Alexandrine parrot Rasta waving while on my hand
I’ve been training alexandrine parrot Rasta for 2+ months now…
But recently I lost his trust and I need to share why so that you don’t make the same mistake with your bird, or maybe you already have and didn’t realize why your sweet bird turned on you.
Way #1 – You pushed the fear threshold too far.
Alexandrine parakeet Rasta showing his threshold has been violated
We talk about the phases of fear and mistrust, actually Chet talks about it and what to look for, what the phases are and how to overcome them without blowing out your bird’s trust.
Here’s where I went wrong…
Alexandrine parakeet Rasta training
I had a training plan and I asked my husband, Dave, to photograph my training session with Rasta. Last you knew, he was stepping up on my hand with great ease (talked about this and showed photos and video in my last post) so I decided to move the location of this training to see if he would do it on other surfaces as well. I chose the parakeet cage as he loves it there. He was doing great and stepped onto my hand with one foot no problem. I had a feeling he would do it with both feet and asked Dave to take pictures, which he was doing until our puppy distracted him and Dave left the room with the camera and of course, Rasta stepped onto my hand with both feet. I was THRILLED! And then disappointed because Dave wasn’t there to capture the moment.
Well, this whole thing for Rasta was a big under-taking and I was pushing his fear threshold pretty far.
Way #2 – “One More Time” Syndrome.
Alexandrine stepping up on my hand with one foot before threshold was broken
So I told Dave to get it this time, and that I would do it ONE MORE TIME…
I had not planned on doing it again, and I knew it was pushing Rasta and that’s why I had planned on the one session and ending it on the fact that he did it. But because a picture wasn’t taken, I told myself I would do it one more time.
One more time syndrome is the death of a good training session. If you ever catch yourself saying, “That was great! Now, just ONE MORE TIME…” stop!!!!! STOP THE TRAINING SESSION! End where you just did something great. Don’t push it.
Because this is what my one more time ended up looking like…
Rasta was pushed too far for too long and bit me.
Way #3 – Focusing on something other than the animal in training.
Instead of knowing better and saying, well, Dave missed it but next session we will put the puppy out and then do the same thing so he gets it… I was too focused on getting the photo and thinking about writing about the journey than I was on just focusing on what was in Rasta’s best interest.
If I hadn’t cared so much about showing it all, I would have never pushed for that one more time and in turn, would not have gotten bit because I would have ended the session positively.
It’s not the puppy’s fault, it’s not Dave’s fault and it’s not Rasta’s fault… it’s mine.
Can trust ever be regained again?
Alexandrine happily stepping up before on table before moving to new training location
Now, where to go from here? Well, that’s easy for me to know and we talk about how to regain lost trust when we walk you through the phases of fear and mistrust.
Yes, the trust can be regained. In fact while pouting about my mistake I was feeling so down in the dumps about being bitten that I wasn’t doing anything with Rasta the whole day but feeling bad and I was on my laptop and he climbed down and was inches away from my face looking at me like, ‘Why did we stop hanging out? We can work through this, you know…’
It can be worked through. And that’s what I plan on doing by using the techniques taught to totally transform any parrot.