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Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Wolf » Mon May 30, 2016 9:54 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I am very interested in what our members think about this.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby ParrotsForLife » Tue May 31, 2016 3:45 am

I haven't done any training with my Cockatiels in a long time so now they hardly do what I ask them to do without keep flying off.Of course I can get them in their cage easily but not getting a treat after doing something they seem to be more flighty.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Wolf » Tue May 31, 2016 8:17 am

One of the reasons for my question is that my birds get treats and praise as well as head scratches and beak rubs for doing things as well as just because they are there. One of my birds likes getting treats in return for doing things and one of my birds does not take treats at all in return for doing anything. If she does something that I am trying to teach her she wants head scratches, beak rubs but mostly praise but will not accept a food treat unless it is just because she is there and for no other reason.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby seagoatdeb » Tue May 31, 2016 6:08 pm

If you train them in a positve way then the answer is yes they enjoy training. Most parrots will just not participate, if they dont want to. It is a means of communication and as such is enriching to both parrot and person. Parrots work hard in the wild, they need things that will satisfy those needs when they live with us.

Sunny is being trained right now by watching Gaugan, who is determined to chew on my dining room china cabinet. 10 minute time outs just slow her down and she will not likely listen untill breeding season is over. Sunny watches and will not go on the cabinet, he doesnt want a 10 minute time out....lol......Gaugan is really trying to get me to see she should have the cabinet, when I pick her up to go put her in the cage she starts playing,, and hanging upside down and gives sweet little sounds and tastes something on the cabinet.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Michael » Tue May 31, 2016 11:26 pm

Pajarita wrote: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.


That's cause you haven't met Kili.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby seagoatdeb » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:05 am

Michael wrote:
Pajarita wrote: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.


That's cause you haven't met Kili.


She hasnt met Gaugan either and Gaugan is so happy to have foraging toys that she has to work at for hours or days to get the reward, that when i put them up she has to come and give me little kisses to show how happy she is, and when she is in the mood, she will do tricks and make such happy sounds that no one in the vicinity could say she is not having fun.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby ParrotsForLife » Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:28 am

Michael wrote:
Pajarita wrote: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.


That's cause you haven't met Kili.

She hasn't met Tiko either lol she loves working for food
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:08 am

But the question would be: if your parrot always got a bowl full of treats every single time he is asked to do a trick or every time he is given a foraging toy, would it still prefer to work for one instead of just taking one from the bowl? Mine would do pretty much anything I ask of them and I never give them a treat as a reward -granted that I don't ask them to do any tricks but just things that are necessary for sharing our living environment and not in any formal frame but just as they happen along so the fact that there is no actual structure or anticipation of a reward must make a difference. I mean, if a parrot -say, Kili- was taught from an early age that a trick means a treat and that no treat would be forthcoming regularly otherwise, this would create a conditioned response that would last a lifetime - while a parrot that never goes through this type of training and gets treats all the time just because would not have this same condition response - right?

My birds get a treat every single afternoon right before I go upstairs with my tea (they also get one if I happen to make something for them like birdy cookies or if I have company, it's a holiday, etc). The afternoon treat doesn't happen always at the same time and it doesn't even happen every single afternoon because if I am running an errand, they don't get it but they know that when I put my kettle on, a treat is coming so they anticipate it based on my actions creating thus, another sort of conditioned response. The same could be said of Gaugan getting a foraging toy, she knows that there is a treat inside because every time she gets the foraging toy, that is what she finds in it.

My point is that we can confuse an eager response to a specific stimulus as a conscious willingness on part of the parrot when, in reality, it's something we taught it same as Pavlov taught his dogs to expect food whenever they heard the bell ringing.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby ParrotsForLife » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:25 pm

Pajarita wrote:But the question would be: if your parrot always got a bowl full of treats every single time he is asked to do a trick or every time he is given a foraging toy, would it still prefer to work for one instead of just taking one from the bowl? Mine would do pretty much anything I ask of them and I never give them a treat as a reward -granted that I don't ask them to do any tricks but just things that are necessary for sharing our living environment and not in any formal frame but just as they happen along so the fact that there is no actual structure or anticipation of a reward must make a difference. I mean, if a parrot -say, Kili- was taught from an early age that a trick means a treat and that no treat would be forthcoming regularly otherwise, this would create a conditioned response that would last a lifetime - while a parrot that never goes through this type of training and gets treats all the time just because would not have this same condition response - right?

