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Target and phobic AG

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

Target and phobic AG

Postby CaketheParrot » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 pm

I though i already posted, but I guess it glitched again, so here we go for the millionth time, so sorry if I sound rushed or something, just tired of retyping this. Part 5 in fixing the terrible life of Cakoi/Gekoi/whatever (thanks to Pajarita for lmk life was terrible and helping ,e find the name, now I test spellings.) Can’t get her to touch the target. How can I reinforce touching target is good when she won’t touch it in the first place? I move closer, she crouches and stares suspiciously. I don’t want to freak her out and prompt aggression.
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby Michael » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:53 am

You can clicker train the bird to come to the target on its own. Use a clicker and click whenever the bird just happens to look at the target or make any movement in its direction, even from a distance. Little by little the bird will learn to come closer and closer to where the stick is. It's like playing "hot or cold." The bird knows its getting "warmer" when walking toward the target stick.
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Michael
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby Pajarita » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:47 am

Yes, clicker helps but it seems to me that the problem here is that this bird has become disaffected. In order for training of a parrot to go smoothly and be effective (and I say 'smoothly' because even an animal that hates you can be trained but this comes at a HUGE cost to the animal's wellbeing - and I say 'effective' because doing it wrong will, eventually, backfire) the bird needs to, at the VERY LEAST, trust its human (it's always ONE single human) completely. This bird does not have 'a' human, it has been emotionally neglected for a long time so the first thing you need to do is make the bird trust you completely and, if at all possible, to love you -or whoever is going to become 'its' human.

I warn you, training right is not an easy thing to do with a parrot. Michael's instructions are excellent but it's not a black and white issue where you just follow instructions and get a good result. Each bird is different and the trainer needs to know and 'feel' its bird, to spend a lot of time with it studying its body language, its likes and dislikes, the extent of the parrot's attention span and interest and to be able to sense the bird's mood so the training does not become counterproductive and ends up being flooding. And all this needs to be done AFTER the bird has learned to trust the trainer completely and, for what you have posted here about this gray, he does not trust, much less like, anybody in your household. Parrots are not dogs, they did not evolve to follow a leader's instructions, they are not mentally programmed for obedience or subservience so, when it comes to the bird doing what you ask, the bird needs to WANT to do it and not so much for the reward but because it loves you and/or wants to please you. Michael's birds are bonded to him, they trust him completely and, because of this and the fact that they have a good life with him and are content with their situation, they respond very positively and consistently to his techniques/commands. But a disaffected bird does not want to please humans so you need to work on that first - and you do not reverse disaffection in a bird unless the bird is content with its life. You have mentioned that the most the bird gets is one hour a day with people but if you use 5 minutes (which is the most that you can do in one session) of that measly daily hour to training him, he will begin to resent your presence instead of looking forward to it. Training a bird that is lonely, unhappy and disaffected is not going to work so the first thing you need to do is give it a better life and, once you have gained the bird's trust and affection then and only then you can start the training.

Basically, what I am trying to say is that you need to be patient. I know that you are trying real hard to make his life better and I can tell that you have the right attitude and I give you A LOT of credit for that :thumbsup: :thumbsup: but, with parrots, everything takes a loooooong time and you need to think of this bird as a bird that needs to be rehabilitated and that is a process with steps that cannot be skipped. Training is good but it needs to be an added extra and not the basis of a relationship. The relationships comes first and it needs to be good, strong and solid. And for the relationship to flourish, the bird needs to feel content with its life and trust the human who is providing it (because they are smart enough to realize that both the good and the bad in their lives come directly from its human) so fix his life first (diet, solar schedule, out-of-cage and one-on-one time, etc), establish a bond of trust and then train.
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby CaketheParrot » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:39 pm

Michael wrote:You can clicker train the bird to come to the target on its own. Use a clicker and click whenever the bird just happens to look at the target or make any movement in its direction, even from a distance. Little by little the bird will learn to come closer and closer to where the stick is. It's like playing "hot or cold." The bird knows its getting "warmer" when walking toward the target stick.


ooh good idea! Thanks, Michael! Honestly I never thought you’d see one of my posts so this is kinda really cool. Say hi to Kili for me!
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby CaketheParrot » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:51 pm

Pajarita wrote:Yes, clicker helps but it seems to me that the problem here is that this bird has become disaffected. In order for training of a parrot to go smoothly and be effective (and I say 'smoothly' because even an animal that hates you can be trained but this comes at a HUGE cost to the animal's wellbeing - and I say 'effective' because doing it wrong will, eventually, backfire) the bird needs to, at the VERY LEAST, trust its human (it's always ONE single human) completely. This bird does not have 'a' human, it has been emotionally neglected for a long time so the first thing you need to do is make the bird trust you completely and, if at all possible, to love you -or whoever is going to become 'its' human.


oh no! What if my grandma had already become the human, but she doesn’t really have the time or energy to hang with and train Cake anymore? Can I still become a second “the human”?

