Reminder about target training: It works!


Well-known member
2x Parrot of the Month 🏆
May 2, 2021
Vermont, USA
Stormy(M): blue Australian budgie
Picasso(F): green Australian budgie
Apollo(F): sky blue dominant pied Australian budgie
For those who don't know, I have a male budgie and two females. One, Cossie, is territorial and aggressive with the other one, Apollo. Target training has helped a lot with this issue. If I see her looking like she's about to bite Apollo, I target her away from Apollo. If she's pushing Apollo off a perch, I target her the other way. It has been working pretty well so far, and I saw her really stop and restrain herself from biting Apollo, since she knows if she does, she will get a reward, but if she bites Apollo, she will get a reprimand, AND have to go back to the exact same spot she was before she bit Apollo to target and get the treat.

It also helps a lot when Stormy is heightened. I use "heightened" to describe intense emotion. He will get scared, hurl himself around the room blindly, then land on a perch and proceed to pin his eyes extremely hard, raise his "crest" (the area where a 'tiel or 'too would have a crest), and be obviously extremely heightened. In these situations, I cannot work with him or even offer him millet until he has clamed down. Targeting works surprisingly well for this, I've found. Millet just makes him more heightened, and he usually ends up flying laps around the room because of how excited and riled up he is.

I just figured I should post this. Many people have problems with their bird's aggression, or have times where they NEED to work with a bird who is in an extremely heightened state. So I'm here to remind you, targeting works. I use it for Cossie's aggression, calming Stormy down when he's extremely heightened, and also redirecting Apollo when she is visibly anxious (she gets overwhelmed by the other birds sometimes). Targeting is the only thing I've found so far that has worked.

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