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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi- I just brought my Pablo home 3 days ago. My bird store suggests bringing him into another room to train him since he is very attached to his cage. Did this yesterday by carrying him in a washcloth. Did not do too bad once I got him to do step up there but is biting. Never had bird before and don't want to do wrong thing! Thank for help
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for answering! He is about 8 weeks old. Not too afraid, only of being taken out. Was very friendly at store, and sat on my shoulder. Is eating, singing, sleeping and other wise happy so far. When I got him into other room he did follow step up a couple of times. Did not want to push it. Bit a little but blew on him and did not yel. But then had to hold him in washcloth to get back to cage. I am trying to just put my hand in cage at times I am not taking him out just to get used to it. Does this all sound ok for 3 days in?
 

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Please avoid toweling or anything that compromises their trust in you!!

Please read this thread:
http://www.talkparrotlets.com/showthread.php?t=482&highlight=clicker

Parrotlets respond WONDERFULLY to that method of training, we have ALL of our adopters use this method.

The more you do that scares him (taking out of cage) the more steps backwards you will take in training. Think always of Pablo's needs, putting yours second to his!
 

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Yes, I would stay away from toweling – avoid chasing him at all - as Andrea said it sets you back steps in your training as the bird starts to fear this and in turn fear you.

Since Pablo was friendly at the store you will probably be able to get him to come around in no time.

Just avoid chasing him in any way. Your goal should be to try and get him to come to you. Sit by his cage as often as you can – talk or even sing to him softly – offer him food through the bars – over time he will become curious and at ease with you and come over to you at the bars – if he fluffs his feathers for a head scratch you have won him over. Keep in mind, this could take hours to days to weeks to months – it all depends on the bird, their temperament to how they were raised etc.

But as I said, with Pablo being friendly at the store I think he will probably come around quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks fo responding. This is so opposite of what the store recommended and several books who say you must get him out as soon as you get home or he will become too attached to his cage. That if you get him used to being handled he will then come out more willingly.
 

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A lot of "popular" beliefs and methods are geared for ease of the person NOT for respect of the bird.

A way that can work, similarly to the towel, but peacefully and not frightening for a bird is if you can offer a cozy in the cage. If they willingly jump into it, this can sometimes be a way to enter and exit the cage. This is not my number one choice though, b/c it tricks and deceives the bird.

The average pet shop is not greatly educated in the avian field, they are lucky to know some things about care, but I am upset that they advised you to towel your parrotlet :(

What style and size cage is Pablo living in? Knowing that can help us give you tips too.
 

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Three days is not long. You have to give him a LOT of time to understand you are going to be a friend. We scare them. Just imagine being so tiny. Go very slow, talk. I never use a towel for a new bird, too scary.

This will take time, sing quietly, move slowly, talk.

The cage, food and toys are critical. Let us know the dimentions, maybe take a picture.
 

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A lot I’ve read and been told about these guys has turned out not to be true. Although a lot is true :D

But what I have learned when dealing with Parrotlets is to go with my instincts. One of the first things I ask if I am being given advice about Parrotlets – is – do you own a Parrotlet? My Parrotlets are so different than any other birds I have had – IMO not all general bird information applies.

I believe if an owner gives their Parrotlet daily attention they will not become cage bound or overly attached to their cage as in not wanting to come out – both of mine are always willing to come out of their cage.

This is different than being protective of their cage. Parrotlets are by nature territorial – in the wild they are quite territorial and very protective of their nest sites and their mate - this behavior is instinctual and so our pet Parrotlets still exhibit these natural behaviors – In our homes some have a tendency to become cage protective – [or as some call it, cage aggressive] – I’ve come to understand this is a natural behavior for them so I personally work around it. What I do now before working in my males cage, cleaning or changing food – if he’s in a protective mood I simply take him out – he is always willing to come out of his cage but if left in when I am working in the cage he can at times exhibit protective tendencies – he will run around and fluff out his feathers and grumble at me – if this ‘warning’ is ignored it could lead to a bite. But if you stay ahead of them that will be avoided. This is why I take him out before I work in his cage to avoid this behavior – he will even sit on my shoulder when I clean his cage with no problem but if left in the cage his natural behavior dictates this response. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like me or he is a mean bird – it’s in his nature to warn me that this is his territory.

