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Old 01-13-2015, 05:58 PM
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How to stop a biting conure

My conure is a great pet and I love him so much he loves to be scratched on the neck, so much to where he will doze off while I scratch him. But he bites a lot. I know it's not an aggressive sort of bite because he never showas any sign of aggression towards me. I tried the usual approach and just didn't react when he bit me but when I just keep letting him do it he starts chomping down harder and it hurts. The normal advice I hear is just don't react and he will just stop doing it because your not giving him any positive reinforcement but when I do that he keeps biting and harder. I need something new... And again it's not aggressive biting just him being curious I guess, how do I stop him from biting me ?
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:32 PM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

I don't always agree with ignoring the bites. I know what they are saying, and the idea behind it, but it is more complex than that. One size doesn't fit all when it comes to solutions to bird behavior. A lot of what works and what doesn't depends on the individual bird. Also, the "drama reward" seems more likely to happen with larger birds or certain species.

When a bird bites another bird too hard by playing too rough, preening too hard, etc. do you think the bird just sits there and takes it? No, they tell the other bird that it's unacceptable. I'm not saying scream and jump up and down lol, but a look in the eye with a serious tone "gentle" or "too hard" or whatever your cue word is, will let your bird know what you find acceptable or not. Profuse praise when he does it right. Some species are just beaky too, but I don't think conures are in general. I know that some people who have your same problem generally have young birds who simply need a little training and ground rules. I don't know conures firsthand, but from what I hear, they're fairly easy to train.
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:37 PM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

Maybe you should invite these information givers to come let your feathered friend bite their fingers while following their own suggestions.....

Actually, showing your displeasure, with both a stern voice and disgusted facial expressions, just as you put him/her back in its cage tends to work well.....

Here are several links to other forum threads about biting & training, that might be of interest:

My pineapple conure wont stop biting

Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

baby sun conure wont stop biting!!

Help! Tips to train my new blue crown conure to stop biting me?


Good luck.....
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Old 01-13-2015, 07:52 PM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

My conure is also very nippy, but I've found time-outs help tremendously with it. Any sort of hard biting is met with a time-out..usually lasting about 10-20 minutes, depending on the severity of the bite. But it has to be done immediately after the bite, in which case I grab a towel or other cloth item, scoop him up and put him in his cage. It cannot be done even after a minute after or they won't understand. During the time-out, he's completely ignored. At first, we had to time out several times a day, but birds are super-smart, and they get the point very quickly. Now a time out is a rare thing. With time-outs, it's not the cage that's a behavior modification, but the separation from the favorite human. And when he's being "good" there should be a lot of praise and special attention. When they are being biting monsters, attention should be zero. It's attention and reaction that they crave, and the behavior can be shaped accordingly.
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:21 PM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

Chris, you're right if the behavior is motivated by wanting attention... Griffin has a different problem. His nippiness isn't about attention. He's just as happy inside his cage - playing with his favorite toys within seconds, so I found out that it's no time out for him lol. For him it's yay I bite... I might get to go home and eat and play! Griffin just gets so overloaded and hyper which I think is one reason it's so hard to break him of it. I'm always saying "no biting" BEFORE saying "step up". It does work, but I hate to always have to say it.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:54 AM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

Oh no, don't ignore it! He has to know that he is hurting you. My gcc was very nippy in beginning, but I just scolded him for biting me and made a suffering and angry face. Believe it or not - it helped tremendously (it wasn't my own invention). Now Parry NEVER bites, even when we had to go through very hard times putting on collars, applying the bandages and administering the medicine when he hurt his toe. Parrots are smart!
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:38 AM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

Mine usually only nails me when I get him out in the morning. He's a morning grump, or else he's cage aggressive. Or both I know when anyone comes up to his cage he defends it to the death like you're out to destroy all he holds dear. It very well could be something to do with being at a pet store so long and people poking at him through the cage. I don't know but he doesn't try to hurt me when he's out unless I move too fast near him.

Sometimes it's so hard to tell what's right with these little guys. Perhaps when he starts nibbling (before it gets serious) you could introduce a toy or treat for him to mess with? Redirect his attention before the real biting starts.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:17 AM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

My conure is nippy in a curious way also but it still hurts! My breeder told me to blow air in his face. That has worked everytime except once and that time i just calmly put him in his cage and walked away. i let him out a few minutes later and he had the idea then.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:24 AM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

When it is just a curious/overzealous playing nip, not an aggressive bite, I say "do nice". I pull away or stop what we are doing and firmly say "DO NICE". Sometimes I redirect it with 'give kiss' and he knows that so he gives me a kiss.
SO....conures being the little clowns they are, if Gil gets too bitey and I say 'do nice' he will follow it with a 'give kiss' that he says....and they he says 'good'. LOL
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:20 PM
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Re: How to stop a biting conure

I heard this and tried it with my young curious conure behaving just like you're describing, and it worked. It shows who's boss without being punitive... Anyway, you are holding your bird and its nibbling then biting your finger? You say No Biting! But put them straight to the floor, wait several seconds and ask them to step up... I had a real problem like you are and in about three days she stopped! Something about you having the power to 'ground' them... Gently too! This isn't done forcefully in anger! Good luck, but no, don't put up with or ignore it, I agree!
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