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Target training issues

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Target training issues

Postby luvdlord4eva » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:41 pm

My Canary Wing is target trained, but lately she has started to show some aggression towards the stick. I don't reward her when she attacks the stick, but the behavior seems to be getting more frequent. I tried to switch things up and started training her to fetch, but she is showing the same aggression or territorial behavior towards the toy I try to train her with. She will be 1 yr old next month so I'm thinking it may be hormone related...plus she has some pin feathers coming through so I think she just may be uncomfortable. I'm really lost on what kind of interaction I should have with her right now bc I don't want to encourage any negative behavior. She also has started to randomly nip during her time out of her cage, and after reading the info parrot wizard had on out of cage time...I realize that is a result of us letting her be out all the time. She is the biggest sweetheart most of the time, but I am trying to learn as much as I can to be a better bird owner. I am obviously a novice to this stuff so any tips will help. Thanks in advance for any advice given.
luvdlord4eva
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Canary Winged Parakeet
Flight: No

Re: Target training issues

Postby Michael » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:37 am

You can try using a new word instead of "target" say "come over" or something like that. Show the target stick, say the new command, and when the bird walks close to but not yet reached the target, click and give a treat. This way there isn't an opportunity to be aggressive to the stick but most of the same purpose (directing the parrot to walk or fly some place) has been accomplished.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6055
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Target training issues

Postby Pajarita » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:29 am

Michael has vast more experience in training than me [I don't do any formal training with my birds, I just teach them 'manners' as we go... they might not do tricks but they are VERY obedient and never bite] and I am sure that the alternative he gave you works. But it seems to me that you believe that a canary wing will behave the same way the companion species that Michael has and that cannot be further from the truth.

Canary wings are aviary birds while Michael's 'stars' are poicephalus which are highly trainable species. Aviary birds don't do well on their own once they reach sexual maturity when they revert to their 'natural' disposition of aviary bird. Companion species are the ones that will remain trained for the duration [if you do it the right way] and will never lose the deep bond with their human [as long as they are treated well, of course!]. Aviary species will need the companionship of another bird of their own species, preferably of the opposite gender, when they are adults. They are 'birdy' birds, not really 'human pet' birds. It's not that they won't love their human, stop enjoying their company, refuse to take treats from them, bite them or anything like that, they won't! They will be affectionate to the human but they will also KNOW they are birds and will need other birds to be really happy. Humans are not enough for them and the lack of other birds to flock with makes them anxious.

Another thing is that you might have started her training way too young and she is now rebelling against it. This is a common mistake that first time owners make with their birds... they misread a baby's natural compliance for obedience and start training before they are old enough for it (you don't send a toddler to high school] and, by the time the bird passes puberty and get the adult feeling of self-assuredness, it backfires.

As to caging a bird having any beneficial effect on their relationship with their human... well, let's just say that I seriously doubt it! How could caging an animal make it love you?

Personally, if I were you, I would get my little hen a mate and give them a large flight cage.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Target training issues

Postby luvdlord4eva » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:10 pm

I will try the method you suggested Michael for target training. How would you suggest I approach fetch training? She is fine doing the trick a couple of times without aggression towards the toy I am training with, but after the two times...it seems as though she becomes territorial over the toy. I have tried switching the toys I use, and the response is the same after she becomes familiar with it. I have applied your rules of making out of cage time truly count, and I have seen a major change in her mood after only 2 days. I will be purchasing your book soon as well...so I hope to get educated even more. Thank you for all you do for parrot's and their owners. There is so much to learn about them, and it can be overwhelming.
luvdlord4eva
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Canary Winged Parakeet
Flight: No

Re: Target training issues

Postby Pajarita » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:30 pm

I debated with myself about posting this because I don't want you to feel alienated or offended but I always feel that my first responsibility is to the birds welfare so I am compelled to make this comment to you, especially since you mentioned your lack of experience: PLEASE, PLEASE be careful that your expectations of the species you own are not something that the bird cannot meet. A bird cannot be what nature did not evolve it to be and aviary birds cannot behave like companion birds.

This is going to sound completely mercenary but there is a reason why Senegals cost between $800 and $1,000 and canarywings less than $200 [if people could get exactly the same from a $200 bird as from a $900 one, why would anybody buy the expensive one? - not that I, personally, measure an animal's worth by its monetary value but most people do]. Actually, there is more than one reason and it all has to do with the old offer and demand:

1] Companions are more difficult to breed and not as prolific [offer]
2] Their bond to the human -and thus, their desire to please them, is much deeper than aviary birds [demand]
3] They are much more trainable because of the deeper bond [demand]

Parrots are not all the same. They share a lot of characteristics and that's why they are all classified under the same order but there are huge differences between the families, tribes, genus and species and it's not only size and plumage but also behavior. You can't expect a cockatiel to be the same as an African gray or a budgie to be the same as a macaw. In the same way, you can't expect a brotogeris to behave or be as trainable as a poicephalus - they belong to the same family [they all do except the toos and tiels and the New Zealand parrots] but even their subfamilies are different, the brotos are arini and the pois are psittacini.

Please, I beg you not to take offense and to do more research about the species you have because I am sure you love your bird very much and would not want to do something that is going to stress her out and make her unhappy.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11878
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Target training issues

Postby Michael » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:34 pm

You can target train any parrot and many less intelligent creatures. Obviously there are differences in elements of higher learning but when it comes to fundamental behavior, they are all the same on the operant level.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Target training issues

Postby Pajarita » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:50 am

Yes, Michael, you are absolutely right. Any animal can be trained but the difference is in the methods and the amount of stress these methods create.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11878
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Target training issues

Postby luvdlord4eva » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:45 pm

Now I am even MORE confused. This particular Canary Wing is from Puerto Rico (white winged), and what I do know about them is you either get 2 when they're babies or else if you get one later they will either be aggressive or won't really bond with the other bird. They get so bonded to humans that they will have no interest in the other bird. The breeder we got her from let us know we either needed to get 2 at once or be ok with not having any other birds later on, and that as long as we gave her lots of love and attention she would be set. Now you're telling me if I don't get her another bird...she will be stressed and upset. Bird tricks and the parrot wizard have both expressed the importance of training these intelligent beings for their emotional health, and now you are telling me that if I train her I am stressing her out. So much conflicting information. Michael...have you had experience with canary wings? I know this bird is rare, but I'm sure you have had some type of interaction with one. Any thing you have to say to clear up this confusion would help a lot.
luvdlord4eva
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Canary Winged Parakeet
Flight: No

Re: Target training issues

Postby Michael » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:10 pm

I have trained budgies and cockatiels and most topics relate to training of parakeets. I see no reason why there should be any more stress for parakeets of all sorts than larger parrots. I will admit that they are generally less interested in a one on one bond or interaction with humans. However, this makes training all the more important if you wish to have any sort of hands on experience with this bird and not confine it to a cage/aviary lifestyle.
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Michael
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 6055
Location: New York
Number of Birds Owned: 3
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot, Cape Parrot, Green-Winged Macaw
Flight: Yes

Re: Target training issues

Postby luvdlord4eva » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:28 am

I implemented your suggestion of targeting her with the "come here" command, and it worked like a charm. She is no longer aggressive with the target stick, and I also started teaching her fetch with a small piece of wood instead of toys. She is doing great with those changes. Thank you for your time in helping me. I really appreciate it.
luvdlord4eva
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Canary Winged Parakeet
Flight: No

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