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Training to Drop it.

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Author Topic: Training to Drop it.  (Read 3872 times)

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Pat

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Training to Drop it.
« on: June 11, 2010, 02:14:56 PM »

Teaching your bird to "Drop it!"

So, your bird has something that he really shouldn't have in his beak, he doesn't want to give it up because he found it, it's his treasure and no way are you going to keep all your skin if you try and get it away from him.  I think we've all been there seen it done it, got the scars to prove it.  One easy way to get them to give it back to you is to teach them to "Drop it"

A while ago, I bought Charlie a seed stick as a treat, it turned out to be a bit of a nightmare rather than a treat, the little plastic bit that you clip on to the side of the cage was actually attached to the stick by a tiny, sharp staple.  Of course Charlie got the staple in his mouth and no way was he going to give that up, then I did "Drop it!" and hey presto, one very sharp staple dropped into a dish with no harm done to his tongue or my fingers.  This is how I taught him to drop on command.

A penny makes a good thing to start off with, it's plain and boring and not a lot of taste, nothing to grip hold of or break off.  When you offer the penny at first, do it to the side of your bird.  Your bird is sat on a perch in front of you, facing you, you put the penny to his side and get him to turn his head to "Fetch the penny" from you.  




The natural reaction is for him to then turn to the front again, as he turns to the front, have a little dish or pot or whatever ready and say "Drop it!" help him out the first couple of times, make sure it goes in the dish.  Pretty soon he will get fed up with the penny in his mouth because like I said, it's pretty boring and he will drop it.  As soon as it drops in the dish, praise him up, click the clicker or do whatever you normally do to tell him you are pleased with him.



Do this a few times more, give the penny on the side, let him put his head to the front, tell him to drop it and catch it in the dish..definitely worth a sunflower seed lol.  Then take it a little bit further, make him take a few steps to "Fetch the penny" and bring it back to the dish to get his reward once he has that weighed off, you can move the penny and dish further apart and get him to "Fetch the penny" and then fly back to the dish with it.  Time and patience is the key, don't confuse him by going too fast.

This is a little video clip of Charlie going to fetch his penny.  Two minutes before this he was busy playing on his ropes so he really didn't want to do it, so, I cheated and gave him a whole almond as a treat because I really wanted him to do this so you could see what you can achieve with patience and bribery lol.

P.S.  Please excuse the dishes on the draining board hahaha.
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lovebirds

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2010, 02:19:11 PM »

Great post, thank you very much, Plukie!  :rose: I really need to teach Digby this command because at times I have to chase him and pull the stuff out of his mouth and he is not amused!  :rofl:
Sometimes he finds some long-forgotten and unnoticed by me palm nut or the other day he snapped off half of a button off my shirt and flew away with it so i had to make him drop it by employing various methods he didn't enjoy. I think teaching the command would be a lot easier option for me in the future!  :thumbsup:
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Pat

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 02:22:37 PM »

lol yeah, believe it or not, it's a lot less stressful teaching them this than chasing them around lol. Charlie didn't really want to do anything like that today, I took him away from playing, bless him, but he's a push over for an almond and a whole one was just too hard to resist haha.

I will just say, it is important to use the same commands over and over, so me saying "Fetch the penny" over and over was kind of telling him that I'm not going to say or do anything else so he might as well fetch the penny lol also of course, it cuts down on confusion. 

Toria

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 02:24:40 PM »

wow, your a natural Plukie!!!!! Thats fantastic

Im gonna stickie it if you dont mind  :thumbsup:
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Toria

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 02:25:20 PM »

was already stickied, who beat me to it? :haha:
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Pat

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 02:27:58 PM »

lol that'll be Irina  :yahoo: :yahoo:

geffsgrey

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2010, 03:11:59 PM »

I wish I could give my Charlie a reward, anything offered he just takes out of my fingers and throws, I got clicker to train him. Anything offered just goes straight on the floor or wherever it lands. So he has not got the incentive to do things for food, I feed him mash and crushed harrisons mixed, tried with sunflower seeds he not had any for a week, thought that would do it, no straight on the floor. he does not seem to be very food oriented. any ideas, although i always praise him if he does something good. I would welcome any suggestions.
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bkhowe

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 03:20:24 PM »

Thanks Plukie  :thumbsup:
Great post, this is probably the most important single thing
you could teach your Parrot, I am going to give it a go  :biggrin:
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Pat

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2010, 03:31:13 PM »

I wish I could give my Charlie a reward, anything offered he just takes out of my fingers and throws, I got clicker to train him. Anything offered just goes straight on the floor or wherever it lands. So he has not got the incentive to do things for food, I feed him mash and crushed harrisons mixed, tried with sunflower seeds he not had any for a week, thought that would do it, no straight on the floor. he does not seem to be very food oriented. any ideas, although i always praise him if he does something good. I would welcome any suggestions.

