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Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 07:24 AM Thread Starter


 
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So as most of you are aware by now I have Rocky my OWA, he is a rescue and we believe he may have been abused, we are working on his perch issues and I can now get him to touch a perch without freaking out.

Bit of background for those who don't know:
He is a rescue who was kept in his cage in his first home for roughly 3 years with no proper human contact and fed a diet that no bird should have. He was then taken in by the sp I used to work at where he was housed with a Conure for 2 years and they trained him out of biting and got him to do basic behaviours.

He has been with me coming up to 3 months now and is settling in really well, took him a while to start doing the behaviours he was taught but he will step up and fly to my arm on command (generally very good at this), he will touch a target and follow it, he will wave and copy noises, he is lerning colours and will sit and pick them out for me when I ask, he is clicker trained. He is not perch trained anymore - he was happily stepping up onto perches before I got him but due to his behaviour it has been apparent he was hit with a perch just prior to him coming to me, this was NOT done by the people who cared for him but rather a rogue idiot who has since moved on from there, this could also explain why he is wary of men.

However as I am training him he should know how to shake so I can check his feet etc. Not trying this one out of the cage yet as he warns you as soon as you lift your hand near him unless your asking him to wave at you. So to train him to touch my hand I am holding my finger out just out of reach of his beak and asking him to touch whilst tapping my finger, he understands this and tries to get at it with his beak first until he realises what i want, he is target trained using his beak, however for that I tell him target and use a red stick.
He will grab my finger but my problem is he does it and then opens his beak, occasionally acks at me. As he is doing what I want but not in the way I want do I reward him? He gets a sunflower seed as a reward after I click for him. I have been rewarding the first couple but once he was doing it as soon as I asked I stopped rewarding him if he was acting aggressive, this is just getting him frustrated however.

He is not cage aggressive however and only really gets annoyed if I touch a certain toy of his.

My other problem is whilst he is my bird he has bonded quite well with me and was starting to bond with my family but suddenly he has no respect what so ever for them, when my mom asks him to step up he right away beaks and warns her, if my brother approachs him and asks him to step up he lunges if he doesn't back away. My mom did do training with him and still tries to whether I am there or not but whereas when I train him with a target he will touch it and loose and if he doesn't loose it I tell him to leave and he will, with my mom he steals the target from her and will not drop it.

I used to have him out whilst I was eating but have since been told I can no longer do this due to an incident, when I have my food he gets his own dish which everyone knows to do for him, I got him to where he knew his dish and would happily sit on the table (on paper obvs) next to me eating his food while I ate mine, if he got interested in mine and tried to have some I just told him "no you've got yours" and he'd go back to his dish no problems, however whilst I was working my family did this and got him out, he promptly went for my moms food to the point she had to leave the room to eat, refused to go back into his cage, then my brother went to eat a sandwich and some crisps and Rocky went for my brothers sandwich which he ended up holding behind his back so Rocky instead got into his crisp packet which they had to take away from him.
However when I got back from work he stepped up right away for me, I had my food with his own dish and he was as good as gold. I am thinking this is because he has no respect for them, I have tried getting them to train him when I am there when I'm not there, getting them to do his feeding etc but he still doesn't seem to be bonding with them and seems to be going backwards, if my mom is training him and I have to come into the room right away he's interested in me.

So to summarise:
Do I reward him for touching my hand but beaking whilst he does it - I suspect this may be down to his upbringing as he is wary of things.

His bonding issues with my family - whilst I want him to bond with them he is also my bird and it is me he will hopefully be spending the next 50+ years so I need to keep our bond but need him to be able to bond with other people as well.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 03:23 PM


 
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I would suggest only rewarding absolute correct behaviour otherwise it will be confusing
He'll work out the difference.
As to your family, never let him perch higher than them.
Make sure they Begin to eat first. If he is a problem then shut him away.
He is trying to be higher up the pecking order and needs to learn his place.
Have your mum get him out, so he only comes out if its ok with her
If you cover him at night, ask your brother to uncover him.

Hope this is helpful.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 04:18 PM Thread Starter


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katew View Post
I would suggest only rewarding absolute correct behaviour otherwise it will be confusing
He'll work out the difference.
As to your family, never let him perch higher than them.
Make sure they Begin to eat first. If he is a problem then shut him away.
He is trying to be higher up the pecking order and needs to learn his place.
Have your mum get him out, so he only comes out if its ok with her
If you cover him at night, ask your brother to uncover him.

