Westerners tend to increasingly treat their parrots and other pets as family members by including them in family holidays, outings, even weddings, and sometimes in their obituaries, should the pet outlive their owner, or in memorials when the pet dies. As nonhuman family members, scientific research demonstrates that animal companions may provide important social support. By elevating the pet to the status of a quasi-human, they may have access to the latest consumer trends in animal care products and veterinary medicine, their own designer clothing, and other attributes to which the well-meaning pet owner may have access. However, isn’t much of this anthropomorphism?
When an inquiry came through last spring from a cockatiel owner, I flew at the chance to dig deeper into her concerns to assess if I could be of help.
Collaboration is a must to help with team success. My client was referred via her veterinarian to the IAABC website after expressing concern about how stressful medicating her cockatiel had become. This stress was not only being observed in her bird’s response to the restraint process, but generalized to their relationship at other times, as well. Hearing that her avian veterinarian supported a learning alternative to restraint through a positive approach, was music to my ears. Our collaboration had begun!
Laura Monaco Torelli is the founder and director of training for Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago, Illinois. She serves as faculty with the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior; is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, and Certified Parrot Behavior Consultant; and holds a TAGteach Level 2 Certification. She also collaborates with veterinary behaviorist John Ciribassi at Animal Behavior Partners and is a staff trainer with Dr. Ciribassi’s practice, Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants
When teaching behavior and training, getting students to give up control over the animal they are working with is one of the more difficult concepts for new trainers to embrace. Unfortunately when one says “training” to most people the mental image that comes to mind is a person having control over their training subject, indeed the majority of the general public thinks in terms of “commands” and not “cues.”
Sid Price is the owner and founder of Avian Ambassadors based in Tijeras, New Mexico. Sid presents Avian Ambassadors’ Flights of Education programs and is a frequent invited speaker at conferences and meetings around the USA and Europe on the subject of the ethical application of behavior science to bird training.
Elaine Henley, who lives in Scotland, is a companion animal behavioural counsellor who has been working with humans and their pets since the establishment of the Animal Behaviour Clinic & Take the Lead Dog School in 1997. Elaine received an Honours-Level Degree, Certificate of Applied Animal Behaviour, and later a Post-Graduate Degree Diploma, Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, from the University of Southampton. Elaine is a Full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC), a Registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC), and a Certified Parrot Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC).
A consultant from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants that is!
This blog was first published at http://www.birdchannel.com/parrot-training/iaabc.aspx on May 31, 2015.
So your avian veterinarian wants you to weigh your bird on a regular basis, but the little scamp won’t get on the scale and you keep ending up with chunks taken out of your hand. You asked for advice from three of your favorite bird lists but everyone has a different opinion, and let’s face it … some of those suggestions were downright scary. You’re not sure you can handle another bite like the last time.
Jackie loves those videos of parrots doing tricks and has been trying to get her macaw to play basketball. Only now the bird lunges at her whenever she gets near. Jackie doesn’t understand why her bird hates her all of a sudden.
Pat Anderson is an anthropologist, anthrozoologist, and archaeologist who has been studying the human-avian bond since 1999. Pat completed her PhD in anthropology at the University of Chicago (1998). She annually teaches a senior/graduate level course in Anthrozoology, the study of human-animal relationships, to students in the Zoo & Aquarium Studies Program and others at Western Illinois University where she is tenured as Associate Professor. Pat has presented her research into the human-avian bond both nationally and internationally to organizations such as the Annual Parrot Lover’s Cruise, the American Federation of Aviculture, the International Society for Anthrozoology, Midwest Sociology Annual Meeting, Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, and the Midwest Fur Fest. This research has resulted in a number of peer-reviewed conference presentations, peer-reviewed articles, a scientific book chapter, and book reviews. Pat is a co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Anthrozoös, which is published by the International Society for Anthrozoology.
Animals have always been a part of my life. Especially parrots and other birds are a large part of my family and my profession. After my degree as M.Sc. Biology I continued learning more about the human – animal – bond.
I came through my door this afternoon to that familiar voice that often calls out to me when I walk in. “Mommy here!,” it says. Yes, I admit I am a sucker for cute voices and especially when the voice is attached to my sweet, playful teddy bear of a bird – Barnaby – who came to live with me 13 years ago. But Barnaby’s vocalizations were not always among my favorite sounds. He is a typical Timneh African Grey after all who finds great fulfillment in repeating what has value to him. Unfortunately, when he was the new kid in the household, he figured it was pretty cool to mimic the occasional screams he heard from my other two birds. And he liked projecting his voice to ear piercing decibels.