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How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

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

Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Michael » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:53 pm

Don't show treat at all. Use target training method instead or obviously the bird doesn't go when there is no treat. When you rely on a lure, the bird isn't learning anything so when you stop showing it, it stops coming. Targeting actually teaches behavior so the bird remembers it even without the presence of the food or stick.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby theintangiblefatman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:07 pm

Thanks Michael. One random other question: when chaining tricks together ie shake>turn around>step up should I click at the completion of each trick or just when the chain is finished? My bird tends to stop and look around for the treat as soon as I click, but I have seen a number of videos where the trainer clicked and went right on, only rewarding at the end.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Michael » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:29 pm

I don't think it's a great idea to chain tricks like that. Chaining works better for prop based tricks where the bird is doing a preset course. If you just mean doing multiple tricks for a single treat, it's ok though. But if you want it on one cue, it will be hard. I always click and reward whenever. Not always at end of chain. Sometimes in the middle or other parts to maintain all of it. Once complete chain is well known, then only at the end and no more clicking in middle.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby angelblue » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:04 am

FIRST I want to thank you for your forum and ideas because they have been a great help so far. I recently aquired two amazons whlo were considered bonded whom were treated as table decor and highly aggressive. I have separated the birds and begun clicker traing for three weeks now. The birds are terrified of hands and moreso of the idea of stepping up so I still can't get them out of the cageds. I forced them out in the begininng but it was just to tramatic all around. I Have them at the stage where I can get them to target and I can pet their heads. This week I have them giving paw instead of beak target but the wont be tricked into stepping up. ANY thing which signals a shift of their controll over their body is met with fear(which is better than biting but)...and run away from if not warned against. I HAVE NICE open front cages now so I can work with them but I can'tseem to get the bridge of trust to convince them to volunteer to step up. I am sure they have never been well treated outside the cage so its a long road to gain trust. MY issue is begininng to be over treat consumption. One of the birds favorite happens to be peanuts. WALL- E will not eat all day in anrticipation of treat training and I still try to give small pieces so as not to fill him up. I added petting which he loves but I cant seem to convince him it is ok to step on me. Any ideas? I just know if I can get them past their fear they will be wonderful playmates but I am not experienced with hand training and their propensety to bite is hard to ignore. MY other Baby Gyspsy came to me handfed and cuddly so aggresion arrived later due to age with her and was easy to overcome. Fear seems harder to work with. They are very smart about 9 yrs old if that helps. Also they are malnourished which is the concern for overboard on treats.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby Andromeda » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:50 pm

How long have you had the birds and do you know if they were ever teased or abused or were they just not handled at all?

It's good that you've separated them for the purposes of training. Working on step-up with older, fearful birds will take a lot of time and patience but eventually you should be able to teach them to step-up. It could take weeks or months or even a year or more, mainly because you'll have to establish a history for trust with them before they will be willing to step-up.

You've probably already read Michael's Taming & Training Guide but if you haven't that's a place to start.

A medium-sized bird such as an Amazon can deliver a really nasty bite but it's critical that you avoid bites and if a bite does happen you need to completely ignore it. I know if you get an Amazon bite on the flesh this can be impossible so probably what you should do is SLOWLY teach step-up on your arm first and eventually target them closer to your hand until they finally will stand on your hand. To ignore bites and give them a firm perch it would be best to wear a long-sleeved jacket or sweatshirt (or even two!) so there is a barrier in case you do get bitten. You hide your hand in the sleeve completely and once they will step-up onto your arm you slowly begin to show your hand, then move to having them step-up onto your arm without wearing the jacket. See pictures and videos here.

angelblue wrote:MY issue is begininng to be over treat consumption. One of the birds favorite happens to be peanuts. WALL- E will not eat all day in anrticipation of treat training and I still try to give small pieces so as not to fill him up. ... Also they are malnourished which is the concern for overboard on treats.


If he is refusing to eat in anticipation of training you may need to have a session first thing in the morning before he gets his regular food and then no more for the rest of the day. Eventually he will learn he won't get treats later and will resort to eating his food.

