Teaching Your Bird To Behave
Birds with behavioural problems usually have social problems too. Sometimes behaviour issues with birds can be brought about by lack of interaction with owners, conflict with other animals or just because of sickness. It is important to identify the reasons why birds are showing negative behaviour so that you can eliminate the stress from your birds life.
Positive reinforcement is an effective method to train and tame birds. Positive reinforcement focuses on what birds want like food, a scratch, verbal praise, comfort and other similar things. Negative reinforcement, of course, is the opposite of this and is rarely successful in the long run.
Tips to treat negative bird behaviour:
- Frown at bad behaviour. Birds can pick up facial expressions and body movements. The best method of showing dissatisfaction towards your pet bird is by your body movements. Maintain eye contact when doing this.
- Turning your back on your birds or ignoring them also discourages them from bad behaviour as birds are a social creature.
- Tell your bird what they did was wrong in a low tone. But be concise and short as possible. Too much negative attention can have negative effects on your pet.
- Never hit a bird. Birds have fragile bones, physical force may injure them fatally. Bird abuse is also a cause of aggressive and vicious behaviour.
- Never compromise your birds health when disciplining them. Examples would be insufficient food and water supply, neglecting the cage and even bathing them. This can result into deep emotional and physical injuries.
- When giving birds food as rewards for their good behaviour, choose a food which they enjoy but rarely eat. Just be cautious of offering treats with too much sugar and fat. Alternative treats could include petting, and scratch them as positive reinforcements.
Severe aggression and viciousness may need to be treated with mood-modifying drugs. When having problems with your birds you can consult your avian behaviourist or your vet. However, any treatment will be ineffective if the issues causing the bad behaviour have not been addressed.
If you have notice any unusual or aggressive behaviour with your bird take them to your vet to make sure that medical issues are ruled out, as these can often result mood shifts in a bird too.
Do not be disappointed if your birds are not showing improvements immediately as attitudes don’t change overnight. Just as when disciplining children, consistency is the key when training your birds. Birds would understand what you would like to happen when you start being consistent with your method and ways.
Balance is the key to disciplining your pet birds. Of course you wanted to correct bad behaviour, but it is equally important to reinforce of point out the good behaviour.
This method may require hard work, patience and love. It may take a long time, but when you look at your happy pet bird, I think its going to be worth it.