Tips for Bonding and Building Trust

Carl_Power

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Hi, great posts everyone.

I'm in a strange situation with my Quaker Parrot Xander.

When he arrived 2 weeks ago he wasn't scared at all to come out of his cage and still does all the time now as I adopt an open cage policy whenever I'm at home, everything is Parrot proofed of course. The top of his cage opens up and he sits up there mainly on his perches all the time and fly's around when he wants too.

Is it wrong he is out so much without us being fully bonded yet? I can hand feed him but if my hand or arm goes near him to try a step up or anything without food in it then he gets so scared and fly's off every time.

I've read that training/taming Parrots that they should be kept at eye level but he loves it up high, is that maybe because he can escape easier if he feels threatened? Obviously if he does get scared then I back off and leave him so he doesn't get stressed.

I am a new Parrot owner and maybe he needs more time to settle before I can start to play with him and train him and bath him etc., I guess I'm just asking for any tips to make him feel more comfortable with my hands, arms and even me, bond better etc., I do hand feed him twice every day though and I can always go up to him with my hands behind my back and he gives me kisses and even tries to prune me lol so he cant be so scared of me, just being handled it seems. Maybe the old owner did this to him because he was slightly damaged when he arrived 2 weeks ago. thank you guys.
 

itzjbean

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Hi, great posts everyone.

I'm in a strange situation with my Quaker Parrot Xander.

When he arrived 2 weeks ago he wasn't scared at all to come out of his cage and still does all the time now as I adopt an open cage policy whenever I'm at home, everything is Parrot proofed of course. The top of his cage opens up and he sits up there mainly on his perches all the time and fly's around when he wants too.

Glad to see your new baby gets lots of outside of cage time. That's always great.

Is it wrong he is out so much without us being fully bonded yet?

It is perfectly find for him to be outside his cage even if you haven't developed a huge trust bond yet.

I can hand feed him but if my hand or arm goes near him to try a step up or anything without food in it then he gets so scared and fly's off every time.

Sounds like he is fearful of hands, possibly has bad memories with getting grabbed/manhandled in the past. You will have to work slowly to get him comfortable around your hands.

I've read that training/taming Parrots that they should be kept at eye level but he loves it up high, is that maybe because he can escape easier if he feels threatened?

As birds they, by instinct, prefer higher places to perch, as the highest place is usually the farthest from predators. This is an instinct, but for training or interaction, try to be at their own level. If his cage is higher than you, you may want to try lowering it, or getting a perch on the side of your bird's cage that is at your level where you can train your bid to approach and eventually do all your training there.

Obviously if he does get scared then I back off and leave him so he doesn't get stressed.

This is good, always work at your bird's pace. If it gets spooked, backpedal your interaction a little.

I am a new Parrot owner and maybe he needs more time to settle before I can start to play with him and train him and bath him etc.

You are correct, at 2 weeks your new Quaker is still getting used to its new surroundings, cage, environment, and its new routine.

I guess I'm just asking for any tips to make him feel more comfortable with my hands, arms and even me, bond better etc., I do hand feed him twice every day though and I can always go up to him with my hands behind my back and he gives me kisses and even tries to prune me lol so he cant be so scared of me, just being handled it seems.

This will be something you'll have to work on with your bird, may take a little while but it will be worth it. How do you present treats? I've seen people use a spoon for birds who don't like hands/are aggressive.

Maybe the old owner did this to him because he was slightly damaged when he arrived 2 weeks ago. thank you guys.


See what I added in the bold. You seem to be on the right track/doing fine right now, just keep working on establishing that trust bond and starting a set routine (wake up and uncover bird for morning feeding, play time, in cage time (you should put the bird away, cage completely closed every so often so your bird learns that going inside cage isn't so bad and so he can entertain himself for a little while when you go out for errands, etc.), training time, night feeding, bedtime) as well as always making every single interaction positive. Begin by interacting with your bird, hands behind your back, and when he's calm and content, slowly let your hands go to your side - in view, but making no attempt to handle the bird.

If he gets agitated, hands go back behind you and walk away, try again later. With each interaction you want to be able to get your hands closer and closer to your bird. The end goal here is to have him step up on your hand without any fear. This will just take time, patience, and understanding. Even just sitting in the same room as he is, hands exposed but working on something interesting (completing a puzzle, crafts, etc.) but no interaction with him may get him more used to your hands too.
 
