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Need help whit IRN step up training

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby seagoatdeb » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:10 pm

Pajarita wrote:I still think that toweling the bird to get him out of the cage is the wrong thing to do. It's flooding and flooding is no longer recommended - not even Michael recommends doing this with an adult bird that has not been inured to the towel. He has a video showing how you can get the bird used to been toweled without any flooding (stress) but you need to start with a bird that trusts you 100%, otherwise the bird would just fly away from you when you try to do it.

See this: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=par ... &FORM=VIRE


Why are you jumping to conclusions here. This OP has been using Michaels meithods and you have no idea if he is flooding. You could nicely ask him how he is using it.
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:18 am

Nope, it's not me who is jumping to conclusions, Seagoatdeb, I don't need to ask because we were already told. He is toweling the bird to get him out of the cage and transport him to the perch where he trains it (which makes me assume the bird is also clipped because, if it wasn't, he would fly away). The bird was 8 months old when he got it from the first owner who had handfed but, apparently, not interacted with the bird. He then had it for a year keeping the cage door always open so the bird could come in and out at his pleasure -they also used to allow him to eat with them. Then he decided to train it so he kept in a closed cage and takes it out for training with a towel. He is not following Michael's video on inuring a bird to toweling, he is simply following instructions Michael gives for training BUT Michael explains that this only works without stress for baby birds (and, in my personal opinion, he should added 'companion' species to the explanation because it would make it more accurate) which this bird is not PLUS he went from 24/7 freedom and sharing meals to cage and taken out only for two training sessions a day (one in the am and one in the pm) which makes me believe the bird is not really getting any real one-on-one. And, if I am correct, it's the reason why the bird is becoming OK with the toweling, namely because it's, pretty much, the only interaction and freedom from the cage he gets.
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Erfan771 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:27 am

His wings are not clipped he can fly from the training place to his cage but he never does when I take him there, secondly Micheal tells you in the guide to first train the bird then teach him to get used to the towel,

I recently noticed that I can grab him whit my hand now what was impossible before, he gets a bit nervous like whit the towel but he won't bite me anymore like before, since one week he won't bite me anymore and you have to know that before I start the training he used to jump for my finger to bite it when it came near the cage and till now he does the same thing when my son moves his finger to the cage and when he gets a chance he bites him hard, but as for me even when i grab him he won't bite me anymore, I hope this should be a good sign

What's better : should I towel him or grab him to the training area?
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Wolf » Mon Jun 20, 2016 1:11 pm

Personally I prefer to use the step up for this type of thing instead of toweling or grabbing the bird. I do agree that it is a good thing for a bird to be trained so that it accepts toweling as this is going to happen at the vet's office where it is used to protect the vet and their assistants from injury during examinations. training the bird to accept such toweling reduces stress on the bird significantly, but it should not be used on an everyday basis. your bird should step up for you from its cage, I always allow my birds to come out of their cage and go to the perch that is nearest to them on the outside of the cage or I wait for my bird to climb to the top of the cage. My birds will also step up for me while they are climbing on the side of the cage.

The primary reason that a parrot bites is out of fear and or because it does not trust the person and does not wish to be touched by them. Going by what you have said your bird tolerates being toweled without biting you because it knows that no matter how much it protests it is going to happen anyway. This is a far cry from the trust that really should be present from the bird in order for successful training. My birds trust me and as a result of this trust they desire to spend time with and preferably upon me. This is to such an extent that I have more of a problem getting them to remain off of me so that they can play and explore independently.

Personally I would spend time earning your birds trust before embarking on any other type of training other than perhaps target training. I think and believe that you would have a much more rewarding relationship with your parrot if you first gained its trust and then the training would also be much easier to accomplish. for me gaining the birds trust is the single most important thing that one can do with any bird. I hope that this is helpful to you, please be aware that I will do whatever I can to help you and your bird.
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:17 pm

Erfan771 wrote:His wings are not clipped he can fly from the training place to his cage but he never does when I take him there, secondly Micheal tells you in the guide to first train the bird then teach him to get used to the towel,

I recently noticed that I can grab him whit my hand now what was impossible before, he gets a bit nervous like whit the towel but he won't bite me anymore like before, since one week he won't bite me anymore and you have to know that before I start the training he used to jump for my finger to bite it when it came near the cage and till now he does the same thing when my son moves his finger to the cage and when he gets a chance he bites him hard, but as for me even when i grab him he won't bite me anymore, I hope this should be a good sign

What's better : should I towel him or grab him to the training area?


Michael is talking about baby companion birds that are already tame. Michael started off with tame birds who trusted him completely, then he trained them to target, do tricks, whatever, AND to accept the towel when it was needed. Yours is not a companion, not a baby and not tame. That's what makes the difference and why I think that force toweling him to get him out of the cage and to transport him is not the right way to go and which should not ever be necessary. What you are doing is called flooding and it's no longer an accepted way of training. Michael, as well as every single behaviorist out there, does not approve of flooding techniques.

