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Old 12-21-2016, 09:46 AM
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Question Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

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I have a 36 year old Yellow Naped Amazon male. My husband and I inherited him from some very good friends who could no longer care for him due to health reasons. He has never been mis-treated, or neglected. They opted to re-home before it got to the point that they could no longer properly care for him. He was with his previous family for about 33-34 years. They got him when he was about 6 months to a year. So, we have had Panama about a year and a half now. He loves my husband. Hates me. Any chance he gets he is biting me, or coming after my feet if he is out of his cage. I am the one who feeds him everyday, changes his water, cleans his cage. I talk to him everyday, I have tried sitting next to his cage and reading to him, talking to him, I can pet him through the cage, and 90% of the time that does not result in a bite. But when he is out of his cage and I am around, he comes down off that thing and runs at my feet just as fast as he can, and he laughs the entire time. He will also on occasion bite my husband if I am around. Otherwise, if I am not there, him and my husband are buds, they watch TV, play on the floor, cuddle, etc. I am curious if anyone has any suggestions on what I can try and do to break this habit of him biting me, or chasing after me? I have been told that they can bond to one person and there is nothing you can do about it... and if that is the case, then that is the case. But I would really like to be more involved with him and be able to hold him and play with him. I bring him treats, I bring him new toys, when he is out and around on the floor, he loves to play and chew on toys and paper (forage) I can do those sorts of activities with him as long as I stay one step ahead of him the entire time and anticipate his next lunge at me and move quickly! It has been this way since about 2 weeks after we got him, and it has not improved at all. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:58 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

"runs after my feet" Even after 27 years,Amy will run after my feet at times also..and I am her person! I still haven't figured that one out


Jim
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Amy my beautiful Blue Front.
Jonesy, a cute goffins 'too
that had to be rehomed :-(

A brand new baby Grey 'Teil
that was 15 weeks old 5/20/2016,
still with no name :-(
Now being called BB...short for Baby Bird
but still working on his first set of adult clothes!




Rest in peace,my precious Smokey
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:27 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

First Welcome to the Parrot Forums and the Amazon Forum!

It is truly frustrating to be the one that cares for the Amazons and also be the one that is not the preferred Human. And, in your case even less than preferred.

If you haven't, connect with the past owner and ask them if this Amazon had a favored person or not. It will likely not change any thing, but if this is a recent behavior change it is at least a bit easier to change.

Thank-you, for reading to him. With that I am guess that you have read the first two Threads at the top of the Amazons Forum and especially the one Titled: Understanding Amazon Body Language. You will really need to know that Thread 'cold!' So, read it a couple of time each day to him and have your Husband do the same! This needs to happen daily until your husband and especially you know the Amazon Body Language to a point that you can look at a picture and define what the Amazon is Presenting!

Please read the other Thread titled: I Love Amazons ... for solid background information. Also, Always start from the position that it is NEVER the fault of the Amazon! It is ALWAYS the fault of the Human. This Positioning allows you to see what is going wrong quicker and correct it!

FEET: Some Amazons are well behaved on the Floor and others are NOT! Your Amazons is clearly one of those who are not! This is a very hard behavior to change and should be taken on later after relationships are improved greatly!!! At this point, your Amazon is: NOT ALLOWED ON THE FLOOR!

Your Husband is going to have to take on the position of the individual that corrects 'his' buddy! If there are any miss-steps by the Parrot, your husband needs to say NO! Also, all treats and goods are provided by you! Good things happen when you are around! Now this takes a little time for the Amazons to figure this all out!

Socialization, is one of the keys to getting an Amazon to go to near anyone and near anytime! That comes to your Husband happily sharing 'his' buddies time with everyone that comes into your home. Which brings up a question: Will your Amazon Bite anyone that comes into the house or are you his only target?

The reality is, the beloved Human (your Husband) is responsible it getting 'his' buddy to understand that Biting You is not exceptable! And everything it happens, he takes his 'buddy' back to the cage for a time out.

This will get you started! Let us know how the next couple of days go!

Last edited by SailBoat; 12-21-2016 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:43 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

Thank you! That is a lot of great information. I have just started making my way through the sticky posts and information at the top of the page. I plan to read any and all information I can find. As for the previous owners, one has passed away. However, we knew our parrot prior to taking over his care. So, to answer your question, yes he was more bonded to the "mom" of the previous family, who is the one who passed away. He will nip and bite at pretty much anyone that comes around if they attempt to stick their arm in his cage, and always has. The only person he has never bit in his entire life is "dad" of the previous family. Even though "mom" of the previous family was his beloved human, he bit her on occasion, but very very rarely. We never have him out of his home (cage) when other people are around, unless it is someone who has been over to the house multiple times and Panama talks around them. Once he gets to the point where he talks around them, we have learned he is comfortable enough to have him come out of his home. He has yet to come down off his home when other people are in the house though, he just hangs out with the door open, and sometimes wanders out on to the front or top of hid cage, but as long as others besides my husband and I are in the house, he stays put.

