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My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Ilie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 5:49 pm

Hey everyone and sorry for my bad English :swaying:
I have a peachface lovebird since 3 months old (now he is 7) and we had a very good relationship but the last month he has started to bite me.
I am afraid of him now and I don't want to put him out of his cage.
He loves to cuddle with me but only inside of his cage.
When I put him out he becomes a total different bird.
He wants to be only on the top of my head and when I put my finger to step up he bites me hard.
I use a stick but yesterday it didn't work...
I freaked out...he was on the top of my head and his feet was in my hair and I couldn't take him of...
I thought that he was gonna bleed my ear but he didn't bite hard eventually.
Thank God I took him of at least and put him back in the cage.
I don't think that I can ever bring him out again cause he goes on the top of his cage and then on the top on my head no matter what I am doing.
I give him treats and train him etc but he always find a way to go on my hair...
Will he ever change or I lost the game forever?
Thank you.
Ilie
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Wolf » Sun Jul 10, 2016 11:02 pm

Relax a little bit. Your bird going to your head is actually a very normal type of behavior that most of them do. This behavior is actually part of a survival instinct as it based on getting to a high place to keep from being eaten by the predators that live on the ground.

My parrotlet does this and also my Senegal parrot can't resist flying to my head. Mostly to prevent them from landing on my head I will raise my hand so that they land on my hand, I have also been known to duck off to one side so that they land on my back or shoulder. Another thing that you can do to keep them out of your hair is to wear some form of head covering when the bird is out, such as a cap.

Since I do not like my birds on top of my head, I tend to remove them and in the beginning this has led to me getting bitten by them until they learn that I am not going to hurt them and that all I am going to do is as them to step up onto my hand so that I can get them off of my head and give them a head scratch or other reward. I will then often let them ride around on my shoulder.

It is very hard to know exactly where our hand is when we reach up to remove a bird from on top of our head and it is possible that our hand is coming in too fast and high and scaring them causing them to bite. For this reason I place my hand right at the hairline and then while talking to my bird slowly move my hand towards the bird and this has helped to stop the biting from my birds. Also as the bird realizes that I am just asking it to step up the bites became less hard and less often.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
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Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Ilie » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:49 am

Thank you very much for your answer.
Someone told me that if my lovebird bites then he will never stop.
I know that he want my company etc and that he likes me in some way but he doesn't trust me.
If that can change I would be glad.
I found it very smart to cover my head when the bird is out cause then he won't be tangled in my hair in it will be easier for me to remove him.
Inside the cage we have a very good relationship he won't bite me and he likes to scratch him in the neck.
Ilie
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Wolf » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:52 am

One of the hardest thinks to teach people about parrots is that trust is the key to every interaction. If the bird does not trust you then it is afraid of you and will only try to get away from you or to defend itself from you. It seems to me that your only real issue is that your bird does not trust you enough and so that is what you need to work on.

Try taking a little time every day, maybe twice a day and talk to your bird using its name so it realizes that you are talking to it and giving it a lot of " good bird" type of praise and then offering it a bite of spray type of millet through the bars of the cage, until the bird comes over to get the treat and stays there to eat it and get another bite. Then move to the front of the cage and open the door and do the same talking to the bird only offer the treat at the door, do not reach into the cage. The purpose is to gain a more trusting relationship with the bird and what lets you know that it is trusting you more is that the bird comes to you at the door of the cage to get the treat and just as before it takes a bite and remains to get another bite. If you are patient and hold the treat a little further away and place your other hand between the bird and the treat the bird will begin to step up on your hand to get to the treat.

Now this will build trust from the bird towards you, but it will not eliminate all of the biting. First of all you need to understand that most parrots will hold on to you with their beak when they step up especially onto your finger. Although right at first or when excited they may hold too hard, they are not intending to bite you. Another thing to be aware of is what is called beaking. This is where the bird puts everything including you in its beak and tastes it and checks out how firm or strong it is. It is kind of like puppies or human babies putting everything in their mouth. A parrot uses its beak to explore its environment and everything in it as well as using it like a hand. During this time you may have to teach the bird when it is using too much pressure with its beak and biting.

I hope this helps you with your bird.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Ilie » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:38 am

Thank you very much for your time Wolf.

What I want to say is that whatever you said me he already does it.
And what I mean about that:

1) When I am near his cage he runs to me for cuddles.
He loves me to pet him on the neck.
And when I give him millet or seed for treat he runs to get it.

2) Then when I open the door he comes to me whether I hold food or not and step up on my finger waiting for me to get him out.
Even if I don't ask him to step up.

So far so good.

