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Discipline/punishment. Just bad advice.

Monica

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My personal opinion is that they do not mate for life... there's quite a bit of polygamy that's been noticed in some wild parrots, and two males may fight over the same female, even if one is already bonded to that female.

That's not to say that they can't form strong bonds and stay with one mate for many years, however I do not know if anyone has been able to observe a pair together in the wild nesting and raising chicks year after year - the same two birds from the same flock.
 

fashionfobie

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I recommend Gisela Kaplan's book Bird Bonds 2019. She focuses on Australian birds but the insights are applicable to many parrots.

Birds have domestic dispute, get divorced and cheat. Some live happily their whole lives with the same mate and others don't. Parrot relationships are very complex.

Another worthwhile read by Kaplan, Bird Minds 2015. She wrote both of these books for a wide audience, they are intended for bird enthusiasts and lovers alike :)
 

cheekypie

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Totally agree! I never use violence against my birds and never will! You can reward a bird for not doing something bad٫ rather than punishing for doing something bad. Althought i gently blow on my birds when i can't get them off something (not harmful٫ just not enjoyable to be blown on). They know they did something wrong when i blow.
 

VictorMet7

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When my bird scream, she just show me how much she loves me
 

dollfish

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I disappear when my bird does something bad. It is essentially punishment but it doesn't add stimuli so it isn't aversive. But this must be used with caution because you may end up with a bird that does nasty stuff to get people to leave.
 

TheBirds

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This is a great link I stumbled across tonight:


It refers to dogs, but the principles are still applicable to parrots as far as why positive reinforcement is so much better and more effective than punishment (or anything resembling punishment). I found this excerpt especially interesting regarding clicker training - which is actually how I found the article (I was looking for more information on variable reward schedule as I remembered learning something about it in an Animal Behaviour lab I took at university):

"Some wonder if an animal trained with food rewards will always need food to continue to perform a desired behavior and the answer is yes and no – depends how you use it. Once a behavior is learned, the rate of reinforcement (rewards) is decreased and put on a variable schedule, meaning the animal doesn’t get a reward for every correct behavior but instead receives rewards on a less frequent and irregular basis, which actually serves to keep the learned behaviors strong."
 

JLcribber

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This is a great link I stumbled across tonight:


It refers to dogs, but the principles are still applicable to parrots as far as why positive reinforcement is so much better and more effective than punishment (or anything resembling punishment). I found this excerpt especially interesting regarding clicker training - which is actually how I found the article (I was looking for more information on variable reward schedule as I remembered learning something about it in an Animal Behaviour lab I took at university):

"Some wonder if an animal trained with food rewards will always need food to continue to perform a desired behavior and the answer is yes and no – depends how you use it. Once a behavior is learned, the rate of reinforcement (rewards) is decreased and put on a variable schedule, meaning the animal doesn’t get a reward for every correct behavior but instead receives rewards on a less frequent and irregular basis, which actually serves to keep the learned behaviors strong."
Interesting. This all has to do with the level of intelligence being dealt with.

I know a cockatoo that would laugh at this. A deal is a deal. I do the thing. You give me my earned reward. What a ya mean no reward? I will voice my displeasure for the next 45 minutes until you understand the rules. He understands the rule perfectly. :lol:
 

Monica

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Also depending on the animal, the food based reward can be changed over time... to say, verbal rewards or doing the actual desired behavior.

I'm not entirely sure how one could equate this out to parrots, but an example would be teaching the dog to walk nicely on leash. Two methods (not purely positive ones) are stopping each time the dog pulls. As soon as dog stops pulling, you resume walking. Or, you turn the other direction each time dog starts pulling. The act of going forward is the reward itself.
 

Alien J

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stopping each time the dog pulls.
I've tried this with Dusty. I was told it's called the "One Step Method". Believe me, with Dusty, that's an apt name. It's like we only went one step per hour! Took us three weeks to go around the block! Haha.
 

Monica

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I saw somewhere it said "blow on your bird's face lightly" :bored:
Might work to distract your bird.... might not phase them.... or they might bite harder. Doesn't really teach them what you *DO* want them to do.
 

Rain Bow

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I'm glad this has popped up as a discussion... It's about that time of year where many new member's start having issues as the weather begins to change into warmer tempd. However I don't think this is as big of an issue when states that are normally getting warmer are having artic snowstorms. ;)

Maybe we need to bump it on another month or so!
:smileflower:
 

cheekypie

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Might work to distract your bird.... might not phase them.... or they might bite harder. Doesn't really teach them what you *DO* want them to do.
That was probably me... Well I have gotten out of the habit of doing that. Not really sure how to stop biting though. Blueberry despises me, so she bites very hard. I don’t even have to be bothering her to bother her, so when she bites I kinda just let it go.
 

Monica

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That was probably me... Well I have gotten out of the habit of doing that. Not really sure how to stop biting though. Blueberry despises me, so she bites very hard. I don’t even have to be bothering her to bother her, so when she bites I kinda just let it go.
It's actually a rather common suggestion so can't necessarily blame anyone in specific.


This may sound rather annoying, but the best way to stop a bird from biting is to not get bit in the first place. Yes, I know! Easier said than done! You can think of it this way... the more a bird has time to practice an undesired behavior, the more ingrained it becomes to do that behavior! So, if you can figure out ways to avoid getting bitten, you can 'unteach' that behavior.

What are the bird's triggers? How can you avoid those triggers or desensitize your bird to those triggers?

How can you set your home up for success?

Bird who seems to bite unprovoked? A bird that literally goes out of their way to bite someone? Cage them! Seriously! Allowing them to continue isn't helping the situation! However, you *DO* want to work on desired behaviors while *IN* the cage.

Another common advice.... remove your bird from their cage and take them to neutral territory to train them. Make them feel vulnerable and have to rely on you. *THIS* is terrible advice! This can teach birds that hands are bad around the cage, so they become cage aggressive. You thus end up with birds that are "fine once away from the cage". This also puts birds into a "fight or flight" type of response which isn't the ideal state a mind you want to be training a bird, or any animal for that matter, in.


So.... going back to training in the cage. If you do it right, you can avoid bites. Ideally, you want the bird to be comfortable and calm as well. If the bird freaks out, then you want to make sure that the cage is fairly large and the bird has a way to escape from you and potentially hide as well. Giving them this option can teach them that they don't need to be forced to do anything. You could also set up a treat cup at the front of the cage and drop their favorite treats into this bowl to help them learn to associate that good things happen when you come near the cage. You may need to change how you approach the cage, such as walking slower, not making eye contact, etc... for the bird to remain calm. If they are fine with you approaching the cage, then you can work on target training through the cage bars. You can have them reach through the bars in order to receive a reward, you could drop the reward into a treat cup inside the cage or offer it via a spoon. If the bird goes to attack you when you try to change out the dishes, then work on station training away from the dishes.

Once the bird can reliably target to any location within the cage, you can then move on to training through the open cage door, around the outside of the cage and eventually away from the cage. This training alone can help teach your bird to go in and out of their cage with ease, go back to their cage if necessary and sets a foundation for future training. It helps to bridge a communication gap of sorts as well.
 
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