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Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

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Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby mylifewithmarmalade » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:23 am

Well, Marmalade has been very fast to pick up all kinds of behaviors. :sun: But currently we are stuck on the finer points of the piggy bank. He understands picking up the coin, will put it in my hand when requested, will drop it in an open box when requested, and put it on the flat top of the piggy bank when requested. He figured out all of those in the space of a week. I cannot however get him to understand that the coin needs to go through the slot.

I've tried modeling it for him, but he gets frustrated and refuses to try again. Any ideas on how to get from putting it on top to putting it in the slot?
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby Wolf » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:28 am

I don't know if your piggy bank is clear or not, but if it is not, you could try to find a small jar with lid to make into a piggy bank so that he can see the coin drop inside of it. Along with continuing to put the coin that he places on top in the slot and being patient, I don't know what else might help. I do think it might be important to use the coin that he has just placed on top to drop in the bank to help him make the connection, as well as starting with one coin inside to start with.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:58 am

May I ask what is the actual purpose of the bird putting the coin through the slot in the piggy bank?
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby Michael » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:22 am

First of all, try using some smaller coins so that the slot is relatively bigger. Teach the bird to fetch to put it on top of the piggy bank top. Next you can cheat the motion of it sliding in by placing your hand near the slot. As the bird pushes the coin along the top against your finger, it gets diverted down into the slot. Progressively reduce the role you play until the bird gets it. Or if the bird holds the coin so it is dangling vertically, use clicker training to reward progress fetching the coin closer and closer to the slot, ignore further, and keep going until bird gets it in.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby mylifewithmarmalade » Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:06 am

Pajarita, why do we teach any tricks? Because they are fun! Birds love to put things inside other things, so the piggy bank trick is a fun game to teach them to put the coins in the bank.

Thanks Michael for the encouragement, he will put it flat on top, right on top of the slot most times. He just can't seem to connect the dots to put it in the slot. But maybe just more time.

Wolf, the bank is solid, so maybe a clear bank would work better. Intriguing idea anyway. I'll have to see what I can find to try that with.

Thanks everyone! As I said, he really is very bright, so I wanted to see if anyone had any tips for how I might help him understand, because my goal is for him to have fun, not be frustrated.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby Wolf » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:35 am

Show him the position the coin needs to be in so that it can drop into the slot, IE on edge rather than flat. That might also help, birds learn much of what they learn from watching it being done.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby Pajarita » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:41 am

[quote="mylifewithmarmalade"]Pajarita, why do we teach any tricks? Because they are fun! /quote]

Yes, fun - but you forgot to add 'for us, humans'. I seriously doubt the birds think tricks are fun. If they did, they would do them without training or reward.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby Michael » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:03 pm

Pajarita wrote:Yes, fun - but you forgot to add 'for us, humans'. I seriously doubt the birds think tricks are fun. If they did, they would do them without training or reward.


We'll never truly know if the birds think that are fun or not, but quite clearly through their behavior they choose to do them so there's gotta be something in it for them. You don't do anything without training or reward either. Any hobby or thing you do for fun at some point required learning how to do it and something that made it worth your while.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby shiraartain » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:26 pm

I think that tricks provide a basis for interaction. Fajr gets bored and goes off to make mischief if you're not interesting enough. Though I want to start with Lemon and Clover because they're not about to become completely hand tame and I need an excuse to have them willingly interact with me instead of using me as a perch and my clothes as a chew toy. None of our birds have any qualms about nipping or being uncooperative to let you know they don't want to do something, which I assume is true for all birds.
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Re: Stuck On Piggy Bank, Any Advice?

Postby mylifewithmarmalade » Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:45 am

shiraartain wrote:I think that tricks provide a basis for interaction. Fajr gets bored and goes off to make mischief if you're not interesting enough. Though I want to start with Lemon and Clover because they're not about to become completely hand tame and I need an excuse to have them willingly interact with me instead of using me as a perch and my clothes as a chew toy. None of our birds have any qualms about nipping or being uncooperative to let you know they don't want to do something, which I assume is true for all birds.


Exactly. Marmalade usually loves working on tricks, he gets so excited when he learns something new. It is something we can do together rather than just watch TV or have him sit and watch me do things. He enjoys that too, but is more likely to get bored and find something mischevious to do in the meantime. If he has lost interest in working on a trick or gotten frustrated he'll wander off or up to my shoulder for cuddles, which I'm glad to give him. I will usually try a different trick after a few minutes, sometimes he will do a different trick for a while, but if he's done, he's done, and that's okay. I have no intention of trying to force him, and he has no intention of allowing me to make him do anything. He participates with me because it interests him and he gets treats.

Today Marmalade actually did get the coin in the slot a couple of times, though not in a row. I think he is starting to experiment with that. Wolf's idea about putting it in the slot for him every time he puts it on top I think is helping a little. Before I had been showing him putting them in the slot, but not correcting the placement every time, so thank you for that idea!
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