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Old 12-23-2014, 01:10 AM
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Post David from El Paso

I just bought a beautiful little 14 week old lovebird. She's really sweet and seems to be settling in nicely to our home. I have a quick question to start with... There are conflicting methods on how to gain your parrot's trust. A lot of people have said that I should just let the parrot be and not make it do anything it doesn't want to, and that eventually it will come to me and bond. Others have said that picking it up every day, even if it means grabbing it with my hands (and frightening it) and holding it gently to get it to understand that my hands are not going to harm it, is the way to proceed.

Of course, I am tempted to handle the bird to satisfy my urge to hold her, but I resist because I don't want her to be uneasy around me. Should I just handle her every day even if she is nervous? Or do I let her make the moves and just try to get a little closer each day and see how it plays out?

She doesn't flinch or move to the back of the cage when I'm around, and she has actually hopped onto my lap when she was frightened by some noise. I don't think she meant to, but she stayed there for 10 minutes and I didn't bother her.

I should also mention it's been less than a week since I brought her home.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:34 AM
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Re: David from El Paso

Her hopping on you in less than a week is impressive. But don't purposely scare her in order for her to do that (just to clarify). It's also a good sign that she doesn't seem too phobic, but you want to make sure it stays that way, working with that should give you a giant leap to success regarding to gaining her trust.

I would strongly advise you not grab her in the start of your bonding process based on my own experiences. Alone, grabbing them to satisfy your needs and when they are still unsure of their surrounding WILL set you weeks or months back and possibly permanently. Holding them against their will would most certainly cause a deep hatred or phobia of hands.

I vote gradually getting closer so she remains comfortable and more trusting around you.
A week isn't a long time, don't rush into anything!

Good luck, and congratulations on your new Lovie!
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Old 12-23-2014, 08:56 AM
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Re: David from El Paso

Hello David, Welcome to the forums! I agree with EAI's advice on letting your lovie set the pace. We'd love to see photos of your new friend. Have you named her?
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:07 AM
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Re: David from El Paso

I wouldn't "grab" or scare her. I agree with the advice you've been given to let her choose the pace she wants to go at. A week is not enough time for her to settle into a new home, new people, new noises, etc... Maybe try sitting by her cage reading a book out loud to her, watching TV. Something that you can do while being close yet calm, but not "staring" her down like a predator would. Try giving her treats through the cage bars once in awhile (maybe something you can eat in front of her that is safe for her to have a bit of), if she doesn't come take it from you at first try dropping it in her dish. After she realizes what you are giving her she will come around and take them from your hand. Then you can start the target training or stick training. Patients is the key to winning her trust!
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:30 AM
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Re: David from El Paso

Thanks you guys! Yeah, taking her in my hand seemed counter-intuitive to gaining that sought-after trust. I know that we have years ahead of us and her mistrust right now is a valid part of her natural instincts. Just to be clear, I haven't taken her into my hands except on the first day I brought her home to get her into her cage. She has, on average, about 4-6 hours of out-of-cage time at the house every day, which I think helps a lot.

Here's another question: Is it cruel of me to play lovebird songs to Gladys (that's her name)? I play youtube videos of lovebirds singing and she seems to enjoy it, but I don't know if I'm anthropomorphizing the situation.
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:36 AM
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Re: David from El Paso

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Old 12-31-2014, 11:58 AM
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Re: David from El Paso

Well, it's been about 3 weeks since we got our little Gladys and she's eating out of our hands and has perched on our arms and fingers for small amounts of time. She's very mellow, but loves to get vocal and animated at odd times. Trying to figure out her calls and what they mean.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:01 PM
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Re: David from El Paso

She is so pretty.
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