Too early for bluffing?

Bec90

Regular Member
Registered
Evening everyone,

So I'm wondering if my baby has started bluffing. He'll be 13 weeks on Thursday, is this too early??
He is very nippy if we put our hands or anything near him. He'll bite our ears etc and if we try step up he will lunge for us and bite.
I can be talking calming with Rio through the cage and he'll be watching and listening, next minute his lunging trying to get to me.
I'm just wondering if we are experiencing the bluffing stage x
Many thanks
 
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Kendra

Regular Member
I am not sure what you mean by him bluffing. Sounds though at the moment he does not wish you too near him, so maybe step back and just wait until he is approaching you, you need a lot of patience with parrots.

@Michael Reynolds @Roz What do you think?
 
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Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
I'm also not sure what you mean about the bluffing stage. There is no bluffing. Behaviour is behaviour. If he is nipping then something is reinforcing it. Maybe you are asking too much of him too soon. Maybe you are too close and he is not comfortable. If you want him to step up, you need to reinforce (reward) it with something he will work for... eg a favourite treat, etc.
 

Bec90

Regular Member
Registered
I'm also not sure what you mean about the bluffing stage. There is no bluffing. Behaviour is behaviour. If he is nipping then something is reinforcing it. Maybe you are asking too much of him too soon. Maybe you are too close and he is not comfortable. If you want him to step up, you need to reinforce (reward) it with something he will work for... eg a favourite treat, etc.
I'm ever so confused then as I've researched and spoken to many parrot keepers and bluffing is a thing. I just wanted to know if 13 weeks was too early
 

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Lauraj

Regular Member
I have not heard of the term bluffing before.
I have also found behaviour like this is either my mistake and pushing the birds too far.

Bo my grey loves to nibble ears, he does this playfully and doesn't ever apply pressure. He has never done this in a nasty way.

It sounds as though your bird doesn't want to do what you are asking if it, i have been lunged at before mainly by my parrotlet when i have misread her body language.
Maybe try take it back a step as you could be moving a bit fast. I did the same with my parrotlet at first and saw many birds online stepping up, kissing, cuddling etc and wanted her to do the same. I quickly learnt she will do things at her own pace and me pushing her has a negative impact and causes our trust to break down. As soon as i slowed down and went at her pace i had a much happier parrot and our relationship blossomed 😊
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
This can be rectified and a few birds will go through the stage that they call bluffing, I call it testing there beak stage, Ok so the best way to stop your birds biting is to do what a parent bird will do touch its toes or tap them gently, thirteen weeks is not too early for a ringneck to go through this but it dose not normally last too long.
 

Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
"Bluffing", "terrible twos" and other such labels are not helpful. Whatever someone decides to call a set of behaviours, it doesn't tell you how to deal with them. You can only work with observable behaviour and you described it so well as...

He is very nippy if we put our hands or anything near him. He'll bite our ears etc and if we try step up he will lunge for us and bite.
I can be talking calming with Rio through the cage and he'll be watching and listening, next minute his lunging trying to get to me.
There is a reason for each of the above scenarios and the reason certainly isn't bluffing, but rather in reaction to what the human is doing. If the human wasn't there he wouldn't bite. The reason for the ear biting is probably very different to the lunge/bite you receive when you ask him to step up.

I'd do everything in my power to read his body language and heed it, thus avoiding the lunges and bites. The more he lunges and bites the more he is learning to lunge and bite. Positively reinforce behaviours you want to see more of and be careful not to reinforce undesired behaviours.
 
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