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Old 11-17-2020, 07:08 PM
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Exclamation Aggressive Galah Help

Hello today I have a question concerning my Galah. For the past few months he has been aggressive towards myself and everyone else that he comes intact with, what I mean by that is he's friendly with me sometimes but cant be around anyone else. He was once friendly to whoever he meets but after an incident with my mother he has been aggressive. The incident was when i was in my room with him and she came and and he flew towards her and my mother who freaked out hit him, (luckily there were no injuries and I explained to her that she cant do that afterwards). But now i cant do anything while he's out, such as get up from my seat, get a change of clothes, put something away, move from one side of the room, unless i do it very slowly. An example was today, we just got a new pair of budgies that aren't tamed yet, so i brought him out to introduce them (the budgies were still in their cage) which I've done before previously and he went up my arm and bite my cheek, leading to him attacking me. When he usually attacks me I crouch down and curl up in a ball since when he attacks he does it a few times. Is there a way that i can reduce this to where he can be a friendly bird again and gain his trust again? please I need help. Ive also have been able do do some training with him, and I'm able to bathe him as well.

Note: he's also a rescue whos been through 4 homes.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:48 PM
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Re: Aggressive Galah Help

Quote: Originally Posted by milk View Post
Hello today I have a question concerning my Galah. For the past few months he has been aggressive towards myself and everyone else that he comes intact with, what I mean by that is he's friendly with me sometimes but cant be around anyone else. He was once friendly to whoever he meets but after an incident with my mother he has been aggressive. The incident was when i was in my room with him and she came and and he flew towards her and my mother who freaked out hit him, (luckily there were no injuries and I explained to her that she cant do that afterwards). But now i cant do anything while he's out, such as get up from my seat, get a change of clothes, put something away, move from one side of the room, unless i do it very slowly. An example was today, we just got a new pair of budgies that aren't tamed yet, so i brought him out to introduce them (the budgies were still in their cage) which I've done before previously and he went up my arm and bite my cheek, leading to him attacking me. When he usually attacks me I crouch down and curl up in a ball since when he attacks he does it a few times. Is there a way that i can reduce this to where he can be a friendly bird again and gain his trust again? please I need help. Ive also have been able do do some training with him, and I'm able to bathe him as well.

Note: he's also a rescue whos been through 4 homes.

1. Pet on the head and neck only.
2. Remove any shadowy spaces from in or nearby the cage...do not allow excessive bright sun for too many hours, but also, do not ever cover the cage until "lights out".
3. Allow at least 12 hours of sleep nightly...10 on occasion, but that should be a rarity for a cockatoo...they are equatorial.
4. Remove nesting environments/piles/blankets etc
5. Allow A TON of activity in terms of chewing wood blocks.
6. Allow your bird out for at least 4 hours a day (with at least 2 of interaction-- more about games/talking, and less about touching).
7. Build trust and change your role as a sex partner by changing your interaction style in a kind way. He may always like you like that, but you don't have to indulge it when you know their body language (never reward it, but also, never punish it!!)
8. Socialize as much as possible with people who know the rules (no touching in certain places...no allowing them on your mouth or nose etc)
9. Talk all day about what you are doing and narrate your routine--- use phrases for when you will be gone 1-3 hours, vs 4-8 hours (I like, "going to the store", vs "going to work".)
Mine also knows many random words because I constantly talk about what I am doing (I did that already, due to my job...but...you get the idea).

Last edited by noodles123; 11-17-2020 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:52 PM
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Re: Aggressive Galah Help

Welcome to the forum!

sometimes things like that happen and our birds loose trust and confidence in us. Depending on how much trust we built up in the " bank" they can shrug it off, or we have to start putting in " deposits" of trust back into the " bank" sometimes things can go do far south we have to start completely over and pretend this is the first day we brought the bird home, and start building trust back from scratch. I find hand feeding a treat a million times a day helps me bribe my way back into good graces.

Its possible its " breeding " season where you are, and a hormonal bird can aggressive and touchy during tgst time. You can and should still work with them, but keep in mind the hair trigger . Hopefully by next hormonal season you will have a better trust and understanding and it's easier to get through.

Don't be nervous around him , they pick up on that and it makes them nervous.
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Last edited by Laurasea; 11-17-2020 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:00 PM
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Re: Aggressive Galah Help

I agree with this as well--- definitely take it slow-- learn the body language, but also consider age etc. A young bird is sweeter than an older bird (even though an older bird may be sweeter long-term, once you know the fellow).

It can take a really long time to build trust, so never force it and never buy into the whole "dominance" thing-- it is wrong.

You must know your audience. My cockatoo won't take me seriously when she is upset unless I act like I have NO IDEA that she is upset. If she gets there, I have to plead ignorance (while speaking with the enthusiasm of Elmo)...thankfully, it only happens like...1x a year?? That having been said, that is not the only time she is moody or hormonal! lol

Maybe..she is Elmo, and I am Maria? LOL! Only, I never say, "QUIET!"--but cockatoo owners should be aware that they have a "quite/loud" elmo in their homes HA
PS: Don't tell cockatoo Elmo to be quiet!!!

Last edited by noodles123; 11-17-2020 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:10 AM
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Re: Aggressive Galah Help

Welcome to you, Jazz, and your budgies! You won't receive better advice than what noodles and Laura posted.

Kudos for rescuing a serially rehomed Galah. Cockatoos are extraordinarily sensitive, Jazz has the challenge of acclimating to you and new environment through the prism of past experiences. You have little to no idea of the "baggage" carried from each home. Proceed slowly and gently, progress can be measured by two or three steps forward, one backward.
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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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