Dreyfuss is a bird who – if I’d let her – would spend her entire day sitting next to me or on me, frequently with her head down for rubs. So how was it that this sweet girl (who actually may be a boy but I’ve never had her sexed) would lunge at my arm, and even bite it, when I’d put my arm in front of her body before asking for a ‘step up’ from her inside cage perch?
This is an inside look at how I used behavior analysis and systematic desensitization to work through a very serious behavior issue in my house – solving parrot aggression. NOTE: this article was written for Hyde Park Living over a year ago.
Note: This is a past column from my Hyde Park Living pet behavior column.
Every once in awhile you have the opportunity to read about my personal stories as they pertain to modifying pet behaviors in the most positive, least intrusive ways. I’ve been studying this for nearly four years now. Not only has it completely changed my relationship with my three parrots, I find it absolutely fascinating.
(from my Hyde Park Living column)
Last month I explained the ABCs of behavior and we can use them as the most positive, least intrusive way of managing and modifying our pet’s behavior. This month I thought I’d show you a little how it works.
First, let me recap. Applied behavior analysis is a systematic approach to solving behavior problems by changing the environment in which the behavior occurs. It involves looking at the very specific behavior (such as a bird biting or screaming) and the related environmental context that signals and reinforces it. We ask, “What happened
(past Hyde Park Living column)
Do you know your ABC’s?
Well that’s a strange question you may be saying to yourself. Isn’t this a pet behavior column?
Yep, it sure is. And the ABC’s I’m talking about are not related to spelling words. They are instead what I have been taught to help me understand why a behavior occurs so that as a pet owner and teacher, I can effectively set my animals up for success by influencing their behavior in the most positive/least intrusive way.
(a Hyde Park Living column written a number of years ago when my dear Chester was still with us)
In the days before Barnaby joined our flock, there was just Chester, Dreyfuss and me living together in a large two