See, the thing about flooding is that you are forcing the bird to accept something he doesn't want to. It always works in the short term because all animals would resign themselves to any overpowering method (it's a survival trait) and, with species that were meant to live in hierarchical societies (like dogs, for example), it can be used without extremely adverse consequences (not that any good trainer uses flooding any longer, mind you! they all use positive reinforcement methods). But it never really works in the long term with parrots because they are not 'programmed' by nature to be subservient, they are very independent animals that don't have a 'flock leader' or boss in the wild, they all do what they want to do whenever they want to do it.

Wolf is correct in that, if you take the time to bond with your bird first, you will not only have a much, much better relationship with him, you will also get better and quicker results in training (you really cannot go very far with a bird that doesn't trust you). And, of course, you will have a bird that is infinitely happier and healthier!
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Erfan771 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:21 pm

Sorry but I'm getting a bit confused, is there another guide that you would recommend me to get bond whit the parrot first before starting whit Michaels guide?
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Wolf » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:44 am

Michael's guide is good, although there are a few places in it that most parrot people disagree with him on. Michael uses the methods that he does because his birds must perform correctly everytime. It is much like the differences in training a family dog, a show dog, and a working dog such as dogs that work stock or those that are police dogs. While the methods are similar in many ways they are also different from each other and in their out comes.

Michael's birds need to accept toweling and grabbing to a much greater degree than my parrots do or than what your parrot needs to. Consider that for most of us that have parrots strictly for the companionship that they provide to us the only time that they usually need to be toweled is when they go to the vet and the vet is or should be already trained in how to towel the bird in the least stressful manner.

Michael on the other hand uses the grab and toweling on a regular basis to show other people how effective his methods are so he can sell his training book. Michael also teaches flight recall and again his birds need to perform this every time and with very minimal cues. My birds all come out of their cages on their own and always come directly to me, I do not have any problem with getting them to come to me. If I have any problem with them, it is that they would rather be on me or right next to me than anywhere else.

This is one of the areas that the forum can help you with. it is not a matter of you needing to use a different guide, but it is a matter of gaining more knowledge, first of all about the type of bird that you have and then about your birds own individual personality. These things are not covered in Michael's book or training blog. In my opinion, that is a shame as the initial bonding with your bird and gaining its trust is probably the most important aspect of having a relationship with your bird.

We can help you with developing your bond with your bird and it can work right along with Michael's training methods. it is not a matter of either/ or, but a matter of in addition to. I will gladly go back over Michael's training blog, but I do believe of the top of my head that it does briefly mention the bonding process before it goes into the training portion. But his methods do work and to a certain degree without any real bonding, but what we are trying to show you is that establishing the trust from the bird towards you will make Michael's methods work even better for both you and your bird. In my opinion the very first and most important step in either just having a good relationship with your bird or in training your bird is the trust that allows for the bonding. Training your bird can deepen the bond between you and your bird, but it does not create that bond.

To me it is much more of a rewarding experience to open my birds cages and walk away and then have them either climb down to the floor and walk to me or to have them fly to me simply because they want to be with me, than it is to have to call them to me or cue them to come to me.

I will do all that I can to help you in any way that I can. If you want help with bonding, then we will do our very best to help you with that and you can still use Michael's training blog as well, there is no conflict in the two, it is just that Michael's methods sort of assumes that you already have established a bond with your bird.

Does this help to clear up any of your confusion? Please let me know.
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Wolf » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:37 am

It just occurred to me that this might work better at explaining what I am trying to convey to you.

This is the first thing that you posted about toweling and why you were using it.

There are two methods that can be used for getting a parrot out of the cage for the first time:

1) Target training
2) Force out & reconcile

TIP

Except for the initial training, do not let the parrot come out of the cage on its own. Always reach in and request it to step up. This will help develop a positive relationship because you will get all the credit for the thrill of being able to come out. The parrot will begin to look forward to seeing you because it will learn that you are the source of good things like coming out.


Although the first method is least stressful, it also takes a much longer time to implement. On the other hand the second method is more hands on. I would say that the force out method is safest to be used on young hand raised parrots. This can range from merely asking it to step up to toweling it out. Either way, the experience outside the cage is made so rewarding that it reconciles being forced out initially. Baby parrots are much more forgiving and less likely to bite so this method can actually work quite well and create no trauma for the bird. Most likely the parrot was already accustomed to the breeder grabbing it to feed it anyway. If you are an experienced parrot owner and not afraid of the potential of being bitten, go ahead and use the force out/reconcile method. Similar to getting the parrot out of the carrier for the first time, you can test step up, just grab the parrot, grab with a glove, or use a towel. Just get the parrot out of the cage but then give it a super rewarding time outside of the cage with additional training. I will detail the taming/training exercises to do shortly afterward.

