should be in a caged area so they’re unable to fly away or do damage to an energetic or excitable dog.
The dog should be on a leash and be allowed to sniff and watch as long as the peafowl is holding its attention.
If your dog is going crazy jumping and barking, your dog is simply not ready to be around any type of bird, even chickens.
Once the dog is relaxed enough around the caged peafowl, it’s time to introduce both animals in a controlled environment.
Let the peafowl walk around naturally. Then bring the dog around them while still being tethered to you on a leash. If the dog and peafowl seem to be adjusting okay, and both animals are calm enough, try letting the dog off of the leash.
If for any reason the dog or peafowl react in a way that isn’t a clam greeting, then separate the animals and keep trying until they do.
Both animals can easily inflict pain on one another. So take these introductions seriously. The dog may just be trying to play, but a peacock is getting a whole different vibe.
Stay with it and sooner or later the two will work things out and at least “agree” to co-exist in the same area.
Are Peacocks Aggressive?
Yes, peacocks can be very aggressive if you catch them at the right moment, but it isn’t the norm. And there are a few different reasons why.
The worst time for the peacock is during mating season. The hormones running through the bird’s body increases their aggressiveness, and they will easily take on another peacock, or any other animal they feel is a threat to them successfully mating.
Another instance is when a peacock is hungry and someone has food around. There have been many instances when young children are attacked in zoos where peafowl are allowed to freely roam the grounds.
The peacocks are used to human interaction and no longer feel we are a threat. So when a small child is eating french fries and the peacock notices, they have no problem taking the child’s lunch.
But sometimes the birds just lash out for no apparent reason or because they somehow feel cornered as the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City can attest to. They are being sued over four separate peacock attacks in their zoo over a two day period.
The birds had free range over the zoo and had never attacked anyone before the two day onslaught.
Yes, peacocks can be very aggressive, but if you give them enough space to freely move around and search for food and can engage in normal courtship, there shouldn’t be a problem.
Are Peacocks Aggressive to Cats?
Most often peafowl are not aggressive towards cats. Due to their large size, they feel secure in their ability to fend off any cat attacks.
A Peahen can get quite aggressive towards cats when they have peachicks (baby peafowl).
Cats will not hesitate to hunt down the small chicks, kill them and eat them for a quick dinner.
If the peahen does find herself in a situation where the cat is attacking it’s chick, it will not hesitate to attack the cat and even kill it if possible.
Are Peacocks Aggressive to Chickens?
Peafowl can be aggressive to chickens, but once everyone understands the “pecking order” things usually calm down and they co-habituate just fine.
Since peacocks specifically are large birds weighing up to 13 pounds and boasting a wing span of up to five feet wide, they can definitely out fight a chicken. And the chickens quickly understand this.
It’s again during mating season that the male peacock can become aggressive towards female chickens when trying to mate with them.
Yes, a peacock will try to mate with a chicken, especially if there are no peahens around. And although they can’t ever impregnate a chicken, it doesn’t mean it won’t try.
If a rooster decides he doesn’t like the peacock’s advances and challenges them, the rooster will soon learn their place on that farm yard is secondary.
As beautiful as these birds are, they are mainly a “look don’t touch” sort of bird.
Although they are social animals in the wild with their own species, they are not normally considered social birds when it comes to other species of animals. Not even other birds like chickens or turkeys.
Peafowl aren’t the smartest bird. So when they react to things like outside advances or food, they are relying on instinct which is usually a “me first” proposition.
They’re easily startled and are not affectionate at all. Peafowl are not like a cat you can pet and it purrs.
In fact, they rather you simply admire them from a distance and leave them alone.
Ways to Decrease Peafowl Aggressiveness
The best way to manage peacock aggression is to try and replicate the bird’s natural habitat as much as possible for a happy and healthy pet.
This means there should be adequate space for your peafowl to freely roam, search for food and engage in their normal mating habits and rituals so as to give them the longest life possible.
Having a large area for your peafowl allows them to forage for naturally occurring foods just like in the wild which in turn keeps them occupied and burning off energy.
It also gives them the freedom to run or fly up into trees if they feel threatened rather than feeling cornered in a small cage and feeling as if they have no choice but to retaliate.
The number of peahens to a peacock is also very important. It’s best to keep groups of six or more. Five peahens for each peacock will allow the peacock to create its harem as they would in the wild.
This means they won’t need to disturb other birds that may be on your farm, and give them a way to work off their extra aggression due to the hormonal changes going on during breeding season.
A large area also allows plenty of space for the other animals on the farm to get a little breathing room from the peafowl as well.
Peacocks are majestic birds that have been admired for their beauty for centuries. But just because they are beautiful creatures doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fear them.
They are also very strong birds that will defend their own territory and as parents, protect their eggs and offspring at almost any cost.
One thing to remember is that peafowl have been kept around for centuries to ward off snakes, in India it’s the King Cobra. You need to be a pretty aggressive bird to take on a King Cobra and win the fight.
So as beautiful and “friendly” as these birds are, even in a zoo, it’s best to keep your distance between you and any unfamiliar peafowl you see.