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step up from cage advice please

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Author Topic: step up from cage advice please  (Read 1072 times)

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weeleighluigi

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step up from cage advice please
« on: December 14, 2015, 01:21:27 PM »

Hi guys,

Just working on the step up command with zack...

He will do it out his cage but not in it. I can put me hand in, he does bite but very softly, I normally try the command a few times then leave him, then try again in a while.... am I reinforcing bad behaviour by letting him win? He will step up very easily when out his cage..... I just am worried he will be a cage bird, which I don't want for him, can't be a nice way to live but he is so adamant about not stepping up in his cage....

Before anyone suggests..... he is terrified of sticks. I have placed his toys (from previous owner) in his cage which he doesn't touch, as well as a home made straw toy and a jingle ball. He seems scared of his toys.... he just seems happy to sit in his cage.... I'm determined to get him to come out happily using step up but I have read loads of conflicting methods.

Any help would be great. ... I have had him a week, he is really chatty and will eat from my hand in the cage, happy while I change bowls and paper, just won't step up.
Do I just keep trying?
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2015, 03:49:26 PM »

The link I sent you to about empowering parrots does it step by step. Those articles are by the lady that came up with abc training(iirc). You'll see plenty of behaviourists and animal trainers saying this is the only way.

The old stuff about dominating and forcing is pretty well shunned on. It's about shaping behaviour so first seed from hand after command, then a little stretch to get reward,  then a foot on your hand, then both, then out. You work with what they give you at their pace.

It's a funny one as in winning, aim to not get the beak involved. I'd add your unlikely to have win or lose yet. He's not worked out working with you is in his benefit yet. I would try not to get the beak involved. The real question is are you rewarding or gaining trust. They're as far removed from dog training as you can get. It's about what's in it for them. If you find my cage, recall and perch video, I highlight some flaws more importantly you see me pause due to me knowing I'd get a refusal. Aim is not to get refusals but that's our part not theirs, by not pushing too far, not doing it for too long or simply just reading them knowing that now isn't a good time.

A week is a short time I've had a pink perch I can't get near them with must be 6 weeks now. The room is probably full of unknowns everything is a potential threat that's going to eat him. You've done well to get your hand accepted.

I'm a great believer in not forcing birds you have a better relationship if you ask and it's done for you. You need to encourage the small steps. Your first aim is to get one foot on your hand it's not a race. A relationship built on trust is valuable one, it does mean it's a 2 way St though. By not forcing and removing yourself you're building trust.

I posted this a while ago http://www.africangreyparrotcentre.co.uk/african-grey-forum/index.php?topic=31336.0
Articles all parrot owners should read...

Willow took years before he became a rug rat. No reason why not sister has been doing it for years.
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weeleighluigi

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2015, 04:49:47 PM »

Thanks for your reply feather monkey.

I will have a look at the link again, I couldn't see what you mentioned but it was probably through my own silly.

You have helped me immensely,  I have been rewarding him today, haven't found something he loves though, peanuts suffice most of the time and I removed them from his food (he is still on rubbish parrot food, I have ordered pellets, not harrisons though as it cost me twice as much to get it delivered to here more than what the food cost) I think a peanut treat will be more appealing after i'v transferred him to nuggets. 
I have also been repeating the command many times which from your video I can see is not great. I'v been persistent, so I'll take a step back every now and then. And start simple as you have said.

Is it a bad thing that he doesn't want to come out his cage? It's open when we are in and he wanders round the top.

I know patience and time are the key...

I also know that his previous owner used a stick (in a bad way) to get him out his cage so I'm going to stay clear of  them.

Thanks for your reply, it's appreciated. 
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weeleighluigi

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 07:09:03 PM »

Hi feather monkey. Had a look at it. Looks good in pictures. I'll get on it tomorrow. I'm trying to do most of his training while my kids are at school and pre-school so there are no distractions.

I'm definitely  not rewarding him enough. I just need to find a reward he loves and that's good for him.
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 09:14:39 PM »

Rewards can be worth working for naughty is fine mine have been on safflower due for a change. Problem at moment is all the rewards are in the cage. As you get further on verbal does enough, sometimes the reward is just a little play, a shoulder surf depends on bird and drive. Hickory somedays just has to see the money.

For me main food stuff is only good, foraging and rewards can be naughty.

Mine are heavily socialised and I've had from a baby. So a busy beer garden is taken in their stride. Yet still even we can encounter a stupid perch. Doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what is or isn't a threat at times.

He's happy wandering about on top doubt it will be long before he's got to be involved in what people are doing. They can't help them selves anything part of the flock is interested in has to be worth a look at.
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weeleighluigi

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2015, 09:19:02 PM »

Funny that, the wee one and I were doing a jigsaw and he looked like he desperately wanted to come out, I went to ask him out, he wouldn't step up but instead was kind of nuzzling me with his beak and head down (he looked like he was at his tummy feathers with is beak, I think the distraction of an itch let me touch him. I did reward him for it. What does the nuzzling mean?
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FeatherMonkey

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2015, 09:36:50 PM »

Nuzzle into the hand then head down sounds like an invite for a tickle. Mutual preening is a flock thing, can't get those head and neck ones better to have friends.

I find a clicker really helps just helps reaffirm behaviour to reward. Key is clear and consistent though. Command, primary reinforcer(quick acknowledgment of correct behaviour, click, good girl/boy anything will work got to be very quick) and reward. I've found them quite visually orientated also easier to maintain command consistency over verbal. Always reward for a primary reinforcer even in error better to fix your mistake than have to build the primary reinforcer back.
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weeleighluigi

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Re: step up from cage advice please
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 06:50:25 AM »

OH that's good. I'm glad he is warming to me :)
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