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Old 04-16-2019, 07:36 PM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Quote: Originally Posted by Morganpayne083 View Post
Today I have felt a little under the weather and while eating some fresh fruit with me in bed he decided to run up and bite my lip making it bleed pretty bad
Just wanted to add this - Remi had this bad habit of biting when he wanted something I have. Like he is impatient and lashes out so that he can get what he wants (If I have a glass of water, a cracker, a piece of fruit etc.). It has taken a long time to break this habit. And we are still working on it. I just don't give him what he wants. Instead, he goes back on his perch and waits for the treat. It has helped but it takes time.
He has made so much progress in terms of his behavior and trust in the past ten months. When I first got him, I thought to myself wow what did I get myself into?? But now, I have the best little feathered buddy! He is not perfect by any means, but he has changed for better so much! So, don't give up.

Last edited by RemiBird; 04-16-2019 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:03 PM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Quote: Originally Posted by RemiBird View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Morganpayne083 View Post
Today I have felt a little under the weather and while eating some fresh fruit with me in bed he decided to run up and bite my lip making it bleed pretty bad
Just wanted to add this - Remi had this bad habit of biting when he wanted something I have. Like he is impatient and lashes out so that he can get what he wants (If I have a glass of water, a cracker, a piece of fruit etc.). It has taken a long time to break this habit. And we are still working on it. I just don't give him what he wants. Instead, he goes back on his perch and waits for the treat. It has helped but it takes time.
He has made so much progress in terms of his behavior and trust in the past ten months. When I first got him, I thought to myself wow what did I get myself into?? But now, I have the best little feathered buddy! He is not perfect by any means, but he has changed for better so much! So, don't give up.
In ABA- the 4 main reasons for behavior: escape, attention, sensory and tangibles:

this is a perfect example of tangibles (with a possible dual function of attention--BUT only if you have had the bird long enough---otherwise, it could be more of a "survival of the fittest" thing- w/ regard to the OP).
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:58 AM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by RemiBird View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Morganpayne083 View Post
Today I have felt a little under the weather and while eating some fresh fruit with me in bed he decided to run up and bite my lip making it bleed pretty bad
Just wanted to add this - Remi had this bad habit of biting when he wanted something I have. Like he is impatient and lashes out so that he can get what he wants (If I have a glass of water, a cracker, a piece of fruit etc.). It has taken a long time to break this habit. And we are still working on it. I just don't give him what he wants. Instead, he goes back on his perch and waits for the treat. It has helped but it takes time.
He has made so much progress in terms of his behavior and trust in the past ten months. When I first got him, I thought to myself wow what did I get myself into?? But now, I have the best little feathered buddy! He is not perfect by any means, but he has changed for better so much! So, don't give up.
In ABA- the 4 main reasons for behavior: escape, attention, sensory and tangibles:

this is a perfect example of tangibles (with a possible dual function of attention--BUT only if you have had the bird long enough---otherwise, it could be more of a "survival of the fittest" thing- w/ regard to the OP).
Not sure what you mean, lol.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:42 AM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

"Not sure what you mean, lol."

Here is a repeat summary that I posted for another member about ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis):
Basically, ABA it is changing the environment to change behavior
These environmental changes can increase or decrease any behaviors (good or bad).
Theoretically, every behavior serves at least 1 of 4 functions (some behaviors are dual function but that gets tricky):
1. Escape (to get out of something or avoid a non-preferred situation (If a bird bites to make people go away)

2. Tangibles--In REMI-BIRD'S case (to get a physical object/food etc- if a bird throws a fit when you eat donuts and the bird loves donuts, then it can be assumed that it is doing it to get the donut, especially if it doesn't throw a fit when it already has a donut)

3. Sensory (to meet a sensory need, such as making a headache go away or decreasing anxiety via feather plucking, or burning off energy)

4. Attention (to get attention from people in general or certain people---Remember-- some birds and kids will take ANY attention (even if you think that you are punishing them by yelling, you could actually be reinforcing the behavior via attention)..behaviors such as screaming, biting, dancing etc could all fall here DEPENDING ON WHAT HAPPENS NEXT (REACTIONS). Similarly, when you respond to desired behaviors (like stepping up) with attention and those increase, then you are using the birds desire for attention to your advantage and that is the goal.

