I suspect there are multiple reasons but I can only speak to my 2 yr old female who seemed to do this when wanting attention from us or the grandkids, she loves all of us, so I knew it was not aggression, and almost always done on a dash as if to say "come on I am ready to play". It became a priority to break this, so I made it a huge deal during training to let her know this made me unhappy. It has taken about 6 months of "no bite" sternly spoken and then ignoring her until she settled down. Then she would crawl over to me and lick my hand... Which would get her lots of praise and treats. This is much trickier when out on a walk or when past experiences with some people have been positive. Maybe there is a reaction of smells from other animals being on detected. I do understand that my dog craves a routine. I try to stick to a pattern she understands. Unpredictable activity causes her anxiety.
I agree with Pippi on the birds being in the biggest jeopardy. I have 3 chickens which my girl is fascinated with. She goes out to feed and check for eggs 2 times a day with me, all I have to say is "chickens" and she is at my heels, but they are safely in a large secure area which she is not allowed to enter. I am sure she would pick them off if I gave her any chance. I am not sure there are enough treats in the world to break that drive.
Piper loves my cat, but my old cat just tolerates the antics of the energetic 2 yr old. She has gotten a few smacks on the nose but they can be trusted together all day.
Thanks for the tips, she is 2 yrs old and is making progress. I think the one problem is my vets philosophy is to take her in a separate room from where I am. So I can't soothe her. I do like this vet however.thanks all. The peanut butter is ingenious.
Piper is 2yrs old and I have changed vets twice because if she feels cornered she growls and everyone is intimidated by her. She is getting much better and last month her annuals were due they did make an attempt, but a muzzle is not an option because she sees it coming and freaks. And she has only had it on once, but she was very stressed at that time, in the vets office when a puppy. She is so smart and forgets nothing.
All of those suggestions are perfect....I will be booed here because I am not a professional, just a 65+ yr old who thought a small dog would be easier to walk. I have shoulder injuries and can't tolerate the pulling. So after trying with only modest improvement we fenced in an acre and created trails in the woods so she can walk and Chase and sniff off leash. If I gave her high quality treats to modify all her behavior issues she would weigh 50 pounds by now. So I approach her training much like raising children. I pick my battles. That one did not seem like I was going to win. Best of luck.
I like Debra's response and I think your biggest confrontation would be over food. Eating off the same plate seems like it is pushing beyond a safe zone. I have one basenji one very large cat and 3 confined chickens. Dog and cat play and co-exist fine, though the dog at times plays too rough. (The cat is elderly whereas the dog is 2 yrs old. )
I am quite sure given the chance the dog would make short work of a chicken....not giving her any opportunity. Good luck, sounds like it will work out.