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Help me please desperate really desperate

zar1

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Hi everyone. I need some serious advice. It’s been about 5-6 months since I adopted my Green cheek conure from a pet store. Butter is about 7 months old. He‘s a very friendly bird to an extent. I’ve taught him a range of tricks that include using my hand and he’s been very receptive towards it. He does respond well with giving high fives, saying hi and eating a single seed from my hands (not in the palm). For the step-up trick, I still use a wooden stick because he has a serious biting issue, if he gets too close to my hand he instantly pecks at it (really hard). Sometimes in the morning when I first see him and attempt to complete a trick with him, he instantly tries to bite my finger. Other times if he gets close to my arm or hand he tries to bite. I have researched a lot of different ways to correct this behavior, I‘ve tried saying ”No” with a neutral expression, putting him back in his cage, walking away from him. But none of these seem to work.

So if anyone has effective advice on correcting this biting behavior, it would be extremely helpful!!!
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fashionfobie

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@zar1

I think the best thing you can do is take a step back and give your bird more space. You can do tricks from time to time, but tricks shouldn't be work... They should be more like games. You want your bird to enjoy being challenged.

Normally when a parrot gets to a point of biting it is because their other body language was ignored and they ran out of ways to tell you no. Your bird isn't a robot. It is an independent adult animal. You do not need to have full control.

I think you need to consider sorta starting over. Work on building trust. Maybe "high five" is terrifying to your bird or maybe you bird is tired. Try to spend a few weeks focusing on simply spending time together, pause tricks for now. If you can rebuild trust with your bird (in these few weeks) you may be able to start working on tricks again but as short fun games.
 

Wardy

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First thing i would do is stop offering my hand to the bird that will stop the bitting.
Continue using the perch to get him to step up use a step up command and reward with a seed.
I would start doing some target training again rewarding the bird when it does as asked if need be offer the reward on a spoon so it cant bite.
When you see your bird first thing in the morning i would greet him have a chat and then just feed him and change his water out the last thing i would want to do first thing in the morning would be tricks i can barely start work without two coffees.
Putting a bird back into there cage for biting is never a good idea there cage should be there safe place not somewhere used to punish them.
If your bird bites put down on a safe space say no turn your back on them.
But if you do as suggested above the chance of biting hard has been removed until your relationship improves so they wont bite.
Conures are nippy but can be taught what is to hard and not acceptable.
Sometimes it is worth taking a step back to move forward.
 

zar1

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I get what you mean. He usually comes out from his cage when he’s ready, so those are the times where I would interact with him. I definitely agree with the building trust part, I will be working on that! Thanks for the advice!
 

Momof3litt

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Is it possible that he is also using his beak to try to pull himself up onto your arm/hand? You can discourage this by teaching "step up" with the treat held at beak level in one hand while he steps up onto your other hand. Only reward attempts to step up without pulling up.
 

Wardy

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Is it possible that he is also using his beak to try to pull himself up onto your arm/hand? You can discourage this by teaching "step up" with the treat held at beak level in one hand while he steps up onto your other hand. Only reward attempts to step up without pulling up.
I wouldnt advise this the reward shouldnt be in site when asking to step up but should be offered once the bird has stepped up otherwise the bird is stepping up for the treat not the instruction also if the bird does not step up correctly it still expects the treat as it has already seen it withholding the treat after seeing it is not positive reinforcement.
 

Mizzely

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The best way to stop biting is to stop giving opportunities to bite. I know that sounds weird! However bites are often self reinforcing. He is biting for a reason, and if he gets the desired response (a fun yell, you going way, going back to his cage, etc) then he will keep doing it!

I wouldnt advise this the reward shouldnt be in site when asking to step up but should be offered once the bird has stepped up otherwise the bird is stepping up for the treat not the instruction also if the bird does not step up correctly it still expects the treat as it has already seen it withholding the treat after seeing it is not positive reinforcement.
Everything has to start somewhere :) There has to be an incentive for the bird in order for them to want to do it. Same with if I am teaching a dog to sit. I am using a treat to encourage the behavior I want. They need convincing that doing what you are asking is preferable to ignoring you ;)
 

fashionfobie

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. Same with if I am teaching a dog to sit. I am using a treat to encourage the behavior I want. They need convincing that doing what you are asking is preferable to ignoring you ;)
Heck I call my dog in by shaking the treat jar. And when at the beach my dog gets a reward every time he returns to me. He totally knows when the treat training bag is at my hip. He behaves very well with the reminder.


Though I think Wardy is right in that false promising a treat is not positive. I think it is more in the way you use the treat. If the bird or dog can trust that you want to give it to them, they just need to sort out what you mean. I would never show a treat to never reward them, that is sorta mean. You should give the bird/dog realistic objectives that you know they can achieve. And only slowly build off up into new territory. It helps with trust and confidence :)
 

Mizzely

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Heck I call my dog in by shaking the treat jar. And when at the beach my dog gets a reward every time he returns to me. He totally knows when the treat training bag is at my hip. He behaves very well with the reminder.


Though I think Wardy is right in that false promising a treat is not positive. I think it is more in the way you use the treat. If the bird or dog can trust that you want to give it to them, they just need to sort out what you mean. I would never show a treat to never reward them, that is sorta mean. You should give the bird/dog realistic objectives that you know they can achieve. And only slowly build off up into new territory. It helps with trust and confidence :)
I must have missed that the treat wasn't being given! Definitely agree there :)
 

Wardy

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Maybe i could have written it better if the treat is visible you ask the bird to step up onto your finger it bites your not going to offer the treat is the point i was trying to make.
 

fashionfobie

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Maybe i could have written it better if the treat is visible you ask the bird to step up onto your finger it bites your not going to offer the treat is the point i was trying to make.
In the scenario here the request wouldn't be reasonable for the bird. If the bird would bite it wouldn't be a question of treat on step up. It would be a treat for approach. Only after the bird is happy with approach would you start moving toward other steps eventually to the hand. Slow and steady and rewarding for the tiny improvements.
 
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