(This is one of my past Hyde Park Living columns)
My whole fascination for the study of behavior science was founded over 12 years ago on an international list started by Dr. Susan Friedman (a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the use of Applied Behavior Analysis with companion animals). Having that knowledge and support helped me to transform my Timneh African Grey, Barnaby, from an incessant screamer into a bird who talks human to me all day. And it has so changed my relationship with all of my pets.
Below is an excerpt from a paper presented at the ABMA Conference, 2004 on the art and science of behavior and training from Steve Martin, president of Orlando-based Natural Encounters, Inc., from his decades of pursuing the art of training. Below Steve’s comment is one from Dr. Susan Friedman (my first teacher and mentor in learning
(This one of my past Hyde Park Living columns.)
Many unwanted behaviors like pulling on a leash, growling, barking, or biting are blamed on dominance. “They’ve got that alpha dog thing going on.”
(a past Hyde Park Living column)
Screaming is one of those behaviors many bird owners complain about because they can’t seem to get the behavior to stop. And let’s face it…that noise isn’t exactly pleasant – at least to most of us.
Eleven years ago I was among the statistic of those who blamed Barnaby for making a noise I couldn’t live with. Just like so many other bird owners, I tried everything I had heard to try. I tried putting him in his cage, talking to him in quiet words, telling him “no”, ignoring him. All to no avail.