hello, I have a 10 month old amazon. It took a while to settle him down, let him see that he can trust us.Sundenly, he is biting more often than not, he also does not want to step up, even though I give him a cookie When I give him something to eat, he thinks I am going to take it and he tries to bite me. Any ideas, I am baffled
Being very gentle and sit him on my lap. Loudly telling him to stop, soft talk
-- Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Let's take a step back, hit the 're set' button and start as if he just arrived. --- Before we can get our highly intelligent birds to do what we want, we have to learn how to communicate correctly to them on a level they understand (speaking avian rather than speaking mammal) That means absolutely no yelling unless you want to reward your little guy with positive feedback. You see, for birds like this, the louder - the better! They don't understand angry tones, they only understand that loud is magnificent in the bird world. You also can count on hearing your 'yelling' or angry words repeated back to you at some point. And repeated to other people as well. That can be a bit embarrassing although I find it sad. I can tell a lot about where birds come from and what sort of home they were in by the words and tone they use (I own a rescue and rehab for parrots). --- When it comes to stepping up or coming out of the cage respect his space, but don't let him rule you. If he's eating or sleeping, this is not the time to try to get your way. If it's mid afternoon (2-3 or 4:00 p.m.) it's a natural 'nap' time for just about all diurnal animals (including humans). --- Once you know it's not a time that's disturbing his routine or natural rhythm - issue the 'step up' command and be prepared to suffer a couple of bites - which are often just bluster and noise. A bird that strikes out and yells as they do it can SEEM like they mean business and the moment you hesitate or worse, pull away, the bird wins. They've learned what to do in order to control you. --- If you refuse to flinch and you remain calm, quiet and steady even while beak makes contact with skin (it might pinch, but it won't kill you) you've taught him that you're in control and he'd be better off cooperating. Always, always gush your praise and pleasure when the bird does even the slightest thing right. He'll quickly learn that being cooperative gets him that all important attention and 'raised voice' he so craves. There are lots more step by step options at getting your bird to be a 'good bird' here (copy and paste into your address bar) http://www.4animalcare.org/birds--- The 'treat' reward is fine, but I prefer to use just words and touch since those things are always at hand. When your bird gets loud, you get silent. When he has a tantrum, tell him he's getting a 'time out' and then do it. Remove him to a distant room where he is SAFE, but alone, in silence, nothing to do. Set your timer for 5 minutes. Never any longer than this or the point is lost on him. When you retrieve him, gush and praise him for being very good (as long as he's actually 'good', as in quieted down). --- If you don't have a place to remove him to (I've seen owners set up a portable perch in their bathroom shower to serve as a 'time out' location) then just turn your back and turn everything off. Silence speaks volumes to these birds. It's more of an impact than any amount of yelling is--- Let me know how you do. I expect an improvement - as long as you're consistent - in a week or less.
Hi,I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?S. August Abbott, CAS
Very nice reply and it has helped me already. I will tell you though that when he does bite he sometimes draws blood. What do you consider a tantrum?I go to a bird rescue to purchase Romeo"s and toys, they are less expensive than the pet stores and it is helping the poor little guys. People need training before they adopt any pet, and I believe that if it is free, it makes it that much simpler not to have respect for the pets.I bought Romeo in a nice store in Florida, that also has rescue birds and birds that they won't let go, but keep them and people are in there visiting them throughout the day. I went to the store a few times a week to hold and talk to Romeo, to make sure we bonded before I brought him home. He is a real joy, and keeps us
-- I'm very, very happy to hear the good news thus far! I love that idea your local rescue has with the sale of goods to support their rescues. I deal almost exclusively with the elderly, disabled and poor (all of whom deserve to have a bird to love and to be loved by) so there's not a lot of help in the way of donations, BUT this venue right here has provided me a way to cover expenses for many years now. The 'schooling' before anyone can adopt is an absolute must. Honestly, I can't tell you how glad I am that it's being implemented where you are. Don't you wish every single seller or adoption org. made their prospective owners go through this? Anyway, the 'tantrum' is when a bird gets so worked up that they actually upset themselves. They start screaming and their human reacts by running over to them or yelling back at them, which stirs them up even more and before you know it we have a full on 'tantrum'. Not all birds react to soothing in the same way. With some I can simply walk up to them and talk softly to get a positive (quiet) reaction. Others need that 'time out' mentioned earlier. Still, a rare few need physical touch to calm them down. I've scooped up a screaming out of control macaw and tucked their head into my arms to help curb any visual stimulli and then just whispered to them 'til they calmed down. There are quite often bites. It comes with the job. When you get bitten again take it down a notch. I've gotten lots of good reactions to acting like they hurt your feelings more than anything else. "Owww! That hurt. Boo hoo" (I know it sounds silly, but the birds pick up on the emotion and they really don't want us sad. They don't know what to do with that so they'll strive to avoid ever causing it again. Of course it's not easy to turn an "OWWWWW! I want to launch you into space!" into a head hanging, boo hoo, you hurt my feelings when you tried to bite my finger off. --------- I believe you'll do very well with Romeo. And I'm here for both of you whenever you need me. If you start a new question just put my name in the subject line "For August" .... I'd be happy to help and if I can't, I'll find someone who can