rebeccaturpeinen wrote:first: GREAT article!
i have a question though. i have been doing some training and reading this it became clear i have been making some mistakes. my bird always comes out on his own, he has always done this but i am going to try and change this and start with step one again, target training inside the cage, maybe this will improve the target training outside of the cage.
my question; when he is out of the cage, should training start straight away? i usually let him play a little. and after the training (i keep it short so he doesnt lose interest and it becomes boring) should he immediatly go back in his cage so he is basicly only out of the cage for training or is it ok for him to raom around a bit and do what he wants to do?
I highly recommend having the parrot step up in order to be let out because then YOU can get credit for taking the parrot out. When you just open the door, I don't think they particularly associate that with you. But when you reach in and they step on you, they learn that stepping up for you is super awesome! It just helps with step up in general.
Actually, considering you are able to get your parrot out in the first place, I wouldn't suggest doing the training in the cage first. Start with target training in your designated "training area" until the parrot is well accustomed to being targeted. Next, practice target step up onto hand (outside cage) while still using whatever method you used before for going in/out. Then when it's already familiar with target outside the cage, you can begin using target in the cage. It will pick it up this way much quicker. They learn quicker outside the cage cause there are fewer distractions.
Once your parrot is reliable at stepping up, just remember to keep whatever happens after stepping up positive (attention, beak rubs, toys, going some place fun) and you won't have to use targeting or treats to maintain it. Especially with the fantastic reward called "coming out of cage." That's a treat in itself and step up is maintained thus.