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Carl_Power

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Quaker Parrot
Wow thanks for the replies, I will put all of this advice into practice.

Just to answer a few things, I don't cover him up at night (should I?), he sleeps in a little cosy hut and I haven't been able to hand feed him treats so I just put them on his perch now I have finally found treats he will eat. I struggle getting any vegetables into him too.

His cage is so tall too so he is usually always higher than me unless I stand up. I can stand up when interacting with him though and also we are in the same room together a lot, does that matter?

Also how can I tell if an interaction is positive?

Thank you for the replies, I appreciate it x
 
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itzjbean

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Wow thanks for the replies, I will put all of this advice into practice.

Just to answer a few things, I don't cover him up at night (should I?), he sleeps in a little cosy hut and I haven't been able to hand feed him treats so I just put them on his perch now I have finally found treats he will eat. I struggle getting any vegetables into him too.

His cage is so tall too so he is usually always higher than me unless I stand up. I can stand up when interacting with him though and also we are in the same room together a lot, does that matter?

Thank you for the replies, I appreciate it x

If he sleeps fine without a cover it is perfectly fine to not cover, I just do because my birds spook easy with things in the night. You'll want to be careful with using sleeping huts with soft material, they have been known to have threads come loose and end up getting tangled around bird's necks, legs, etc. and strangling them. But if you are careful and make sure to inspect it frequently (and your bird likes it), then it shouldn't be a problem.

My birds are in the living room and it is great for them, they get constant interaction so if your bird is in a common room like that it is great. They love being a part of daily activity.

My birds didn't like eating fruit and veggies unless I chopped them up pretty small in my food processor and mixed it with the seeds/pellets they liked. It was the only way I could get them to eat their veggies, lol! Sometimes still a struggle! Just keep at it and try different things.
 

Carl_Power

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Thank you so much Jackie, you have answered all my questions. I think I worry too much with it all being new and wanting the best for Xander.

I do check the hut yes but he's kind of flattened the inside and got it how he likes it and there is no threads really but I will check every day :)

He stays in my bedroom with me at the moment as I share a place but I'm often in there with him so he see's everything that goes on, TV, music ect.
 
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Soyajam

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Just a question on this-

A lot of the advice is for people encouraging birds to come out of the cage - what happens when it's time to go back in the cage?

My bird is more than happy to step out or on the top of the cage but when it's cage time it's a tantrum almost every time. Running up shoulders, flying to the cage top, grabbing on bars with the beak, anything to avoid going back in.
I don't think it's a fear of hands necessarily as she is tolerant of stepping up, flying to us, and even touching her beak and feet.
It just looks like a toddler who doesn't want to go to bed. I even think she gets over-tired where she screeches and is inconsolable (not for food, not for cuddles, anything) - it's only then she'll make little protest going in her cage. Once she's in, no fuss - she goes completely quiet until morning.
Even if this occurs during the day when I need to go out, she'll contact call a few times (some calls much louder than others, bordering on screaming) but if I call back she'll quieten down.

The treats I offer (tenuously motivating at best) get completely ignored when she wants to avoid cage time. Usually what's left after trying, is we have to scoop her up and put her back inside her cage manually.
That is at odds with what's described on the first page (where you coax them out gently with treats/praise), but is often the only remaining solution after we've tried all sorts of co-ersion with no luck.

Does this negatively impact the bond you're building? Yes, right? What happens when these are necessary actions and training hasn't got there yet? If my bird throws a tanty when she has to go to bed, should she remain in the cage all the time so as to avoid a scenario where I MUST force her to do something? Does this mean we go back to target training before she comes out at all? Is there a middle ground?

(I'm sure there is info on this in the forums but the search function isn't terribly helpful...)
 
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Terry57

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Just a question on this-

A lot of the advice is for people encouraging birds to come out of the cage - what happens when it's time to go back in the cage?