Take time to see what he really enjoys.  It might be that he likes to be tickled, or that he likes to have a fly around, head scratches, kisses on the beak........there must be something other than food that he likes to have done to him or that he likes doing.  Once you find what that is, use that instead.  So, if it's lots of tickles........click and tickle, if it's lots of head scratches, click and scratch his head.  Not all birds are food orientated, it's just a matter of finding out what suits him best.

Just a thought, have you tried offering him a treat from a dish instead of your fingers?  Let him pick one up himself?

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2010, 03:48:07 PM »

He loves his head stroked, Thank You. That will be his reward then, but should i only stroke his bonce :run when training then ? as he sits either on my shoulder or settee with me stroking his head for ages , that is his "drug".
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Pat

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2010, 05:04:41 PM »

Well, I would certainly ease off on it for a while, when you are sat quietly on the settee and he want his head stroking, try him with the penny then....... see if he will take it from you, if he does, give him lots of head scratches lol.  If he doesn't, he doesn't get any. Use it as a form of bribery..... you take this penny, I'll scratch your head lol.   :dance:

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2010, 06:45:52 PM »

I will try it, Thank you. I've said it before. People on this site are brill. :ty
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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2010, 09:32:01 PM »

Thanks plukie brillant xx Dusty does the trick but ive not yet managed to get her to fly to get something and bring it back like that AMAZING XX
You need to get on the next Britains Got Talent xx
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Pat

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 09:40:01 PM »

Hahahaha, I can imagine Simon Cowell & Co, sitting waiting for Charlie to do his tricks.  I think they'd soon get fed up wtih waiting.

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 12:58:23 AM »

Thank you for your advice on training to drop it. 
I have been getting Marley to put a round shape in a childrens' shape sorter and have taken ages to get him to actually get it in the hole although the first time I showed it to him he actually did it and then got the triangle and banged it into the round hole till he got frustrated.  I put it away for several months and used clicker training to start from scratch.  We are not there yet.

Today I used a penny and he actually got it.  It took 15 minutes twice.  The third time I tried with a small toy and he got it!  Each time you kindof start afresh but he actually understands what he is supposed to do.  Try one was him dropping it immediately he picks it up both llwisessions.  He only gets one or 2 sessions  a day in the week but 2 or 3 at weekends.

This will be so helful once he understands!
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lizduncan

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 09:04:44 AM »

 :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Charlie is great Plukie.


Nico will drop anything for a walnut :biggrin: so I just need to put some words in. Will work on that this week  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2011, 01:38:17 PM »

I been teaching Harley this yesterday and today, when he drops the penny I gave him a bitesize bit of apple. He really likes it lol.
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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 07:35:56 PM »

 :thumbsup: that was brilliant Pat. You really are a parrot whisperer lol Brilliant
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Pat

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 07:54:00 PM »

 :ty 

Greg Glendell

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Re: Training to Drop it.
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2011, 08:28:28 AM »

Hi Geff and all,
The key thing, as you say, is motivation, which is done by offering rewards.  But it is the *bird* who has to determine what the rewards are.  If you want to use foods, then, before starting to train, run a food preference test.  So, remove all food from the bird  for about  an hour.  Then offer about 5 different (but roughly same-sized) items that you know your bird already really likes.  Allow the bird to take *one* item only, and note what this is.  Repeat this test a few times with a few minutes intervals between each test; always noting what your bird actually takes and eats each time.   You should see a clear preference; usually it will be  something with a high fat content, or something sweet, so maybe he takes a walnut or a grape...

On training days, make sure the only way the bird has access to his favourite foods (or anything similar to them) is by *earning* them during training.  Don't give them for free.  Give all his other normal food as you usually would, but not the favoured ones.   That will increase his motivation.  The *principle* applies to any reward, including access to favourite toys, head scritches etc.  If you want to use these for training, then they have to be *earned* and not just given for free on training days.  The clicker should be used to 'mark' the fact that the bird *has* carried out the behaviour, and that you arte now giving him his reward.  Don't click *before* the behaviour is done, only when you actualy see it. 

Think of rewards as 'wages earned'  for a  task carried out.

 

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