While I disagree with their only being the two ways of getting a parrot out of the carrier or cage for the first time, that is because he did not mention that you first try to ask the bird to step up. I also must concede that he does mention it later in this passage.

I keep a few clips handy that have allowed me to attach my transport cage/ carrier to my regular cage so that I can allow my new bird to enter the big cage on its own, which reduces the stress on the bird. I do this because of the stress of being transported as well as because of the stress the bird is under once it get here to its new home. Being rehomed is very stressful to a bird at any time.

I also do it this way, if possible because it is also the very first chance that I have to begin the process of gaining the birds trust. I allow it to come out into the larger cage on its own terms which does take longer, but is also begins to show the bird that I can be trusted as I am not forcing it to do anything. By itself it is nothing, but everything that I do with the bird from this point on is to get the bird to trust me so that I do not ever force the bird to do anything, this lets the bird see that not only am I not forcing it but that I am paying attention to what the bird is telling me and that fosters trust. it is a beginning, and nothing more.

While what I have just said builds on my last post to you it is not my main point. My real point is this... Why would you need to reconcile with the bird after forcing it to come out if it were the best possible approach? Why would the bird need to be forgiving of me for this treatment of it if it were the best way to deal with just getting it to come out of the cage?

I feel that I know the answer to these questions, but I would like you to answer them for me as best you can and then I will share my answer with you so that we can develop a good place to start from, I hope that is ok with you as I am probably not the best teacher there is.
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:25 am

Michael's guide is perfectly good. The only problem with it (that I see) is that the reader needs to read it very carefully and always keep in mind which kind of bird and under which circumstances the bird is been trained.
Michael says:
"There are two methods that can be used for getting a parrot out of the cage for the first time:

1) Target training
2) Force out & reconcile"

It is clearly stated that this is only for 'THE FIRST TIME' and not, as you, apparently, interpreted it 'every single time'. I think that Michael's point was to simply show the young bird that coming out of the cage will result in good things so he needs to come out one way or another in order for the human to show and prove to him this point -thus, even if you force it the first time, it should be OK because they learn so fast and baby birds will take grabbing without a whole lot of stress.

He is also talking about already hand tamed birds or birds that are so young that are naturally trusting as all babies of all species are -this is a point that you, apparently, missed because your bird is not hand-tame or that young.

I also think that you further messed things up by making his life worse than it used to be because he went from all day freedom to cage and only coming out twice a day, forcefully and just to train. This is the kind of thing that would not really work in the long term with any intelligent species (how would you feel if you were treated like that?) Michael is parting from the premise that the bird already lives in a cage so coming out is a super good thing - meaning, the bird goes from a 'bad' to a 'good' and you are the one 'doing it' for him. But, with your bird, it was the opposite. He went from a 'good' to a 'bad' and then, to put the icing on the cake, your intervention was not to make things better for him but to force him to accept something he did not want. See what I mean? You need to look at things from their perspective and not underestimate their reasoning capabilities.

Personally, I would win him by allowing him the same freedom he had before from the cage and to eat with me, as it was before. I would also give him treats and praise just because and without asking for a single thing while continue to have two short training sessions daily. At the beginning, he is going to balk at the training sessions because he is going to be so happy just to be able to do what he wants and out of a cage and because he will be despondent with you (the jailer) but, as long as you don't get impatient, allow time to go by and play your cards right (routine, light schedule, good diet, patience and love), he will start looking forward to the training sessions BUT for this to work, you need to identify his high value item and only use it as a reward during training (and always ALWAYS praise profusely when you give him the reward for a job well done). Parrots are VERY intelligent and they not only study situations but also make conclusions on our treatment of them so it always pays to treat them with the respect they deserve.
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Re: Need help whit IRN step up training

Postby Erfan771 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:53 pm

Firstly thank you very much for taking your time to write this to help me and your text made me really think about the purpose of getting my bird and what kind of rrelationship I want to have whit him and maybe for other birds I may get in future, I don't want a show bird or a special trained one but what I'm trying to achieve the whit these guides I found recently in the net is to get a closer to my parrot and be able to handle him and exact like you tell about your parrots make them to like me a d like to be around me as much as possible since I had him for a while and ccouldn't manage to handle him so I searched for any way that teaches me how to do this properly and the best I found was Micheal guide but now your words convincing me that there may be better ways to get to the same goal, you know referring to your questions I don't have a good feeling when I grab for the bird and he get in panic and tries to flee from my hand, and I don't feel that that's the best way to teach them but it's just that I don't know any better technique, so if there would be a way to make my bird coming to me or on my hand to take him to where I want that's of course more impressing to me than stressing him every time and trying to make it good again whit treats and training and even there is some success I often got to repeat the same training because my bird won't do it straight away after being grabbed, like one day he step up very well on command then the next day when I grab him he gets stressed and I need to start again to target him to my hand slowly till he agrees to step up again, iit's going like this for a couple days so I really would like to hear what kind of help you can offer me now to get on whit my :irn:
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