Self-Potty-Training? - Talk Parrots Forums

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Thread Description: What is my bird up to?

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Self-Potty-Training?

Okay, so this is kind of a weird situation, and I would love to know what you guys think of it.

I've had my parrotlet, Saturday, for almost two months, and in that time she's gotten pretty bonded to me. If I'm home, she seems to expect to be out of the cage. She plays on her gym, but she really loves to climb on me. She used to bite, but we've been working on it and now she just nips a little.

The way I taught her to stop biting was every time she bit (or bites - we're still working on it although she almost never does now) I would immediately take her down from my shoulder or my hand and set her on the floor or gym or hold me hand down at floor level with her on it. That sounds jumbled, but the point I made consistently was that biting birds don't get to sit on people - the minute she bit she was banished from human contact for about 10 seconds. Then I'd pick her back up and she'd be sweet as pie. She figured out pretty quickly that if she bit, I put her down.

I wanted her to figure this out, but now she's using it to her advantage! She sits on my shoulder all nice and sweet, then when she wants to get down she delivers a quick, sharp little bite. Usually she does this when she has to poop. She seems to make a concerted effort not to poop on me (which I appreciate) and uses this particular type of bite to ask to go. It's a specific little sharp pinch. I don't want to jinx it, but my bird seems to have concocted some sort of self-potty-training scheme.

Anyway, I'm appreciative of her efforts, but I'm worried that she'll try to use biting for communication in other situations as well. What do you guys make of this? Are birds just weirdos? Is she some sort of mad genius? Should I be stopping this? How? I would love to hear your thoughts.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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We have a plet that used to bite hard! She has figured out from our loud ouch! that it is not a good thing to do. Plets are very smart mini amazons. You have a very smart one! And yes she will probably use that little nip to let you know what she wants. It's not too weird, most parrots will nip to send a message if its urgent to them.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 07:47 PM


 
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It would be nice if you could teach her an alternate behavior to substitute for the bite, but I don't know what to suggest for the alternate behavior, nor do I have suggestions for shaping it. We could brainstorm if you are interested. Birds do communicate with one another with little nips.

I consider your bird quite smart, actually.

I tried to teach Shira to "pick up her toys", meaning drop her toys into a container. I used a food dish. Now she puts all of the toys I trained her to do this with into her water dish if I leave those toys in her cage.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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That's so interesting! Birds are so entertaining.

I really wouldn't be surprised if your bird is using that to her advantage. Birds are really smart. I've noticed that my birds don't poop on me too much, which is indeed nice.

You really can't and shouldn't punish your bird. Only reward your bird for good behaviors. Maybe try not putting her down when she nips you? If you want to change this behavior you just accidentally taught her, I'd think you should just avoid continued reinforcement of it.

Otherwise, I'm not sure....but that is pretty humorous.



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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-07-2010, 08:24 AM



 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teddy Bear View Post
That's so interesting! Birds are so entertaining.

I really wouldn't be surprised if your bird is using that to her advantage. Birds are really smart. I've noticed that my birds don't poop on me too much, which is indeed nice.

You really can't and shouldn't punish your bird. Only reward your bird for good behaviors. Maybe try not putting her down when she nips you? If you want to change this behavior you just accidentally taught her, I'd think you should just avoid continued reinforcement of it.

Otherwise, I'm not sure....but that is pretty humorous.
I agree with that. Punishments never work. Always use positive actions and reward schemes when a bird does something good. That way he/she will get the idea that if it wants to go and poop somewhere it will go to that place without being too demanding of you eg the bites and it will get a reward. Try a tiny piece of apple or something. It works with our kakarikis haha
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