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#220421 - 05/08/10 11:32 PM Biting  
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Daaaniel Offline
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Right, I've read so much about biting problems in parrots & I come across 100's of solutions, "how to prevent it" 's, "deal with it" 's etc etc.

Here are some I can remember seeing in books and/or on the web:

Push your fingers back into the birds beak? Say "NO" firmly? Give the bird an "evil" look? Shake your arm? Blow in the birds face? Spray him in the face? Flick his beak? Put him back in his cage? Give him a time out? Ignore him completely for 5 mins and then go back & praise him for being a good bird? Use a toy to distract him?

I'm sure some are more effective than others -- If somebody could please let me know which are the best methods or which have worked best for them and which AREN'T supposed to be used seeing as they the damage owner & bird's relationship -- I'd really appreciate it!

By the way, I'm a strong beleiver of positive reinforcement and NOT punishment or negative reinforcement! (I know some of the list above include negative reinforcement though!)

Thanks a lot!
Daniel

#220422 - 05/09/10 12:05 AM Re: Biting [Re: Daaaniel]  
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BE2Cassie Offline
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The only ones I see in your list that I use is the time out for a couple of minutes and returning to her and praising her if she's good. I will also tell her no if she attempts to bite in a stern voice but not yelling.
None of the negatives/punishments should even be considered as they will not only damage the relationship but someone is apt to get hurt. A lot of the members here have birds that are terrified of the spray bottle due to it being used as a punishment in their past.
Nancy


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#220424 - 05/09/10 12:33 AM Re: Biting [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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EchosMom Offline
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That list contains more positive punishment than anything.

Avoiding bites and dealing with bites are two totally different ballgames. Distraction works very well to avoid a bite- which really translates to "you stop whatever it is your doing that is going to get you bitten to begin with".

A time out, which is actually a mild form of punishment can be successful IF it is very, very brief - like a minute or less. Then the bird must be returned to the place of infraction and given the opportunity to "do it right". Remember, we have to set them up to succeed. Ignoring, which is negative reinforcement is OK, but 5 minutes is way too long. I do give verbal warnings "Nooooooooooo" in a very soft but low voice if I am doing something that has to be done, such as giving medication and am being threatened with a bite. (Some things aren't negotiable).

The rest - squirting in the face, earth quaking your arm, flicking the beak, pushing the beak - that's positive punishment, not negative reinforcement.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#220436 - 05/09/10 05:42 AM Re: Biting [Re: EchosMom]  
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I got a U2 in Feb. He was bitting like crazy. I was told by a rehaber to avoid getting bite in the first place. So, I backed off and started over. We started trusting each other. We went a whole month with out a bite. Than I was trying to step him up and keep pushing him. Today after a month without, again, I got bite. I have been feeding him meds in oatmeal. He has liked it pressed togeather so he could eat it in his foot. Today I offered it and when he didn't take it I pressed the issue and he bite. He is so laid back you think he is zoning than you see the look in his eyes change. You see it coming but it is so fast you can't get out of the way.
I have to give him a time out longer that a minute. It takes a few to stop up the bleeding and get a bandage on. So how do I address it. Should I still push him to do what I did when he bite?

Last edited by pineview01; 05/09/10 05:45 AM.

My flock: Stewy-Tiel, Sky-B&G, Newton, Ping & Pong-OWA's,Don Juan-YNA, Cody & Rocky-U2's, Merlin-M2
#220474 - 05/10/10 02:19 PM Re: Biting [Re: pineview01]  
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Daaaniel Offline
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Thanks guys!!!

Daniel

#220731 - 05/13/10 02:50 PM Re: Biting [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Daaaniel Offline
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Hi there,

Another question I've come up with! When you use a very short "time-out" after a bird has bitten, does this have to be in the cage? Won't the bird associate cage = time-out?

What about this technique then:

First, show the bird your displeasure by giving it a REALLY DIRTY LOOK ("The Evil Eye"). I'm really serious about this -- you have to look at it as if it were the lowest of the low, or pond scum, or something you might find stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Parrots are extremely empathic creatures who watch our facial expressions closely. He will understand your displeasure if you give him a tremendously dirty look.

Then, make him step from one hand to the other over and over while you keep saying

"Up" in a very firm but not loud voice (remember the Drama Reward). Do this several times in a row (i.e., 3-4 times) and you will be amazed at the difference. This is a non-aggressive, nurturing technique with which to give the parrot negative feedback because parrots really understand this as a reprimand. We call this technique "Laddering" and it is an exercise in control -- reminding him that YOU are the alpha in the flock, NOT him. If you are firm and consistent, reminding him of this will put him back under control. And without the positive feed-back that he inadvertently received before, the biting should end.

#220732 - 05/13/10 03:04 PM Re: Biting [Re: Daaaniel]  
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And I can assure you Daniel that being the alpha in the flock will get you bitten. Laddering is punishment. These methods are old school.

Sally and I are playing. She nips me. I turn my back on her for 30 seconds. That is time out from positive reinforcement. Then I turn back and give her the chance to do it right. This is an effective method and she gets to make the choice.

What is it with humans and control? Do you want an animal that is happy to come to you or one who comes to you because he/she has to. What is so wonderful abouting forcing an animal to do things the animal does not want to do? Do you like being forced to do things? How about I make you do 500 push ups because you did something wrong? And if I kept doing that to you, how long before you would fight back?

The thing about punishment is it is reinforcing to the punisher and it backfires.

I want my birds to have choices in their everyday lives which is why I don't get bitten anymore.

