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Old 04-16-2019, 12:49 PM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
It can be really overwhelming, especially if this is your first parrot, so that's totally understandable...They are unlike any other species of pet (except for pet primates like monkeys, lemurs, etc.), parrots have the intelligence of a 2-3 year-old human child, and they can use logic and reasoning skills. So it's not uncommon for people to approach their first pet parrot like they would a dog or a cat, where they think that they need to "socialize" the bird by bringing other people into their house all the time and pass the bird around like a new puppy, or they think that punishing their parrot when they do something wrong is going to stop their bad behaviors just like with a dog, cat, etc...Instead, when you punish a parrot, a monkey, a lemur, or other primate, they are like humans...They get mad!!! And they take away their trust from you a little more each time...So you really do have to approach your new GCC in a totally new and differnet way than you've ever done before with an animal/pet...

Always use "positive-reinforcement" to reward his good behaviors, but NEVER punish him or use negative-reinforcement when he displays bad behaviors, like biting you...Parrots are Flock-Animals, and as such, even though he's not yet bonded to you closely, he still wants to be with you/around you because your the only other living thing around him now...They love attention from their "flockmates", which now is you...So when he bites you, the best thing to do is to remove the one thing he wants most, and that's your attention...So when he bites you just don't say a word, don't make eye-contact with him, and just set him down and walk away, and totally ignore him like he's not there for a good 5 minutes. Ignore his calls/whistles/talking to you, if he climbs back on you or up your pant-leg just quietly put him back down again and walk away...This works a lot better than using negative-reinforcement behaviors with a bird that doesn't yet trust you...You won't upset him or scare him, but just take away the thing he wants most, and that gets the point across...

Do a search here in the forum for "The Shunning-Method"...You'll find a lot of detailed-descriptions and instructions on what it is, how to use it, and when to use it to stop biting...

And also, you need to choose a "Training Treat" for him...This is a very special treat (food) that he loves more than anything else, and that you will only give him as positive-reinforcement when he does something you ask him to do, like step-up, comes when you call him, goes in his cage when you ask him to, etc. And you can't give it to him any other time, because then it loses it's value to him...It needs to be something small that he can eat quickly, and that you can keep in your pockets at all times when you're at home so that you can reward him on the spot...Good examples are raw, unsalted Sunflower-Seed Kernels (he shouldn't be eating any Sunflower-Seeds in his regular diet, even if he eats a seed-mix instead of pellets, you need to get a low-fat one with no Sunflower Seeds, no Nuts of any kind, and no pieces/kernels of Dried Corn, they are all nothing but fat and the #1 cause of Fatty-Liver Disease and early death in pet birds)...So the unsalted Sunflower Kernels that are already shelled are great Training-Treats, raw, unsalted slivers of Almonds or another healthy Nut (Peanuts are a huge no-no at any time, not as a treat or any other time, too much fat and they carry a mold on them that is toxic and lethal to all birds)...Many of the dehydrated Fruit Chips make a great Training-Treat or just good Treats in-general, like Apple Chips, Banana Chips, pieces of dehydrated Apricot, Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, etc. (just not too many, ALL Fruit is loaded with natural sugar, including fresh Fruit, so fresh and dehydrated Veggies and dark, leafy Greens are better)...All 4 of my larger birds plus my Budgies all LOVE, like just LOVE more than any other Veggie fresh and dehydrated Green Beans...They would sit and eat them all day long if I let them...So it's just about finding what special treat he loves and then making him earn it...
It is overwhelming at times, but you will get there!
Thanks for posting and welcome (again).
In terms of shunning, I would still wait to solidify trust because being "shunned" may not bother him without that pre-established bond.
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EllenD (04-17-2019)