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Old 03-21-2012, 11:12 AM
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Re: do you let your conure up on your shoulder?

Quote: Originally Posted by echoskybound View Post
I'm not sure if being on the shoulder is a matter of dominance to the bird. Birds pretty much see you on their level. They feel safer being higher up, though. The problem is that they need to learn that you aren't a human playgym, and that they can only be on your shoulder by permission and if they willingly step up and down.

When I first got my conure, he would NOT stay off of our heads, and he would get angry if we tried to take him off. My solution was clicker training and target training (if you're not familiar with either one, let me know and I can point you towards some great resources!) I could get him to step down anywhere by putting the target somewhere that would require him to step off my hand. I started by clicking+rewarding if my conure was on my hand, then I rewarded him if he stayed on my hand a little longer, then I slowly increased that time until he would patiently sit on my hand.

The problem is that your shoulder is her favorite place to be, and there's no incentive for her not to be there - you need to give her a reason, like a reward for being on your hand instead. I can get my bird to go almost anywhere to reach the target. It's a very great tool for shaping a lot of behaviors.

Sometimes my conure still wants to be on my head, mostly because it's a good landing spot and it makes him feel comfortable, but he never gets rewarded for being on my head. I do, however, let him on my shoulder all the time, but he steps up when I ask him to because he knows he will probably be rewarded for it.
Excellent advice!
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