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Teaching Baby Not to Bite Hard

TurkeyTalker

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Hello all! Recently got an 11 week old Princess of Wales Parakeet and I’m wondering what is the best way to teach him not to bite hard. Of course he likes to use his beak since he’s a baby but he has got quite the grip. He likes to grab a beak full of skin and just hold it tightly in his beak. It’s strong enough to draw blood. He also has a keen interest in my face and is always wanting to chew my nose, lips, and skin.
I’ve been saying “No” and blowing on him but this has very limited success. He usually just keeps chewing on my flesh or momentarily releases and latches on again. I know he’s not trying to hurt me but I need to teach him what is appropriate. Thanks!
 

dollfish

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Blowing on your bird may only be effective for a short period of time, until your bird gets desensetised and doesn't care anymore. It happened to mine, but also shortly after I realised it was a bad idea to apply an aversive method such as this, because you really need to form trust with your parrot, this is what makes your bird not resort to bites in the long run.

Now I immediately remove myself from the room and count to 30 before returning. If my bird bites me then I stop interacting with him.

Biting is always a controversial issue and people all have different approaches, I'm curious to see what the others will say.
 

Kiwi's Mom

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Now I immediately remove myself from the room and count to 30 before returning. If my bird bites me then I stop interacting with him.
I agree with this tactic, many birds bite because they like your reaction, or because you made them uncomfortable. If you walk away that gives you and the bird time to calm down before continuing any interactions.
 

Imogena

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I would teach him to controll his beak. It takes time but it works. Every time he takes your finger in his beak and does it gently reward him. Every time he is too strong tell him "no", or "too strong" or something like this with different tone of voice. he will understand. I tought Edgar like this. It took long time, but it works. Now I'm teaching Akira who is only four months old. And she understands. When she takes my finger into her beak, I immediately remove it (before she bites too strong) and praize her, tell her "good you are gentle" and then give her a reward.
I also tought both birds to let go of my finger. The same technique.
Sorry, now I don't have enought time to explaint in more details, but if you want to know more, please let me know and I will write more (step by step if you like).
 

Mybluebird

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My little budgie, Buddy, has started to bite. He does it when I have him on my finger feeding him a treat. He'll eat his treat, as much of it as he wants, then he start chewing on my finger. Most of the time he's not biting down but once in a while he does. I'm wondering if this is a stage that he's going through. I've noticed that he is chewing on his perches and toys more. I don't want to encourage the biting but at the same time I love having him on my hand.
 

TurkeyTalker

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I would teach him to controll his beak. It takes time but it works. Every time he takes your finger in his beak and does it gently reward him. Every time he is too strong tell him "no", or "too strong" or something like this with different tone of voice. he will understand. I tought Edgar like this. It took long time, but it works. Now I'm teaching Akira who is only four months old. And she understands. When she takes my finger into her beak, I immediately remove it (before she bites too strong) and praize her, tell her "good you are gentle" and then give her a reward.
I also tought both birds to let go of my finger. The same technique.
Sorry, now I don't have enought time to explaint in more details, but if you want to know more, please let me know and I will write more (step by step if you like).
Yes I would love a step by step guide! Thank you
 

taxidermynerd

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When my bird bites (more than just an exploratory nibble or beaking) I tell her "shhh" in a calm and somewhat quiet voice, then remove her from me. It works well, and she is learning that if she bites, she doesn't get to play with The Fun Human.
 

Imogena

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So with Edgar it was like this. He was biting quite hard because first: he didn't know his own strenght second: because he didn't know how to tell me he doesn't like something I do.
The first thing I did was to react with withdrowing my hand immediately after he touched my finger. This showed him that he doesn't have to use his full force to communicate that he will not step up this very moment. He cought it very quickly.
Then I started teaching him to touch my fingers just like he was touching the target in target training. I used the same command: touch.
So he already knew how to be gentle.
And then every time he touched my fingers gently I was rewarding and praizing him. I would also remind him each time he was closing his beak to my fingers to be gentle.
When he was too strong I told him too strong. Bad. I was using stern voice but no shouting or scolding. He understood.
IT took long time and a lot of reminding him. I was repeating over and over again: Edgar gently be gentle Edgar calm down be gentle. All of it with soothing monotonous voice.
And The Last part was to teach him touching the target and my fingers with his beak closed. All of it took few months sobót was the long process. But worth the effort in my opinion.
Also avoiding getting bitten helps because I believe bird learns that biting is not what he does.
With Akira it is much easier. She is very gentle. The only thing I have to do is not to spoil it. So I praize and reward her. And I remove my hand when she gives mi the slightest signal that she doesn't want to step up.
 

Hermesbird

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I was curious about the same think and when I googled I found out about the gentle beak method and it works well with consistency. you say gentle beak repeatedly till you are able to slowly and gently touch there beak so they hear and feel what gentle and still touching is.
 

Imogena

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I was curious about the same think and when I googled I found out about the gentle beak method and it works well with consistency. you say gentle beak repeatedly till you are able to slowly and gently touch there beak so they hear and feel what gentle and still touching is.
This I didn't know. I copied it from puppies training. I've read that it is better to teach a puppy to controll his teeth instead not to bite at all. This is what puppy 's Mom would do. And people noticed it is better solution for biting problem with dogs. I though it could be useful with parrots as well
 

TurkeyTalker

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Thank you all so much! And thank you Imogena for explaining the process. He’s such a sweet baby he just needs to learn how much force is too much.
 

AraAnna17

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Hello there! I don’t know if my issue is similar to this or not. I have a parakeet Rio, he is 1 year old. When we go to my grandparent’s farm for a weekend or maybe longer during the summer we take him with us since no one around is able to take care of him while we are away. We usually let Rio out from his cage to fly in a room, so he won’t get bored. Once someone left the window open at my grandparent’s house and Rio flew away. Later we found him in the barn sitting on my grandpa’s horse and bitting horse's ear. We were happy that we found our Rio but after that my grandpa states that our bird taught his horse to bite and since that he bites people. I don’t believe that it is really possible and we even tried to search for some tips on petsoid . I would like to ask you, have anybody sealed with this kind of problem before? Can birds really tech some other pets to bite or do something else?
 

Ali

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Hello @AraAnna17

I am not sure, but this sounds very interesting!

May I suggest making your own thread about this for more people to see as it is more to the issue?

Ali
 
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