Author Topic: Cockatiel training...  (Read 4496 times)

Offline Apopli

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Cockatiel training...
« on: April 08, 2003, 09:51:10 PM »
I currently have two cockatiels. The male is a rescue, and not the friendliest of birds. Recently, someone has requested owning him. I was happy about this, considering the squacking and the whistling steady from 5am until 11pm does get aggrivating and this person can probably appreciate him. In fact, she definately will.

I've been working with him a LOT more since I heard she'd be taking him sometime this month, since he's quite aggressive. He sits happily on my hand or shoulder, but if I go anywhere near him, he hisses and bites. Hard. I have to wear gloves when I handle him. Luckily, though, he's not a shy or nervous bird at all.

Now... I've been trying to work him away from biting. I tried gently pushing him away, but this makes him bite harder. I tried tapping him on the beak gently, but this makes him flap around like crazy. I tried ignoring it, but he just continues his assault when I do this. I will absolutely NOT pull away when he bites, as this teaches him all he has to do to be left alone is bite... so far, the only thing that's worked is everytime he bites, I shake my hand a little. It's not a violent shake. Just a little twitch. Then he stops biting. When he bites again, another little shake, and he stops. I"ve had success with this, and he actually lets me pet his head and neck a little.

He won't take treats form my hands yet, or while he's out of his cage. So far, the progress I've made is I can keep him out of the cage perched on me, and I can pet him for a couple minutes after the whole "bite & shake" time happens. The time he bites has gotten considerably less in the past 5 days I've been focusing on him a lot with this method, but I have some concerns about this whole shaking my hand gently while he's on it.

I've tried every training method I could find on the net with NO results. Any bird people have any suggestions? Even though it's just a little twitch of my hand he's perched on, I'm really worried about weither he's associating biting with having his perch shook, or if he's associating me as something to be afraid of.

Offline Blue

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Re:Cockatiel training...
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2003, 10:34:18 PM »
Your shake method is fine -- it's a method people frequently use. It should just be a little 'earthquake' so the bird needs to stop biting you in order to get balance.

You could also try pressing whatever he's biting toward the back of his beak -- but I don't know if that would work with a bird.

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Offline Wolfchan

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Re:Cockatiel training...
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2003, 10:36:19 PM »
If you're still having trouble go to pet talk www.petoftheday.com (click on talk) and PM the user called popcornbird.  If anyone could be said ot be an expert at training 'Tiels it's her!  

(just don't linger in the forum part too long, the number of ignorant pre-teens who don't listen to advice is staggering)
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Offline Apopli

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Re:Cockatiel training...
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2003, 11:39:43 PM »
Funny how I can work with snakes without fear, train wild horses and bulls, and vicious dogs, but a bird dominates me.... *sigh*

I'm glad I can still use that shake method. It's been INCREDIBLY effective.

And thanks, wolfchan. If I keep encountering big problems I'll check that out.