Post by neurotoxin109 on Sept 29, 2020 14:46:51 GMT -5
I was hoping to solicit some advice regarding hand fears. My QP Loki has been in our home since July and we've made good progress taming him! He was really stubborn and reluctant to want to do anything with us that first month or so we brought him home. Now I feel I've bonded decently well with him, he definitely enjoys my company and likes giving me nose kisses through the bars.
That being said I've hit a wall in regards to moving beyond hand fears. He'll take treats directly handed to him and I can get within a couple inches if I have treats no problem. Without treats in my hand he starts hissing and lunging at me within a few inches. I target trained him and can get him to move to any spot in his cage and I've tried coaxing him onto my hand as like a perch extension with the target. So he can sideways shuffle onto my hand rather than step forward. It's been a hard refusal. He'll occasionally hiss and lunge at my hand while doing that to get it to move out of his way to reach the target. I don't move, I should clarify that he doesn't gain anything from hissing and lunging at me. He also hasn't actually tried to bite me either. He'll connect but it's a poke and run.
Is there any advice or exercises I could implement in our day to day to try out?
Post by neurotoxin109 on Sept 29, 2020 18:49:18 GMT -5
And to update... He's now bitten me for the first time haha. He got a little bolder than his poke and run during one of today's short training sessions and started chewing on my pinky. I'm kind of confused how to approach this because he does have genuine interest in spending time with me and as I previously mentioned really loves getting up close to my face and licking my nose. He gets very fluffy and does little happy purrs so I'm sure I'm not mistaking his interest in my face as something other than enjoyed attention/affection.
How I've been responding to his pokes and now bite is not pulling away and ignoring the behavior. Basically doing my best to have no reaction to it and pretend it didn't happen. With this bite however he grabbed on and started testing how hard he could bite and once it started to get painful I turned my hand towards him so he released and backed up and quietly closed up his cage and walked away. Am I subtly encouraging the behavior by not reacting to it? I know there are mixed opinions in how to respond to a bird bite so I figured quakers owners probably know best!
It sounds like you're making good progress. The occasional setback isn't unusual and you really just need to continue with what you've been doing. Something that often works when a parrot bites is the "earthquake," which is simply giving a good shake to the hand (or wherever) the parrot is perched-- not hard enough to dislodge the parrot but sufficient to get the parrot to let go of one's finger. It's always recommended to avoid reacting to a bite (as by yelling "ouch" or an even stronger word), which can be pretty hard to do sometimes. Parrots love drama so it's better not to overdramatize a bite.
Post by murphyanne3 on Apr 12, 2021 18:49:46 GMT -5
Hello I have a 7 year old Quaker. He preens me often, takes off hang nails and little skin tag that he finds. From preening he will start to bite harder and harder. I tried to not respond, but it got to the point that I flicked his beak a couple of times and told him no bite. Now if he bites I put my finger on his beak and tell him no bite and he stops. He usually bite lightly at first and gradually gets more aggressive. He needs to be nice because other people watch him for me.
Post by neurotoxin109 on Apr 16, 2021 13:32:27 GMT -5
Well I wanted to give a quick update seeing as the few post I've made here have been met with useful and positive feedback. We're nearing one year with Loki and he's doing great! We've bonded tremendously and the level of trust is fantastic. Overall I think part of his personality is he's weary of new things/people and just takes a long time to warm up to them. He's currently a one person bird and hasn't warmed up to my wife at all so she still needs to be really careful trying to interact with him because he will gladly bite her. It is getting better though so there's hope. With me though I can scratch his head, preen him with my fingers, he'll happily step up and hang out with me on my shoulder. I've even started introducing a small harness to him and he'll allow me to lift his wing to get him in the harness without protest. We're still in the stage where I immediately get him out of it though because he's not a fan of keeping it on.
Right now my biggest hurdle with him is his obsession with chewing. He really likes chewing on things. Particularly fabric/rope like textures but sometimes my fingers. He's got plenty of different toys in his cage to chew on and shred so he does have an outlet for it. It comes across as more of a him still being young type behavior. Kind of like how toddlers put everything and anything in there mouth to chew.
Anyways, thanks for all the advice I've gotten! Here's to lots of years with this character
It's nice to get an update and good to know that things are going so well for you and Loki. It's pretty common for parrots to be wary of anything new or different, so in that regard, Loki is just being a parrot. Chewing on things is also typical parrot behavior, and as long as you provide Loki with a variety of safe and acceptable things to chew, you're doing fine. I wish you luck with the harness too. I know Ralph wouldn't tolerate one, and my CAG Scooter would likely be terrified of a harness.