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Old 11-18-2020, 02:14 AM
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Re: Aggressive Galah Help

It seems that Jazz is getting some kind of good feedback by biting and attacking you. Whether it's the excitement of watching you curl up in a ball or whether it's your yells of pain or whatever, you need to try hard NOT to react when he bites. Your job is to show him that better behaviours will bring better rewards.

The only thing I can think of that has worked for me was target training. If you teach your bird that he can earn a treat very easily simply by touching the end of a target stick, he ought to respond by doing that instead of attacking you.

I'd begin by finding out what his favourite treat is. Sunflower seeds usually work, but he might prefer a bite from a millet spray or a tiny piece of dried fruit (mine liked dried pawpaw). When you let him out of his cage, reward him if he sits still on your hand for longer than a second or two. The aim is to teach him that your hand is his happy place: not your shoulder or your cheek but just your hand. If he rushes to your shoulder, remove him and put him away calmly. After a few sessions, he should get the idea.

Once he's happy to sit on your hand, see if you can teach him to target (instructions under training or on YouTube). This has lots of benefits, and gives him an easy way of having a positive interaction with you. Right now, things are not only bad for you (getting bitten and being attacked), but it can't be much fun for Jazz, who's responding to bad situations with bad behaviour. He just needs some patient work and to learn that you won't abuse him but will reward him for good behaviour.

I wouldn't let the budgies anywhere near him at this stage. It would take just one bite for a tragedy to occur and then how would you feel? I would also not allow anyone else in the room when you're working with him out-of-cage. Firstly, it's a distraction he doesn't need and secondly, it only gives him an opportunity to attack again. You need to break that cycle by changing things around.

Jazz may never come to good terms with your mother, who hit him. I'd wait a *long* time before allowing her near him again. It will take a while but if you're patient and willing to put in the work, even damaged galahs make wonderful companions!
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