Training Your Indian Ringneck Parrot
The indian ringneck has it all. They are some of the best talkers among the many parrot species. They have beauty and they have brains. However, like all extremely intelligent parrots, they are focused on what they want and are not at all ashamed to use their intelligence to manipulate the humans in their lives.
Sometimes they use their special skill set purely for entertainment – they love to make us laugh, but more often they use manipulation to modify OUR behavior. If this information surprises you, imagine your shock when you realize your bird has been doing just this, without your knowledge, all along.
Birds learn from experience. If their experience with you has been that they can control your actions with screaming and/or biting, why would they not automatically resort to these behaviors when they want something?
The humans on the receiving end of these behaviors tend to feel that their parrots are being spiteful when they scream or bite. In reality, it is nothing more than common sense. If screaming has been the behavior that always results in you opening the cage door, then that is what they will do.
Biting is a common problem with the indian ringneck. Like other parrots in the psittacula genus, such as the alexandrine or derbyan parakeets, the majority prefer their experience with their humans to be mostly hand-off. Don’t get me wrong, they make wonderful companion parrots, as long as you don’t expect them to indulge in cuddling.
Because many people don’t understand this about their indian ringneck, they have the tendency to force their affections on the bird in an effort to guide them into feeling comfortable with handling. However, it has the opposite effect and their indian ringneck will pull further away and eventually refuse any contact at all. When hands persist, they are likely to be bitten.
Just because your indian ringneck doesn’t cling to you for attention, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t always step up and allow you (or your vet) to handle them when it is necessary. A trained bird will always be physically manageable.
Training is as much about bond building as it is about the actual training. While your bird learns about targeting, he is also learning about you and your trustworthiness. In the end, it is trust that gets your bird to step up without fear or biting, and training is the best way to get to that place with your bird.
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