I’ve read and have been told to dominate my bird to show him I am the boss and he shouldn’t do this and so on and so forth – and I'll admit I went along with that - but I’ve since learned this response from my bird is a natural one for him so I don’t fight it – I just simply work around it and I have zero problems.

I rescued this bird when he was 4 months old – I left him in his cage for the first week, never tried to take him out. Within that week by talking to him and eating at the table his cage was on he became curious and at ease with me. Within days he was coming down to a lower perch to see what I was doing or maybe what I was eating :p – I started feeding him seed through the bars - then he propositioned me for a head scratch – that day I opened up his cage door and he stepped out onto my finger. I got this quick result from this particular bird because he was hand raised and probably already tame.

The best advice on how to work with these particular birds is patience and staying one step ahead of them.

Good luck with Pablo and let us know how it goes and what works for you – its all a learning experience.
 

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My bird was hand fed and used to people when I got her at 7 weeks old. The day after I got her, I went back to the shop for more supplies and the breeder asked why I didn't have my bird with me! I was strongly encouraged to handle her and spend lots of time with her--just like you would with a human infant! Nothing was said about her becoming possessive of her cage; just that she needed to be with me. For the next several months, my bird and I were constant companions-- flock members.

As her feet were too tiny to grasp my finger safely, I immediately began teaching her to ride in my pocket. Before long, I was taking her out in public. It never occurred to me to remove her from her cage only if she stepped up; in fact, she did not know how to step up. I would just pick her up from the cage as if she were a pet mouse. Once her feet were bigger, we started working on stepping up.

I would give her plenty of time to eye new objects and tried not to rush her into anything that would scare her, as she was quite cautious about anything new. I made a perch for my shirt pocket. Once she loved it, I transitioned her to a different shirt by moving the perch. Perhaps spending so much time in my pocket taught her that she had a "home" there as well as her cage, I don't know, but she is not possessive of her cage, so fas as I can tell. She is extremely well socialized-- totally unafraid of meeting new people, undaunted by new situations, relishing outings and very trusting of anything I do with her. She shows no signs of distress when I leave her home alone.

As for biting, she had to use her beak to help her navigate when she was so little. I allowed that, but if she got too rough, I was instructed to gently take hold of her beak and say, in a calm, instructive, and serious voice, "No beak." This is no easy task on a bird so small, quick, and busy... It worked, however, and she has never bit me, except for one time when she got my thumb along with a bite of food. She does use her beak on people, but ever so gently. When your bird gets older, he may go through nippy stage that has to do with control issues. I used the same technique then, but had to add the puff of air once in a while.

I have never used a towel to control my bird. With a towel, how would a person know when it was too rough? And why would you want the bird to think "the towel did it"? I want the bird to know that I will teach it how we do things in our flock.

It is a big job caring for such a young, fast, and busy parrotlet! Mine was several months old before she learned to entertain herself in her cage (which finally gave me a break!). She had to be taught that toys were to play with and shown that veggies can be eaten! I assumed that was normal, since I was rearing her more like a human child!

I know exactly what you are going through with an 8 week old baby! You will be very busy in the next months, but you will reap the benefits of your efforts for the next 20 or 30 years.
 

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I just wanted to add... Make sure Pablo is getting enough sleep. I used to keep Jimmy awake the same hours that I keep. I am grumpy most of the time because I only get 5 to 6 hours sleep. You can imagine what that was doing to poor Jimmy! I started covering his cage 12 hours before I had to get up in the morning. (If I got up at 6am I would cover him at 6pm the night before) What a difference it made in his personality. He is a much calmer happier bird!

John
 

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You will find many opinions amongst people and even here among members but for me, I agree with the non agrressive training for a p'let. Mine was a rescue and I had to win her trust. The word trust should be your mantra...That little p'let MUST trust you or you will never win it over to be the best little friend you could have. Please please put yourself in it's shoes. If you were scared and new and didn't know what would hurt you and what wouldn't how would you want to be treated. The cage is the only safe place the little thing knows now. Go slow and be kind.....go slow give it chance to accept you as a friend. You are not taming a lion just a tiny little intelligent bird. Good luck and keep us posted. By the way NEVER trust your p'let outside without being in a securley closed cage....NEVER.
 

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Memmey,

If the cage is locked tight, how will Pablo be able to visit Bitsey Jo? ;)

Regards,

Art S.
 
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