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Need help with my aggressive conure

Jenna87

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Hi! My GC conure Pluto, is about 9 months old. Up until 6 months, he was friendly and interacted with me, my kids, my nephews that would come over every other day, just about everyone. He was very well bahaved. Then he changed. He started attacking my children and anyone else who entered my home out of nowhere. His feathers were trimmed when I got him, he could still fly, just not gain a lot of height. Now everyone is terrified of him. If he seems them, he immediately flies to them and bites them in the face if he can get it, or ears. He will land on their arm and walk straight up to bite the face..hard. Very mean, drawing blood. Now the only person he wants is me. He tolerates my bf, doesn’t bite him but won’t go to him either. I can only let him out when no one is around. Which I feel like just escalates his behavior. He tries to “hump” me by rubbing his bottom on me. I’m not sure is he’s being protective aggressive or what’s going on. Idw him to be a caged bird. But he’s so mean to everyone but me. I’m about to trim his wings again. At least so he can’t fly to and attack my family and guests. He’s target trained, does step up and a few tricks. I’m at a loss. Idw what changed or why he is so aggressive and mean. Everyone used to love him and he was well socialized. Now he’s the terror of the house…except to me. I call him my Velcro bird bc if he’s out of his cage, we wants on me. And as much as I love being his favorite person, I need him to behave and at least tolerate my family. Any suggestions? I also just took in a rescued Quaker parrot. I’m trying to work with him and it’s made my conure even worst. I think he’s jealous, but I always greet him, treat him, and love on him first. He’s even started attacking my Quaker if I’m holding the Quaker. And the Quakers wings were butchered so he can’t fly AT ALL. It’s dangerous. Please someone help me out. I want the best for everyone here. I feel like I’m failing and idk why or what I’m doing wrong.
 

Kassiani

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Sex and the Psittacine

I believe, and others will correct me if I’m wrong, that your bird has now entered puberty—and you are his favorite. I highly recommend that you read the article at the link above. In the meantime, it would probably be helpful if he spent more time in his cage so he can’t bite. Target training your conure through the bars of his cage could also be very helpful!
 

Wardy

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As said above it does sound like hormonal behaviour also there is now another parrot that has entered the dynamic i agree with the above more time in his cage is probably needed for a while whilst you reasses things.
If he is attacking your quaker whilst you are handling the quaker dont let him out of his cage when you are doing this a new bird has entered his home and he is doing what birds do and telling the quaker this is my house seperate out of cage time for them both is the way forward at least short term, there is no saying they wont be able to get on in the future ( they may not ) but them getting to know each other could take time.
Also if your children or family members are about or you have guests he needs to be caged and work on training with him as above target training and work on getting him to station in one place so he wont attack these people.
imo less cage time and working on some training will benefit long term for you.

I would urge you not to clip his wings the this wont correct any of the issues the bird wil be the same however just wont be able to fly as well but will more than likely exhibit the same behaviours quality out of cage time with just yourself will be more beneficial long term.

he may never interact with other family members like he does with you but training can definately improve things

@webchirp @Mizzely might be able to offer some further advice
 

webchirp

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I know others will say no, but if it were me, training and if that doesn't work, clip. I would rather see him clipped than injured or rehomed. I have two cheeks missing toes from a quaker bite and the one has a misaligned beak from it too. Plus you really don't want your kids traumatized.

I have one girlie who is heck on wings and I clip her every now and then. She has decided to dive bomb Madi because she's jealous of me with others even though she really isn't tame. So she's getting back to the point of a light clip that alerts others she's in motion. She also managed to corner poor Tosh between cages (they fell in between while she was trying to get away) and could have chomped her eye out. She calms for almost a year and then the joy of hormones again.
 

Mizzely

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Separate out of cage time for now for everyone's safety for sure!!

I agree that if it's a safety issue clipping can help but it can also be a bandaid; once flight is regained the issues will likely return.

For now I would work on training with him through the cage bars. Don't let him out when other people are around, but let them give him treats through the bars. Have a bowl on the door so every time they walk by they can put one in without risking fingers.

@Monica is usually pretty awesome about that kind of stuff.

Additionally, do not pet him anywhere except his head.

ballance-behavior-and-training-petting-the-pet-parrot-updated-version-10-3.jpg

I would also ask what his cage is like. What size is it, is he currently playing with the toys in it, what kind of food is he being given, etc. Is he getting enough sleep?

