Pionus Parrot's Forum

The Wonderful World of the Pionus Parrot Species => Bronze-Winged => Topic started by: Julie T on February 21, 2014, 12:00:57 AM

Title: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on February 21, 2014, 12:00:57 AM
Well, the other day, Raven showed me that he had learned something new. I was NOT impressed  :( He bit me! He didn't draw blood, but it was enough pressure to tell me he was 'trying it out' to see if he can successfully 'use' it on me.

Raven sometimes doesn't want to step up when he's just sitting there and has no excuse to not do it (it's not right before bed, he's feeling okay, etc), he is seeing what he can get away with. He used to just make a complaining whiney sound when he didn't want to, and I'd pry my finger under his foot to make him do it, then praise him.. He doesn't take food treats, but loves the verbal praise. Anyway, a few days ago, he thought he would try BITING. For the first time. Well, it didn't work! I ignored the bite and looked at him with a calm but firm 'no', touched his beak and said 'gentle' and I proceeded to make him step up. I'd put him down again, and immediately have him do it again, and again. He bit again, and I repeated what I did the first time. Well, I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I think I 'nipped it in the bud' because once he found I'm not having that, he hasn't tried it again AND has stepped up on command every time since :) it's only been a few days, and I'm sure he'll test me again, but I feel good so far.

I do believe in respecting a bird's wishes if he's tired, hormonal, or whatever, I will leave him alone. BUT while he is still a baby and LEARNING, I believe he needs to know that he can't only do it when HE wants to as if he's the one calling the shots. I certainly don't want a mature bird who thinks that!
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on February 21, 2014, 12:36:53 AM
Are you familiar with Good bird.com?
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Dartman on February 21, 2014, 10:17:44 AM
Lurch still bites but he is learning it doesn't always get the results he wanted. I don't ignore them and he tends to give much more warning now that he knows I respect them and not try as fast or to draw blood like he used too.
I tell him he's a bad bird and bad birds don't get treats or scritches and ignore him or shake him off my shoulder and he usually gets the message.
He was being pissy and protecting his chair top and I was messing with him and he was striking at me and got a lucky shot in and grabbed my finger hard. I went ouch and pulled away and he hung on like a pit bull and ended up going with the finger then flying to his cage. I told him bad birds don't get to be out and chased him into his cage, closed the door and covered him. I took a quick shower so we could calm down then came out and uncovered him.
I asked him if he was OK and would he be good and let him back out. He was very nice for the rest of the day and wouldn't even attack sisters arm like he always does through her thick coat as a game when she got home.
I think as long as they realize why they are in trouble some non physical punishment works but I try not to do it too much as I want him to think good things happen when he is with us.
They also don't always know what they did is a bad thing  as they work by their own rules so both of you are learning what the others rules are and it's give and take.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: momazon on February 21, 2014, 12:14:07 PM
I agree about the body language, but Dob wants to play fight, so I give comannds about being gentle, and use a made up word to indicate we are playing, "baffer-baffer" is our word that indicates we will play but not land a bite on any human.  It took about a year, but when I use this command, he knows he can beak my fingers but will not bite hard.  When I get the dishtowel out and say "fighty-bitey", he rips holes in it and goes nuts.  As you all know, all bets are off if I have my knit cap on!
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on February 21, 2014, 09:28:18 PM
Thanks maxsmom, I've heard nothing but good about Barbara Heidenreich's GoodbirdInc.. I've never bothered to check it out, but I will this time since I have a prepubescent male here...

As far as body language, he doesn't posture yet. He's only a baby trying out a bite to see what it will do!
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: momazon on February 23, 2014, 10:27:55 AM
We flipped Dob on his back and tickled his belly and beak, stretched his wings and ruffled his tail a little every time he came out in the mornings. Now at the vet he can be flipped and held-not very happily- but he knows the routine. It also seems to give him a little play and cuts the biting.  After the flipping, we do the gentle commands. I am sure Raven's personality will dictate how you are able to channel his behavior.  I would never dare flip some birds!
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on February 25, 2014, 12:39:54 AM
Raven will tolerate SOME petting, but I think he will prefer to be a little more hands off. The female I had before was very cuddly. She was socialized to all over petting and cuddling very early, and Raven wasn't. I told his breeder I was interested in having Raven get used to being petted as much as it was possible, but she also had a full time job so couldn't sit there all day handling him. It's fine though. I have Robin to molest  :icon_mrgreen:

It seems that unless they were conditioned to it very early, Pi's are a species that aren't always cuddly. I think Raven's favorite way to be is just sitting in the same room with us getting ambient attention. Such a different personality than the female I had. Raven is already a much stronger personality.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on February 25, 2014, 02:49:21 AM
Really suggest Good Bird Inc. Let him choose and it will come. I waited for Max to ask for head petting and I only did it in short time frames. He asked sparingly for a long while. Now he definitely comes and asks for it. I gave him attention but also a lot of space for him to choose interaction. He can be velcro at times. At times he wants to do want he wants. He lets me know. I suggest not forcing step up or interaction. Give it time, space, patience, respect. You have not had him long and pionus take awhile to come around. Good Bird Inc is on YouTube and info on website is really informative.

I love to kiss Max's white cap. I love it. It is bunny soft. Well he doesn't like it but tolerates it. He gives me a look - enough is enough. I will deserve negative reaction if I force kisses on him. So I have to stop. Same thing with step up with Raven. Offer it Julie. Good Bird Inc has great tips. But do not force by pushing your finger into him. You will end up with a negative reaction.

