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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.

Gentle Beak technique

For birds that bite

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Old 06-16-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
kimijean
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Gentle Beak technique

I got permission to post this and I think it could help some with birds that bite.

Kim

Gentle Beak technique works like this ....

The first thing you have to do is get the bird to associate the words
"Gentle Beak" with a gentle touch to (or from) the beak. How I did this
was to very slowly and gently reach out and touch their beaks, all the
while saying "Gentle Beak" in a very soft, sing-song voice, almost a
whisper sometimes. Ever so gentle, ever so soft and slow. If you can
do this while playing or giving skritchies, all the better as it is a
positive reinforcement of the term "Gentle Beak" which they will very
quickly begin to associate with gentle touches and strokes to their beak.
That's just the reinforcement part to help drive home the meaning of the
term and what's expected from it.

Then, you also use it as reinforcement when they bite. So for instance,
if the bird bites you, you immediately try and touch their beak gently and
say "Gentle Beak". I would do this immediately after the bite. So
instead of pulling back, and maybe taking the bird to a 'time out' cage,
or whatever else you'd do, instead you sort of stop. Just freeze (after
extricating your finger from the beak, or course). Just kind of hover
your finger there in front of them, and stop, just freeze, and begin to
softly chant "Gentle Beak". Begin to move the finger closer .... very
slowly .... to their beak. If you go too fast, they may strike out and
bite again. So you start over. Sometimes even if you go slow, they still
try and bite again. But I've found that usually if you calm right down,
just stop everything, and start VERY softly chanting "Gentle Beak", they
calm down too. Your aim is to get the finger in to gently touch the beak
and say the phrase. Now if you've been working with them when they were
not biting, they will begin to recognize this chant, and see the incoming
finger, and know that it is going to touch them gently. They calm right
down. It is a diversion of sorts. Offer much praise if you can get a
touch to their beak without them striking at you. No matter even if for
just a split second.

Now after a while, you will find that you can use it as a reprimand. They
will get so used to the phrase, and the motions that go with it (the ever
so gentle touch to the beak), that if they are in the midst of attacking
you, you can very sternly and gruffly say "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" and as they
become more familiar with what's expected, they suddenly will do an about
face, calm right down, and touch your finger gently when just a minute ago
they were biting (or were about to bite). Or they may gently touch your
finger INSTEAD of biting.

I've had my Cleo in attack mode .... I've yelled "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" at her
like I was most displeased ..... and she will suddenly reach over and very
gently touch the finger she just bit. It's freaky in that it almost
appears to be an apology of sorts. Then of course, you give TONS of
praise each and every time you are able to touch their beaks without them
biting (or each time you yell it at them and they respond by gently
touching your finger, instead of biting or immediately after biting).
Even when doing reinforcement training during the fun times, always praise
them when you are able to touch and they don't bite.

It has worked wonders for me.

Annette
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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Very good post ! Worth a try, thanks for posting it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #3
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I've used that and it does work. It calms them down immediately. So at least if you didn't see the first strike coming you don't get bit a second time and if you do see it coming you don't get bit. I started when Baby first came because I read it somewhere on this forum in a shorter version. This has helped tremendously in the past two weeks when I didn't know what had Baby in a Nippy mood and couldn't fix the problem right away but it saved me a from a few extra bites (the ones I saw coming). Good advice and thanks for sharing this again for the newcomers. Kim.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:11 PM   #4
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Welcome everyone. I've used it in a "shorter" form to prevent a bird from getting into biting full on and have heard other say it has worked for them. So far no one has said it didn't work. Either way it's worth a try.

Now remember, I did not come up with it, just passing it along.

Kim
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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Kimijean - that is exactly and,I do mean exactly, how I taught Simon to stop biting. And if he gets a little rough, it still works and he will give me a "gentle beaky". I never yell at him tho. I have found that this only increases his biting. I think it is a GREAT method.................
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:24 PM   #6
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Thanks Bird Lady, I love to hear that it has worked for someone.

Kim
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:48 PM   #7
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This is very interesting. I've always sort of done this with my birds but I didn't know it was an actual technique. Very cool, thanks for the article!
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoobsMom View Post
This is very interesting. I've always sort of done this with my birds but I didn't know it was an actual technique. Very cool, thanks for the article!
You're welcome. I think a lot of "bird" people kind of figure this out (or something like it) on their own. But if new to birds, or just really frustrated, it's nice to have it in writing. A "friend" I "met" through a yahoo Parrotlet email group wrote this and gave me permission to pass it on. She named it the Gentle Beak technique.

Kim
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Works

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimijean View Post
I got permission to post this and I think it could help some with birds that bite.

Kim

Gentle Beak technique works like this ....

The first thing you have to do is get the bird to associate the words
"Gentle Beak" with a gentle touch to (or from) the beak. How I did this
was to very slowly and gently reach out and touch their beaks, all the
while saying "Gentle Beak" in a very soft, sing-song voice, almost a
whisper sometimes. Ever so gentle, ever so soft and slow. If you can
do this while playing or giving skritchies, all the better as it is a
positive reinforcement of the term "Gentle Beak" which they will very
quickly begin to associate with gentle touches and strokes to their beak.
That's just the reinforcement part to help drive home the meaning of the
term and what's expected from it.

Then, you also use it as reinforcement when they bite. So for instance,
if the bird bites you, you immediately try and touch their beak gently and
say "Gentle Beak". I would do this immediately after the bite. So
instead of pulling back, and maybe taking the bird to a 'time out' cage,
or whatever else you'd do, instead you sort of stop. Just freeze (after
extricating your finger from the beak, or course). Just kind of hover
your finger there in front of them, and stop, just freeze, and begin to
softly chant "Gentle Beak". Begin to move the finger closer .... very
slowly .... to their beak. If you go too fast, they may strike out and
bite again. So you start over. Sometimes even if you go slow, they still
try and bite again. But I've found that usually if you calm right down,
just stop everything, and start VERY softly chanting "Gentle Beak", they
calm down too. Your aim is to get the finger in to gently touch the beak
and say the phrase. Now if you've been working with them when they were
not biting, they will begin to recognize this chant, and see the incoming
finger, and know that it is going to touch them gently. They calm right
down. It is a diversion of sorts. Offer much praise if you can get a
touch to their beak without them striking at you. No matter even if for
just a split second.

Now after a while, you will find that you can use it as a reprimand. They
will get so used to the phrase, and the motions that go with it (the ever
so gentle touch to the beak), that if they are in the midst of attacking
you, you can very sternly and gruffly say "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" and as they
become more familiar with what's expected, they suddenly will do an about
face, calm right down, and touch your finger gently when just a minute ago
they were biting (or were about to bite). Or they may gently touch your
finger INSTEAD of biting.

I've had my Cleo in attack mode .... I've yelled "!!GENTLE BEAK!!" at her
like I was most displeased ..... and she will suddenly reach over and very
gently touch the finger she just bit. It's freaky in that it almost
appears to be an apology of sorts. Then of course, you give TONS of
praise each and every time you are able to touch their beaks without them
biting (or each time you yell it at them and they respond by gently
touching your finger, instead of biting or immediately after biting).
Even when doing reinforcement training during the fun times, always praise
them when you are able to touch and they don't bite.

It has worked wonders for me.

Annette
Worked in 3 tries!! thank you SO much Pauly can be temperamental at times..Not anymore!!!
Thank you!
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birds of a feather View Post
Worked in 3 tries!! thank you SO much Pauly can be temperamental at times..Not anymore!!!
Thank you!
WOW!! This must be a record, LOL!! Your welcome, I'll need to let Annette know.

Kim
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