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Bonding and Training Want to train your parrotlet? Just want to bond with your parrotlet? Ask all your questions and suggestions here.

Need advice on biting & trust

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Old 05-04-2017, 01:38 PM   #1
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Need advice on biting & trust

I got my Parrotlet, Freddie, when he was about 2-1/2 months old. He was born 8/16/16. He was hand-raised and very tame. He bonded to me easily. He would step up, allowed me to hold him in my hand and scratch his neck. He didn't bite much and didn't show anger at all.

I have small dogs, so I need to be careful when taking Freddie out of his cage. He slept in his flight cage in a bedroom and spent daytime in his Vision cage in the living room. Every morning I would talk to him and put my hand in his cage near the floor, palm down, and he would walk under my hand and let me pick him up. So adorable!! He talks too.

At bedtime i would go to his Vision cage and he would come to the closest end of his perch, I would put my hand inside and he'd let me pick him up and put him in his flight cage and cover him for the night.

He went through his first molt a few months ago. He was a bit crabby, but went back to normal after molting. One night a few weeks ago, I went to get him out of his Vision cage for bedtime. He walked to the far end of the perch and flew away from me when I moved my hand closer. Not like him at all. I covered him and left him in the Vision cage that night. This continued and I didn't know what to do. I won't let him come out of his cage on his own because of my dogs. I read some things online about them getting hormonal, and it was suggested not to let him have his way, but to catch him in his cage and take him out as needed. I think this was very bad advice because it upset Freddie and now he seems not to trust me anymore. I started working to re-build his trust in me.

Now I put my dogs away and he will step up and let me take him out of his cage. But he bites me - a lot and hard! I'm trying the gentle beak method, but sometimes it gets so bad I have to put him in his cage for a time out. I heard they like to play with tissue, so I scrunched up a piece of wrapping tissue paper and he loves it, gets very excited, fluffs up, chatters, etc. Today we were playing with the tissue paper and working on step up, gentle beak. He didn't want me to touch his beak, and he bit me in my lip, hand, finger, etc. It got so bad I put him in a time out. I'm looking for advice on how to proceed and get my little Freddie to be friends with me again. I love him so much, but he seems to be holding a grudge. ? Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:45 PM   #2
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I suspect that Freddie has hit the terrible-twos that parrotlets go thru around the 6-10 month mark of their lives. There's not a whole lot that you can do to change his behavior right now---you are doing everything right by giving him time-outs, both for him and for you. Continue to interact with him as per usual, buy a box of bandaids (because he will continue to chomp you for a while) and apply lots and lots and LOTS of patience. It does pass, even when you begin to think you've done something wrong for him to behave like this....which you haven't! It took Daisy about 3 months to get over her terrible-twos and there were days when I would just be so angry and then so sad and wonder when---if ever----she would return to her old self. And she did, eventually. Hang in there---we've all been thru this and Freddie will return to his old loving self as long as you continue to love him and be patient with him. If you find yourself getting frustrated or angry, give yourself permission for time away from's okay to so!

Daisy & Wendy
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Old 05-04-2017, 04:47 PM   #3
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Thank you very much!! I will follow your advice and hope that Freddie gets over the terrible two's asap. ?
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Old 05-13-2017, 05:25 AM   #4
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Smart to put the dogs away before Freddie is out of its cage. Less stress on him.
It would be a perfect bird if a parrotlet didn't bite, but bite they do.
I did have to gently "towel" Ollie, upside down with one eye showing and told him "gentle beak." I would then put him back in his cage for a time-out for 10 minutes. The breeder told me to to do this in a nice way to show who is boss. I had to do this several times, but it is rare now----he knows the phrase when I say it, and will let up on his bite.
Sometimes he "forgets" when excited and chops a little hard on me still! That's a parrot for you.
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