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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Taming Tigger

I've asked this several times but nobody seems to be giving me any answers, but how should I approach taming Tigger? He's a grump. He bites and hates hands, but it doesn't seem as if he necessarily hates me, as whenever I leave the room he squawks and squawks and squawks. We sing back and forth together, and we also do this thing, when I'm real close to the cage, I open and close my mouth real quickly and he copies me. It's so cute! But I would love to be able to hold him and possibly give him head scratches. I'm not sure if he's ever been handled like that in his ten plus years of life, which makes this quite difficult. Any ideas on how I should approach this? Every now and then I feed him small pieces of millet from my hand. I talk to him often. But if I ever move my hand near him he immediately runs away or goes in to nip.



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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Well I'm not very experienced with taming birds b/c Phoenix came as a baby he was a little shy but eventually warmed up to us quickly. but from some research people use treats for training. so get a stick, allow him to come out of his cage on his own when he steps up onto the stick give him a treat, it's like clicker training without the clicker. You want to feed him treats with your hands as much as you can so he can get comfortable and not see your hands as a threat, since he's not tamed that is what he sees your hands as...a threat. Talk to him in a calm gentle voice and don't try to push him let him take his time and eventually he'll be your lil cuddle bug.Hope this helps Ive got this on articles I've read online some can be very helpful.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 09:03 AM


 
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He hasn't been with you very long, so patience is the key here. I think you said he's been in many homes in his ten years, so he probably thinks this is also a temporary home -- why get friendly?

Just imagine if you were, all of a sudden, dropped down into a strange country -- you don't know where you are, you don't speak the language, you don't recognize anyone, the food is different, and you don't have any money or power -- wouldn't you be afraid? Wouldn't you attack anyone who came near you? If you've been mistreated before, you'd be afraid this new big person might hurt you too. Better to attack before you get hurt, right? Attack and run!

It looks a little different when you picture it from the bird's point of view, doesn't it! For all he knows, HE'S your DINNER!!

As an example, when I first adopted Angelina, my Parrotlet, it took ONE YEAR for her to decide I wasn't going to kill her. She'd bite and draw blood whenever I came near. I decided she was never going to be friends with me, but that I'd take care of her, good food, good toys, huge cage, etc. We just wouldn't be hands on, much less cuddly. I'd talk softly to her and move slowly when I was cleaning her cage -- in the hopes I'd not be bleeding by the time I was finished!

After the first year passed, she stopped trying to bite every time I came into her cage, but she still didn't want me to handle her. ANOTHER WHOLE YEAR went by, so now she'd been with me TWO YEARS, and she finally decided to bond with me and be my friend. She's now been with me three years, and we get along just fine. She will still nip a little when she gets the chance -- she's a Parrotlet, after all -- but she's come a LONG way from where she started!

So as you can see, a great deal of patience and time are needed to make friends with Tigger -- lots of patience and lots of time! Don't be discouraged, just keep working with him, and one day, when you come near him and he runs toward you, not to bite but to jump onto your finger and be cuddled, believe me, it'll all be worthwhile! Having a bird, such a delicate creature, trust you and bond to you, is a joyful experience!

Hang in there, it'll happen!

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 01:56 AM



 
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Stick train him! It's so simple. It's how I work with all of my parent reared birds. Push a perch against his belly and get him to step up for you keep doing it until he automatically does it an then go from the stick to your hand or arm in the same manner. Works a charm

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Shannon -- I really feel like that's just forcing them. I'm glad that it worked for you but if we take Jo Anne's perspective thing (like we really always should) how would you like to be grabbed and touched so forcefully? Or who knows, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we need to be the ones to tell them, hey, we might look big and scary but we aren't going to hurt you, and by doing that, we be a little forceful. I don't know. Just some thoughts. Like I said, I'm glad it worked for you.


Jo Anne -- I really do admire your patience with Angelina. That's wonderful the way things turned out. She's precious and you're a great mommy! I'm OK with taking things slow like you did with Angelina. Although I miss having a bird to hold and cuddle with, I'm in no rush. I really like the way you are looking at it the way they would see it. I want Tigger to choose to come to me, rather than me forcing him onto anything. Who knows, maybe it will take a lot less than your experience with Angelina.


Daisy and Stephanie -- Thank you also for your posts. I have tried putting a perch near him but he runs away from that as well.



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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 07:52 AM


 
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Abby what are his favorite treats , food ,etc?? Find out what he dearly loves and ONLY give those foods to him by hand... don't try to touch him while your doing that... just treat him... it is hemp seeds and millet spray with my birds... mostly hemp....lol. After a while start keeping it a few inches away from him so he has to move towards you for the treat... when he is comfortable doing htat try leading him onto your other hand or arm.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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I mean he loves millet. He also loves the honey flavored seed treats that I hang on the side of his cage. Millet would be easiest to give him.



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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 11:42 AM


 
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Thanks, Abby! Good luck with Tigger! Keep us posted!

JoAnne, Libby (2/10),Angelina (12/07), and Charley (11/10)
Also owned by Essie,Minnie & Oscar
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 11:43 AM


 
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You can also try sunflower seeds or safflower seeds... my conure loves those also... mostly the sunflower...lol... but if you are worried about giving to many you can cut them in half.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 03:45 PM


 
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Abby, have you looked up negative reinforcement on you tube?
1st you have to condition your bird.
I don't have a clicker so I click my tongue loudly.
I held a special treat out in the cage and when Bob took it I clicked.
I did this til he took the treat everytime.
Then put him in the training area.
You can just cover his cage and put him on a stand.
Then move your hand towards him until he's just a little uncomfortable but doesn't move away.
When he's comfortable, click and give him a treat.
Next time go a bit nearer.
Good luck.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Kate! I'm definitely going to start using my clicker.



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