I did not think about being the ONLY one to give him treats. I will definitely make a go of that over the next week and see how it goes. I have tried ignoring him... putting a pair of thicker boots on in the house so his bites do not hurt, and just ignoring him when he runs at my feet, and he will eventually wander away, but the next time it is exactly the same. It almost seems like a game to him, ever since the first time he bit me and I was not at all prepared for it and screamed ouch very loudly! Well, now he laughs and screams ouch... I honestly do not know what else to try. I have tried putting him in time out (back in his home with a cover over him) when he is really naughty and bites hard enough to break skin, and he just sits there and says "Panama Naughty" so I think he knows what he has done. LOL!

I have tried flat out ignoring him for several hours after he bites. I have said no... He can say "No Bite" and he knows what it means, so this is why I feel that maybe this is just a game to him, and he is forever going to "be my husbands" LOL!

I appreciate the feedback, and will keep reading the posts, and let you know how the next couple days go! Thanks again!
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:56 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

Quote: Originally Posted by Panama View Post
Thank you! That is a lot of great information. I have just started making my way through the sticky posts and information at the top of the page. I plan to read any and all information I can find. As for the previous owners, one has passed away. However, we knew our parrot prior to taking over his care. So, to answer your question, yes he was more bonded to the "mom" of the previous family, who is the one who passed away. He will nip and bite at pretty much anyone that comes around if they attempt to stick their arm in his cage, and always has. The only person he has never bit in his entire life is "dad" of the previous family. Even though "mom" of the previous family was his beloved human, he bit her on occasion, but very very rarely. We never have him out of his home (cage) when other people are around, unless it is someone who has been over to the house multiple times and Panama talks around them. Once he gets to the point where he talks around them, we have learned he is comfortable enough to have him come out of his home. He has yet to come down off his home when other people are in the house though, he just hangs out with the door open, and sometimes wanders out on to the front or top of hid cage, but as long as others besides my husband and I are in the house, he stays put.

I did not think about being the ONLY one to give him treats. I will definitely make a go of that over the next week and see how it goes. I have tried ignoring him... putting a pair of thicker boots on in the house so his bites do not hurt, and just ignoring him when he runs at my feet, and he will eventually wander away, but the next time it is exactly the same. It almost seems like a game to him, ever since the first time he bit me and I was not at all prepared for it and screamed ouch very loudly! Well, now he laughs and screams ouch... I honestly do not know what else to try. I have tried putting him in time out (back in his home with a cover over him) when he is really naughty and bites hard enough to break skin, and he just sits there and says "Panama Naughty" so I think he knows what he has done. LOL!

I have tried flat out ignoring him for several hours after he bites. I have said no... He can say "No Bite" and he knows what it means, so this is why I feel that maybe this is just a game to him, and he is forever going to "be my husbands" LOL!

I appreciate the feedback, and will keep reading the posts, and let you know how the next couple days go! Thanks again!
Look forward to your comments!

FYI: Remember, your Husband need to be fully part of this! I.E., he needs to also be the one that says No! and returns his 'buddy' to the cage for a time, out. Keep working at it, you may never be number one! But, will have a much better relationship than current!

Our DYH Amazon is a BIG 'Mommies Boy,' but I am the one that provides the transportation around the house, etc... So, although I am not the favorite, I am not the bite towel either.


NOTE: Amazon's are smart! It is more likely a power thing, Me and my Buddy, are first and you are not! That is why it is so important for your Husband to be very active it this!!!

Last edited by SailBoat; 12-21-2016 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Add NOTE:
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:53 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

For almost a week now, Panama has not been allowed on the floor, except for Christmas morning, I did let him come off his cage and open his Christmas presents. However, once they were open and he got to see them, right back up on his home he went. I have taken your advise in regards to me being the only one to feed, water, and give treats. I have not noticed much of an improvement, as I have not let him come down off his home and gain access to the floor, however, he does not seem quite as rude to me when I come up towards his cage. He allows me to pet him through the cage much more the past couple days, and he has quit throwing his food bowl at me every morning. I have yet to even attempt to pick him up or handle him, a few more times out of the cage playing with his toys, and seeing how he reacts to me before I attempt that one. My husband has also started standing next to me when I retrieve the food bowls out of the cage, as this would be a time that Panama would always lunge at me and attempt to bite me. Not sure that this is actually helping or if he just distracts Panama from what I am doing. LOL. Either way, we seem to be making slight progress, but nothing major yet! Still working at it each day! I appreciate the advise, and will keep ya'll posted! Any other thoughts or suggestions on things to try are greatly appreciated! Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:08 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

Excellent advice by Steven (SailBoat)!

