Titanius wrote:While I was at the pet store I completely forgot to get a dog clicker. Is there anything else I could use to make a sharp enough clicking sound. I tried verbal praise, snapping a distance away, and petting. I don't think the bird associated any of these with being positive.
You need to develop a conditioned reinforcer. It really could be anything that is distinct. A clicker is just the easiest ways. Dolphin trainers use a whistle. Parrots are very visual creatures so I wouldn't be surprised if you could show them a green card or light to mean the same thing as a clicker every time. What develops the bridge is the coupling of the bridge with a primary positive reinforcement, others call this clicker conditioning. When you click and give a treat multiple times, the bird learns to associate the click with treats and as you begin the training process the bird learns to do more of whatever it was doing at the moment of clicking (whether it is touching the target stick, waving, or whatever). The click helps you capture the moment you observed the desired behavior. You can use anything but a click is short, fast, and consistent.