Unless you chart out what happens before and after a behavior, it can be difficult to differentiate what is actually going on. Sometimes, escape behaviors may come off as attention seeking behaviors etc. That is why you have to find patterns and think very objectively about your own role in the behavior (good or bad).
Start by keeping a log (ABC LOG). This will show you trends in behavior. You can even set up a laptop or phone to videotape events when aggression is anticipated and then go back and chart it. It is very hard to track in real-time (esp. when it is just you and the bird)
Antecedent= what happened right before an event (e.g., walked into the room with Bob and fed the bird. Bob extended his hand to remove a dish);
Behavior= describe exactly what the bird did without emotion (e.g., eyes pinned, lunged at Bob's forefinger)
Consequence= What happened right after the behavior- it is important to note that this isn't the same as a "punishment" (although it could be)---it is merely the reactions/results that follow. (e.g., Bob removed his forefinger OR Bob ran away OR Bob yelled OR Bob presented the bird with a treat to get it back into its cage OR Bob sang a song)

Once you have observed and have started to see trends, try to isolate the function of the behavior.

Once you think you know, put the bird in a situation to test your hypothesis---

Reinforcers MUST match the 4 functions (attention, escape, tangible and sensory).
You can tell you have isolated the reinforcer when the presentation or removal of that reinforcer INCREASES a specific behavior (depending on the behavior).

EXAMPLES:

A. Bob has a fit at the grocery store and mom yells at Bobby. Bob continues to cry and fits increase over time. The reinforcer (yelling-although undesirable in his mom's eyes) is the attention he seeks and it is the motivating factor behind the undesired behavior. How do we know? It caused the behavior to increase.
B. On the flip side, same situation (store and Bobby)- Bobby throws a fit and mom takes him to the car. Fits increase. This is an example of escape motivated behavior. He doesn't want to be at the store and when he yells he gets out of an uncomfortable situation. Again, mom might think of going to the car as a bad thing, but if it increases the behavior, then it is escape motivated and reinforcing to Bob.
C. Alternately, Bob has a fit and demands chocolate. He keeps screaming until mom eventually gives in and buys him the chocolate (tangible). Now Bob demands chocolate every time they visit the store.
D. Finally, Bob touches everything as he and his mother walk down the aisles (despite her insistence that he stop). He does this even when she ignores the behavior. Barring attention---assuming this is NOT a dual function situation, then sensory would probably be the best bet.
Some bird-related examples:

A. if the bird doesn't exhibit this behavior when it is getting 1-on-1 attention from someone, then the goal/function is attention (regardless of the type of attention). If the behavior starts when attention is withdrawn then again, attention is the reinforcer.

B: If the bird only does it when desirable objects are around and will actively work to get those objects, then it is reinforced by tangible items. For instance, if a bird cusses and gets a cookie and you observe that suddenly the bird is cussing like crazy it is because its behavior was successfully reinforced by the cookie (hence the increase in behavior).

and so on

note: When testing to see if you have isolated the correct reinforcer, it is important to be as neutral as possible when presenting tangible items to make sure that it is actually the item and not just your attention that is motivating the bird.

For every non-desirable means of obtaining the 4 functions above, there are reinforce socially acceptable alternatives that meet the same innate need. If a bird seeks attention, your reward for that bird MUST BE attention (not food, not a toy, but attention from the source it craves)---You may have to actively ignore attention-seeking behaviors that are bad and pay special attention/pour on the praise when good. You want to strengthen the good by providing reinforcement and weaken the bad by avoiding reinforcement.

ALL TYPES OF REINFORCEMENT MUST INCREASE A BEHAVIOR!!!

2 TYPES:

Positive reinforcement- The presentation of a stimulus that reinforces a behavior (+ attention, +tangibles, +sensory, +escape)
Negative reinforcement- The removal of an aversive stimulus that STRENGTHENS a behavior. THIS IS NOT PUNISHMENT-- Negative refers to the removal of something undesired in order to increase behavior.

