Author Topic: Positive Reinforcement Training  (Read 5390 times)

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Offline maxsmom

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Positive Reinforcement Training
« on: February 16, 2015, 05:10:15 AM »
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
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline Julie T

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 12:21:27 PM »
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.


Offline maxsmom

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #2 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
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline Dartman

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 04:52:45 PM »
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.
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Offline Julie T

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 06:20:22 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

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.

Offline Julie T

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 08:34:38 PM »
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.

Oh so it IS Pionus-like!! I see... Yeah, Raven has been a cranky one ever since I first met him at 4 1/2 months old! I try to make him see that biting is not effective with me, but it doesn't deter him lol. So far they have been bite and release type of bites at least... Poicephalus on the other hand are vicious when they bite, and hang on til you're pretty good and bloody!

Offline Dartman

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2015, 09:51:42 PM »
The vet that saw Nerd a few times showed us a scar on her hand by the fat on the back of the area below the thumb. It was not horrible but noticeable once she pointed it out and she said it was the worst bite she ever got and it was a Pionus, maxi I think, that did it when she was a student vet.
That was after Nerd got upset the first time they met and tried to bite her, he was very scared and she was trying to get him out of his cage as we didn't have a carrier yet. I got her outa the way and he nailed me good too and she said you shouldn't let him bite you... :shocking: I said he's my bird and he can bite me but I don't want to let him bite you...then she showed us the scar after he was dealt with and settled down. They can also hang on like pit bulls and chew, trust me, I've been on the receiving end a few times, but yes most times it will be a pinch and release type thing, they reserve the grinding and chewing for those times when they are truly afraid and trying to defend themselves. :taz:
Nerd pretty much never did the bite the food I don't want thing, he just would ignore it or refuse to take it so it is also a individual thing as well.
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Offline momazon

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2015, 12:06:31 AM »
Oh, yes, I agree, pi bites can be bad, and they do vary.  Luckily, Dobby does not bite and hang on, but we did rehome one bird that did that, and my ear has some interesting scar tissue because of her.  Poicephalus bites are different, maybe because they are little and sharp like daggers.

As far as the best training move we made, it was when he was a baby, and we used to get at different ends of the house with his handfeeding formula, and took turns calling him and giving a little formula.  This has been a lifesaver a couple of times when he got out.  Once was when we were moving two summers ago. I was unspeakably stressed and walked outside with him on my shoulder, one for the books, I know, but I did just that.  He flew to the rooftop and began strutting, and I got a spoon and some oatmeal and began calling, "Dobby Dobby, let's eat".  After what seemed like forever, he flew down to eat and seemed okay with the oatmeal instead of formula. The other time he got loose, the same thing happened, and I had to climb up on the garage in my robe, much to the amusement of our former neighbors.  We don't talk about that one.

Offline Julie T

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2015, 01:43:56 AM »
Wow Terry, the vet said the worst bite was a Pionus! Good that they don't typically and often do the hanging on and grinding thing! Poi's do it pretty normally, and although their body is 1/2 size of Pionus, my Red Bellied's beak is 3/4 the size of Raven's. The males especially are extremely hard biters. Robin once took a good chunk out of my finger. They said I couldn't get stitches cause there was a piece missing!  :shocking:

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2015, 04:12:34 AM »
Momazon- Your recall technique is terrific. All of us should practice this. Glad it got Dobby back. Thanks for sharing
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 04:39:49 AM »
Terry - Would you like to share any techniques in positive reinforcement training?
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 04:49:05 AM »
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



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.
I will get back to you as well. Charlie is super stubborn and prone to looking at me like I am crazy then barking at me to ask me to go away (Apparently he used to live with a dog and saw how effective barking was). But I am going to try target training....I believe patience will be needed
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto

Offline Julie T

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 12:18:47 PM »
Okay maxsmom, you and I will have each other for encouragement!  :) Lets do it!

It helps to know that Raven is not the only one who gives "those looks". If I try to step him up without a safflower seed, he'll give me a dirty look, then look down at my finger, then back up at my face LOL as if to tell me I must be joking or something! As frustrating as it is, it's hilarious too!

Offline Dartman

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 06:01:42 PM »
Terry - Would you like to share any techniques in positive reinforcement training?
As in you have ideas for me, or any things I might have come up with? Please type quietly as he just hopped onto my left knee to preen and hang out :shades:
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Offline maxsmom

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Re: Positive Reinforcement Training
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2015, 08:18:45 PM »
Terry - check out the clicker training and target training sites I posted. Posting about how bad pionus bites are on a positive reinforcement thread may not be consistent with the topic of the thread. Yes pionus parrots bite as do all parrots; however I was trying to have a positive thread about how to change behaviour. Biting can change with positive reinforcement.
She flies with her own wings. Oregon State Motto