Spraying a mist of water at bad behavior?

hiriki

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Oct 19, 2014
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I wouldn't recommend it. In the grand scheme of things it's not wildly abusive or anything but your bird is either going to like it, defeating the entire purpose, or they're not going to care, again defeating the purpose. or it's going to scare/upset them, which presumably is what you want because you're trying to discourage a behavior, but the result is going to be damaged trust. Bird trust is hard earned and incredibly easy to damage.

Shunning is going to be far more effective. I'm sure other users will offer their perspective and will likely echo the shunning suggestion but basically when a bird bites too hard, you say a firm "No," then put them down on a neutral location (usually a chair back or table, never their cage or a playstand) and turn away. You ignore them for a full minute before engaging again. If they fly to you to try to get your attention while you're shunning them, you put them back on the chair back and you do it over and over until they serve their time out lol.
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
agreed with above. With training exotics, you ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior.

It’s because successful training requires trust. ANY punishment (introducing negative stimulus) creates a negative association with your presence, making any hope you have of building and keeping a relationship. Aka it destroys your relationship., and with that any hope of improving any bad behavior.
 

wrench13

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Biting, whether intentional or not, just over preening your skin or actually taking chunks of meat out - all are PAINFULL! In the wild that sort of behavior is not tolerated by the flock. They ostracize flock members who continue to act like that. We call it 'Shunning'. This WILL work, but needs to be done correctly to get the message across and it needs to be done IMMEDIATELY so the parrot can associate the bite with the shunning action. And it needs to happen every time and with anyone involved with the parrot.

When the bite or over preening occurs:

  • Say in a forceful but not shouting voice "No Bite" or other endearments.
  • Immediately place the parrot on a nearby, handy chairback. NOT the cage (that would only teach the parrot to bite when he wants to go back to his cage).
  • Turn your back to him and ignore him for 1 minute. No peeking, no talking about or too him, NADA. NO eye contact. No less or the message is lost, no more or the bird will not associate the action with the bite.
  • After a minute you can try to re-establish contact.
Rinse, repeat as needed. Most parrots get the message after a few times, some may need more. Also very important - make sure the bite is not your fault. Annoying your parrot, asking him to step up when he is otherwise preoccupied with eating or playing, bothering him during known moody times like mating season, or ignoring the warnings and body language of your parrot - these are bites that you deserve! Learn, and be a better parront !!
 

Free as a bird

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Jul 29, 2023
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Is it okay to spray a gentle mist of water at a parrot that keeps biting me?
I can't see why not, he should soon associate the water with his biting and maybe stop but it's worth trying the shunning method that wrench13 explains above first.
 

wrench13

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Parrots in general do not respond well to 'punishment' type behavior modification. Most of the time it will make the situation worse and if nothing else, seriously breaks the bond of trust. Spraying with water, banging the cage, screaming at the bird, covering him the cage, or even more violent types of punishment (we read some pretty horrifying tales on here sometimes) all make the parrot not want to be with humans. My good friend on here, Sailboats, always puts it "Only Good Things Come From Humans". Words to live by, with parrots. Friend Hiriki puts it well " Parrots trust is hard to build, but easy to break".
 

LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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Is it okay to spray a gentle mist of water at a parrot that keeps biting me?
No. I won't work. They aren't like cats & dogs & punishing or trying to discipline a parrot doesn't work. You'll only probably ruin your relationship & any trust you've built,, so I wouldn't recommend it. Birds love water & should be bathing daily anyway. I highly doubt it will actually register as a negative. I would follow the instructions given here on shunning, as this is the way that unwanted behaviors are addressed in the flock. Flock mentality is ingrained in them naturally & that's what they respond to, though it will take consistent repetition. Your bird will catch on eventually, but most likely you'll have to reinforce it later when you are tested again. Birds LOVE attention, whether it's good or bad, it is often seen as "you're paying attention to me for what I did-yaaay!" So, that's why punishment doesn't work. They hate being ignored, so that's the way to go. Don't get discouraged if it takes a while either-that's normal, & always keep in mind that just like people, they will wake up grumpy some days & have their moods throughout the day. Some days they just won't be having it-period & that's just how it is. Patience & consistency is the key. Good luck!
 

ShadyCrooks

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Apr 24, 2023
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Jenday - Conure- Vladamore
Is it okay to spray a gentle mist of water at a parrot that keeps biting me?
I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work. I did not lose my birds trust but I realized he still didn’t understand. So no it’s not effective. I also find putting him down and having a time out doesn’t work either. Parrots are individual as humans. So be prepared to invest the time to find out what makes them tick! All birds bite it’s in their nature. That’s their way of communicating as they can’t talk or use hands. Good luck!
 

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