Exp (negative reinforcememt): If you eat 1 more bite or your pizza, you don't have to eat your spinach (meets function of escape by removing (-) the spinach); OR If you get a 90% or higher on your math quiz you don't have to do homework for the rest of the week (meets function of escape by removing the homework) OR when you stop crying you can come inside where it is warm (lol--I don't do this....just popped into my head).
Once you know what need the bird/kid is trying to meet, you have to teach them how to meet that need in a more acceptable way, or provide structured times for them to meet that need without causing trouble.
For instance- a bird that screams for attention probably also talks at times or makes quieter noises, maybe it could even be taught to ring a bell instead of screaming. Whatever your preferred alternative to the screaming, your reward will be attention (if it does what you like + attention, if it screams -attention). When the bird screams, attention is withdrawn but when the bird says, "hello baby" you come in a pour on the praise.
This reinforcement must immediately follow the desired behavior. This strengthens the likelihood that the bird will begin using alternatives to screaming once he realizes screaming isn't going to work because ultimately his goal is attention and he doesn't care how he gets it.
After you know the function and have replacement behaviors + reinforcers isolated, then you can start teaching. The way you teach will depend on the type of behavior.

When dealing with a complex behavior (of chain of behaviors) I would use forward or backward chaining to teach a set of steps.

Examples of these types of behaviors in humans= buying a soda from a machine, ordering food at a restaurant, making a bed, greeting a peer appropriately, brushing teeth, responding to a compliment, requesting help from a teacher appropriately etc.)

With regard to chains of behaviors in birds, forward chaining is likely the way to go, but before you can teach the steps, you need to isolate the motivation for the behavior. In order to TEACH the new behavior, you need to know how to properly meet the function of the old/bad behavior and that function will need to be used as a reward of some sort during the forward chaining teaching process.
I would start before the behavior even begins- figure out the antecedents/triggers.
Also, "setting events" are things that can make a certain behavior more likely and those would be things like , "didn't get enough sleep", "had a cold", "returned from vacation"---so there are environmental (cage position, unfamiliar objects, height in relation to eye-level) and setting events to consider, then the actual things that happen right before (antecedents) and after (consequences/results/effects) the behavior.
Applied Behavioral Strategies - Basics of Applied Behavior Analysis
https://my.vanderbilt.edu/specialedu...Management.pdf
https://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/64CB...E/chaining.pdf
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:01 AM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Very interesting, thanks!
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:17 AM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Well let's go back to basics here for a minute...This guy is an adult, mature Green Cheek Conure, and I think a male? (not that the gender matters much in this particular situation anyway)...So you've got an adult GCC who was abandoned by his prior owner (and I'm going to guess just by the way he was left outside of a pet shop that his life up until this point with his first owner wasn't that great, and it's also possible that the owner who abandoned him at the pet shop wasn't even his first owner, he could have been though multiple owners already in his short life, so either way he's got no reason to trust any humans at this point, that much is certain)...And then the OP was "laying in bed" and apparently the bird was in-bed with him...What does that bring into the equation? HORMONES! So then add that he's eating while laying in bed, and the bird ran up to grab the food out of his mouth and instead bit his lip and ran away...So there are a bunch of things going on here, #1 being the bird's total lack of trust of anyone right now, #2 being his sex-hormones being triggered (probably all over the place, we haven't touched on that yet in this thread for the OP, so that's probably a really good idea to do here now), and then #3 let's add food to the equation, and as Noodles mentioned there is always an underlying, natural "drive" for survival that a non-bonded parrot is going to have running in the background (tame, bonded birds have the ability to turn this off with their bonded-owners, it's pretty-much automatic otherwise)...So if we sum-up this entire situation, it comes right down to a non-bonded, non-trusting Green Cheek that has only been with the OP for 3 weeks and who has unfortunately been pushed a little too much and treated like a newly-weaned, hand-raised baby GCC who they just brought home, AND WHO HAS YET TO GO THROUGH PUBERTY...So hitting the "Reset-Button" and starting over completely like today is the first day the OP has brought the bird home, avoiding situations, items, and places that trigger hormonal-behavior, and then just watching the bird's cues and trying to read the bird a lot more closely are all going to start the process of earning his trust and bonding with him all over again...

***As far as using The Shunning-Method on an adult bird who you've not yet earned the trust of, that's exactly why he should be using it to stop the bird biting, because right now the ONLY thing the bird wants from the OP is their ability to provide him a flock to be among, and using the Shunning-Method the correct way is exactly what he should be doing to stop the biting WITHOUT causing any further fear in the bird...The key to that is that the "shunning-period" needs to be only 5 minutes, no less because it won't mean anything to the bird, and no longer because that's when you can basically, for a lack of a better way of putting it, "hurt his feelings" and push him away...The Shunning-Method is not considered to be a punishment or a form of "Negative Reinforcement" at all, but rather a form of "Reverse Positive-Reinforcement", because there are few things you can use to Positively-Reinforce good behaviors in this bird right now, except food and that's it.