Just keep in mind that his advice is for the "long game". That is to say, don't get discouraged if there is a setback or two. Depending on the individual personality of the bird, this method could take weeks or even months before you get solid, consistent results. Persistence and consistency are vital, here.

I also want to emphasize the point about your husband being the one to put Panama on timeout when needed. And the timeout should be complete. No interaction at all. Your backs should be completely turned or, better yet, you should leave the room entirely. The timeout shouldn't go over 5 or 10 minutes, though. You don't want him to forget why he is on timeout in the first place. Parrots learn via association.

Glad to hear that there has been progress! Please continue to keep us updated.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:38 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

In the Beak Book, Sally Blanhard says not to have the beloved rescue the unlovable, that the parrot will learn that if it bites the one it's with, the one it loves will come pick it up. Does it depend on the parrot?

I used to put Oliver on timeout if he bit me...exactly that, put him in cage and leave the room for 15 minutes or so. He got where he didn't bite me, and let me carry him around, but I never ever got to pet him, not even through the bars.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:56 AM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
In the Beak Book, Sally Blanhard says not to have the beloved rescue the unlovable, that the parrot will learn that if it bites the one it's with, the one it loves will come pick it up. Does it depend on the parrot?
I have wondered and heard this same thing. That if he bites and my husband goes and picks him up, that is in essence what he wanted was to get away from me and go with my husband....? Thoughts from anyone on this?
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Old 12-27-2016, 12:41 PM
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Re: Male YNA Biting One Specific Person - Need Help Breaking This Habit!

Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
In the Beak Book, Sally Blanhard says not to have the beloved rescue the unlovable, that the parrot will learn that if it bites the one it's with, the one it loves will come pick it up. Does it depend on the parrot?

I used to put Oliver on timeout if he bit me...exactly that, put him in cage and leave the room for 15 minutes or so. He got where he didn't bite me, and let me carry him around, but I never ever got to pet him, not even through the bars.
Quote: Originally Posted by Panama View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Kentuckienne View Post
In the Beak Book, Sally Blanhard says not to have the beloved rescue the unlovable, that the parrot will learn that if it bites the one it's with, the one it loves will come pick it up. Does it depend on the parrot?
I have wondered and heard this same thing. That if he bites and my husband goes and picks him up, that is in essence what he wanted was to get away from me and go with my husband....? Thoughts from anyone on this?
Yup! both solid examples, points, and time lines are correct!

However, commonly, the one that just got bite is not likely to want to pick-up and/or move the Amazon back to the cage for a time out!

No one likes getting bite! No One! And as we all know, there are very serious differences in the pressure an Amazon can bite! And this is why Bite Pressure Training is so very important.

With all that said! Sally is correct regarding having the individual that has gotten bitten take the Amazon to Time Out! Now, that is very easy for both Sally and I to say, since both of us can see the bite coming (Okay the vast majority of the time) and can deflect and thereby reducing or short circuiting the bite. Not so easy for vast majority of new comers.

Sally's concern is that the Amazon's Buddy has now reacted and the Amazon may have just learned that Biting the other individual will get his buddy to interact with him! Yup that's true. But, that commonly happens when the buddy does not clearly present a dislike for the Amazon's behavior and does not take the Amazon to time out. Turn and walk away. And, why it is so important for both to return together after the the time out.

The reality here is that this type of training requires that the Humans have read and fully understand Amazon Body Language, can read their Amazon and react to a change in that body language and thereby see a bite coming, deflect /redirect the Amazon and at that point take the Amazons to a Time Out!

The first time that happens, the Amazon becomes aware of the change and yes, will try again, but each time that happens the likelihood of a bite reduces.

NOTE: The deflect /redirect that I am referring to is either the dropped hand or arm or the shaken hand or arm!

FYI: Regrading whether this depends of the Parrot. No! its far more dependent on the Humans and their willingness to learn the Body Language of their Parrot and connect what they see the the action of the Parrot. The basic rule is: Its NEVER the fault of the Parrot! Its ALWAYS the fault of the Human!

I hope that this helps!
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