Engage the bird’s curiosity and more than likely he will begin to lean his body towards you or possibly offer his foot, asking to be picked up. But first he will require a few moments to get to know you, allowing him to relax and become curios enough about you to invite you into his personal space. Once he becomes more familiar and trusting with you, his personal boundaries will probably soften a bit, although they will not disappear completely. All family members should be taught to respect a birds wariness, and to practice gentleness and patience in their approaches.
Creating a Bond of Trust
Before you attempt to hand tame a Quaker that is not familiar with you, there are a few things you must understand. One is that it is in a birds nature to be dominant. Its instincts tell it that the dominant bird is the safest bird. A dominant Quaker, the “leader of the flock”, is the boss. Therefore, all responsibility for the flock falls to him. The other birds look to him for guidance, safety, and acceptable behavior.
When you take a Quaker into your home, you and your family become the “flock”. Therefore it will be time to see who is the leader of the flock–a test of your authority. None of you will ever behave like proper Quakers, so allowing our bird to be the dominant one will only lead to confusion frustration, and a bird that is out of control.
Your attitude when working with your Quaker should be confident. If you show nervousness or hesitate, you are signaling that you are not in control, and he may challenge your authority.
Your Quaker’s background is important. Is he a baby, or has he been weaned for a while? With a baby you can teach him from the very start that he is not the leader, although he may test you a few times. On the other hand, an older bird will have no problem learning in a very short time that he is not, the leader, IF he has had ongoing training, socializing, and nurturing from the time he was a baby. Too often, baby Quakers who have been trained correctly at an early age turn dominant, bossy and downright evil as they get older, simply because their training and socialization didn’t continue on an ongoing basis. A few basic but important rules that follow should be your bible in training a Quaker.