Bev


Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#220735 - 05/13/10 04:36 PM Re: Biting [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Daaaniel Offline
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Hi Bev,

Ofcourse it's much better to give the bird a choice and NOT force it. I was just shocked that Liz Wilson had written such a thing about "laddering". I think positive reinforcement and allowing the bird the choice is much better. It's better to work WITH the bird than ABOVE the bird.

When a bird bites and we give it a time-out (we leave, say for 30 seconds) isn't this reinforcing the biting? Also, what are your thoughts of using "NO" when the bird carries out an undesired behaviour such as biting?

Daniel

#220736 - 05/13/10 05:00 PM Re: Biting [Re: Daaaniel]  
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ZazuSally Offline
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Daniel, if you turn your back on the bird immediately, you are not reinforcing the biting. You need to give the bird the opportunity to do it right otherwise how is the bird to learn that the bite was not acceptable behaviour. They are pretty smart. I've used this technique myself and it works.

If you are using positive reinforcement only, you should not have to worry about biting. This means that you are allowing the bird choices. A bird that is given choices does not bite. Once the bird learns that biting will get the bird what it wants (you to go away), the bird will start using it more frequently. It's much easier to prevent it from happening in the first place. Sad to say but I have a lot of experience with biting birds. Although the only time I get nipped now is when I've done something stupid. Time is usually a factor and I push things. I'm really working on this because I do not want to put my birds in a position where they feel their only method of communication is physical. That's not fair to them and I really don't like being on the receiving end either. LOL

Daniel, there are thousands and thousands of birds in rescues because people tried to be the boss. All I can say is "how is that working for you?"
Make sense?

Bev

PS: I want to clarify. I haven't taken a bad bite in a very long time because I really don't want to put my birds in that position but occasionally I screw up and have gotten nipped. 100% my fault and I'm working on that.


Last edited by ZazuSally; 05/19/10 03:37 PM. Reason: changed grammar

Owner: DebRan Bird Toys
#220737 - 05/13/10 05:03 PM Re: Biting [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Daaaniel Offline
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Thank you Bev, it sure does make sense!

So body language must be key prior to the bite. I think I shall buy Barbara Heidenreich's DVD on body language and in future all of her other DVDs too. Funny thing is, I'm researching tons and have done for the past few years and I still haven't got a bird - LOL!

Once again, thank you Bev!

Daniel

#220903 - 05/17/10 09:43 AM Re: Biting [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Lene Offline
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I had a very aggressive bird - not a too, but a Green Cheeked Conure... I did not even try to go near him... Well, I did, actually.. I had to check what the previous owners said, was true... It was!

I started target training, and within 2 months of clicker training, he was the tamest bird I'd ever had...

He got a new home to make room for other birds in need... It was very hard to let him go.


Cheers
Lene
#220953 - 05/19/10 03:37 AM Re: Biting [Re: Daaaniel]  
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Bev I so agree. Theonly time I feel the risk of a nip is because time is a factor in getting my bird to do what I want. Angelina wouldnt step up yesterday and I really felt I was on a time schedule. I wanted her to have time upstairs on her perch before I spent a long day at the funeral home. I was pushing her to step up because I felt she needed to be upstairs instead of in the bird room and I only had so much time to give, Thankfully, since my one and only bite, I read her right. At first she was preening my hand as I tried to step her up, but I could tell when the change happened. She didnt want to come upstairs. She clutched the cage door tighter and I decided to just let it go. Unfortunately, I couldnt give her any time out yesterday, but today she seemed to sense, because of the funeral, it was my time or nothing As far as the laddering goes, I have never done it with my macaw or angelina, but charlie, my grey does this as fun. I have never used this as punishment. It just seems to be something he enjoys.

#221405 - 05/30/10 04:46 AM Re: Biting [Re: angelinasmom]  
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stina3246 Offline
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Originally Posted By: angelinasmom
Bev I so agree. Theonly time I feel the risk of a nip is because time is a factor in getting my bird to do what I want. Angelina wouldnt step up yesterday and I really felt I was on a time schedule. I wanted her to have time upstairs on her perch before I spent a long day at the funeral home. I was pushing her to step up because I felt she needed to be upstairs instead of in the bird room and I only had so much time to give, Thankfully, since my one and only bite, I read her right. At first she was preening my hand as I tried to step her up, but I could tell when the change happened. She didnt want to come upstairs. She clutched the cage door tighter and I decided to just let it go. Unfortunately, I couldnt give her any time out yesterday, but today she seemed to sense, because of the funeral, it was my time or nothing As far as the laddering goes, I have never done it with my macaw or angelina, but charlie, my grey does this as fun. I have never used this as punishment. It just seems to be something he enjoys.


OK....I feel a little stupid but what is laddering? I've heard of collaring, but not laddering and I seem to be the only one who doesn't know.

#221408 - 05/30/10 07:05 AM Re: Biting [Re: stina3246]  
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I believe laddering is when you have your bird step up on your finger over and over (alternating hands). This is an old training method and it doesn't produce any meaningful results at all.

#221432 - 05/31/10 01:18 AM Re: Biting [Re: Cidsa]  
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EchosMom Offline
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Yep, that's what laddering is alright! I found this quote on a website that (can't post the link since it's pro-breeding).

Quote:
This command is very useful when correcting a misbehaving bird. The laddering technique teaches the parrot that you're the one in charge not them! Keep laddering the bird 6-8 times while firmly saying "UP-UP" until you have gained control of his/her actions.


Definitely old-school training and nothing positive about it!


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress

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