I warn you, training right is not an easy thing to do with a parrot. Michael's instructions are excellent but it's not a black and white issue where you just follow instructions and get a good result. Each bird is different and the trainer needs to know and 'feel' its bird, to spend a lot of time with it studying its body language, its likes and dislikes, the extent of the parrot's attention span and interest and to be able to sense the bird's mood so the training does not become counterproductive and ends up being flooding.


Eek! We’ll have to be more careful and observant. Knowing this, we’ve been kind of pushy with training in retrospect. :shock:

And all this needs to be done AFTER the bird has learned to trust the trainer completely and, for what you have posted here about this gray, he does not trust, much less like, anybody in your household. Parrots are not dogs, they did not evolve to follow a leader's instructions, they are not mentally programmed for obedience or subservience so, when it comes to the bird doing what you ask, the bird needs to WANT to do it and not so much for the reward but because it loves you and/or wants to please you. Michael's birds are bonded to him, they trust him completely and, because of this and the fact that they have a good life with him and are content with their situation, they respond very positively and consistently to his techniques/commands.

Aww that’s so sweet! Quite unfortunate in Cake’s specific case, but sweet. We’ll try to get to there.

But a disaffected bird does not want to please humans so you need to work on that first - and you do not reverse disaffection in a bird unless the bird is content with its life. You have mentioned that the most the bird gets is one hour a day with people but if you use 5 minutes (which is the most that you can do in one session) of that measly daily hour to training him, he will begin to resent your presence instead of looking forward to it. Training a bird that is lonely, unhappy and disaffected is not going to work so the first thing you need to do is give it a better life and, once you have gained the bird's trust and affection then and only then you can start the training.

OH MY GOSH WE MESSED UP SO BAD WE THOUGHT TRAINING WAS A BONDING TOOL BUT WE DID NOT KNOW THIS BIGGER PICTURE CONTEXT. Thank you for letting us know we will try to stop this right away. Like we’ve got the 4 hours of bonding now, but a good hour of that is ten minute training sessions :shock: :o :cry: We’ll abolish this at once :(

Basically, what I am trying to say is that you need to be patient. I know that you are trying real hard to make his life better and I can tell that you have the right attitude and I give you A LOT of credit for that :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


Thank you for your confidence!

but, with parrots, everything takes a loooooong time and you need to think of this bird as a bird that needs to be rehabilitated and that is a process with steps that cannot be skipped. Training is good but it needs to be an added extra and not the basis of a relationship. The relationships comes first and it needs to be good, strong and solid. And for the relationship to flourish, the bird needs to feel content with its life and trust the human who is providing it (because they are smart enough to realize that both the good and the bad in their lives come directly from its human) so fix his life first (diet, solar schedule, out-of-cage and one-on-one time, etc), establish a bond of trust and then train.


Okay got it. Bond of general life quality for a solid ground, then training will be the frame of the house.

On a semi-related note: We realized last night that Cake is barely eating the pellets. She is able to, sometimes she quites enjoy a good snack, but she isn’t eating enough to stay healthy. We started handfeeding it to her, not giving her anymore treats, pretending to eat and enjoy it myself, but she is mostly uninterested. I’ve even tried breaking up her beloved nutriberries and mixing it in, but then she just picks the nutriberries out. It’s not that she isn’t eating her pellets at all or is too phobic to try, she’s just.. bored of them.. We’ve checked that it’s a quality brand by researching and stuff too so it’s not that it’s bad stuff.. How else can we make her more interested in it?
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby CaketheParrot » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:14 pm

I moved the last part to health and nutrition cause I realized it makes more sense there :)
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:55 am

There is no 'second human' - there is a single human that belongs to them and they choose the person, not the other way around. Now, having said that, this doesn't mean you cannot have a good relationship with the bird even if you are not its human. Isis Redbelly loves my husband. It was love at first sight for her and nothing has changed that... not even when he was working and staying away for up to ten days at a time! And, at the beginning, she would bite me but, as the years have gone by, she has accepted me as a close flockmate and loves me as such. Every evening, when I put the dinner in her cage, she will not touch it or even move closer to it until we do our 'pica pica' session which consists of me talking softly to her, telling her she is 'a good girl' and that she is getting her 'Isis good girl pica pica' while I scratch her head, neck and cheeks (she loves to have her cheeks scratched), I 'preen' her a bit and we do 'piquito piquito' while she holds my finger in her 'hand'. She also comes when I call her and steps up and down without a problem. So, no, you will not become her 'second human' but you can become her BFF in the flock. This takes time and it implies you not asking anything of her but giving her all the time (because you need to win her affection).

