Showing posts with label Training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Training. Show all posts

Friday, February 16, 2018

8 Basic Guides To TRAINING Your PET BIRD

Bailey Bird
Photo by Jen’s Art&Soul

You brought home with you a beautiful Macaw, you’ve done your research and got it what it needs to be a happy bird. Now its time to train your pet bird to do all the neat tricks you’ve adorned from a distance in envy. Where to start? Here are some basic training tips for those of you who recently brought in a feathered friend.

The more you spend time with your pet bird the more you will become familiar with their unique personality. Like humans, these birds possess unique personalities that tell you how they feel in their own special ways.

1. Have you ever had trouble concentrating during long class hours or business meetings? Like people birds get bored too, so keep the training session short. 10 minutes are about the ideal length in retaining your bird’s attention.

2. Comfort and familiarity are important to birds too if you’re using props to train your bird then leave them near the cage and let the bird warm up to those items.

3. Once again, birds are like people in that they can’t concentrate very well with distractions. Turn the TV and your stereo off when you’re training your pet and try to find a quiet place away from the cage. If the bird, however, has some insecurities or is frightened you should probably keep the bird near the cage to let it feel secure.

4. We all remember things better when there’s a reward involved. (Remember that gold star you got for turning the homework in on time back in elementary school?) Find a treat that your feathered friend will be rewarded with if it performs a trick correctly. The treat doesn’t necessarily have to be food but if you do choose to give your pet something to eat, make sure it’s small and something that is easily consumed. Though praises or a good head scratch is always preferred.

5. Consistency is the key to success. Try to train your bird same time every day. That way your bird has something to look forward to and can get used to the routine.

6. Try to avoid your pet from developing bad habits. Biting can be avoided by keeping your hands out of beak range when training your bird. That way your bird won’t be as tempted to take a bite out of your finger.

7. If your bird starts to misbehave don’t get intimidated, remain calm and stay close until the bird calms down. You can leave when the bird has stopped stirring, this way it teaches your pet that acting out won’t get it what it wants.

8. Remember that each bird behaves differently and all birds require patience and commitment. Don’t expect for your bird to behave like a Harvard student after one or two training sessions. With abundant affection and consistent training, your bird will learn to build bonds with you and perform tricks.

By Roy Tanaka - Article Source: EzineArticles

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Flooding – A Bad Parrot Training Technique For MACAWS

When I first decided to become a parrot trainer I read up on all sorts of training techniques from supposedly good parrot trainers. These trainer’s birds were amazing. Their Green Wing Macaws were capable of jumping off the top of hotel roofs, without any restraints and would willingly fly down from the roof and land on their trainer's hand.

Two Military Macaws at Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfords...
Two Military Macaws at Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire, England. The macaw on the left has damaged feathers on its chest and abdomen probably because of a feather plucking habit.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was an amazing thing to watch, so amazing that I decided to follow all instructions he gave me to the core. I obeyed everything he said, including a method that I later realized, was FAR from the best way to train a parrot not to bite.

The method that this trainer taught me was what is known in the animal training industry as flooding. Flooding is where you put an animal in a situation and force it to comply with whatever means is necessary. In my case, I was trying to get my Blue and Gold Macaws to willingly come out of their cages without biting me. And I was instructed to take two wooden dowels, one in each hand, and proceed to forcibly put my Blue and Gold Macaws with the wooden dowels.

Obviously, my Macaws did not like this situation as they didn’t like being touched. But I was instructed that they would soon realize that the touching was OK and that I (the trainer) was the boss and not the bird.

This technique was to be executed so as never to harm the bird, but scare it into submission. My blue and Golds would scream, flap their wings and bite at the sticks, and each time he did so I was to overwhelm them even more by touching them with the other stick in my other hand until they realized there was no hope and finally gave up.

Luckily for me, this technique works on Macaws that like to attack their owners, but it’s woefully ineffective on other species of parrots, especially certain species that are prone to running away in fear vs. holding their ground and putting up a fight like my blue and gold Macaws were.

In hind sight, there are much more gentle approaches to training that not only work faster than the flooding method I’ve just described but work for helping parrots of all temperaments learn to not bite. It involves putting a parrot in situations where he has to choose to do or not do something and is rewarded for the correct choice, and ignored with the wrong choice.

The end result is a parrot who realizes that you are trying to communicate with him in a nice way because you’ve never scared him or hurt him. Plus the parrot realizes that life with you is a puzzle… and it’s his job to figure out because there’s always a nice treat in it for him if he can figure out the answer.

This type of training is extremely mentally stimulating and with just a few short practice sessions a week with a parrot can be the perfect preventative medicine for all sorts of behavior problems like feather plucking, screaming, and boredom.