Bite pressure training?

Mamaof3

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

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Anansi

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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.

http://www.parrotforums.com/questions-answers/58911-bird-bites-always-2.html

http://www.parrotforums.com/training/57935-brainstorming-biting-parrots.html
 
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Mamaof3

Mamaof3

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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.

http://www.parrotforums.com/questions-answers/58911-bird-bites-always-2.html

http://www.parrotforums.com/training/57935-brainstorming-biting-parrots.html
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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henpecked

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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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Mamaof3

Mamaof3

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Thank you!! Everything makes much better sense.

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Anansi

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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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Mamaof3

Mamaof3

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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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wrench13

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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.
 

SailBoat

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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!
 

Notdumasilook

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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.
 

AmyMyBlueFront

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Amy used to bite ME,when some one "new" came to visit <some one she didn't know> to get ME away from what she thought was dangerous/unexceptable.

Over the years,and with ALOT of socialization,she rarely bites anyone..but there has been an occasion or two :rolleyes: <huh Al?? :eek:>

After 27 years,I'm still learning lol.

Jim
 
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Mamaof3

Mamaof3

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I think he just needs more getting used to my kids. More socialization.

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wrench13

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Amy used to bite ME,when some one "new" came to visit <some one she didn't know> to get ME away from what she thought was dangerous/unexceptable.

Over the years,and with ALOT of socialization,she rarely bites anyone..but there has been an occasion or two :rolleyes: <huh Al?? :eek:>

After 27 years,I'm still learning lol.

Jim

I am still trying to figure that one out. I am like the parrot whisperer, they never bite me. Well, we will see what happens Sunday, right? I have a spare index finger still.
 

AmyMyBlueFront

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Amy used to bite ME,when some one "new" came to visit <some one she didn't know> to get ME away from what she thought was dangerous/unexceptable.

Over the years,and with ALOT of socialization,she rarely bites anyone..but there has been an occasion or two :rolleyes: <huh Al?? :eek:>

After 27 years,I'm still learning lol.

Jim

I am still trying to figure that one out. I am like the parrot whisperer, they never bite me. Well, we will see what happens Sunday, right? I have a spare index finger still.

LOL..ya I've been telling her "Listen Amy..Al and Brett are coming up for a visit..DON'T EMBARASS ME or make me into a liar! I'll make sure I have plenty of band-aids available lol.

As far as the visit Al..the weather is suppose to be absolutely gorgeous here! Saturday and Sunday lots of sun, low humidity and in the low 80's,perfect for a nice bike ride. I've been telling my brother to get his Norton all set to go out with us.

Amy and I and BB are excited about you and Brett coming up for a day of riding,eating,and great company!

Jim
 

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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.

I have to respectfully disagree with giving your bird's beak a fairly strong squeeze. They do have nerve endings in their beaks, and I don't find it necessary to use force when there are so many other methods, as mentioned by previous posters and that work just as well.
 
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Notdumasilook

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I don't "bear down" as to try and cause pain.... Im sure its less energy than they use with each other beak wrestling. Ive never caused any bird (or any animal) I have ever owned pain or injury... and never will. Of course you are welcome to disagree with my method but it worked darn well with no harm done to any party. Thanks for your input.
Indeed for 30 odd years I've become Cookie's "beak maintenance guy. At least 1 or 2 times a day he demands a cleaning. He insist that I scrape the dried up fresh foods off his beak with my fingernails then polish it up good between my thumb and forefinger squeezing and rubbing until his beak is nice and shiny again. He turns to putty with his eyes closed apparently enjoying it a good bit. He will not let me use a cloth or paper towel.. its bare hands or nothing. Dirty job perhaps but it comes with owning a spoiled rotten Amazon. Strangely he also likes repeated taps on his beak.. I guess the vibration thru his beak and skull is a pleasing sensation. Lil Booger loves a good firm beak rub too.. he insist on one after his nite nite sugar and he is on his perch for the nite.. just a habit we started that stuck.
 
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Farhana

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I adopted 2 10months old alexanderine birds and i have no experience of raising and handling birds they bite very badly... Can anyone please advise how do i improve my relationship with them so they r comfortable with me n my family
 

herbwx

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Birds experience life thru their beaks and it is only natural for them to “test” how firm something is — like a finger! — before they hop on to it. That’s not to make excuses for biting in general. But as noted here there are a multitude of other reasons as to why they may bite.

With the smaller birds I’ve found that gently or moderately blowing on them will make them release and step back if they are biting. Of course not recommended unless you are healthy. But at least the bird doesn’t get hurt and they clearly get the message.
 

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