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adrianscott's avatar

How do I teach my budgie to stop biting?

Asked by adrianscott (621points) March 19th, 2008

I’ve got a budgie which I have raised from about 6 weeks old… he’s over a year old now, and he tends to bit your fingers when he plays. This biting isn’t just little nibbles, it’s straight-up gnawing. Any suggestions?

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10 Answers

cornman's avatar

Uh…....what’s a budgie? I don’t want to google it.

ppcakes's avatar

its a type of bird if i’m not mistaken!

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Reward him for not biting.

adrianscott's avatar

@cornman Yeah, it’s a type of bird that is basically a small parrot. They originate from Australia and make really good pets! I highly recommend them if you’re looking for something a little different. See:

@MrKnowItAll I’ve considered that, though I think rewarding him for not biting would be similar to rewarding a dog for breathing, haha.

syz's avatar

It’s tough.

You can try teaching him to displace his biting – offer him something that he likes to chew on whenever he seems to be inclined to bite.

You can also use mild negative reinforcement. Yelling or physical retaliation won’t work. What you have to figure out what makes him uncomfortable and use it when he bites. A sharp puff of air in his face (blow on him), a sensation of falling (drop the hand that he’s sitting on a couple of inches) – whatever you do, you have to be consistent.

And, of course, be sure to reward him when he is behaving – treats, affection, whatever works.

Hand raised babies can actually be tougher – they don’t get the social training from their peers that other birds do. As a social animal, the would normally get feedback for inappropriate behavior (i.e., they’d get smacked for biting).

row4food's avatar

i would say to give him something to chew on while he’s not out and about with you, so he maybe gets it out of his system by the time you play with him.

we had a canary who loved cucumbers. (he didn’t come out of the cage because the dog would want to play and that would be bad) so i don’t know if that would stop him from biting you.

adrianscott's avatar

Thanks for your answers. I’ve attempted to give mild negative reinforcement, though I haven’t been all that consistent. I’ll give it a more enthusiastic ‘go’ and see what happens.

mcbealer's avatar

how your budgie training going?

adrianscott's avatar

He has his days, but I think we’ve come to an understanding that when he doesn’t want to be played with (i.e. he makes the “annoyed” noises) he’s more likely to nip at you.

Otherwise he’s been pleasant. I’ve tried to be consistent and blow in his face a bit when he starts to gnaw, and I think he’s learning. Slowly but surely.

mcbealer's avatar

@ adrianscott ~ good to hear !

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