Now the problem is that when I get him out of his cage its like a total different bird.
He tries to fly on the top of my head or my shoulder and then I can't take him off of me cause he attacks me.
Even if I place him on my shoulder he will climb on my head.

Sometimes I place him on the top of his cage or his playstand and he will play a bit and when I walk away he flies on my head even if I put my arm he will try to fly on my head.

I spend time with him every day and what I have realized is that the more time I spent with him the more bad he behaves.

I feel confused and I really don't now what to do.

If he wasn't tame I would follow the steps to train him.
But now it's weird cause in one hand he flies to me and inside the cage is such a good and loving bird and from the other hand he bites and he bites hard and the truth is that now I am afraid of him and I am afraid to take him out.
Ilie
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Wolf » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:41 am

As I said earlier, my Senegal also has a thing for my head, which I don't care for because she will leave these little gifts behind when she decide to get off of my head on her own. I have been working with her for about three years and counting to get her to not land on my head. She has a one track mind about this matter and although I still receive the odd nip for removing her, I have learned to move very slow and keep my hand in contact with my head when I go to get her off of my head which over time has resulted in my being able to get her to remain off of my head and on my shoulder most of the time.

Almost everything that I have tried has worked to a small degree but she still prefers to land on my head. She will often circle around to land on my head if I put my arm in her way. Putting on a cap does not keep her from landing on my head, but it does allow me to let her remain there for a little while and then she is more receptive to being asked to step up and being moved to my shoulder. Putting her in her cage was no help at all and just seemed to make matters worse. Many times I will use bribery to get her to step up so I can get her off of my head and that works for a while.

The main effect that all of this has had is in allowing me to get her off of my head, without getting anything worse than the occasional nip that says she is not ready to get off of my head. It has done very little to stop her natural predilection for landing on my head.

Stopping your bird from landing on your head may be as much of a lost cause as it appears to be with my Senegal. but if you are patient you should be able to get her/him to understand that you are not trying to either hurt her or to remove her/him from being on you, and thereby get the biting part of it under control. I do not like caps, so I settle for being able to get my bird off my head without getting bit, but quite frankly if you don't mind a cap then I would use that and not worry too much about stopping yours from landing on your head. Natural instinctive behaviors are almost always nearly impossible to change very much.

If you wear the cap and let your bird remain for a little while on your head it may be more receptive to you asking for it to step up. Many times they will do what you ask of them if you just give them a few minutes after their refusal the first time.

Well those are about all that I now that might help you with this, both the good and the bad, If I think of anything more or come across anything that works better I will try to let you know.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:09 am

:lol: I have birds perching on my head every single day! If it's not the lovebird, it's the female Senegal or the female redbelly - I let them and, if they don't fly away on their own after a while and they are beginning to bother me, I just make a movement with my head (like a sudden nod) while I give them the command to get away and they do it. The important thing is not to create a negative effect when they do and not to over-react. What I would do is teach him to perch to a stick (bribes, bribes, bribes and praise, praise, praise) and, after he has been on my head for a while, make him step up to the stick and give him lots of praise and a nice reward for it. Eventually, he will step up from your head to your finger with no problem.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15061
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Ilie » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:08 pm

Thank you very much for the time you spend :)
I will try your advice!!
Ilie
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Ilie » Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:36 pm

Pajarita wrote::lol: I have birds perching on my head every single day! If it's not the lovebird, it's the female Senegal or the female redbelly - I let them and, if they don't fly away on their own after a while and they are beginning to bother me, I just make a movement with my head (like a sudden nod) while I give them the command to get away and they do it. The important thing is not to create a negative effect when they do and not to over-react. What I would do is teach him to perch to a stick (bribes, bribes, bribes and praise, praise, praise) and, after he has been on my head for a while, make him step up to the stick and give him lots of praise and a nice reward for it. Eventually, he will step up from your head to your finger with no problem.


Thank you for your reply :)

I had no problem for being in my head until he started to bite my ear every single time or my face (eyes etc).
He used to step up on the stick but the last time he didn't and he attacked me and the stick.
That's why I was so scared.
If he was just on my head I wouldn't mind.
Ilie
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6
Number of Birds Owned: 0
Types of Birds Owned: Lovebird
Flight: Yes

Re: My hand tame lovebird bites!!

Postby Wolf » Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:48 pm

Whenever you have him step onto the stick or your hand from your head be sure to give him his favorite treat and lots of praise for doing it.
Wolf
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8679
Location: Lansing, NC
Number of Birds Owned: 6
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
African Grey (CAG)
Yellow Naped Amazon
2Celestial Parrotlet
Budgie
Flight: Yes

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