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Clicker Training for Beginners - Lesson 1

CarmieJo

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Actually, if you had a spoon and you clicked and then gave a bite that would probably work. I sometimes use baby food pears, just a bite off the spoon with Papaya and it works well for him.
I am still struggling finding a reinforcer that isn't junk food. He would not even look at the spoon. I tried plastic spoons in a couple colors and a stainless spoon. I am seriously considering little bits of Cheetos or chips (which he likes too) for treats.
 

cmoore

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Carmie, of course unhealthy treats are not ideal, but if it helps you get started you could figure out an acceptable daily "ration" of cheetos (maybe 1 medium-sized cheeto?) and break that into a bunch of tiny pieces and get him to work for them.

I find that once my birds understand how clicker training works (i.e. how to turn their humans into treat dispensers), the food reinforcer becomes less important because the "clicker game" is so much fun for them. Start with cheetos, and then later on cheetos can become your super-high-value reinforcer and you can start introducing other reinforcers.

It may also help if you train him just before a mealtime, when he's most hungry. If you are currently leaving food in his cage all day, you might try feeding him in the morning and afternoon, leaving the food in there for an hour or two and then removing it (or just giving him as much as he'll eat in that time).
 

BraveheartDogs

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Jasper will probably work for a taste of juice (from a syringe so it's less of a mess) too. I KNOW sunflower seeds thrill him, but I really should look at some other things too I can mix it up and keep him from being bored. I like some of the ideas here.
I have used juice from a syringe for other species, but it should work fine for birds.

Im late joining class but I have a question on the treat. So it should be something they love but not their favorite since you need the best for more difficult tasks?
It's great if you have a few reinforcers that will work. Use everything they like but mix it up.
 

BraveheartDogs

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Carmie, of course unhealthy treats are not ideal, but if it helps you get started you could figure out an acceptable daily "ration" of cheetos (maybe 1 medium-sized cheeto?) and break that into a bunch of tiny pieces and get him to work for them.

I find that once my birds understand how clicker training works (i.e. how to turn their humans into treat dispensers), the food reinforcer becomes less important because the "clicker game" is so much fun for them. Start with cheetos, and then later on cheetos can become your super-high-value reinforcer and you can start introducing other reinforcers.

It may also help if you train him just before a mealtime, when he's most hungry. If you are currently leaving food in his cage all day, you might try feeding him in the morning and afternoon, leaving the food in there for an hour or two and then removing it (or just giving him as much as he'll eat in that time).
I agree. Start with tiny cheetos bits and ONLY give cheetos for training. Since he likes cheetos I wonder if he would like something like chex or cheerios that would be crunchy but less "junky":)
 

Cynth

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ok, my lovies will not even come near the treat or treat cup when we are around. How do I click for them?
 

BraveheartDogs

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ok, my lovies will not even come near the treat or treat cup when we are around. How do I click for them?
Ok, don't click, you need to stay at the step of delivering food. Will they eat it when you leave?

Can you drop a treat and then step back and have them eat it?

If yes, you can do that. If not, I would continue to condition them to being more comfortable when you are around. Sitting with them, talking to them, singing or reading to them. Take your time.
 

BraveheartDogs

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Hey all
I was having trouble finding a treat that Harley liked so I was using his Zupreem fruit pellets and it was working good.

Yesterday I found Kaytee Fiesta Healthy Toppings and he loves these! I found them at Petco Here is a link

Kaytee Fiesta Healthy Toppings Bird Treats at PETCO
Good job! Sometimes people get frustrated and give up because they haven't found the best reinforcer yet, I get this with my dog training clients all the time but sometimes it takes some time and creativity to find the right reinforcer. Sometimes people say "he's not food motivated" but we are all motivated by food or we would die, it's just a matter of what to use. Good for you for working it out!
 

tonyasb

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OK! I decided to move my questions over here since this post is almost directly related to what I was talking about. Since I'm a vegetarian myself, I found lots of things to try right away in my own cabinet!

First of all I discovered that she seems scared of the treat if she's sitting on my hand and I bring the treat toward her. She will take it from my hand if she's on my shoulder or on the table. Not sure what that's all about but now that this dumb human has figured that out, I know not to try to give her treats while sitting on my hand!

Second, though she seemed to like everything I gave her and she was gaga for almond slivers over everything else (sunflower seeds, crackers, granola, bread crumbs), when given a choice between almonds and millet, she still chose the millet. So I guess that will be our treat for training. It was exciting to discover that she likes all these other things too though. I think she enjoyed it too!

I'll be checking out what you've written on Lesson two in the next couple days. This is new and exciting territory for me!
 