All of those might seem unrelated but if he is getting a diet that is encouraging hormonal behavior along with not expending energy in healthy ways, it may home out inappropriately.
 

Monica

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If you want, there are some excellent behaviorists! Pamela Clark, Barbara Heidenreich, Lara Joseph, Susan Friedman...

Otherwise, you may very well need to change things up and up the training.


Clipping might help? As in, it'll be a temporary bandaid to mask the bigger issue.... and once the flights come back in, he can resume aerial attacks! or you'll just end up with an aggressive bird who can't fly.... but still has feet so he can still run!


You may need to evaluate how you handle and interact with him. His diet, even his cage setup. FANTASTIC JOB on starting the training! That's amazing! Don't stop!


I would not recommend visitors feeding him treats by hand.... but dropping it into a dish inside the cage? This is fine! As long as they can drop the treat into the dish without getting bitten! Alternatively, could always try a sprig of millet! It's long enough that you can hold one end and put the other through the cage bars.

It's usually better to drop a treat though as some birds will aggressively attack the reward if offered by hand.... so if the reward is dropped into the bowl, they can't attack something that's not being held.... it's really a drop and go kind of thing, don't drop, stare/talk etc. Just drop a treat and leave. As he looks forward to people coming by his cage, then they could perhaps try some training with him through the cage bars?

Alternatively, you can also try to teach him to focus on you and to relax/ignore what's going on around him. Being that he's flighted, I would recommend trying to harness train him so that way you can reward him for remaining calm and ignoring others. Maybe you could set up a foraging activity for him to keep him preoccupied? If he's in a harness, then he can't fly to attack anyone... or rather, if he did, he wouldn't get very far! You could try it in a small cage that's easy to move around as well?



There's also this engage-disengage game I've heard about in dog training! I haven't tried it with a bird (I unfortunately do not own any attack birds.... but they'd come in real handy in my situation! :roflmao: ), but I wonder if it would work? Essentially, while keeping the animal under stress levels but enough so that the animal looks at the "target" (target object being the item they want to attack), you would reward them by clicking and treating. After several repetitions of the animal turning to look at you for a reward, you stop clicking and wait for the animal to look at you instead. Once they look at you, click then reward! If his focus wont stray from the target, create distance until he is willing to look at you instead of the target.

This is what it looks like in dog training





The more you can work on getting him to be independent, the better. This doesn't mean he can't be your snuggle bug but if he's being hormonal, then how you interact may need to change somewhat.
 

flyzipper

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So much that's already been said is spot on, so you've got lots to consider and execute.

Webchirp has lots of experience with many birds in a group dynamic, and I value her perspective, especially in that context, but I'd like to offer a different way to look at this comment...
I would rather see him clipped than injured or rehomed
For Pluto, as an individual, I would change the quoted section to, "I would rather see him rehomed than injured or clipped". If you're unable to make meaningful changes to Pluto's behaviour, it may be beneficial for him to be rehomed.

Here's a story.

My Jericho was rehomed, to me, because he chased and was aggressive with the grandkids at his previous home. I can tell from his behaviour that he came from a loving situation, but they decided it would be better to rehome Jericho. Perhaps they tried to stop his aggression and it didn't work, or perhaps they decided it was more important to spend their time elsewhere -- I don't have that detail.

What I do know is Jericho is thriving -- fully flighted and cage free -- in my home.

If his previous owners clipped and caged, because that's what their environment called for, rather than rehomed, I doubt Jericho's life would be as good as it is currently. I don't consider it a failure on the part of his previous owners that they found him a better situation.

There's a stigma to rehoming that doesn't always benefit our birds and Pluto is only 9 months old, so he's got a lot of living yet to do.
 

Mark & Da Boyz

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Everyone has summed it up fine, sorry to say. Cheddar went through it and he was a beast for about 4-5 months, then he started to calm down. A good grounding clip will help to take some of the wind of of his sails and settle him a bit. Make sure he's getting 12 of dark and good sleep. But it's a matter of time I hate to tell you.
 

barbs0nly

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this is really normal for most parrot species, puberty sucks, just make sure his toys are moved around regularly, he gets enough dark time, no ones stroking his back tail or really anything other then neck and head, and make sure you’re not feeding too many fatty foods!!
 