Unsolicited advice. Solely my opinion. Best wishes :bighug:
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on February 25, 2014, 11:53:29 PM
Thanks so much maxsmom, I WILL take that advice :). I've heard so many good things about her methods, that I'm interested and curious about it. I have to remember too, I've been more accustomed to birds who are more readily handleable (not Pi's). I've been VERY busy lately attending to family matters, but it is definitely in my mind to check out Goodbird Inc. especially since the methods worked for you and Max! There is that school of thought - that you let the bird choose, and there is the other way you also hear of. That's exciting to know that you see successful results first hand. I can't wait to try it and see what happens...  :) all I know is that I have a feeling this bird is a pretty strong headed one, and I want to get a good relationship established before puberty.

Raven is SO soft too, but so far (and who knows, maybe always) he would rather sit on me, but only very rarely will tolerate being petted. I wonder how long it will take for Raven to bend his head down for neck scritches? Probably a while I know. How long did Max take before he did it? Does he like petting anywhere else?
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on February 26, 2014, 01:23:43 AM
One is only to pet a bird on head area otherwise there is abnormal sexual stimulation so I understand from every class I have attended and my avian vet. Max took many months to enjoy petting.

There are also free materials by Susan Friedman on Behaviour works website. Same theory but more academic in nature than goodbirdinc.

I went to a lot of classes with a parrot foundation and talked with 4 parrot behaviour consultants as I settled into owning larger parrots. All advice led me to same place.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on February 26, 2014, 01:43:11 AM
Julie - I should add that I completely understand wanting a great relationship before puberty. All I had previously before my pi were parakeets and tiels. I never dealt with behaviour before. I had instant companions. But when I got larger birds I was in absolute shock. All my years with attentive bird ownership went out if window. I learned I was clueless. I was so overly concerned about Max's development and Charlie's ability to adjust to a new home. I was in a rush. There weren't instant results. I am seeing the benefits of a different approach just now. And I am not the perfect bird owner. I should be training my birds more but work has been consuming. But my birds definitely respond to patience and respect. I truly believe in it. Max was one month younger than Raven when I got him. I used to ask so many questions online because people's posts would scare me about puberty. But it really is ok. So all I am saying is you are going through normal feelings of having a new bird. :smallhug:
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on February 26, 2014, 01:48:05 AM
I had an online buddy on AA whose maxi was biting her suddenly. She was doing clicker training with him.  Her husband wanted her to get rid of him. She took a huge step back and gave her bird respect.......their relationship changed dramatically for the better
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: momazon on February 26, 2014, 01:11:37 PM
I agree, if the bird does not tolerate touch, I would not do it, and only on the head anyway.  When I extend the wings and flip ours, it is so they will be okay in the vet appointments, but it is not under wing petting, and so forth. The books are so helpful because at first I did not understand how it could possible be detrimental to pet an animal!
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on February 26, 2014, 10:04:13 PM
Wow maxsmom, you really went in as prepared as you could be, with taking all the classes and talking to 4 behavior experts. That was great.

I think I have maybe gotten lucky in the past, with Robin, and also Eclectus and Amazon (but females) I did have for some time and well into sexual maturity without overt behavior change. I rehomed the girls because I didn't have enough time anymore and I knew of people who would give them stimulating environments and the time.
I have also always heard how were not supposed to do full body cuddles as to not send sexual signals and over stimulate the bird... but I have done it with Robin for almost 20 years now! Yeah, I know... but I'm not gonna stop 'now' with him.
Seriously though, with Raven, this time I want to do things right.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on March 11, 2014, 01:19:49 AM
How is it going with Raven?
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on March 11, 2014, 05:25:44 PM
Hi maxsmom, thanks for thinking about Raven :) We have been SO busy lately dealing with my aging dad and related issues. We're at his house 30 miles away every day. Poor birdies, we haven't been home enough in my opinion, but it won't stay this way forever.

I've had a chance to see little bits and pieces of Barbara's methods and the theory behind it. I've been giving Raven a choice to step up. Of course only in a real emergency I'll grab him, but otherwise I leave him be if he's not in the mood (which is often, especially later in the day). I'm definitely going to look further into these techniques, and base all of my future training on this method since enough people swear it works.

I've been thinking back, and I realize that when I got Robin 19 years ago, Barbara's techniques were NOT widely popular the way they are today. In fact, it was widely accepted to use more assertive training methods. I've even heard time and time again, (in larger beaked birds) pushing in on the lower mandible if a bird bites too hard causing it discomfort!
Have you heard Sally Blanchard's widely popular for decades "nurturing dominance"? While Sally doesn't advocate ever hurting a bird or causing it discomfort, the methods are a little different than Barbara Heidenreich's, and the approach is more what I'm familiar with. This and other various methods was the info that I was fed over the years, as were many of us.
I'm ready to use a fresh new approach now!  :icon_mrgreen:
Thanks again, I'll post updates.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: maxsmom on March 11, 2014, 06:24:47 PM
Sorry about your dad :bighug: 

Get that the theory of owning birds has changed for you. I was in shock 1 1/2 years ago when I realized while I had been a doting owner of my tiels for 17 years  but I was clueless about owning a  bird today. Clueless.

No judgment....you should raise Raven as you feel comfortable  :bighug:
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on March 11, 2014, 08:07:09 PM
Thanks about my dad... Things will be okay  :)

But I think I do want to try new things. I don't feel that you're pushing anything on me, don't worry I don't take it that way :) I may end up mixing some things I've learned in the past with keeping in mind to give Raven more respect. It's time to shed old ways, why not? ...and find other methods that are proven to yield good results. So far, he seems to be responding well.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: momazon on March 11, 2014, 09:58:30 PM
Good luck with your dad.
Title: Re: Learning new things
Post by: Julie T on March 12, 2014, 11:01:19 AM
Thanks  :)