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 I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!

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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:26 pm

Yes, again!

OK, I am pretty sure I know what is going on and I know exactly how it happened, but I could use some suggestions on how to fix it with minimal bloodshed and maximal effectiveness. It's a good object lesson in how easy it is to teach the wrong thing if you aren't careful!

We are having a bit of trouble with the step up and come out of cage. It started when he was last in his angry-Scooter mode and because it took me a while to catch on, it's now become somewhat solidified.

The actual behavior is that is he is "testing the branch" overly vigorously at times. The vicious cycle is that on several occasions, he's done so with sufficient enthusiasm that I've wound up bodily pulling him from the cage via beak-affixed-to-finger. At first I thought maybe this wasn't so bad because it meant that the bite wasn't "getting him out of" anything. But now it is sometimes happening when he otherwise gives every indication he wants to come out and this is coupled with the fact that when he does step up, it is in slow motion and sort of tentative -- at least when performed from the perch, his favorite, from which the negative incidents happened. In fact, he has on occasion changed perches in order to step up more confidently. It helps if I move very slowly, and I'm very positive when he does step up, but the progress is slow and not monotonic (in other words, my index fingers are not wound free).

I could of course just let him come out on his own, but he actually solicits and begs to come to me, but then gets weird when the finger actually appears, so I think it is fixable and that I should fix it. The one thing I don't seem to have the ability to do is put my finger there and not move it no matter what. I'd make a lousy 007, would no doubt cave immediately under torture. So I try to approach gradually, and detach as gently as I can if he's too vigorous and try again. I think there is also a component of conure impulse control difficulty -- if he's excited about coming out, he's more likely to overdo the test thing, and I can see it coming and am more likely to react as well. As I said, I can see what's happening, I'm just not doing so well at breaking the cycle. Cool-down is in general very effective with him. He still plays house sometimes with his playtop paper and there is no way I can pick him up when he's actively doing that. However, if I take the paper away and set it down, within a very short period, maybe 30 seconds or less, he settles back down and will happily step up to come with me or go back in his cage.

Anyone have a clever suggestion?
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Nevermore
Cockatiel


Join date : 2011-05-19
Location : Canada
My Birds : Captain Jack Parrot: Green-cheeked Conure

Cheeky/Sir Cheeks - Cockatiel
Posts : 162

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:46 pm

go on vacation. Jack suddenly decided to become the most well-trained bird ever....because i was away at work for most of the spring/summer. he would practically jump on my finger, he was so needy.
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:32 pm

Nevermore wrote:
go on vacation. Jack suddenly decided to become the most well-trained bird ever....because i was away at work for most of the spring/summer. he would practically jump on my finger, he was so needy.

Actually, it tends to have the opposite effect on Scooter.... he pouts for several days and won't let me handle him at all.m But it was a good thought!
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henpecked
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 60
Location : NC/Fla
My Birds : Jake hen YN (his)
Stacy hen YN (hers)
Kia male Panama
Kong hen Panama
Nitro male YN
Micky male Red Lored
Binkie hen YN
Many other Amazons
Posts : 1372

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:46 pm

Have you tried turning your back on him? Walk away, let him do without your love? I'm afraid you might be caving to easily. Let him know you won't ask twice or put up with the bites. Do you think he might be getting more attention with bad behavior ? When you do have play time ,try dominating him somewhat and see if he can handle you setting the tone of your relationship. Be quick and decisive with what you want from him , and what you will tolerate. I don't have a biting issue with Jake but she will call me to come and get her and then do laps around the cage before stepping up, like punishing me for not getting her sooner, This gets worse unless i walk away as soon as it starts, then the next time she;ll step up very quickly, before i take the offer away.


Last edited by henpecked on Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:50 pm

I honestly don't think this is misbehavior, I really think he's afraid the finger will move and he will be yanked out of the cage at a high rate of speed. I do, in fact, close the door and go away between attempts anyway.
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henpecked
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 60
Location : NC/Fla
My Birds : Jake hen YN (his)
Stacy hen YN (hers)
Kia male Panama
Kong hen Panama
Nitro male YN
Micky male Red Lored
Binkie hen YN
Many other Amazons
Posts : 1372

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:01 am

IMO conures are a pain in the fanny anyway, LOL
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patdbunny
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 46
Location : San Diego County, California
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PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:04 am

Go slow on the approach since that helps, then do a quick scoop step up (with a distracting sound of some sort if necessary), grab his toes if necessary so he doesn't fall off of your finger and make a bad association; immediately bring him to your chest so he can rest his face on your chest and then start cooing and scritching him. See if that helps. Sometimes over thinking, animal or human, makes everything worse.

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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 56
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:00 am

henpecked wrote:
IMO conures are a pain in the fanny anyway, LOL
Im with you there, I find Scoty much easier in a lot of ways. Then, again, he bites bill not me...

Pat d, I need to remember to try the distraction thing, I never think of it and it would probably with Mr. Busyness.
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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 49
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:04 pm

S- one of the things I've found works really well with JJ for some reason is to put another finger behind the finger she's stepped-up on. confused you say? Lol!

For example, if she steps up on to my index finger, I'll just put my middle finger up there right beside it. So... You end up not holding your hand perpendicular to the ground, but more parallel to it. For some reason, this seems to give her the security she wants while perched on my finger without having to hold her foot/toes, which she really hates. I think maybe having the second finger there keeps her little feet from sliding back, I don't know, but it's something that has worked for us. Smile

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Vikki
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 52
Location : BLAIRSTOWN NJ
My Birds : Sebastian - 7 yr old Harlequin Macaw
Arthur - 12 yr old Jardines Parrot
Pickle - 16 yr old Hahn's Macaw
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Plus the 180+ various bird from finch to Hyacinth at the rescue where I volunteer and live...
Posts : 811

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:25 pm

Instead of your finger, use a perch. We do that with some of our nippy little guys. A fat dowel works and they're cheap. Then if he bites, no worries.

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o'TikaandAurora
Lovebird
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Join date : 2011-06-23
Age : 27
Location : Victoria, Australia
My Birds : Tim (Red Wing Parrot)
Prince (Blue Princess Parrot)
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Malolo (Cinnamon Pied Tiel)
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Posts : 147

PostSubject: Re: I think I broke Scooter! Training-wise that is. Help!   Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:52 am

henpecked wrote:
IMO conures are a pain in the fanny anyway, LOL

you could probably get a cream for that :o
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