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I got a cockatiel from my friend at school almost two weeks ago now. His name is Smokey and he's seven, turning eight, years old. He had a pretty poor life at his old home with my friend and her family. They loved him to bits, but after training and socializing him, he got neglected and for a couple of years he hardly got taken out of his cage.

Due to how he was treated, he is very aggressive, is scared of hands and although he loves being whistled and talked to, he refuses to corporate during training and to come out of his cage. By aggressive, I mean that he lunges, hisses, bites, nips and will hang off your hand with his beak if he gets a good enough grip.

I hand trained my budgie, he was a lot younger and easier to train than Smokey and was never aggressive at all. I'm not use to training an aggressive bird at all, but I do have basic experience when it comes to training birds as I've done it a couple of times.

I would greatly appreciate any tips people have on training an aggressive birds that is as old a Smokey (seven, almost eight, years). I'm not sure if I have to do things differently with an aggressive bird that is an older age, that's why I'm asking for help :) Thanks!
 

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I started training mine at age 15. It works slower than with younger tiels, but it works if you have the patience. Just take your time and don't push him. If he likes when you talk to him, do that. Don't lift or try and pet him if he doesn't want to. It will only make him more scared, not tamer. But talk to him, sing to him... Is there any treats he loves? I guess you can't handfeed him yet, but place them in his food bowl and make sure he sees you doing it. Stay in his room, make him used to you beeing there. He needs to come to you, you can't push yourself on him.
 

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Thank you for the quick reply! :)

Smokey does take millet from my hand outside the cage hesitant free and inside the cage a little more hesitantly but still eagerly. I have a few more training sessions to do before he will even think about taking seed from my hand and I'm more than willing to be that patient with him.
He is already use to human socialization inside his cage and will run straight up to me when I walk over to talk to him. If he replies and whistles back to me when I talk and whistle to him and if he gets excited when I walk into the room, do you think he's used to me, but just not hands?
 

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training tips

It sounds like you're on the right track! As Crow said, be patient with him. Just keep talking, offering treats (millet can work wonders! :) ) It's a shame he was neglected for so long. It may take a while for him to warm up to you. But he will see you love him, are his friend and will gradually become your friend, too! Best wishes!
 

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do you think he's used to me, but just not hands?
Yes. Most tiels are scared of hands, whether they've been neglected or not. My tiel will heartwing me and sing, dance or make a show to get attention, but hisses and pulls away if I get near him with my hands. And he wasn't handled before I got him, so no one has hurt him with their hands. He allows me to pick him up, but states very clearly that he hates it. The only person allowed to touch him is my boyfriend. Elvis loves him more than the world it seems.
 
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