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Bird not progressing in hand training

JunoTheIRN

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
5/30/23
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18
I got my IRN a while ago and have already accustomed him to my hands (Meaning he is not afraid of them near him). I really want to train him to sit on my hands, so I put a treat in my palm and hold it near the top of the cage to try and get him to get on my hands to eat.
However, he always only puts ONE foot on my hands and leans over to reach the treat. If I move my hand while he’s standing like this to try and get both feet on, he runs away and refuses to train anymore for some time. If I hold it further out, he’ll eye it but leave it alone. Same thing if the treat is further up my hand. How do I fix this?
 

SumitaSinh

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I got my IRN a while ago and have already accustomed him to my hands (Meaning he is not afraid of them near him). I really want to train him to sit on my hands, so I put a treat in my palm and hold it near the top of the cage to try and get him to get on my hands to eat.
However, he always only puts ONE foot on my hands and leans over to reach the treat. If I move my hand while he’s standing like this to try and get both feet on, he runs away and refuses to train anymore for some time. If I hold it further out, he’ll eye it but leave it alone. Same thing if the treat is further up my hand. How do I fix this?
IRNs have a very strong personality!
 

papaya13

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Currently, you’re rewarding him for getting close to you and putting one foot on your hand. A good thing, but not what you want.

Instead of offering the treat to him in that hand you’re trying to get him to approach, offer it in your other hand. Put the hand you want him to step onto against the perch/edge of cage like a natural extension of the surface, then offer him the treat in your fingers. Try to offer it far enough away he has to really stretch to get it- ideally, he’ll put both feet on your hand. Don’t “taunt” him by moving the treat away as he approaches; it’s better to start too far and then approach with the treat hand slowly.

If he immediately steps off again, you can reward his action further through negative reinforcement by removing the thing that’s making him uncomfortable- you. Take a few steps back and look away from him until he’s finished the treat and ready for another.

Try to end the session on a positive note when he’s calm and receptive, rather than afraid of you. You want your presence (and your hand) to equal tasty treats and good experiences!
 

Parutti

Jogging around the block
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My ringneck is MUCH better at training me than I am him!

Baby steps and convincing him it's his idea seem to be the key.

I bet you're on the right track. My guy also will outright refuse if he doesn't want to do what I'm asking. So we just keep working on the same thing, and every couple of days I try the next step again. If he refuses and it's something we've tried before, I say "ok I understand you don't want to (touch xyz) and stop the training session and walk away. If it's the first time I'm asking him to do something I just say "ok that was too soon" and go back to what we were doing successfully before. The catch for me has been that I was giving in to what he wanted to practice, and not letting him be a little uncomfortable and work through hard stuff. He was training me to keep it easy for him.

That's more of a ramble on my mindset than actual training steps! I really like how @papaya13 explained it.
 

Jin & Pic

Moving in
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6/20/22
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14
I got my IRN a while ago and have already accustomed him to my hands (Meaning he is not afraid of them near him). I really want to train him to sit on my hands, so I put a treat in my palm and hold it near the top of the cage to try and get him to get on my hands to eat.
However, he always only puts ONE foot on my hands and leans over to reach the treat. If I move my hand while he’s standing like this to try and get both feet on, he runs away and refuses to train anymore for some time. If I hold it further out, he’ll eye it but leave it alone. Same thing if the treat is further up my hand. How do I fix this?
I think most birds find this very, very unsettling - moving your hand while he has only one foot on, testing the stability and safeness of the perch/your hand. Inadvertently, you are showing him your hand is indeed not a safe perch, 'cause it moves around on him. No wonder he is anxious about it! You've gotten great suggestions so far - I'd just add to that make sure your hand is steady, and don't try to unbalance him to make him step up.
 

JunoTheIRN

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
5/30/23
Messages
18
I think most birds find this very, very unsettling - moving your hand while he has only one foot on, testing the stability and safeness of the perch/your hand. Inadvertently, you are showing him your hand is indeed not a safe perch, 'cause it moves around on him. No wonder he is anxious about it! You've gotten great suggestions so far - I'd just add to that make sure your hand is steady, and don't try to unbalance him to make him step up.
I stopped moving my hand pretty quickly once I noticed it made him scared, since that would make him see hands as more of a threat than a good thing. But I agree, I’ll take some of these replies advice into consideration when I train him next time!
 

Mizzely

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Remember that you have actually HAVE seen progress! He's putting one foot on you where before he wasn't :) instead of focusing on the the fact that he's not where you want him to be, celebrate how far he has already come. :heart2:
 

JunoTheIRN

Sitting on the front steps
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5/30/23
Messages
18
Currently, you’re rewarding him for getting close to you and putting one foot on your hand. A good thing, but not what you want.

Instead of offering the treat to him in that hand you’re trying to get him to approach, offer it in your other hand. Put the hand you want him to step onto against the perch/edge of cage like a natural extension of the surface, then offer him the treat in your fingers. Try to offer it far enough away he has to really stretch to get it- ideally, he’ll put both feet on your hand. Don’t “taunt” him by moving the treat away as he approaches; it’s better to start too far and then approach with the treat hand slowly.

If he immediately steps off again, you can reward his action further through negative reinforcement by removing the thing that’s making him uncomfortable- you. Take a few steps back and look away from him until he’s finished the treat and ready for another.

Try to end the session on a positive note when he’s calm and receptive, rather than afraid of you. You want your presence (and your hand) to equal tasty treats and good experiences!
Thank youuuu!! I took your advice and continued to train him a few days. I just finished a round of training and he finally stepped with both feet on! :bliss:
 

JunoTheIRN

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I just have a question, now that he has both feet on my hand, how do I start moving it? I’m afraid to move it and have him see it as unstable and undo all my training…
 

Mizzely

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I wouldn't do that part yet. I would work on being on your hand a little longer. Show him he gets more treats the longer he stays there :)
 

SumitaSinh

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Thank youuuu!! I took your advice and continued to train him a few days. I just finished a round of training and he finally stepped with both feet on! :bliss:
Congratulations :heart:
 
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