***It should be said that we use The Shunning Method in the Avian Rescue on a daily-basis with birds who have just been surrendered and who are biters right off the bat, but who also obviously want attention from people or simply to have people around talking to them (usually the biters who scream when the trainers walk away from their cages and stop when they return are the ones that The Shunning-Method work best on)...They've been using it for as long as I've been there, which is almost 8 and a half years now, and it's works very, very well to not only stop the biting but to also start the taming/trusting humans process...And we're talking parrots who have been through absolute hell and back here, everything from total neglect for years and years, being kept inside of closets for years at a time, and then who have been terribly physically abused by people as well...And The Shunning-Method doesn't ever cause them to show any more fear or to give less trust, just the opposite...Now it's not for all birds, that's for sure. If a bird shows absolutely no want to be near us at all but actually shows the opposite, where they are only happy when no people are even in their sight, then The Shunning-Method isn't going to do a thing to stop biting or anything else, it's going to scare them, piss them off, and usually cause them to bite more...So yes, you absolutely do have to be certain that the bird that is biting is a bird who has shown the want to have people around them, talking to them, and interacting with them before you use The Shunning-Method to try to stop the biting, that's for sure...And in the OP's situation, it's quite obvious that even though this GCC has not yet given his trust to the OP or bonded with the OP, he very much wants to be around/with the OP. So the OP using The Shunning-Method whenever the bird bites him, if he sticks to using it every single time he bites him and he makes sure that he does it correctly by completely ignoring the bird in every way for a full 5-minutes, no shorter and no longer a time period, I'm willing to be that the biting will stop within a week of him using The Shunning-Method...Just as long as the OP uses it every time the bird bites him, it will work and it will not cause the bird any fear or anger towards him at all. (even if that means using it many times right in a row if the bird again bites him directly after the end of a 5 minute shunning-period, and then again, and then again right in a row, because this is where people incorrectly-use The Shunning-Method, they will get bitten, immediately do a 5-minute shunning-period, then the bird comes back to them and bites them again right away, and they fail to immediately do another 5-minute shunning-period, and then another if the bird bites them again right after the second shunning-period, and so on, they have to do it as many times in a row as it takes until the bird does not bite them again directly after a shunning-period...That's where people mess it up typically)...
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:02 PM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Ellen D- I guess it depends on how comfortable the bird is with his/her surroundings, but it has been my experience that a flighted and fearful bird (when placed on the ground) isn't going to stay there-if when you put them down, you are putting them farther from the source of fear (human), which is what they want.so this ("shunning") this may not seem like that big of a deal for them.

Last edited by noodles123; 04-17-2019 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:27 PM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

I am just thinking that for this bird things are moving way too quickly. I read the original post again and noticed that OP mentioned the birdie backpack so that they can go places together and such. Maybe the bird is just overwhelmed.
I would just let him be and let him spend some quiet time on a perch next to you or something like that until you guys get to know each other better.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:58 AM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

I'd say give him more time to adjust and do things at his own pace... I had multiple budgies at different times before I got my sun... one was ok with me handling him, stepping up and sitting on my shoulder in about a week, yet it took another almost 6 months to not run away and hide from my hand when I just wanted to change his food... I had budgies that would nap on me and ride on my shoulder through rooms and I had those that barely allowed me to have them step up (no touching, no petting, nothing)... 3 weeks is nothing - new enviroment, new people, new everything and then he gets bombarded with all sorts of things and like other said, I really feel that your bird is just way too overwhelmed with everything... slot down a lot, give him time and respect him enough to let him do things at his own pace... the more you force the more he will not want to do it...

my sun is 7yo and that birdie backpack is still soemthing I wouldn't do... she likes car rides in her carrier but from the point on where she's safely in the car... the 3 minutes it takes me to get her from the door to the car (my garage is not atatched to the building) she make such a scene you wouldn't believe it...
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Old 04-18-2019, 11:35 AM
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Re: Suddenly aggressive GCC

Hi guys, quick mini update. Changing to setting him on the floor has worked incredibly well already in the the few days that have passed. I've started watching his queues more closely and haven't had a bad bite for three days, just a few warning bites. If I notice starting to show signs of aggression I set him down and walk to the other room. He will usually call to me and follow me and after a few minutes when he settles down I am able to pick him right back up and avoid a bite. We have both been much happier the last couple days ! Thank you all again
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