Kolkri

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I know what to use. Peanuts. At least for Joey and Indy. Topaz well be a challange. She is not interest in food. So may wait on her training.
 

evsrin

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I know that I missed the boat on these threads, but I'm starting now.:D Better late then never!

Today I brought out the clicker and successfully identified one re-inforcer for Tiki, my GCC. He LOVES Honey Nut Cheerioes, and I'm happy using them because I can break one into many tiny pieces. For the 10 reps I only use 2 whole ones. I'm excited to get going on this, but I'm going to take sometime to see if I can find some other treats that he would be motivated by. :D He acted like he was offended that I offered him cheese, so that's a no go. Little bugger tried to bite me when he took the cheese and spit it out! :rolleyes:

We have done 2 sets of 10 reps so far, and I do think he is responding to the clicker by looking at me and being very attentive when he had otherwise turned his back to me. :D
 

FeatheredPitbull

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While we're not quite ready for this yet, I do have some questions - should it only be one person working with the bird? During the initial stages makes sense, but what about later stages? I'm thinking more of the Hubby and Daughter with our Grey Ellory, as they are the only ones she gets along with right now, and as our Daughter will be the one who will be Ellory's mom years and years from now...
 

DJHartmann

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I've started clicker training since day 1. Just simple target training, step up, get down, "up cheeky cheek" is fly to me haha. I went to a hardware store and bought a lamp switch which is small enough to hold while i've got a small tube of honey.. his second favorite treat. I have to reserve his meal-worms for trying to get him into his cage!
 

BraveheartDogs

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I know that I missed the boat on these threads, but I'm starting now.:D Better late then never!

Today I brought out the clicker and successfully identified one re-inforcer for Tiki, my GCC. He LOVES Honey Nut Cheerioes, and I'm happy using them because I can break one into many tiny pieces. For the 10 reps I only use 2 whole ones. I'm excited to get going on this, but I'm going to take sometime to see if I can find some other treats that he would be motivated by. :D He acted like he was offended that I offered him cheese, so that's a no go. Little bugger tried to bite me when he took the cheese and spit it out! :rolleyes:

We have done 2 sets of 10 reps so far, and I do think he is responding to the clicker by looking at me and being very attentive when he had otherwise turned his back to me. :D
I thought I had replied to this before, so I apologize if I didn't. that is great that you found a good reinforcer, excellent!

While we're not quite ready for this yet, I do have some questions - should it only be one person working with the bird? During the initial stages makes sense, but what about later stages? I'm thinking more of the Hubby and Daughter with our Grey Ellory, as they are the only ones she gets along with right now, and as our Daughter will be the one who will be Ellory's mom years and years from now...
I think that in the very early stations it can be helpful if one person does the training, but once you are working on behaviors, if everyone has successfully charged the clicker and the bird is comfortable working with other people then it is fine to have multiple trainers provided everyone has decent timing and understands exactly what step of a behavior you are on. If you have multiple trainers training the same behavior then I strongly recommend keeping training logs.

I've started clicker training since day 1. Just simple target training, step up, get down, "up cheeky cheek" is fly to me haha. I went to a hardware store and bought a lamp switch which is small enough to hold while i've got a small tube of honey.. his second favorite treat. I have to reserve his meal-worms for trying to get him into his cage!
Good job on figuring out the best way to deliver your reinforcer.

Does it look like i'm doing the right thing here?

I LOVE this video. Your enthusiasm is amazing and it is fun to watch! I think the training looks really nice. I like that you are reinforcing stepping up and then getting off. On the "Up up" where he flies to you, I would try not repeating the cue, remember that your hand placement is part of the cue, I would present your hand, say "up up" one time and then wait. If after 10 seconds he doesn't fly up, remove your hand, wait 10 seconds and represent it. Allow him a moment to think about it and make a choice without pressure. It looks really good though!
 

montana

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Hello, I am new to the forum, I have a clicker but my Lutino cockatield will not accept treats as a reward? I have tried everything! Millet is her favorite but but if I get her on a perch and click she won't accept it. I can't do the finger she will bite. In fact, she bites the perch before she gets on it. I am not forcing her on the perch. I always click and offer millet but she won't take it. I wait until she comes out of her cage to try with her and then take her to a T perch. This takes some time because she will fly off the perch several times before you get her to the T perch. I'm hoping patience wins out. She is approximately 7 mos old. Thanks Montana:confused:
 

Solomon_Jules

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I'm extremely late for this thread but it started like, 2 years before Julesy was bored :) Anyway, got a bag of tiny bits of papaya dried and cubed. He seems to really like them, though for an Eclectus he's less food motivated than the literature suggests! Bought 2 clickers from Petsmart, (I lose things, so I buy a lot of items in pairs haha) and I'm hoping to start clicker training. Wish me luck!
 
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