*** A Client’s Post In Our Members Area ***
I bought a 2 year old African gray about two three months ago. For some reason he doesn’t like me, but he doesn’t hate me either. I am the one taking care of him all the time, but he loves my wife. My wife doesn’t even do nothing for him but he loves my wife. He likes me when i give him treats but when i want to pet him or play with him he wants to attack me. He would let my wife touch him anywhere on his body and they play together just fine. The only time he will step up on my hand is when he is not near his cage, but when he is near his cage he acts like he is the boss. He wont be scared or anything when i walk close to him or his cage, but he wont let me play with him or touch him.
Can anyone please help me
>>> My Comments:
A couple things came to mind when I read this post in our members area…
The first thing I noticed while reading this post is something that I hear from TONS of people, and I want to put it out in the open so there’s no confusion.
This client writes, “I am the one taking care of him all the time, but he loves my wife. My wife doesn’t even do nothing for him…”
Let me say something that might not go over very well, but that needs to be understood:
Parrots are not like us!
They don’t sit around in their cage thinking about how wonderful you are for cleaning his dirty cage, or how thoroughly you scrubbed a slimy food bowl so he could have clean water.
And they most certainly don’t care about how many hours you spend every week cooking or preparing food for them.
Your spouse might appreciate it when you do an especially nice job of cleaning up the house, but your parrot could care less.
So when I hear people writing to me about how their parrot should appreciate them more for all the good things they do for them… I think it’s time for a bit of a reality check.
Don’t get me wrong…
Cleanliness, and healthy foods are important.
We don’t want your bird to die of a bacterial infection or anything.
But it has nothing to do with how much your parrot will like you.
To get your parrot to like you, you need to find his “Love Language” — the things that motivate him the most, and the thing he LOVES.
There’s actually a great book on this topic called, “The 5 Love Languages”.
In the book it talks about how almost all conflicts us humans have in our lives stem from us not realizing that different people want to be loved in different ways.
Some people want you to spend time with them, some appreciate gifts, many like being “Told” how appreciated they are, others like it when you do small favors for them, and theirs another group of people that only feel loved if their held or touched in a loving manner.
And whatever “Love Language” we have personally, we tend to try to give THAT kind of love to other people when we want to show affection.
So for example…
If you’re the kind of person that really loves it when someone you love spends Quality Time with you, and you’re married to someone who tends to show their love in another area like ‘doing favors for you’ but not spending lots of time with you…
You end up with a situation where you are TRYING to love another person in a way they DON’T want to be loved.
So the trick is in ALWAYS trying to find out how the other person wants to be loved, and loving them in THEIR way — NOT YOURS!
Hopefully you’re starting to see how you might be loving your bird in the wrong way too?
Because birds have their own ‘Love Languages’ and they aren’t quite like ours
So don’t try to love your bird the way YOU want to be loved.
If you’re the kind of person who really likes to snuggle, hug and kiss the people you love, it would serve you well to realize that not all birds like to be snuggled and kissed.
From what I can tell, these are the major categories of a bird’s ‘Love Language’:
1) Quality Time
2) Tasty Treats
3) Active Play
4) Pleasant Touch
And each individual bird responds better to one type of “Love” over another.
For example, when I was baby sitting my brother’s Military Macaw, Cash, I was able to use food to motivate him to do a few things…
But he really needed to be allowed lots of ‘Active Play’.
So I would set up situations where I would make him do a behavior like step up onto my hand, and not reward him with food for doing so, but instead reward him with being allowed to play on a foraging tree with lots of toys he could try to dig food out of — or do a flight training session.
His reward was to be physically active.
If I had tried to give him too much of another type of love, like Treats, or Touch he would nip at me and get upset.
He wanted to PLAY.
And until I realized that PLAY was his number one ‘Love Language’ and motivator, I was fighting an up hill battle.
This is why I think so many people struggle with parrot training…
They try to get the bird to want the kind of love THEY want to give, and don’t focus enough on trying to understand how their bird wants to be treated.
If we all did a better job of trying to look at the world from our parrots point of view on this topic we’d have a world of much better behaved birds.
I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on this concept of “Parrot Love Languages”, and how it can help you change your parrots behavior.
This is the key behind why we were are able to walk into people’s homes and fix their parrots problems in One Day.
If you’d like to learn more about identifying these in your parrot, and techniques for using them in ways that cure your bird’s behavior issues, pick up a copy of our One Day Miracles – Parrot Training DVD series today.
Here’s the link again if you need it: http://www.birdtricks.com/miracles
Please leave a comment for me as well, I’m interested in hearing if you found this helpful.