Best way to discourage bonding to spouse?

Hey all (again),been doing quite a bit of lurking this week, just reading recent posts and trying to get a feel for everyone. I have another question about our new Goffins. He has been doing WAY better (stepping up is consistent-I think the fear was too much the first few days) and getting lots of out of cage time. I am trying to keep him to some sort of schedule like suggested. However, despite spending all day interacting with me (and supposedly not liking men) he has taken to my husband. Whenever Baby is out and Sean is home Baby just wants to be on/spend time with/play with my husband. Is there a way to discourage this? We have tried limiting the amount of time with my husband, not letting Baby sit on him, minimizing playtime with him…is there anything else I can do? This could be an issue since my hubby is in the military.

Figure out what the parrot likes so much about your husband, do more of that yourself, and have him do less of that so that the parrot can only get it from you.

I agree with Michael, but I have another thought on the matter. I’m no cockatoo expert, but I have dealt with several older cockatoos w/ issues. I don’t know how you personally are, but a lot of times people get a traumatized older animal and with all good intentions end up babying the bird, a lot of face time with it, woochie woochie-ing it, basically constantly in its face and personal space. I understand - you want it to trust you and come around. However, a bird that’s been ignored, neglected, traumatized, etc., doesn’t have a lot of trust in people. They don’t understand why you’re in its face and won’t leave it alone. Men (your husband) tend to be a bit more disconnected emotionally than women. Men generally have a more confident, calmer demeanor about them. I think an animal can feel that and a neglected unconfident cockatoo may gravitate towards that; feeling safer with this confident guy who’s not constantly in its face.I’m not saying to ignore and neglect this cockatoo like in the prior home. I’m saying maybe back off a little. Get in your feeding, cleaning routine; and then instead of trying to actively interact with the bird, put a chair next to its cage, get a good book, get some cockatoo enticing human snacks, ignore the bird, and eat the snacks. Cockatoos are social, I think it may start warming up to you on his own terms.BTW - regardless your husband’s in the military, what’s the problem with him and the bird bonding? In my early days I used to leave my birds for a month at a time.

Thanks for your insight guys. Ironically enough, that may be what my bird likes about my husband–he is more outgoing than I am. He keeps wanting the bird to dance and play and I am trying to warm up to him slowly because he gets nervous and fearful relatively easily. He has come around SO much in the last week, from shivering in his cage to literally dumping himself upside-down in my arms for head scritchies. I LOVE it (and him) so much. It is so rewarding. Hubby likes him so much (he was very apprehensive about a big bird) that he suggested we get another. I think I’m doing okay for now on the number of birds we have. No need to get in over my head.Anyway, one of the reasons I don’t want the bird bonding to him (the military thing) is because we don’t know where he’ll be or when he’ll be gone or for how long, and I don’t want to take away his favorite person for months at a time. He won’t understand that. To boot, if we ever get stationed overseas and I decide not to go (taking 4 birds-or 6, if I still have the parrotlets, is both expensive and challenging) I don’t want the bird stressing because Daddy isn’t around. Is that totally illogical? I guess I’m thinking of him more like I child that I can’t explain anything to since I don’t speak the language.PS. He does know how to step up, and is doing it excellently now! It was just too much the first couple of days.

I personally don’t see a problem with your husband and the bird developing a relationship and then your husband leaving - even for a couple of years. My early days of bird keeping I used to be gone for a month every summer, leaving the care of my animals to my mother. The first time I left my jenday and came back, she was clingy. I acted like nothing had happened and she very quickly got back to her old self. Each subsequent time upon my return she acted like I was never gone. My mother told me that when I left the bird sought her out for interaction. Same with “our” current goffin. Early in my marriage my husband got a baby goffin. We really couldn’t keep up with Sally. When she was five years old, we (ME) gave Sally to a friend of mine (F1) who’s also very into animals. She had Sally for three years, then gave Sally to another animally friend (F2). That animally friend had Sally for two years, then divorced and couldn’t keep Sally. Sally went back to F1. To this day she sometimes has extended visits for months at a time among ME, F1, and F2. Our communal experience has been that Sally does very well with being shuffled among this extended family, even if she hasn’t seen one of us for years. She remembers each of us and behaves differently with each of us. Animals live in the here and now. They don’t dwell and obsess over “where did dad go?” So long as they feel safe and secure they adapt very well. They also do take cues off of us for behavior. So if your husband leaves and you start acting differently, “Poor baby, daddy’s gone. You’re so sad.”, etc. the animal will probably start acting “off” because you are acting strange. Just look at the bird after one week with you guys after being locked away for months on end - she’s not dwelling on what her life’s been at her previous home.That’s just my personal view on this.

patdbunny wrote: Just look at the bird after one week with you guys after being locked away for months on end - she’s not dwelling on what her life’s been at her previous home…That makes perfect sense.

I don’t see it being a problem as long as his basic routine isn’t dependent on your husband and he is happy interacting with you. My experience with Scooter does make me question a bit patdbunny’s confidence that the bird won’t miss your husband when he is gone. Scooter gives every indication of being fine WHILE I’m gone, but he’s been mad at me consistently when I return from a few days absence. So I think they do have the ability to miss a person and to recall that and act on it. If I disappeared out of his life permanently, I have no doubt that he’d recover and get on with it, but he does seem to have some emotional depth when it comes to past present and future, and he’s just a GCC.I think you are on the right track encouraging healthy interaction with both of you.

I’m not saying they’re unemotional and will not miss her husband. Indeed they are incredibly sensitive and emotional creatures, and yes it will miss the husband initially. I’m just saying they don’t tend to dwell on it continuously like humans do. I’m only expressing my experiences with my birds. Different people will have different experiences with their animals as each relationship is different.Entranced - you have horses. You probably agree that arabs that don’t have “whoa” in their repertoire are not good first time horses. I would have to agree in general. But that’s what I ended up with six years ago. I’m not saying I’m a horse whisperer or anything close, but I had the confidence to work with them and now they’re as bombproof as can be. All I’m saying is that an owner’s expectations, behaviors and demeanor can be a determining factor in influencing an animal’s behavior, actions and reactions.

Isn’t it funny how birds and horses go together? I used to have horses.

Where’s Michael? Doesn’t he have a psych background? I’m really curious what someone with an educational background in psychology has to say.