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How To Teach A Parrot Not To Bite

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Does your parrot try to peck or bite you anytime you stick your hands in their cage? Some owners may brush this behavior off as typical behavior that doesn’t pose a problem, but it can actually be quite dangerous. If a small child were to try and pet your parrot, they could lash out and potentially cause a pretty nasty injury. Even in adults, strong bites by grown parrots can result in open wounds. The bottom line is that you need to teach your parrot that biting is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated. Doing so will give you the peace of mind knowing you aren’t going to get poked when sticking your hand in their cage.

Ideally, you should start teaching your parrot the boundaries of what’s acceptable and what’s not when you first bring them into your home. The earlier you instill these basic principles, the easier it will be for them to catch on. With that said, no parrot is too old to teach. Even if they are 10 or 20 years old, you can still show them that biting isn’t tolerated.

Understand Reasons For Biting

First and foremost, you should try to identify the reason why your parrot is biting. Contrary to what some people may believe, parrots rarely bite for no reason at all. There’s usually an underlying factor that triggers a biting response, and it’s up to you to find out what this is. One of the most common reasons parrots bite is out of fear. If they feel threatened or backed into a corner with no other way out, they will likely bite as their body’s natural defense mechanism. Take the time to talk to your parrot to try and relax them before placing your hands in their cage. And when you go to pet them, use slow and gentle movements to show them you aren’t a threat.

Another common reason why parrots bite is because they are territorial. In nature, parrots hold their ground against aggressors, so they may exhibit this same behavior in captivity. If you believe your parrot’s biting is the result of territorial aggression, you must teach them that biting is unacceptable. Only then will they allow you to stick your hands in their cage without getting pecked.

What To Do When a Parrot Bites

How you react when a parrot bites you will lay the foundation for their behavior. If you simply brush it off with no real response, your parrot will continue to bite you in the future. They will assume it’s perfectly acceptable since there are no repercussions for this behavior. On the other hand, letting them know that what they did was wrong will help teach them their boundaries.

When your parrot bites you, speak to them in a firm manner “NO,” and immediately ignore your parrot for the next 15-20 minutes. Parrots are highly social creatures that crave the attention of others. By ignoring your parrot, you are disciplining them for biting. Some owners may also use a water bottle to spray their parrot after being bitten, but this usually isn’t necessary. A firm “NO” followed by ignoring them is all it takes to teach them not to bite.

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Nicole is a content contributor for Bird Cages Now. Nicole enjoys writing about pet care, and much more. She orders all of her bird cage accessories and more from

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