Join Date: Oct 2013
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Not sure if my parrotlet is aggressive, skittish, or just perfect
Today I made my first post on this forum regarding my mom's and my conure that passed away. I used to post on talkparrotlets a lot, but I haven't been there in a while.
I saw a lot of really helpful and interesting posts today, so I'm going to ask some more advice.
I have a parrotlet, about 2 years old. When I got him he was not hand tame or hand trained. I have had him for one year, 2 months.
Now he is kind of confusing. He loves me, and he loves to be out of his cage. He has different moods, obviously, but when he is in a good mood, his favorite thing is to sit on me (shoulder, stomach, sunbeam on my leg, etc. or even on the pillow next to me), while I read a book and he chills, just relaxing or preening.
He used to come out of his cage on his own, but now he doesn't come out unless I leave the room.
The main problem is that he is extremely bonded to / trusting of my face. He loves kisses and snuggling on my face, chewing my hair. He has never displayed aggression near my face or neck and will go up to my cheek and rub his face affectionately on me.
He is terrified/aggressive/passionately hating of my hands most of the time. He does step up, he is smart and knows that's what I want and he will do it. He steps up to come out of the cage, even though he displays aggressive behavoir towards my hands. He gives me a spiteful "I hate your hands" bite, and then steps up. He flies away from my hands if I approach him too quickly (he is clipped, but flies amazingly).
I am not sure how to continue to train him or bond with him without knowing how to deal with his hand-phobia.
I realize how lucky I am that he is content to sit with me for hours, but he is not playful and seems to hate everything besides my face, and sitting in one spot preening all day.
He doesn't like treats, he doesn't like foods, he doesn't like toys, he is not inquisitive of the rest of his environment.
I'm okay if this is just his personality, but if there is anything I can do to help him be more confident with his surroundings and try to play or something.
Should I leave his wings to grow out? He flies so so well even without them, I feel like he should have the confidence from flying anyway.
Any advice would be appreciated, but I am happy that he is a velcro-bird for me 90% of the time, I just don't get the feeling that he is always happy since he doesn't play with toys, enjoy treats, or act inquisitive in any way. He only wants to be alone in his cage, or sitting on my shoulder.
I did teach him step-up myself, and he can say a few words. Because of his personality, I dont know if I should be more aggressive with his training, or if I should use the "mutual agreement" method and stop taking him out of the cage with my finger (i dont grab him, he steps up).
Sorry for the 10 page essay.