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Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

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Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Wolf » Sat May 28, 2016 2:18 am

Many times I see that a person with a bird will say that their bird seems to like learning and the very first things that they get in response is that they are placing human thoughts and emotions onto the birds actions and that the bird is simply doing the trick without being asked in the hopes of getting it treat reward anyway.

Unfortunately, I can see this, many times agree with this assessment and have said this same thing myself. But is it always true? Or is it possible that our birds may also derive pleasure from doing tricks and things that we have taught it?

Our birds are self aware beings and they are also intelligent and while these two things appear to me to go together, that is another question. We enjoy doing things and many of them were things that we were taught to do by someone else, but that does not seem to prevent us from enjoying them anyway, so if we concede that our birds have enough self awareness and intelligence to be able to do anything at all simply because they enjoy it, why could they not do the tricks simply because they enjoy doing them?

That is the basis of my question. Do you think that your bird actually enjoys its training, training times and even doing the things we have taught them independently of the rewards that were used to teach them and if so what makes you think so?
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Chantilly » Sat May 28, 2016 3:39 am

Interesting topic, and I agree with what you are saying. I do definately think some birds enjoy training, whether it is to please the person or to get a treat.. I also think there are some birds who really just arent made for that sort of thing, they just want to be a bird.

Shrek is a no, she hates training hence I have not done any trainging with her, if she just wants to be a snuggly lorikeet, I am fine with that. If I was ever to train with Shrek, the only thing worth training is cuddles and scrathes, she really is not intrested in doing it for food, wich I have tried with her with sweet foods(fruits. so if I decided to train her, I would have to not scrath her(play with her/ whatever) until after she has performed. I am not prepared to do that, I have decided to take her into my world, the least I can do is keep her happy, and training does not accomplish the same result as just petting her because she wants to be petted.
Tilly however, is very motivated to train, I have been doin a bit of flight recal, and some other tricks we have gotten comfortable with, and for her, the attention she gets from the rest of the family and me praising her is enough to get her to want to train. Tilly enjoys the praises and extra attention she gets for training, and for me it helps me get closer to her. Whenever she has had enough, she will go fly to my brother to tell me thats it for the day, who will then just hold her until she decides to come and sit on me.
I beleive that when a bird does a trick- it is, in one way or another getting a reward (extra attention, verbal praises, food treats, ect:) - I beleive nothing is for nothing, everything has a price and I see this as applying to a bird too. In one way or another, if a bird trains, it is getting something out of it, and i can see this applying to flooded birds too - if they perform, they are not hurt, they are fed ect.
No matter what, the bird has to be getting something better than what it had, no matter what that is.
And anthough she be little, she is fierce ~Shakespeare
- Tilly & Shrek
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Pajarita » Sat May 28, 2016 10:10 am

Yes, I agree with Chantilly. Birds do things -tricks, if you will- for the reward. Whether this reward is attention, affection, freedom from a cage, a treat or whatever, is irrelevant. I remember reading about an interview that a lady who wrote a book on parrots and their relationship to people (Mira Tweti's Of Parrots and People) did with Alex and Dr. Pepperberg and it broke my heart when Alex's reward for showing off his talents for the interview was 'shoulder time' as well as 'window time'... Poor, poor thing! He had to work in order to be able to look out of a window (there was a tree he liked to look at) or even just a bit of closeness with another living being! He had such a terrible, terrible life that is no surprise he died so young...

But, just to clarify, there is absolutely no study that proves that parrots are self-aware and, for what I have been able to observe, they are not (of course, this could mean that my observations are wrong and not that they are not). We know that magpies are (as well as primates, dolphins, etc) but, so far, not parrots.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Michael » Sun May 29, 2016 9:08 am

Do you enjoy your job? For those who answer "yes," would you still work for "free" just cause you enjoy it?
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Wolf » Sun May 29, 2016 9:31 am

I don't know but I think that there is a difference her. Most of us work jobs because we are dependent on the money it brings in so that we can support ourselves and very few of us are able to work a job that we enjoy, but even given that we could work a job that we enjoy and there are some that do, we still need the income to support ourselves. There are, still some people that enjoyed what they did for employment to such a degree that after they have retired and have enough money that do actually donate their time and continue to do the same job that they were employed doing.

