Miscellaneous Parrot Topics > Behavior & Training

Positive Reinforcement Training

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maxsmom:
Hello

Not much activity going on the forum tbese days....too cold to post? :-)

So please post a great story of positive reinforcement training to inspire us all.

Many know Charlie who has been with me for 2 years is a bit stubborn. He doesn't step up and is pretty much hands off.   I still have hopes to get him to step up..... Anyway, he has learned to turnaround for treats like Max. He is not always consistent and gets frustrated. I simply do not give him the treat when he will not turnaround and keep lesson very short. And I try again another day. My goal is more consistent performance....next is basic target training......all leading to eventual step up lessons.   I spent a year to convert him to healthy eating....I smile as he chews kale these days....so I am still hopeful that with enough practice he will decide he can trust enough again

Looking forward to reading your posts

Julie T:
Too cold??!!.... It's too freakin HOT to post LOL  :biglaughing: it's been near 90 lately! Nothing to be jealous of, it's not nice and warm, it's HOT. I'm SWEATING.

You'll get there! You're doing so well with Charlie so far. Diet conversions are tough too, and to stick with it and not give up day after day of food waste. Although it takes time, I think it's still a bit easier to get a bird to trust you, than it is to get a stubborn bird to do something (who does trust).

Raven will 99% of the time ONLY step up for me if I have a treat bribe. I give a single safflower seed. They're tiny, but it's enough. He loves them. I think all parrots do. Sometimes the seed is a dud, but by the time he finds out he's already stepped up haha. Raven does trust me... his problem is that he TESTS me to see what he could get away with not doing. I ALWAYS need to treat bribe him. Sometimes he'll "act" like he's going to take the treat, then will do a quick bite instead with no warning! That is so Un-Pionus-like! Occasionally he will NOT take the treat, and will not do what I ask either, which makes it hard for training. I can tell by his facial expressions and body language, he's just doing it to try me. Or like he's saying "you're not my person, I'm simply not interested in doing anything for you".  I have to call Don over, and then he just melts in his hands!!

As you regulars know, Raven will do ANYTHING for Don, and he doesn't even need a treat! Raven has NEVER bitten him. He could even restrain Raven WITHOUT a towel while I groom him, and he'll still never bite him. Amazing. Don doesn't even need to say "step up" he can just open the cage and go in and grab him and pull him out of the cage with both hands like a chicken and he doesn't mind!! Flips him upside down, smothers him with cuddles with both hands holding him tight (just like a Cockatoo)!!! He's even hormonal right now... I can't even believe it.

Raven is very slowly just starting to accept me a slight bit more. Ever so occasionally, when his bff Griffin is on my arm, THEN he might want to be on my arm too for a few minutes. He also likes to talk to me as I stand near him.

I'm afraid it's no story of inspiration, but as Raven opens up to me, I plan to slowly see if I can get him to do more than just step up without giving me a dirty stare lol.

maxsmom:
Great story of your diligence and positive reinforcement with step up.  I think it is great how much you try with Raven. Maybe your husband should not give ANY treats. If treats only come from you perhaps he will appreciate you more. 

Think about target training him. And yes I am jealous of 90

Dartman:
Trust me the quick bite rather then taking the treat is pretty Pionus like, at least with Lurch as well. He'll decided he doesn't want the treat, or just is tired of it and smack at it or try to bite to make it go away.
He has learned that direct hard biting doesn't always get the result he desired so he's modified his reaction to mostly biting and knocking the treat out of our hands while fluffing and flaring so he's also learned to give clear warnings again.
He has slowly learned that if he stays nice he's allowed to ride around on our shoulders, if he nips he gets shaken off and no more shoulder rides for a while. He always flies to plop on me when I leave but has also learned when I gently drop my shoulder and tell him to go home he is to fly away, then I tell him what a good bird he is. Not sure if he responds to that sorta thing but it keeps things positive and he seems happy to be allowed a bit of time to hang out before I tell him to go home.
He pretty much is free ranging once somebodies home and is allowed to do as he pleases as long as he isn't getting hurt or being nippy so he really has decided he likes to just hang out with me or sister and get treats, scritches, or snooze.

Julie T:

--- Quote from: maxsmom on February 16, 2015, 03:50:43 PM ---Great story of your diligence and positive reinforcement with step up.  I think it is great how much you try with Raven. Maybe your husband should not give ANY treats. If treats only come from you perhaps he will appreciate you more. 

Think about target training him. And yes I am jealous of 90

--- End quote ---

Thanks so much maxsmom  :) I love my Raven. More than he loves me lol. He's so funny and cute and entertaining. What helps is that I try to focus on those positives instead of on the things that disappoint me about him :)

Actually Don really doesn't give Raven treats all that often. So I am the primary person who gives treats. I should try targeting.. I'm curious how a super stubborn bird will respond to it! I'll have to try then get back to you.

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