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Fast growing lovebird aggression

Minna Fleming

Checking out the neighborhood
Sorry for the length!

My fiance and I got our female lovebird Chocobo at 5 weeks old from a local pet store. She was hand raised and we visited her twice a day for a month till she was weaned and able to come home. At first we we're doing well and she bonded well with us but since we're new parents we made mistakes in raising her and at this point in time she is extremely aggressive and bitey.

She is especially bad with my fiance who works all day whereas I lost my job recently and spend all day with her. She's super excited to see him and prefers him but bites him as hard as she can constantly. Sometimes it's provoked like when he tries to get her to step up from his shoulder but sometimes he'll have her grooming near him when she suddenly latches onto him and bites when he hasn't moved. When she does this she refuses to let go until you pry her beak off. We tried not reacting but then she just... never stops and clamps harder until you cry out and pull away. I think her record is a full minute before I couldn't stand the pain. We also tried pushing in toward her or shaking when she bites to knock her off balance but she quickly learned to counter us and bite again and harder.

We have been clicker training her as well but if you try to get her to step up with a treat and she decides she'd rather stay on your shoulder than have a seed she reaches out and bites the ever loving shizz out of your hand holding the treat. I also recently started target training which goes well for 5 minutes till she wants back on me and then flies to climb on me and refuses to go for the target. We have tried using a small perch to teach her to step up so we can start from the basics again and she learned to shuffle down to where are hand is holding the stick and bite.

Honestly the both of us agree she is much worse with my fiance. I can let her sit on me all day and play with toys and get away with 2 or 3 medium strength bites the whole day, whereas my fiance gets bit probably 2 or 3 times as hard as she can in 5 minutes. This is definitely our fault as my fiance at first lost patience with her easily and would grab her and put her in her cage. After some talks about him stepping up on training and bonding as well as being patient he is doing his best and is very gentle with her but the damage is done and everything he does is met with bites.

At this point how do we rebuild the relationship between her and my fiance and how do we work on training with her? I would be willing to go as far back as giving her some space and giving her treats in her cage and re teaching basic step up commands but if left in her cage even with us right in front of it she screams till we either take her out again or leave the house. That's another behavioral problem but for a different time. We can't let her scream since we live in an apartment so she does spend all day out with us and has no desire to go in her cage.

I adore her and don't want to give up but my fiance is alone with her for a week and he already looks like mince meat. Experienced trainers what do we need to fix? We admit that we lacked patience and taught her bad habits and to be fearful, how do we regain trust and fix our own bad behaviors?


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I am so happy to read you take ownership in creating your lil wild girl...most people don't. Keep in mind its hormone season all birds turn into creatures we don't recognize. Your Honey is going to have to rebuild the bond/trust with her. She has to want something from him & food/treats work well for this but not if she always have a full food dish. I am home all day, so my birds get hand treats all day-and very little in their dish until dinner time. They look to me as their food/treat source. Also diet and sleep play a huge role in a birds mood. Make sure she is getting at least 6-8 hrs of uninterrupted sleep. Read up on diet-alot of foods affect the moods also. Good luck.