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Biting Behavior with Meyer

Discussion in 'Poicephalus Place' started by cm16600, 3/13/19.

  1. cm16600

    cm16600 Moving in

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    Hi,

    We got our Meyer for 4 month now , he is 12 years old. when he does not want to come off my arm he is biting my hands to show he want to stay. Of course i have read that you should ignore the behavior and gently let him step off. It does not seem to be applicable, my bird is a Pitbull. He bites so hard that he is ripping off flesh, i have scars on every fingers. When he bites he will not let go, jerking the hand, beeing upside down does not help, still going strong and continue biting.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. fashionfobie

    fashionfobie Sprinting down the street

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    Some birds are fearful of hands. This might be part of why he is happy to sit on your arm, but is biting your hands.

    Have you tried using target training or positive reward training. You could encourage the bird to step to an alternative surface using a treat.

    Negative reinforcement is only going to make your problem worse. In your bird's mind he is trying to inform you that something is NOT ok with him. Don't force a bird.. they can't be commanded to do anything. They need to choose to do things.

    You need to establish a reward based system so that your bird can understand that a behaviour will have a positive outcome.

    This video is a very respected animal trainer. I hope she gives you some ideas.



    Unrelated: Pitbulls are fantastic dogs. Bad people ruin dogs.... breed discrimination is sad and disappointing.
     
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  3. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    What does he find reinforcing (apart from biting you!)? Any favourite treats? Would he follow a treat off your hand?
     
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  4. Fuzzy

    Fuzzy Rollerblading along the road Avenue Veteran

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    Also I'd think twice about letting him perch on your arm if he won't come off nicely. I'd teach him to step up perhaps on a hand held perch first (for a treat or other reinforcer of his choice) and then immediately step down again (also for a reinforcer). But to do this sort of training you will need to find a reinforcer that he will work for.... a treat, access to a favourite toy, head scratch, etc, etc. When he's got the hang of it, you could try the same with your finger or arm. Then shape duration (an increasing amount of time he is on your arm before stepping down again).
     
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  5. fashionfobie

    fashionfobie Sprinting down the street

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    Patience is key! Take one day at a time and build up your trust system. I think @Fuzzy has some great tips. Just know to take time. It can take weeks, months and even years to get to where you want to go.

    There is a good chance your bird enjoys spending time with you. So he will really want to build on that positive communication.

    He is probably just as scared and frustrated as you are. Birds will be reactive to fearful situations. Once you figure out a positive way of communicating I think you will both feel much safer and better.

    Please let us know how it goes :)
     
  6. cm16600

    cm16600 Moving in

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    Hi ,
    Thank you everybody for your support, i actually do target train my bird every day, and i would say it is going pretty well, that is why i can be so suprised when i got a hard bite from what seem to be out of nowhere. i know it is not and really try to understand. A couple of example, Tyson loves training when i come back from work he can sit on his perch and calls me to start training . After a couple of stick training , i move on to flying. I call him, he flies to my arm get a click and a treat. tell him to fly back on the perch, he does it get a click and a treat. We can go on like that for a few times. Next attempt i would tell him to fly back,he would behave the same way he usually does, leaning forward ready to go an then the nasty bite is coming, so hard and intense that i can hear the soud of my flesh cracking. hard to keep a poker face and pretend nothing happened.

    An other example : I sit on the sofa Tyson is flying on to me because he wants to hang out. i sat with him one hour, scratching his head, talking to him and so on. After one hour i need to get up and put him back on his perch. He simulates that he is going to perch lifting one foot and here we go again, nasty bite. It is obvious he reacts because he wants to stay with me but his way to show it is not manageable. If i try not to have him on my arm he will usually fly to me when ever he can, he is following me in the house like a dog. i need to mention that i am not his favorite human, my wife is, she can do pretty much what she wnats with him. She could get a few nip in protest but never hard bites. i am the only one that train him and his giving his favorite treat.

    Chris
     
  7. fashionfobie

    fashionfobie Sprinting down the street

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    A video of this would help a lot, just so I can read his body language.

    In your 1st example: I am wondering if he is getting tired from flight. He might be indicating. 'Nope! I am done.' I would suggests trying to limit the length of time these training sessions last. Try mixing it up and doing some flight, then some easier foot work, then some flight. Try ending the session before he gets to his limit. This may remove the negative behaviour completely. He will learn that he can do tricks and doesn't need to let you know when he has had enough.

    In your 2nd example: For this example try hiding away a nice treat that will require a little more time to work on (maybe in your pocket). Use your touch training and ask him to step onto a separate surface from yourself. It can be a perch nearby or even the arm of the couch. When he follows his target stick to the new surface, click, give generous reward. Do your activities whilst he enjoys the larger treat. Then return. Let him know that just because you got up, it doesn't mean cuddle time is over. He might be in a situation that indicates to him, when Chris gets up I no longer get snuggled. If you make the action of you getting up rewarding.. ie. the treat.. and also return for more snuggles it can help maintain his trust that 'Hey Chris doe like preening sessions.'

    I hope this helps. :)
     
  8. cm16600

    cm16600 Moving in

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    @fashionfobie, thank you very much for you ideas, i will try and see if there is any improvments. I can try also to video tape but i usually try to train him when iam alone so he can keep focus.

    Chris
     
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