Daily reminder that Ankhou is basically a five year old with wings...
Usually, I’m impressed to the moon and back over how freakin’ smart that means he is. ^v^
And I forget that he’s still basically equivalent to a toddler.
Here lately, stress from quarantine restrictions and my recent heart attack have been driving him to lash out with especially intense ferocity at my husband.
And I’ve been inadvertantly rewarding him by repremanding him.
It’s easy to forget that negative attention is better than *no* attention to intensely social species.
Ankhou’s ENTIRE existance revolves around basking in my attention.
He does not consider quiet time existing together to be peaceful.
If I’m not looking at, petting, or talking to him, he thinks he’s being ignored.
All my attention is on my husband when he gets home, especially if he’s had a lousy day and feels like garbage.
And NOTHING gets more of my attention faster thsn Ankhou attacking my husband with the intention of making him hurt.
Ankhou knows where and how he can grab to get attention without causing any pain, and you can tell when he’s trying to initiate rough play because he will pinch and peck and grab very gently.
So, when he bites the tender soft meat between Mike’s toes and twists his head to dig in the pointed tip of his beak, he’s clearly doing his damnedest to hurt Mike on purpose.
And once he starts, he generally will NOT stop.
So I’ve been fussing at him, restraining him and kenneling him almost constantly when Mike is home.
Last night, it dawned on us that Ankhou isn’t generally beligerent when I’m not around.
Sure, he’ll pinch here and there, but it isn’t CONSTANT ceaseless harrying.
He doesn’t let Mike touch him, but Ankhou will sit on his knee, tummy, head, or shoulder, preen himself and Mike, and be generally sweet company.
So last night, instead of adding my disapproval, I turned away and ignored Ankhou completely when he started attacking Mike’s feet.
Lo and behold, when I wasn’t inadvertantly fanning the flames, Ankhou lost interest and quit biting at basically a polite request from Mike.
When Mike praised him with ‘Thank you’ or ‘good boy’, I joined in.
Lesson learned. Facts reminded.
Pidge are the cognitive equivalent of nonverbal, clingy toddlers.
They are absolutely brilliant! But they are still basically five year olds.
They thrive on, crave, and genuinely need attention, so attempting to repremand them can be more of a reward than a punishment when they are acting out because they feel ignored.