Learning how to teach your parrot not to bite is one of the most important skills for a pet parrot owner. However it takes a lot of time and commitment. Given the right circumstances, parrots can learn a lot of things because they are intelligent birds. Repetition will teach your bird to stop biting and your friends and family will enjoy its presence.
One of the main reasons why parrots behave this way may be that they are being left alone by themselves for far too long. This causes them to become withdrawn and would retaliate when approached. Socialize your parrot by introducing it to your family members, friends and even to your other pets to build confidence of being in the company of others. It is natural instincts for a parrot to cause hurt when it feels that its territory is being threatened by strangers. With adequate time, your bird will settle down and feel at home.
As an alternative, give your parrot a toy to nibble at. If it refuses to let go of your fingers, give it a blow on its face as a sign that you disapproves of the bird biting you. Do this over and over again each time this happens and your pet bird will get the message.
Verbally tell your parrot ‘no’ and place the bird back in its cage as a form of punishment. Cover the cage and leave it alone for some time. The parrot, being an intelligent bird, will sense that it is being disciplined.
Observe your bird’s behaviour. African Grey parrots, especially, are temperamental and if you find that your parrot is moody, leave it alone. Just like humans, there are times when it needs to be by itself and not be forced to learn new tricks. Be sensitive to your bird and the biting can be stopped.
Take your parrot to new surroundings for a change, such as different rooms in the house, the balcony or outside on the lawn. Imagine being at the same location all the time, your parrot will lose it sense of balance. Let it enjoy new company and breathe new air. In adapting to different environments, your parrot will become less defensive and unlikely to protect itself by hurting others.
Lookout for mood changes, frustrations and irritations in your bird and avoid coming close to it when this happens. Let the bird overcome this behaviour with time. When your parrot hurts you on the finger, try not to show any reaction because it may do that again just to see the same reaction from you. Gently remove yourself from the situation. Do not retaliate by shaking the bird.
Repeat your training and be patient. Keeping a pet parrot is a lifelong commitment but it will benefit both you and you bird. Your pet bird will learn to stop biting and you will learn to be patient and build character.
Azmi Adnan is a writer and a bird enthusiast. Subscribe to his newsletter for fresh video clips on parrots and other bird species, ezines and interesting bird stories at his website http://www.power-to-live.com/parrot.html
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