Training sessions are never 10 minutes - it's 5 minutes at the most and it's even better if you make them shorter than that, actually. You can have more than one session (2 a day is good) but they need to be done like one in the middle of the morning and one in the middle of the afternoon. Timing and feeding the right diet has a lot to do with the success at training because a parrot is not going to be incentivized to do anything unless you are offering a high value item as a reward - which is always a protein food item- or when it is too hungry or not hungry at all. Have you identified Cake's high value item? Because this is as important as everything else...
Pajarita
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby CaketheParrot » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:29 am

Pajarita wrote:There is no 'second human' - there is a single human that belongs to them and they choose the person, not the other way around. Now, having said that, this doesn't mean you cannot have a good relationship with the bird even if you are not its human. Isis Redbelly loves my husband. It was love at first sight for her and nothing has changed that... not even when he was working and staying away for up to ten days at a time! And, at the beginning, she would bite me but, as the years have gone by, she has accepted me as a close flockmate and loves me as such. Every evening, when I put the dinner in her cage, she will not touch it or even move closer to it until we do our 'pica pica' session which consists of me talking softly to her, telling her she is 'a good girl' and that she is getting her 'Isis good girl pica pica' while I scratch her head, neck and cheeks (she loves to have her cheeks scratched), I 'preen' her a bit and we do 'piquito piquito' while she holds my finger in her 'hand'. She also comes when I call her and steps up and down without a problem. So, no, you will not become her 'second human' but you can become her BFF in the flock. This takes time and it implies you not asking anything of her but giving her all the time (because you need to win her affection).


Ok it’s good to hear we don’t need to be her person to help her. Your Isis Redbelly is so cute! Parrots are the best haha

Training sessions are never 10 minutes - it's 5 minutes at the most and it's even better if you make them shorter than that, actually. You can have more than one session (2 a day is good) but they need to be done like one in the middle of the morning and one in the middle of the afternoon. Timing and feeding the right diet has a lot to do with the success at training because a parrot is not going to be incentivized to do anything unless you are offering a high value item as a reward - which is always a protein food item- or when it is too hungry or not hungry at all. Have you identified Cake's high value item? Because this is as important as everything else...


Yes we will stop training for so long definitely. We had been training with cashews and different seeds that Cake liked. I think the high value item would have to be nutri berries: only a nutrient berry, or even half, can get her to do absolutely anything she was hesitant to do before. (Used sparingly not in the torturous ways that my bad wording implied, whoops)
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
Lovebird
 
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:53 am

No, don't use Nutriberries, they are inferior food. Use a piece of her favorite nut. Offer her a selection of nuts - like half a walnut, one almond, one pistachio, half a pecan, one hazelnut, one cashew - and putting them all in front of her when she is not really very hungry (you can't do it when she is hungry because she will go for whatever is closest to her -is Cake a male or a female?), check which kind she takes first. You need to do this three times on three different days because you need to confirm that she consistently takes the same nut first - and this nut will be her high value item which is ONLY to be given as a reward during training. BUT, at the beginning, when you are trying to make her love you, you should offer her this nut as a gift and praise her when she takes it. Not all the time and not too often - maybe 3 times a day.

They all have favorites... My Zoey Senegal adores cashews but Sophie Gray prefers walnuts while Davy Redbelly will go for a pistachio every time, etc.
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Re: Target and phobic AG

Postby CaketheParrot » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:16 pm

Ok, noted. Thank you for the advice with the high value treat, we’ve just been letting her have what she’s excited about, but I guess it’s like giving a kid a clump of sugar— really bad even if they like it. None of us really know if Cake is a boy or a girl, so my family assumed it was a boy for a while. Recently my sister and I did some Googling and Cake seems to be a girl based on wing coloration and that type of thing.
Thanks and love from Cake :gray:
CaketheParrot
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