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Biting other family members


Hmlew
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We have Lulu, which is 7 months old and she's taken a liking to me more than anyone else in the family. So much so, that if I leave the room without her, she'll squeal really loud and she never tried to bite me. My husband is second if I'm not around. But our daughters, she no longer goes to and if they attempt to pick her up, she tries biting them. She does this to my husband as well, but only when I'm around. Is this normal, just a stage or is she already decided on her favorites? Is there a way to keep her from biting when trying to get her to step up? I'm just worried that if they needed to pick her up away from danger and she won't go to anyone else, I feel like that's a problem. 

 

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Greys more often than not will pick their favorite person. She's old enough now to have that happen. If she bites whenever your kids or husband try picking her up, then they must respect her wishes and keep to a 'hands off' approach when interacting with her for now. 

There's a training method where you target train them to step up onto a stick using treats as rewards. Until she's ready to step up for others, you could have her target trained.

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I appreciate your comment! I'm just curious to have one question answered. Will she continue this attitude towards them or no? Even with the stick and treats training.

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Not necessarily. What I will recommend is having each family member spend time near her speaking softly to her, even singing sweet nothing tunes and hand feeding treats. If she pins or ruffles her feathers, that's her queue she's uncomfortable with their proximity. Taking a step or two back will oftentimes resolve the discomfort. 

It's all about patience and learning to read their queues as to what makes them uncomfortable and then respecting it. If we push our agenda onto a grey, be prepared to have it declined. 

 

 

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In my experience, their relationships with other members of the household (other than the favored one) evolve and change as time passes. Greytness gave you good suggestions for the others in the family to build a relationship with LuLu.

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Their favourite person can change over time. I have always been Alfie's main/sole caregiver but I'm not always his favourite person. He took a shine to one of my previous housemates and he absolutely loves my mum, despite the fact we don't live with her. He is fine with me because I'm the only person he lives with now, so I think he just puts up with and tolerates me. I can't give him head scritches like my mum does. He absolutely melts when we go and visit her. It's sickening. 😂 

We went through a period of time when Alfie wouldn't step up for me and would bite instead. There had been a lot of changes and upheaval in the house around that time and I'd also decided to cut my hair short around the same time, so I think that irked him somewhat. A couple of times he flew to the back of my head just to bite me too. It put a real dent in our trust of each other so I had to take a big step back and go back to basics with him. I started target training and if I needed him to step up I'd use a perch, as I didn't have the confidence to present my hand/arm to him in case I got a bite. I found he has a love of pine nuts so they are reserved for training only- he doesn't get them in his food. We're doing so much better now. I can't remember the last time I got bitten because we have learned to trust each other again. If I ask him to step up he will now turn or step away if he's not ready instead of biting me. He knows I will respect his space and I will give him an option to say no to my request. I still can't give him head scritches very often... but I'll take it over being bitten any day!

If your family are still keen to work with Lulu then they probably need to take a step back and stop putting themselves in a position where a bite may occur. If you know which treats she will do anything for then get your family to offer those instead of you- so that they become a bit more desirable. Lulu will probably always have a favourite person but with patience, training and tasty treats, she might come to realise that the rest of your family are ok too and stop biting. It might be best to get Lulu stepping up on a perch for family instead of hands/arms for a while. And they can use target training so they can interact with her and reward her- but from a safer distance where a bite is less likely to occur. It's really important that each of your family members are confident and calm when interacting with Lulu. If they are nervous or scared then she'll pick up on that. So like others have said, they might just need to take a bit more of a hands off approach for now and slowly start to work with Lulu to regain trust and build a relationship with her.

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