For humans, however there is no difference in the amount of energy required to perform a thing whether it is for employment or for pleasure. And then there are things such as hobbies that people do for the enjoyment of and there are others that are involved in the hobby as their employment and of those some are mixing business with pleasure and others that it is just a means of supporting themselves and because of this you would receive both answers of yes and no.

Most of our birds do not have to work to support themselves or be concerned about the same things as we must be concerned with. Except for trick training very few of our birds do anything that birds don't normally do. Because of these differences, I am unsure how your question applies. Perhaps you could clarify.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Michael » Sun May 29, 2016 10:22 am

Wolf wrote:Most of our birds do not have to work to support themselves or be concerned about the same things as we must be concerned with. Except for trick training very few of our birds do anything that birds don't normally do. Because of these differences, I am unsure how your question applies. Perhaps you could clarify.


The parrot is a wild animal. As far as it is concerned, it has to work for income to feed itself, mate, and reproduce. Training or foraging gives the bird the opportunity to as is its instinct. The specific details of how the work is accomplished may be different, but their main focus is to learn and work as needed.

Point is we may or may not enjoy the work but we do find a need to. When we don't need to work, we come up with fake ways to work like hobbies or games. But we prefer hobbies, games, or jobs that bring reward. Winning points in games, making a craft with a visible outcome, or getting paid for a hobby-job are rewards that are still sought. Who wants to play a game where you already know you won but won't get anything for it. So I believe that happiness is tied with getting rewards because it is unusual in nature not to need to work.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Wolf » Sun May 29, 2016 11:00 am

Thank you for the clarification.
Wolf
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Pajarita » Mon May 30, 2016 1:28 pm

I agree that all work is done to achieve some type of reward (either money or some kind of pleasure like a sense of achievement, a ticket to heaven, etc) but I don't think that animals think of foraging or breeding as work or a hobby... they look for food because they are hungry (and the reward is that they are sated), they build a nest because hormones tell them to as breeding is their main purpose in life (and sex is pleasurable), etc. So, although man would work for more reasons than just monetary reward and some individuals would learn just for the pleasure of it, I don't think that parrots learn because the learning itself brings them pleasure.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Wolf » Mon May 30, 2016 5:55 pm

I can see and agree with parrots doing things for the reward. I can also agree that to my way of thinking it is the primary reason for them to do anything. These are also the primary reason that humans do things and with humans we can even determine if that reward comes from inside the person or is an extraneous reward.

This is where my question begins to get more difficult, Can we ascertain if birds enjoy learning things, or even doing some things without an external reward or if the reward is derived from an external source is the actual reward from something inside of the bird. For instance, I make a little jewelry and do a bit of woodworking and carving, my reward is not from selling a well made piece, or always the satisfaction of doing a good job on the piece, but from the look on the person's face when they receive something that I made.

I am not really asking if our birds do thing because of the reward they receive internally or a reward given to them. My question is do they enjoy or like doing things and/ or learning things and how do you tell. It is not about the reward, although I assume that there is some sort of reward.
Wolf
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Tman007 » Mon May 30, 2016 8:09 pm

Lets look at it this way.. When you ask your bird to stepup and he does do you. say good bird are you not trainig your bird. So i take it a step further aslng him to way when I grab. a chopstick and a clicker my to little conures start to chatter they know it means treats. If I open the jjar with the walnuts in it the know it means treats. They know when they go back in their cage it mean a treat. When i an in the kitchen and they hear the food prosser going they know morning breakfest is coming there are many things that tell them some form of food is comming and training is one. And then once they know the trick they know doing the trick means treat. How many times have you ask a freind for help and said i will buy you lunch..
He is helplng you because he likes you and he also gets lunch. My parrot knows that if i ask him to do something he gets a treat. I give him a pet or tell him he is a good bird or a treat. I think that they like the interaction with me as well.
I am on my phone.just so you know. But thats my thoughts on it.
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But a greater to accept it graciously

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