Hope this is helpful.
Had a training session with him earlier, he was really good for me, even got him to touch the perches I was holding, however when my mom got back in I got her to do some training and whilst he will copy noises for her the moment he was asked to step up he warned her, she persisted and he bluff lunged for her so she backed off, did noises with him and again was fine with her.
I asked him to step up afterwards when she was done and he was right over to me, so I tried to get him to step onto my mom from me and he decided to go back in his cage instead.
After my mom left he came back out again and we did more training, then when my dad came in he walked past Rocky and Rocky warned him as he was going into Rocky space (he has a perch set up for out of cage time but it doesn't leave much room between the perch and the table you have to get past), when my dad ignored this he bit him, got the back of his jacket, my dad turned round and stared at him which I kept telling him just to back off but he doesn't listen half the time, when my dad had to walk past him again Rocky warned him and again bit his jacket. The third time my dad had to walk past (he was going in and out the garden) he was carrying some stuff so I told him to wait whilst I got Rocky on my arm and out the way but he didn't listen and just walked right up to and spooked him, needless to say Rocky wasn't too keen on any training after that, but as soon as my dad left he was fine again.

As for your suggestions, he is only get rewarded for the correct behaviour now, thanks for clearing that up

He is not allowed to perch higher than us, he occasionally goes on top of his cage when he is spooked but comes down when asked. He is not allowed on shoulders only forearms.

We all eat before him, they don't normally eat in the same room as him of an evening however but on days when they do we eat first then he gets his bits, unless he is out with me at the time and he is allowed to eat from his dish when my food is ready and I am ready to eat and I call him down to it.

Shutting him away when he is a problem is a problem in itself however, he behaves for me no problem it is when I am not there that he will not listen to them and he will refuse to go back in his cage for them.

My mom gets him out but he will still not step up or go back in for her no matter what she tries, she had to leave him out for a whole day while I was at work as he refused every effort to put him back.
My mom uncovers him first thing and gives him a grape which apparently now drops rather than eats or he throws it back at her.

I think after how he was today everyone is getting a bit wary of handling him to be honest, I do insist they don't handle him if they are nervous as this makes him nervous, I just don't understand why he has gone from stepping up for my mom to suddenly warning her everytime, even if she asks him to fly across to her rather than putting her arm in his space he warns her.

Would really love to know how he was treated as a chick.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 05:39 AM


 
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I think he's changed as he wanted to make friends when everything was hes.
But now he's asserting his authority.
In the wild he may get a tail feather pulled or something if he needed putting down.
I think he'll square up to someone staring him down.
When my too got viscious, we ignored her.
Didnt react, apart from leaving the room.
Any reaction is supposed to be a reward.
Hard not to react when your eyes are watering in pain and
The blood is starting to flow down your finger!

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-03-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katew View Post
I think he's changed as he wanted to make friends when everything was hes.
But now he's asserting his authority.
In the wild he may get a tail feather pulled or something if he needed putting down.
I think he'll square up to someone staring him down.
When my too got viscious, we ignored her.
Didnt react, apart from leaving the room.
Any reaction is supposed to be a reward.
Hard not to react when your eyes are watering in pain and
The blood is starting to flow down your finger!
If he misbehaves he just gets ignored.
I have done so much research and talked to a friend of mine who has had parrots all his life as his dad kept them, and everything you should do I get them to do and he still doesn't bond with them.

Not knowing his past doesn't help really as there could be some trigger in there we don't know.

I'm thinking of trying to socialise him with some of my friends and seeing how he will react with them coming and spending time with him.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 03:15 AM


 
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Good plan.
I wonder how he'll behave.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 08:26 AM



 
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I hope his behaviour starts to improve for you. I think Kates suggestions are great. I also ignore my animals (not just birds) if they do not do the correct behaviour you're looking for. I stand perfectly still, not looking at them for three seconds. That way I'm taking away my self, which is what they want. If I remove my self from that situation the animal realises that every time he/she does what you don't want them to do, they lose you. It works with every animal I've owned, even worked with my owl!

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 02:28 PM Thread Starter


 
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Been at work today so he had my mom, he would do noises for her but had to stay in his cage due to other relatives visiting and me not being there.

As soon as I got in from work he wanted my attention and I had my tea and gave him his broccolli once it had cooled down, he had to have his in his cage unfortunatly.

Was doing some training with him and he was doing really well, I then started with him touching and holding my finger again, and still hes not really happy with it and does have his beak open and when he holds your finger he grumbles a bit about it but just gets frustrated if he doesn't it and you don't reward him. Anyway my mom came in and wanted to see if he would do it for her and right off he warned her, then he ignored her, then he warned her again, and I had to tell her to back off and she wanted to see if he would do it for me but he refused to while she was there.
I can't figure out what it is. Hopefully one of my friends will come round soon as he wants to see him so I can monitor how he behaves with him there.
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