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First Steps Of Training

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Pat

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First Steps Of Training
« on: May 21, 2012, 07:43:50 AM »

This is a method of training that I read on the internet, it's one that I have used with Charlie and Penny and yes it does work very well.  I have adapted it a bit but give it a go and please let me know the results, I think you'll find it will work within a week if you stick at it.

‘Touch Train’ your bird.   Basically it teaches the bird to touch the end of a stick so that you can control where your bird goes; with the end result of this training technique being that you can touch the stick to your hand and your bird will walk onto anything to touch the stick (specifically your hand).  It is the greatest technique for teaching your bird to come to you and step up without biting.  What about birds who are scared of the stick? If you’ve tried to touch
train your bird and he is afraid of the stick then write this down and don’t ever forget it:

    “You cannot train an animal a behaviour without bringing back every emotion it felt while it learned the behaviour!”

You cannot train a behaviour without also training an emotion.


If you train a scared bird to touch a stick (which is pretty easy to do if he’s hungry enough) what emotion are you training him to feel when he touches the stick?  You are training him to feel fear!

The instant the bird sees the stick he is shutting down and doesn't want to do any training. If you see your bird behaving this way stop immediately because you are using an incorrect technique for your birds current level of trust in you.  You need to switch to a technique that doesn’t train your bird to feel fear.


So, how do you make a bird happy on cue?

Training technique called "Capturing"

Capturing is when you reward an animal for doing a behavior that it did on it’s own free will WITHOUT your prompting.  All you need to do is give your bird a reward every time it does something that makes itself happy.  This causes your bird to start to constantly perform that activity as a way of ‘Begging You’ for rewards.

To do this behavior take a training clicker or if you don't use a clicker, heap loads of praise on your bird and simply start clicking and praising every time your bird does something that makes itself happy… then go over and give your bird a treat.

   Tip:  For faster results remove your birds favorite treat from his diet for the rest of his life, except as a reward for interacting with you.

Here’s why this is so effective…

Have you ever noticed how birds tend to not talk when new people come over?
African Grey parrots are notorious for being SUPER talkers and then never saying a word in front of a stranger.  This is because strangers make them feel uncomfortable.  So a good rule of thumb to remember is that if your bird is talking, it’s in a pretty good mood.

Which means you have a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of the
training principal I mentioned above:

  “You cannot train an animal a behaviour without bringing back every emotion it felt while it learned the behaviour!”

Since bird’s let us know that they are happy by talking, we have a wonderful opportunity to reward that behavior with a click of our clicker and a tasty treat to teach even fearful birds that training with us, and the clicker are fun!

What a much better first training lesson to give your birds then teaching them that the stick is scary.

By having Speech Training be the first method that you teach your bird you are adding NOTHING negative to his or her environment and actually getting your bird to get excited to see you.  If your bird doesn’t seem to like to learn then I would try this technique.

How To Teach Your Parrot To Talk

But What If Your Parrot Doesn’t Talk?

That’s just fine. Simply find another behavior to reward your parrot for doing.

Here are 7 Behaviors That You Might Try Clicking And Rewarding:

    Playing with a favorite toy
    Swinging
    Taking a bath in a bowl
    A misting from a spray bottle
    Fluffing up
    Whistling
    Preening – (Make sure they aren’t nervously preening but are relaxed.  You don’t want to train nervousness)

Any of these behaviors being put on cue will make the next step of training much easier.

If you do this for one week, clicking & treating 10-20 times a day every time your bird does something that makes it happy, by the end of one week you’ll have trained your bird to do a behavior you’ll be ready to take the next step to train your bird to interact with you.

Tezza

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2012, 08:56:56 AM »

Brilliant post Pat

Tezza
x
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Hodsonjr

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 01:53:26 PM »

Id like to try stick 'touch' training. Is there a way of me getting the bird used to the stick before I start training such as leaving it in view of his cage???
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Pat

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 02:05:26 PM »

I don't think there's any need of that really, he might be a little bit hesitant at first.  If he is really afraid, do it even slower, tell him "touch" or whatever word you want to use and when he looks at the stick praise him up.....then gradually move the stick closer.  You can use anything as a stick, lollipop stick, pencil, twig.  I use a stalk from millet (I've got smaller birds as well).  Just go with the flow and see what he's like.  Good luck, if you need any help, just give me a shout.

Pat

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 02:06:48 PM »

Hodsonjr

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 02:32:38 PM »

That's great help thank you!! I will see how I get on :D
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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 02:42:50 PM »

Pat's video is amazing.

Sydney is scared of sticks, and i replaced it with a light-green coloured pen, once they respond to the "touch" command it is amazing simple but so effective to achieve other things.

All it took was less than a day from watching the video and applying it to Sydney for him to be trained.

many thanks
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Pat

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2012, 03:18:50 PM »

It's surprising just what they will touch after they have learned that.  Charlie was on the top of Penny's cage the other day the only thing I had to hand was a blooming great dowel perch, I said "touch" and he came over to touch, I put the perch under him, he stepped up and I took him off the top of the cage.  It really is a good thing to teach them.  Also the "Drop It" command......that has been invaluable to me and Charlie.

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2012, 06:50:44 AM »

I had a go yesterday but he seems hesitant at taking treats from me so I have started with clicker training which already seems to be slowly working at getting him to take a treat. I'm Hoping once he is comfortable with taking treats from me I will be able to start stick training.
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Pat

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2012, 11:28:27 AM »

I started doing clicker training with Charlie, but then found he was making the noise of the clicker and that I didn't have enough hands to hold, stick, clicker and treat........so gave up on the clicker and just used loads of praise instead lol.

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Re: First Steps Of Training
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 01:05:41 PM »

Yeah I know what you mean about needing more hands :D
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