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Desensitization

Dre2f

Meeting neighbors
Joined
10/26/21
Messages
20
My sun conure is scared of things like our broom, and when we sneeze he flies, and more like this.

He is even scared of things like simply sitting on my bed or going on a new stand. We also cant get him to learn to bathe in a water bowl or container, we have to go in the shower with a shirt on and keep him on our shoulder in order to bathe him.

How should I go about desensitizing him and making him comfortable around stuff like this?
 
Last edited:

flyzipper

Rollerblading along the road
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How long has your Sun been with you?

If it's a short while, everything will be new to them. I would recommend just going about your life, like sweeping with your broom while they can watch from a distance. If you start sweeping close to them and their body language shows they're not comfortable, then stop. You can relocate them further away to continue sweeping where they were, and you've just shown them you're listening to their feedback (building their trust in you), while they also learn the broom isn't scary.

Over time, they will observe that things like that aren't a threat, and noises like sneezes are also less likely to startle.

In any event, I would recommend a passive positive approach, just giving them the opportunity to observe and learn on their own.

People used to advocate an active approach where they would hold or confine the bird and deliberately expose to stimulus in order to desensitize (that's called "flooding") and basically force them to give up, but that is very bad for the mental wellbeing of your Sun and inhibits the possibility of a relationship with you that's built on trust. So... no flooding :)
 

flyzipper

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
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With my guys (an established relationship), I can touch a scary item to my nose and that seems to be enough to show them it's not a scary thing.
 

Dre2f

Meeting neighbors
Joined
10/26/21
Messages
20
How long has your Sun been with you?

If it's a short while, everything will be new to them. I would recommend just going about your life, like sweeping with your broom while they can watch from a distance. If you start sweeping close to them and their body language shows they're not comfortable, then stop. You can relocate them further away to continue sweeping where they were, and you've just shown them you're listening to their feedback (building their trust in you), while they also learn the broom isn't scary.

Over time, they will observe that things like that aren't a threat, and noises like sneezes are also less likely to startle.

In any event, I would recommend a passive positive approach, just giving them the opportunity to observe and learn on their own.

People used to advocate an active approach where they would hold or confine the bird and deliberately expose to stimulus in order to desensitize (that's called "flooding") and basically force them to give up, but that is very bad for the mental wellbeing of your Sun and inhibits the possibility of a relationship with you that's built on trust. So... no flooding :)
He has been with me since he was 10 weeks old. I got him last year of october the 16th to be exact.

Thanks for the advice, I will start sweeping away from him when he seems scared and see if this helps.
 

flyzipper

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Joined
9/28/20
Messages
1,753
Location
Canada
Real Name
Steve
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