Peanuts are not great to feed because they can contain aspergillus which is hard to treat and can be deadly. They are also kind of "junk" in that they are not of good nutritional value, especially for being so full of calories. It's okay to feed nuts as treats for training but especially with a malnourished bird choose a different nut that has a better nutritional value (such as walnuts or almonds) and hopefully if he likes peanuts so much he will like one of those nuts, too.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby angelblue » Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:54 pm

I am only going by their reaction....really don't haveva good history. As I said I have had them a bit over three weeks. And Walle is very attached to peanuts but no other nut. Is this problem you mention something humans are imune to because I am feeding cooked peanuts not raw and they are meant for human consumption. I guess I shall try a different treat but this is the only one he has responded to and he has been doing much better. I hate to backpetal.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby angelblue » Sun May 05, 2013 4:46 pm

Ok, so anyone noting can see its been a few weeks more and I am having moderate success with my training. I went back to read the blog again today and realized I have been making some mistakes (letting the bird train me ones) so that is probably part of my slow progress. I am trying to overcome a fear of being removed from the cage now. I have gotten my birds to step up onto a perch a few times (they refuse a hand, since they now trust me they head butt it away!) but I have to "trick" them to do it--by a method other sites have recommended which is the lure. Unfortunately when I get the bird out, they are so upset they wont step down onto another perch to continue training outside. This is a less frantic response, as previously when they came out for whatever reason, they high tailed it back to the create. It resulted in some very traumatic occurrences because they panicked and when I tried to help them they got more panicked, so outside the cage is a bad place. Even though they have learned to trust me, after I convince them to step up and move the perch out of the create now, they have that panicked body language and want to go back.... so I reward them and take them back and give the treat. This signals the end of training because now they have to recover from their panic. The next session (I try to do two a day) they are hesitant to go near the perch not wanting to be tricked into another out. I have to wait a day to try again.... and I don't want to over due it because I don't want them to fear coming out---but I am worried that there is no way to train them it is ok to come out.... If I withhold treats they may become aggressive again....well It seems so to me because while they recognize I hold the treats, they seem more than willing to push me away (head butts) after a move try and I don't know how to get past the issue. Micheal says don't overdue the target training.....but I am confused because of the mixed signals I get from my birds. The cage is limiting but If I don't give treats in there, they won't know they can get them if they come out... it feels like catch 22. Anyone got any hopeful words? The last person who helped me said it may take years to step up on my hand, so I decided a stick would be ok. They do let me pet them and sometimes even lick my fingers, so I am reasonably sure we are past the biting stage.... but I am afraid tricking them into stepping up has earned me bad marks. And it is obvious that coming out of the cage is the bigger issue, which I thought was the fear of hands and moving perches. I got them over the fear of hands in general and perches... somewhat but the fear to come out is harder. I don't know how to reassure them being out is ok---it seems counter productive to take them back, but I know its the right thing to do by their body language. Perhaps I am just impatient. Anyway, anyone who is a know it more of the retraining re=homed parrots kind, I would be grateful for your words of wisdom. Thanks :amazon:
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby samnel » Mon May 06, 2013 10:24 pm

Hello! I just got my first bird! He is a 3yo African grey! He had been with his first owner since bought from a breeder but they had to find him a new home. .. Me! I have always loved birds and been around them my whole life but he is my personal first! I am so excited to have him and I'm willing o do what it takes to form a forever bond with him. When I got him they said he is a shy but friendly bird. He has a fairly good vocabulary. My problem is he steps up but not so well in his cage he will either bite me if I reach in his cage or he will step up but when I go to pull him out he will bite on to his cage and not come out. When he is out he will hang out on my fingers or lap but will only let me occasionally scratch his beak on his terms. But after getting bit by him I'm kinda skittish going near his beak. He in immediately bites at me if I try to let his back. I want to learn how to form a healthy relationship with him where we're comfortable with each other. Also What are the best treats to offer as rewards
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby sindy_tech » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:42 pm

Hello,

We have recently brought home a baby Brown headed Parrot. What a sweetheart she is. In just one day she has learned to step up. However, She never wants to stay on my hand all she wants to do is grawl up to my shoulder. She is about 10 weeks now. We always sit down on the ground in case she tries to jump off so that she doesn't injure herself. My question is how do I get her to stay on my finger and not crawl up. I would have to say she is very good and step up and does it 9 out 10 times.
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Re: How to Teach Parrot to Step Up and to Come Out of Cage

Postby dvdsy » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:21 am

Hello!
I need some advice for this one....
somehow I don't know what happened but xD , I used my finger as the stick but still not sure if it thinks where i point is where my 2 cockatiels will get treats...

here is the scenario :
I don't have a clicker so I look for an alternative thing to use , but I will still use the word "clickler" to refer to it.
Whenever I did the clicker , sometimes it would look at me or the place I used to give treats to them , and a while ago , I used my left hand and point at a place , and it is like ready to lunge or extend it's neck to get the treat, and so I used my right hand to reward it with treat, and sometimes it works , it would look at the place I point like , look here , and come here , I will give you reward here , but for now , it won't work too far , except near or where it can reach out from the perch , should I continue this? and slowly extend the place where it should go?
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