My bird is more than happy to step out or on the top of the cage but when it's cage time it's a tantrum almost every time. Running up shoulders, flying to the cage top, grabbing on bars with the beak, anything to avoid going back in.
I don't think it's a fear of hands necessarily as she is tolerant of stepping up, flying to us, and even touching her beak and feet.
It just looks like a toddler who doesn't want to go to bed. I even think she gets over-tired where she screeches and is inconsolable (not for food, not for cuddles, anything) - it's only then she'll make little protest going in her cage. Once she's in, no fuss - she goes completely quiet until morning.
Even if this occurs during the day when I need to go out, she'll contact call a few times (some calls much louder than others, bordering on screaming) but if I call back she'll quieten down.

The treats I offer (tenuously motivating at best) get completely ignored when she wants to avoid cage time. Usually what's left after trying, is we have to scoop her up and put her back inside her cage manually.
That is at odds with what's described on the first page (where you coax them out gently with treats/praise), but is often the only remaining solution after we've tried all sorts of co-ersion with no luck.

Does this negatively impact the bond you're building? Yes, right? What happens when these are necessary actions and training hasn't got there yet? If my bird throws a tanty when she has to go to bed, should she remain in the cage all the time so as to avoid a scenario where I MUST force her to do something? Does this mean we go back to target training before she comes out at all? Is there a middle ground?

(I'm sure there is info on this in the forums but the search function isn't terribly helpful...)

Our Alexandrine, Xander, will not go back in is cage for me without using his all time favourite treat, cashews. It took a lot of trial and error to find what he loves more than anything, and I only give him cashews for going back into his cage. I now just have to let him see it as I put it in his bowl, and he runs straight in.
 

LordTriggs

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what I would do is when placing Rio in the cage I would place a treat not in his bowl but on the nearest perch to the door so he could easily see it, luckily raisins and apples were the do anything for snack so they were easy to put on a round perch unlike say a seed. I got into the habit of having a perch by the door and that being the "in n out" perch. If he wanted to go in or out the cage he went on that perch. I also at one point actually attached one of the perches to the door so I could trick him by putting him on a perch then closing the door before he noticed he got played.

Also to mitigate protests over time try putting her in the cage a couple times when you're playing and maybe even play with her in the cage, batting a toy around or a quick tickle. Also putting them in the cage but leaving the door open so they can come out on their own isn't a bad shout. Took a couple weeks but he was coming and going as he pleased after that
 

bigfellasdad

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Just a question on this-

A lot of the advice is for people encouraging birds to come out of the cage - what happens when it's time to go back in the cage?

It used to be a real struggle to get Enzo into her cage, now its quite easy. Every time i get her in I spend a few minutes saying 'good girl' and talking to her, she now understands its not a punishment of any kind. She also will go into her cage when guests come into the house, same thing applies, my guest and I make a fuss of her as soon as possible.

I still struggle to get her in the cage when I say the 'time for bed' call, she is a teenager after all!
 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Perhaps the easiest (but not always practical) method for returning a bird to the cage is to increase the amount of "out" time. Most birds have some level of attraction to their sleeping lair. All of mine will easily return, but they seem to have a "time meter" to compare each day. If one is "cheated" of the usual out time, the willingness to return is nil.
 

sherylb

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How does the clicker relate to the bird?? What is it about it that helps the bird?? This is great info
 

Anansi

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The clicker serves as a "bridge" between your bird's correct behavior and the treat received for said correct behavior. Basically, you're not always going to have a treat on hand to pop into the bird's mouth the instant he does something you like. So having a bridge that your bird associates with the coming treat lets him know straight away that he's done something great and is about to be rewarded.

With a parrot, feedback has to come right away for him to properly associate the act with the reward. Take too long, and the treat either reinforces nothing or worse, unintentionally reinforces something else.

Personally, though I started with a clicker I eventually dropped it and just used verbal praise as the training bridge instead. Why? Because I'm absent-minded at times and kept losing the clicker. But I rarely lose my voice. Lol!
 
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Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Believe it or not, clicker apps are available for smartphones! Plenty of choices under the guise of "Dog Clickers."
 

noodles123

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Um so does that mean it worked? Is the user who posted this thread on here anymore? How did they get banned?


I am actually curious as to how he/she was banned as well (tried to look back at old posts, but most recent seemed okay...I am guessing the posts that lead to this were deleted, but what does it take to get banned? I am just curious, as I would hate to end up banned myself!)
 

