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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Taming and Bonding


Taming and Bonding Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to TRUST you. This requires time and patience and does not happen overnight.

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Old 11-29-2016, 01:40 PM
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Default Very strange behavior

After about a month, I decided to let my budgie out of her cage so that she can get some exercise and flying. After flying around for some hours, she got used to the enviroment (she wouldn't move at all at first). She seems much happier outside the cage and much more active. She wouldn't go back into the cage, so I was worried she could starve. After a short chase, I brought her back in. She seemed very sad and skittish, she kept looking at the cage door. Now out again, she seems very happy and relaxed. I can even get really close to her and do exercises and she won't even care. She only gets scared when I get too close, especially with my hand. Anybody have any idea what I'm supposed to do in this peculiar stuation?

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Old 11-29-2016, 03:25 PM
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Have you read the stickies in the Taming and Bonding Section of the forum yet?

Concentrate on the one about Positive Reinforcement and then move on to the one about clicker training.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:34 PM
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I have. And even though she isn't really scared, she's still uncomfortable enough with me and only eats when I'm not around or I'm occupied with something else in the room. But when I talk to her, she gets really chirpy and flies back and forth in the room. Should I keep her outside the cage? Right now, I just have to communicate and keep my distance a bit
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:40 PM
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It's best that budgies have both in-cage time and out-of cage time. Rather than trying to catch her when it is time for her to go back in her cage, try using positive reinforcement methods to teach her.

I have untamed budgies that go back in their cage because I've used positive reinforcement training to teach them they will get a reward when they do so.

Initially, when I was ready for them to go back in the cage I would first dim the lights and pull down the shades in the room. If the radio or TV was on, I turned it off.

Then I would stand by their cage and ringing the bell on one of their toys while telling them, "It's time to go in your cage now!"

Once they went back into the cage, they were given a small bit of millet.

This method worked well and they now go in the cage when asked to do so without the lights being dimmed or the blinds lowered and the TV or radio can stay on.

Getting the millet reward is the best part of "going back home".

Additionally, work on building her trust so you can teach her to step up.

(Substitute "her" for him in the following)
Taming and Bonding is all about helping your budgie learn to trust you and it takes a great deal of time and patience on your part.
You should never grab your budgie or force him to be touched.
To bond with your budgie, you need to build his trust in you.
He will have to learn over time that you will not hurt him, grab him and try to force him to allow you to hold him.

To build your budgieís trust, sit by his cage and read, talk or sing quietly to him for a period of at least 10-15 minutes, 3 or 4 times day. After the 2nd or 3rd day, rest your hand on the outside of the cage when you talk to him so he'll learn that your hand is safe and will not hurt him.

After a week, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Donít make sudden moves, donít try to touch him.
Let his get used to the idea that the hand is now in his safe place and not harming him.

After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If he becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until he calms down. When he's comfortable with your hand near him, you can offer him a bit of millet or a few seeds. In a few more days, you can begin your taming and bonding sessions.

Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly to him whenever you interact with him.

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Old 11-29-2016, 03:57 PM
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I don't think she'll cooperate with me like that. She won't even attempt getting into the cage if I'm near it :/
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:09 PM
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I work with foster budgies and sometimes have some very untame ones. I start by putting a treat cup in the cage. I occasionally drop a small piece of millet in it and make a mouth click. They all eventually figure out what the treat cup is and when I have put something in it. When I want them to go back in the cage, I let them see and hear me drop something into the treat cup and they learn very quickly to return to the cage. Helps for there to be a daily routine as well. It also helps for there to be perches, etc. on and near the outside of the cage so that M. Budgie has a reason to be near the cage in the first place.
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Old 11-29-2016, 05:10 PM
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Then it is important that you work on building her trust with you slowly over time. Every time you "catch" her you are going to lose whatever trust she's managed to build toward you.

If she doesn't have food and water available to her outside the cage and you dim the lights, she should easily head back into her cage at that point as it is her safe place.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:25 PM
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I tried to build trust. I really did. But whatever progress we made would just reset randomly one morning. I don't know what I'm doing wrong

Anything that would've improved over the course of three weeks would just randomly disappear when I wake up at one point and just see her stiffened at the edge of her cage. Like nothing ever happened. I let her out of the cage out of pure desperation, since she had no real physical activity in one whole month

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Old 11-29-2016, 08:31 PM
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You simply need to start over from the beginning.
Sometimes there are set-backs.

You will have to be patient and go only at your budgie's pace.
Some budgies take longer than others to build trust.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:23 AM
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Well, she found her own way back to the cage in the morning. And I haven't seen her this happy in a while. She even chirps back and approaches slightly when I talk to her. Since she knows her way in and out, I think I can leave the door so she can go out when she wants to (because when I close the cage door, she gets really anxious and agitated). I figure I can talk to her and build trust anywhere in the room
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