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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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. :D

Kim
 

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Works

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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I use the words 'No beak!' with my guy and it is beginning to work very well. If he doesn't heed the 'No beak!' rule - he goes into his cage for a short time.

The funny thing is - once put there - he will repeat "No Beak! No Beak No Beak!" over and over again! Once he quiets, I take him out of the cage again. He is beginning to understand the rules very well now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I use the words 'No beak!' with my guy and it is beginning to work very well. If he doesn't heed the 'No beak!' rule - he goes into his cage for a short time.

The funny thing is - once put there - he will repeat "No Beak! No Beak No Beak!" over and over again! Once he quiets, I take him out of the cage again. He is beginning to understand the rules very well now!
That is awesome!! And cute...... :O)

Kim
 

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Thank you so much for passing this on! I was worried on what to do if my first 'let (I'm getting him Thursday!!) bites me and this made me feel soo much better! I think this should be made into a sticky so other newbies can see it as well. :)
 

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Kim,
The only thing different that I do (don't do) is yell at them. If they are timid or new to you, that sends a negative message to them, as does putting them in their cage. They are so smart, that all I have ever done is tell him "bad bird, I don't like bad birds, I only like good birds. Good birds don't bite. I like soft beakies".
Sure enough, he takes it all in and then gives me a little soft "love bite". They are so smart.....
 
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