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Clicker Training

Discussion in 'Training' started by NikkiEagle, Jul 18, 2018.

  1. NikkiEagle

    NikkiEagle Registered

    Good morning all!
    I'd like to pick the brains of someone more experienced than myself please!
    Im going to start clicker training as soon as the clicker arrives in the post.
    My bird is a (guessed at) 12 old sulphur crested cockatoo.
    Is he not too old to start learning? And where do i start?!
    Any tips welcome and any offers to mentor me during my cockatoo learning time would be massively appreciated!
     
  2. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Never too old to try I would say.

    Now then... my bad memory maybe wrong on this but I seem to recall our @Wakizashi21 or was it @Barlachee did clicker training with their birds....apologies if my memory is wrong folks!

    There’s @Roz too.
    And am sure others with experience of this will share when they see your post.
     
    NikkiEagle likes this.
  3. RoyJess

    RoyJess Regular Member

    MrsTea, plumsmum, Anita Orban and 3 others like this.
  4. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    Thanks @RoyJess knew one of you had done some video ....excuse my silly memory!
     
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  5. Wakizashi21

    Wakizashi21 Regular Member

    Lovely Video and some really helpful tips.

    I started off very gently. The clicker is a good tool if used correctly can have positive impact.

    I generally started off with having the stick always in-front of the parrot so they know its not harmful to them. Once i know that, i stuck on the clicker and every time Coco or The ringnecks bite the end, ill click. You can also try maybe dipping the end of the stick in honey or in my case marmalade for Stan to get them enticed. Just make sure you don’t over do it, such as if the birds moving away from the stick, don’t keep poking with it. A few minutes away, and then try again.

    I always observe what each parrots fav food is, take it out of the food bowls and only use it for training. My coco the Grey used to bite hard, so to improve its behaviour, took out the sunflower seeds it was used to, and only gave them when he followed the instructions all the way to the end. He wont get a treat if he didn’t do every single step. Harsh, but have to let them know whos in charge on the treats

    Hope this helps


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

    My parrots won't use a stick so I use my finger instead lol. I gave Roy my stick and clicker as Missy took to it a lot better.
    I use hand signals as well, to recall, show me their wings, give me their foot etc. It took a while but it is brilliant as I can't walk so I can get my birds to come to me when needed. It was something I had to do.
     
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  7. Wakizashi21

    Wakizashi21 Regular Member

    Jess it just shows if you work hard at it and stick to the training, doesnt matter what age or tool you use, the birdies eventually understand the commands. Well done


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

  9. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    Excellent video! :thumbsup:

    Just reiterating that a clicker isn't necessary, but you can use one if you like. A clicker is just a marker or bridge to communicate to the bird "yes, you did it right". The bridge can also be something vocal like "good!" I don't use a clicker just because sometimes it's an awful lot to have to hold... the target, the treat and the clicker!

    The most important part of the training is the reinforcer... or what the bird will work for. In the video it was sunflower seeds, here I work with pieces of cashew or goji berries as my parrots prefer those. So first step in training is to find something your bird will work for. You can start off with something big and then gradually break it down into smaller pieces. The smaller the pieces of treat, the more repetition you can get in before the bird becomes satiated.

    With training timing is essential. As soon as you get the behaviour you want reinforce immediately so that the bird can quickly put 2 and 2 together... ah, if I touch the stick I get a treat.

    As has been said no animal is too old to learn.
     
  10. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    I use clicker training with a some of my flock but I have found that the too's I have prefer the hand than a stick and if one is nervous (Like Joey the LSC2) the sound of the clicker well not please him so I just use gentle commands and mainly hand signals. the best treat for a too is attention. some great advice above
     
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  11. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    Michael is absolutely correct, reinforcement doesn't have to be food. Food is a good reinforcer to use with "new" animals that don't yet have a history of reinforcers with us, because all animals have to eat (it's an unlearned reinforcer). This evening I cut one of my Amazon's claws using head scratches and a silly noise as reinforcers.
     
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  12. RoyJess

    RoyJess Regular Member

    Also keep your training sessions short, parrots will lose interest very quickly. I would suggest to start off with training sessions under a minute to start off with, then slowly build this up over time to no more than 5 minutes sessions.

    Also to keep the parrots interested in the training sessions, have a mixture of treats/rewards so that you are keeping you parrot guessing in what the next reward will be. Also you can also vary the amount of reward, so you may give then just the one seed, then the next reward will be 3 seeds and then the next could be 2 seeds. So you keeping them interested by then no knowing what the reward or the amount of reward is going to be.

    Always finish the training session on a high and its the last reward that is the biggest and something a bit more special. I usually finish off giving Missy a biscuit, not your normal sugary one which is a big no no, (Organix Goodies Mini Gingerbread men biscuits) Missy gets a piece the size of my small finger nail, but your cockatoo probably could have whole one.
     
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  13. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    @NikkiEagle I noticed that you have asked Roz for advice and I thought I will just tag you just in case you had not realised that you have had replies to your question from Roz and other members and we all will love to help in your bonding with out being bit.
     
    NikkiEagle likes this.
  14. NikkiEagle

    NikkiEagle Registered

    Oh thank you Michael! I'm still figuring the site out and using my mobile. Maybe the laptop would be a better idea so I'll read the replies etc on that in a sec. I have had a fantastic day today with Buddy! I feel we're making progress and bonding well but today he's been really well behaved, not as loud as he has been (the telephone ringing is driving my customers insane!) and he's been very entertaining and funny! I've been leaving YouTube running if I'm not with him hoping it will prevent boredom and distract him from plucking. I happened to have him on my shoulder when Taylor Swift started playing... he swooped his head round to look at me in amazement "It's my fave mom lets dance!" And the head was bouncing, in fact his whole body! He loved it! He's clearly heard it before and its a definite winner. We then moved onto some 70's disco stuff, Tina Charles, The Nolans....And there it was, the key to Buddy's heart is music.