SomePeopleHaveBirds

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Um so does that mean it worked? Is the user who posted this thread on here anymore? How did they get banned?


I am actually curious as to how he/she was banned as well (tried to look back at old posts, but most recent seemed okay...I am guessing the posts that lead to this were deleted, but what does it take to get banned? I am just curious, as I would hate to end up banned myself!)

Yeah yikes. I'm guessing that's what happens when you have a really old account that's not active. They made a nice post I mean what would they get banned for? I wonder if any moderators know.
Or maybe may second guess a person did something wrong with a bird and they cussed them out, but that's just my wild wild guess.
Maybe they disobeyed the rules? I really want to know what happened too. I wouldn't want to get banned either but they can always make another account right? They just probably have to use a different email or something. I wonder how the banning thing works.
 

Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Um so does that mean it worked? Is the user who posted this thread on here anymore? How did they get banned?

Um so does that mean it worked? Is the user who posted this thread on here anymore? How did they get banned?


I am actually curious as to how he/she was banned as well (tried to look back at old posts, but most recent seemed okay...I am guessing the posts that lead to this were deleted, but what does it take to get banned? I am just curious, as I would hate to end up banned myself!)

Um so does that mean it worked? Is the user who posted this thread on here anymore? How did they get banned?


I am actually curious as to how he/she was banned as well (tried to look back at old posts, but most recent seemed okay...I am guessing the posts that lead to this were deleted, but what does it take to get banned? I am just curious, as I would hate to end up banned myself!)

Yeah yikes. I'm guessing that's what happens when you have a really old account that's not active. They made a nice post I mean what would they get banned for? I wonder if any moderators know.
Or maybe may second guess a person did something wrong with a bird and they cussed them out, but that's just my wild wild guess.
Maybe they disobeyed the rules? I really want to know what happened too. I wouldn't want to get banned either but they can always make another account right? They just probably have to use a different email or something. I wonder how the banning thing works.

Guess you're referring to "Delfin?" Happened before I became a moderator, and it would betray confidentiality to research and report.

Banning:

We actually ban a fair number of folks, but not for the reasons you may imagine. They are overwhelmingly new members who join for mischievous reasons. Every candidate is vetted through our own data base and an external site to identify spammers. Repeat offenders are classified as "registered spammers" and immediately banned by us and reported as such. Moderators cannot be everywhere, and when a eagle-eyed member suspects foul play, they can "report" a post to the moderator forum. The first available mod researches and takes action.

Existing members can be banned for repeated actions contrary to forum rules. Bans can range from temporary to permanent. Almost nobody is summarily banned, mods attempt to work with members and give warnings as needed. It is a very rare occurrence!!
 

Allee

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I fully agree with Scott’s explanation on Bannings.

I think it’s only fair to mention that this particular thread on bonding was originally posted by a long time contributing member. Check out the long list of thank you’s at the bottom of the original post. The thread was made a sticky by a unanimous vote as all sticky’s are, the thread is one of my personal favorites, I use the link often and I’m grateful to Delfin for sharing the wisdom. As Scott mentioned, bannings are confidential, thank you for understanding. Our current mod team has a very positive approach toward our community and members. In other words once you get past the gates we hope you’ll have a pleasant stay.
 

john8terry

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Jan 24, 2019
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I would like some feedback from the members who have use the method to identify any issues. By using that feedback the method can be improved.
I have a morning ritual with Consuela, my QP. When I get up I put a clicker in my pocket along with some safflower seeds in my pocket. First thing that I give her to eat is her pellets. I hands-free her 6 to 8 pellets and tell her how pretty and smart she is. Then come the rest of the pellets, the veggies, and the grape (Ah, the grape, sliced in halves!). She has a flat-topped cage. Her food goes on an 1/8" piece of plywood. Not exactly foraging, but mixed and scattered. Because my desk is beside her cage, I am talking to her all day long. She is out of her cage all day.
We work on tricks for dedicated 15min. periods several times a day. That is where the seeds and clicker in my pocket pay dividends. I am her trusted source of food, water, and mental stimulation.
Yeah, we are buddies. We are bonded. It is that simple. It just takes time, lots of it.

Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
 

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