Monica

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@webchirp well.... I am looking at moving east.... pretty far east! Not entirely sure where yet. I don't need any extra snow though! :laugh:


Jayde has been the only attack bird I've had, and only one person she really flew after. The others, she'd only bite if they got too close. Never really got a chance to work with the behavior since the opportunity to do so just wasn't there. Still miss her. :(
 

webchirp

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@webchirp well.... I am looking at moving east.... pretty far east! Not entirely sure where yet. I don't need any extra snow though! :laugh:


Jayde has been the only attack bird I've had, and only one person she really flew after. The others, she'd only bite if they got too close. Never really got a chance to work with the behavior since the opportunity to do so just wasn't there. Still miss her. :(
:sadhug:
 

cab124

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Wow, it has been fascinating to hear about what you are experiencing and all of the advice you have been given. I feel so bad for you, but the advice you have received has been really good. To be honest, I am slowly becoming less and less enthusiastic about birds as pets. My bird spends 75% of her time trying to find a place in my house to chew up and build a nest, and I spend an equal amount of time chasing her to prevent her from building. It's exhausting!! And I feel so bad for my little buddy. She just wants to be a mom, and I have to keep stopping her. It must be so confusing for her. I wish that she had been born in the wild where she could just be what she was meant to be!!!

I really hope that you are able to find a way to curb that bad behavior and enjoy your little guy!!
 

LBay

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Hi! My GC conure Pluto, is about 9 months old. Up until 6 months, he was friendly and interacted with me, my kids, my nephews that would come over every other day, just about everyone. He was very well bahaved. Then he changed. He started attacking my children and anyone else who entered my home out of nowhere. His feathers were trimmed when I got him, he could still fly, just not gain a lot of height. Now everyone is terrified of him. If he seems them, he immediately flies to them and bites them in the face if he can get it, or ears. He will land on their arm and walk straight up to bite the face..hard. Very mean, drawing blood. Now the only person he wants is me. He tolerates my bf, doesn’t bite him but won’t go to him either. I can only let him out when no one is around. Which I feel like just escalates his behavior. He tries to “hump” me by rubbing his bottom on me. I’m not sure is he’s being protective aggressive or what’s going on. Idw him to be a caged bird. But he’s so mean to everyone but me. I’m about to trim his wings again. At least so he can’t fly to and attack my family and guests. He’s target trained, does step up and a few tricks. I’m at a loss. Idw what changed or why he is so aggressive and mean. Everyone used to love him and he was well socialized. Now he’s the terror of the house…except to me. I call him my Velcro bird bc if he’s out of his cage, we wants on me. And as much as I love being his favorite person, I need him to behave and at least tolerate my family. Any suggestions? I also just took in a rescued Quaker parrot. I’m trying to work with him and it’s made my conure even worst. I think he’s jealous, but I always greet him, treat him, and love on him first. He’s even started attacking my Quaker if I’m holding the Quaker. And the Quakers wings were butchered so he can’t fly AT ALL. It’s dangerous. Please someone help me out. I want the best for everyone here. I feel like I’m failing and idk why or what I’m doing wrong.
I have a sun conure who is psycho. You could be scratching his head, which he likes, then for no reason he bites your finger and draws blood. It does not happen every time, so I am thinking it is hormonal and he needs a bird girlfriend, not a human one like me.
 

Mark & Da Boyz

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Both CHeddar and BB are being Bad Boys (and not in anyway a good way) both are in or finishing a molt and are nippy and just plain mean. They work through it I know but it's no fun for me as I in up with one on each shoulder and they decide to have it out and my ears pay the price.
 

Monica

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I have a sun conure who is psycho. You could be scratching his head, which he likes, then for no reason he bites your finger and draws blood. It does not happen every time, so I am thinking it is hormonal and he needs a bird girlfriend, not a human one like me.
Getting your bird a friend is no guarantee that your bird will stop biting...

Or that your bird will get along with another bird.


There could be some trigger that you just aren't noticing... something that may be minute to you but isn't to your bird.
 

Wardy

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@sunnysmom posted a thread about birds biting with a link to a article thats well worth a read and some good feedback from AA members sharing there experience.

 

cab124

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How is this situation going? Have you made any progress on the biting?
 
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