How To Stop a Parrot From Chasing Toes and Feet
Why do parrots chase and try to bite our toes and feet?
Two points only a parrot can appreciate.
- What other body part choice gets us moving as quickly when chased?
- How conveniently placed are they for a parrot comfortable with terrain travel, to attack and retreat?
Getting a parrot to stop doing something isn't about stopping, it's about starting something more interesting or rewarding. The longer your bird has been enjoying this type of game or warfare while enjoying the entertainment and rewards, the longer it's going to take to convince them you've got something better. So, let's give them a new object and reclaim our feet!
You've got two options.
- A better offer.
- There is no two.
Get two tube socks. Roll one sock up and push it inside and to the end of the first sock to make a flat end padding. Drop in some bells after that. Or maybe clunky measuring spoons. Noise is your goal. Knot the end of the tube sock.
A slipper similar to the one that belongs to you. Stuff the slipper with baby socks.
These are offered on the floor. These are not foot toys for their feet to carry off, but a game on the floor instead of your feet.
Dissect the trigger moments leading up to foot, toe, slipper chase to time your option offer. At that trigger moment introduce the idea of getting excited about the new object. Toss or place option between you and your parrot.
Let's say you sit down for coffee in the morning, and that's when your parrot, Noodles, starts the morning "under the table toe attacks". Before that, you made coffee, grabbed the newspaper, set them on the table and finally grabbed your glasses and sat down. Noodles was happy on his play top, but now he comes scrambling down. He's been watching since the coffee machine steamed. He's ready! You are curling your toes, hoping he just won't.
So, when do you offer the new object? At the first act. You set the coffee, newspaper, AND the option down. You drop that object on the floor and get a good CLANG out of it.
"WHAT'S THAT?" thinks Noodles. Why he's practically frozen in surprised joy!
He's already stopped thinking about your toes. There's a new ballgame in town.
Pick the object up, rattle it. Grab your glasses. Drop the object with a nice CLANG.
"WHAT'S THAT?" thinks Noodles. He has already claimed the object as his.
Pick up the option, rattle it. Sit down with the object in hand.
He's coming for that object now, not your toes. Noodles scrambles down, you toss the option on the floor within reach. Noodles beats feet to the offer.
Let him have it.
He MAY or may not go back to your toes, but if he does, he will drop the object. Get it, whether you have to get up or not. Rattle it. Drop it. Do not sit back down until he goes for it. Create a second identical toy to toss out. That'll scramble his thought omelet.
Your morning coffee will be a bit weird for a while, but in the long run, the new object is the game and not you. Eventually, you can change things up and insert items that make different noises, change the color of the sock, how it's knotted etc. This is how you reclaim your feet and toes.
I REALLY NEEDED that article! My two Greys have recently become overly interested in my clogs while I am wearing them. ATTACK is their goal. NOOOOOOO! Is my answer. Of course that doubled the fun. I got new clogs with no air holes to protect my feet, but I am still very uneasy and they of course have latched on to that. I am going to put together two socks and hope my clogged feet will live a bandaged free life!!
Carol Buess on