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Old 08-29-2016, 02:03 PM
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Bite pressure training?

Can someone kindly give me the run down on bite pressure training please.

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Old 08-29-2016, 04:45 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Sure. The premise behind bite pressure training is simply to communicate to your bird what amount of beak pressure is acceptable. This is done via the learning process of association.

When a bird applies pressure that goes beyond the threshold of what you find comfortable, you should tell him "No" (or whatever your word is. Some use "gentle", some use "nice") in a firm, yet even, tone of voice. This is important because histrionics of any kind might prompt some birds to attempt to trigger the response again for their own amusement... or frighten them into biting down harder. Once you've said "No", remove the offending beak from your skin. A repeated offense of nipping (pinches ranging from simply uncomfortable to borderline painful) would then result in a timeout of 5-10 minutes. Bites result in an immediate timeout.

You have to be rigidly consistent with this. Mixing it up will only confuse your bird. Once they have made the association, a warning "No" will usually suffice. And conversely, appropriate bite pressure should be rewarded with praise and treats.

Bites happen for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, a bird might bite out of fear, annoyance, or over-stimulation. Many of these bites can be avoided by observing your bird's body language and respecting their feelings. I'm not saying a bird should get to run your household, but consideration for their wants and desires goes a long way. I've always viewed this kind of training as a two-way street. I'm letting my birds know what I find acceptable in terms of communication, and at the same time I'm paying attention to their (pre-bite) attempts to communicate their own likes and dislikes to me.

Combining bite pressure training with body language observation will go a long way toward making bites a rare occurrence. For instance, some birds get very wound up with play. They're having fun, but they just get carried away and can wind up unintentionally giving a hard bite. But if you recognize these signs, you avoid the bite and the need for a timeout.

Here are two other links that tie in with what I'm talking about.

Bird Bites ALWAYS

BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:16 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Sure. The premise behind bite pressure training is simply to communicate to your bird what amount of beak pressure is acceptable. This is done via the learning process of association.

When a bird applies pressure that goes beyond the threshold of what you find comfortable, you should tell him "No" (or whatever your word is. Some use "gentle", some use "nice") in a firm, yet even, tone of voice. This is important because histrionics of any kind might prompt some birds to attempt to trigger the response again for their own amusement... or frighten them into biting down harder. Once you've said "No", remove the offending beak from your skin. A repeated offense of nipping (pinches ranging from simply uncomfortable to borderline painful) would then result in a timeout of 5-10 minutes. Bites result in an immediate timeout.

You have to be rigidly consistent with this. Mixing it up will only confuse your bird. Once they have made the association, a warning "No" will usually suffice. And conversely, appropriate bite pressure should be rewarded with praise and treats.

Bites happen for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, a bird might bite out of fear, annoyance, or over-stimulation. Many of these bites can be avoided by observing your bird's body language and respecting their feelings. I'm not saying a bird should get to run your household, but consideration for their wants and desires goes a long way. I've always viewed this kind of training as a two-way street. I'm letting my birds know what I find acceptable in terms of communication, and at the same time I'm paying attention to their (pre-bite) attempts to communicate their own likes and dislikes to me.

Combining bite pressure training with body language observation will go a long way toward making bites a rare occurrence. For instance, some birds get very wound up with play. They're having fun, but they just get carried away and can wind up unintentionally giving a hard bite. But if you recognize these signs, you avoid the bite and the need for a timeout.

Here are two other links that tie in with what I'm talking about.

Bird Bites ALWAYS

BRAINSTORMING: Biting Parrots
This is an awesome explanation. Its a bit tough to figure out his body language yet. He hasn't pinned eyes yet. I think it just more annoyance and over stimulation.

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Old 08-29-2016, 07:10 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Good advice given. I would add parrots often bite to say "no". He bite softy to say no but you didn't recognize that's what he was trying to convey to you. He may only bite hard when you keep asking him to do something he doesn't want to do. But yes, the important part is teaching him what is acceptable pressure.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:21 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Thank you!! Everything makes much better sense.

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Old 08-29-2016, 07:33 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Figuring out the body language can be tough, but it definitely gets easier. The pinning eyes are good indicators of excitement, but in my experience once your bird actually bonds to you it tends to be less reliable as an indicator of an impending bite. Maya and Jolly's eyes pin with excitement every time I approach, but that's just happiness. I had to look for other stuff.

And as you mention over-stimulation, I'll point out that Maya is especially prone to this. She doesn't know how to play with kid gloves. She gets very excited, very quickly, and before you know it she's chomping down with a little too much oomph. After a while, I realized I couldn't play with her the way I do with Jolly... or did with Bixby. She's just too prone to overload. So my interactions with her stay on the more cuddly side. None of the play-fighting I do with Jolly. Our relationship is close and loving as ever. It's just different from what I have with Jolly. Know what I mean?
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:09 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Quote: Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Figuring out the body language can be tough, but it definitely gets easier. The pinning eyes are good indicators of excitement, but in my experience once your bird actually bonds to you it tends to be less reliable as an indicator of an impending bite. Maya and Jolly's eyes pin with excitement every time I approach, but that's just happiness. I had to look for other stuff.

And as you mention over-stimulation, I'll point out that Maya is especially prone to this. She doesn't know how to play with kid gloves. She gets very excited, very quickly, and before you know it she's chomping down with a little too much oomph. After a while, I realized I couldn't play with her the way I do with Jolly... or did with Bixby. She's just too prone to overload. So my interactions with her stay on the more cuddly side. None of the play-fighting I do with Jolly. Our relationship is close and loving as ever. It's just different from what I have with Jolly. Know what I mean?
Yes absolutely, he's a bit young amd we're both learning each other. I mean his full personality didnt peak yet so i guess ill see what is the limit with him.

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Old 08-29-2016, 09:49 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

Oh yeah, Yoshi is an amazon and when they play they can get over stimulated quickly. Salty loves to wrestle and rough house, but I can feel the play biting getting harder and harder, so I will stop for a few minutes to let him cool down before it gets to the pain full point.

But that's playing. A nip can be the precursor to a bite, and keep in mind, it's never the fault of the parrot. The best way is to avoid the bite in the first place. Think .. what were you doing right before the nip? What was going on? Sudden noises or movements can startle a parrot and some react to these by nipping what's closest... you. In a busy household, until he really settles in , that could be a contributing thing.
And some parrots nip and bite for their own amusement, to see the human react.
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:54 PM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

I have always used multiple points (body language indicators) to define the emotional status of our Amazons. When combined with health problems, its just safer for everyone, fewer surprises if you will. This is very true when considering the pinning of the eyes, which I have found need to be linked to other indicators before sticking one's body parts into play.

I had been bitten by a YNA that provided nothing more than a very slight body sway prior to a high pressure bite.

So, be watchful - its will provide a great information base about your Amazon. Also, provide your Amazon with clear indicator as to what you will be doing /asking of your Amazon!
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:49 AM
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Re: Bite pressure training?

My oldest youngin Cookie enjoys rough house mock fighting with me. Teaching him to back off pressure when he gets too enthusiastic was fairly easy. When he got too frisky with me Id grab his beak and give it a fairly strong squeeze.. then say "be easy" and back off pressure... still holding his beak. Didn't take long before he caught on and all I have to say is 'be easy" when hes chewing my ear or finger with a lil too much gusto...and he backs off pressure right away. Smart critter. Did the same with my lil sun conure Booger... he caught on fast too. Now I can play lil rough house games with both of them at the same time. They never cease to amaze me how smart they are.
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