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Training and Bonding Give and recieve tips on training and bonding with your cockatiel here.

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Old 04-01-2017, 01:09 PM
Abstdh Abstdh is offline
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Default Update on re-taming cockatiel

A long time ago, I posted a thread about my cockatiel Fluffi, who hates human hands outside of her cage. I got a lot of great advice (thank you for that!) and I've been working with her.

We made some progress, but then she laid eggs in February, and afterwards I had to restart.

Right now, she's at the point where she's 80% okay with being petting inside the cage with my hand in the cage (as opposed to sticking a finger through the bar, which was the only petting she liked previously). She will also step up on my hand if bribed with lots of millet, but I don't want to take her outside of the cage in case I lose her trust and she returns to her perch as soon as she is done eating. I feel like the only reason she's willing to step up is because there's something in it for her (in this case, the millet). I'd like to have her want to step up simply because she wants to interact with me, but I'm not sure about how to do that.

She willingly comes outside of the cage now, but is still very aggressive towards us. Yesterday, however, she walked up to my foot when I was sitting down and sat very close by, which she doesn't normally like to do. She still runs whenever I try and get her to step up, millet or no millet. All the training tips I've seen talk about birds that bite, not birds that run away every time you try and have them step up, so I'll have to find my own way to fix this.

I feel like we're at a standstill right now in terms of progress. I do the same thing every day (having her step up inside the cage with millet) but we are no longer making progress. Should I be patient and keep at it or try something else in addition to what I've been doing?
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:50 PM
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Haimovfids Haimovfids is offline
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Keep having the millet, but with each time, keep it further from your perch until it's behind your back. Soon, she'll step up, you'll wait a few seconds, and then give her the millet. After, you can extend the time with the millet behind your back until she doesn't even need the millet.

Until then, keep doing what you're doing. You need to fully gain her trust so she doesn't think you'll hurt her.
Old 04-02-2017, 10:54 AM
Abstdh Abstdh is offline
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Thank you for your advice!

I'm 99% sure that Fluffi is only stepping up for the millet. I tried showing her the millet and then closing my hand so she couldn't see it anymore; she stepped up with one foot on my finger and one foot still on the perch, then retreated when the millet disappeared, and I had to open my hand again before she was willing to come back on. So even if I took it slowly, I doubt that I'll ever be able to get her to step up without millet. At this point, I can't make "step up" a command, only a request using bribery, and I don't know how to transition.

As for moving my hand further, when the millet is still in sight, I tried doing that, but there's a point when the hand is so far away she decides it's not worth it and ignores the millet. I'll probably still do this, but moving... a millimeter per day...
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