My birds get a treat every single afternoon right before I go upstairs with my tea (they also get one if I happen to make something for them like birdy cookies or if I have company, it's a holiday, etc). The afternoon treat doesn't happen always at the same time and it doesn't even happen every single afternoon because if I am running an errand, they don't get it but they know that when I put my kettle on, a treat is coming so they anticipate it based on my actions creating thus, another sort of conditioned response. The same could be said of Gaugan getting a foraging toy, she knows that there is a treat inside because every time she gets the foraging toy, that is what she finds in it.

My point is that we can confuse an eager response to a specific stimulus as a conscious willingness on part of the parrot when, in reality, it's something we taught it same as Pavlov taught his dogs to expect food whenever they heard the bell ringing.

Tiko doesn't get foraging toys all the time she rarely gets those but when she does she prefers that than food from her bowl.And she doesn't get treats all the time either but does love working for them.My birds are not always rewarded with treats and still like the training and continue with it.
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Re: Does your parrot actually enjoy training?

Postby seagoatdeb » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:40 pm

Pajarita wrote:But the question would be: if your parrot always got a bowl full of treats every single time he is asked to do a trick or every time he is given a foraging toy, would it still prefer to work for one instead of just taking one from the bowl? Mine would do pretty much anything I ask of them and I never give them a treat as a reward -granted that I don't ask them to do any tricks but just things that are necessary for sharing our living environment and not in any formal frame but just as they happen along so the fact that there is no actual structure or anticipation of a reward must make a difference. I mean, if a parrot -say, Kili- was taught from an early age that a trick means a treat and that no treat would be forthcoming regularly otherwise, this would create a conditioned response that would last a lifetime - while a parrot that never goes through this type of training and gets treats all the time just because would not have this same condition response - right?

My birds get a treat every single afternoon right before I go upstairs with my tea (they also get one if I happen to make something for them like birdy cookies or if I have company, it's a holiday, etc). The afternoon treat doesn't happen always at the same time and it doesn't even happen every single afternoon because if I am running an errand, they don't get it but they know that when I put my kettle on, a treat is coming so they anticipate it based on my actions creating thus, another sort of conditioned response. The same could be said of Gaugan getting a foraging toy, she knows that there is a treat inside because every time she gets the foraging toy, that is what she finds in it.

My point is that we can confuse an eager response to a specific stimulus as a conscious willingness on part of the parrot when, in reality, it's something we taught it same as Pavlov taught his dogs to expect food whenever they heard the bell ringing.



Pavlov with his dogs is showing how behviour can be conditioned. Behaviour conditioning works. We use it without even thinking with our kids, people and animals. If someone brought me a bowl of food, I would not cook that night. If we wake up someone at the same time everyday they may start waking up at that time on their own. It is not that we are using behavior conditioning as a scientific experiment, it is that Pavlov showed how it operates in our lives. Behavior psychology is my favorite branch of psychology, because it focuses on how we become conditioned so we can understand the mechanics and when it is happening and how we can use it in our lives to produce change. Hopefully we use it positivly. The word taught is important here, because we do teach each other how to communicate, and that aspect of training is the most important. Our communication with teach other is very important.

If they always bought me the bowl of food, I might start getting lazy about cooking. Would that be good for me? I have seen many animals that enjoy training including parrots. I can see so many emotions in Gaugans eyes, but she is also good at showing how she feels. If she wants to work at a forging toy she does with great relish, if she doesnt she will climb down to where the nut jar is and hang upside down with her beak pointing at it saying "hey Gaugy Bird" As a general rule the more an animal likes rules the easier they are to behavior conditon. Gaugan makes up a lot of her own rules and will change them. She conditions us too.....lol
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