Can I teach him to be gentle?

Cassie_Leigh

New member
Dec 2, 2021
9
15
Parrots
Two budgie ladies and a male cockatiel
Hello all,

I was hoping I could get some advice on teaching my cockatiel to be more gentle.

He is a sweetheart and just wants to be near me. Particularly as close to my face as possible especially when I am talking or whistling to him.

I am not going to complain about our bond I enjoy it and I am glad. However he doesn't seem to know the strength of his beak when giving me affection. It is quite painful for me when he nibbles on my ears.

I can easily distract him with millet or scritches but it seems that is just rewarding him for behaviour I don't like.

Perhaps are there any games I can play with him that will keep him busy and less inclined to nibble on my sensitive parts?

If I lean back when he is out and I am not careful he will even happily walk onto my face.

I don't want to discourage him from being close to me I just don't enjoy claws and beaks on my face flesh.

😱
 
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Cassie_Leigh

New member
Dec 2, 2021
9
15
Parrots
Two budgie ladies and a male cockatiel
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A pic of him attempting to not so gently preen my eye feathers :/
 

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wrench13

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Best way is to use the "shunning' method. Any time he uses his beak too hard, immediately place him on a nearby chair back (not his cage). Turn your back to him, and totally ignore him for a minute or so. Zero eye contact, dont even talk about him.
You can say No Bite in firm voice when the bite occurs, but not yelling it. After the 'time out' you can then approach the parrot.

You dont return him to his cage because that bite will become how he tells you "I want to go to my cage". You want the shun to be immediate, so he can connect the bite to the action. You dont want to yell, because that provides him with some excitement, and parrots love excitement.

Very important - you have to do the 'shun' everytime he bites too hard, 100% of the time. Being inconsistent will only confuse the poor thing. Most parrots get the idea after a few times, they hate being left out. FYI - this is how flocks control unruly members of the flock, so its a natural behavior modification.
 
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Cassie_Leigh

New member
Dec 2, 2021
9
15
Parrots
Two budgie ladies and a male cockatiel
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Thanks!

I did naturally learn the shun method when he kept landing on the budgie cage. At first I would lure him off with kisses and millet. Then I decided to ignore him after a few minutes he started flock calling and flying to me.

I think it might work :)
 

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