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Training inside the cage

Simourg

Meeting neighbors
Joined
10/20/17
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21
Location
Baku, Azerbaijan
Real Name
Fira
Hello!
I recently took in a rehomed CAG. He is not very much into human interaction. He takes treats when I offer them holding them between tips of my fingers, but no more than that. He prefers to stay away from me.

In his previous home (he stayed there for 1.5-2 months) he was used to going out of his cage on his own. Now he asks me to let him out of his cage every morning, and he's been with us for 11 days. He recently moved to a new much bigger cage and now he is less insistent on getting out, but still gives it a try. I am absolutely positive about a parrot spending time outside of his cage, but at this moment I don't feel like being able to handle a flighted, non-tame and uncooperative parrot outside his cage. So I stick to keeping him in his cage for a while. I have to admit that I feel a little bit insecure while interacting with him and I think I need time to overcome it and build up confidence (I'm pretty sure he needs time to get used to me, too).

I want to start clicker and target training him inside his cage. I've read that you can move on to clicker training as soon as your bird doesn't freak out in your presence anymore. Also I'm looking forward to recall training him because I want to keep him flighted, but I guess that will come only after basics like 'target' and 'step up' are learned.

I will be very grateful to hear about your taming and training experience and your opinions on this matter! Any good suggestions on the topic are highly valued, too! :cag:
 

Laurul Feather Cat

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You are wise to understand if you are afraid of handling the bird, you will give the bird a way to become the dominant member of your relationship. Yes, you do need to learn one another's likes and dislikes and you do need to be more secure in your ability to handle the bird. Using target and clicker training is a great idea. But since I have never used any of these training techniques, I cannot help you with them. I did very bare bones clicker training with my dogs coon's ages ago when I was a kid, but I have never used it on birds.

When the bird comes out on his cage, does he stay on his cage? Does he go back inside the cage when you ask him to do so? If these two answers are yes, I see no reason not to allow him to come out on his cage. You can do some training while he is on his cage easily and even do step up training at the same time. You could step him up for brief periods of time to help you get experience handling him one on one.

Bumping you back up to the front of the queue to get more attention and information.
 

Simourg

Meeting neighbors
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Location
Baku, Azerbaijan
Real Name
Fira
When the bird comes out on his cage, does he stay on his cage? Does he go back inside the cage when you ask him to do so?
Yes, he would stay on the top of his cage with occasional flight around the room, but no, he won't go inside his cage if I ask him to do so. I am afraid that if he goes out and in only on his own will, I wouldn't be able to get him in his cage if I urgently need to.
He is also trying to stay as far from me as he can, so I don't think I will be able to step him up right away, and will have to train him first not to run away when he sees my open hand slowly approaching. That's why I think maybe starting with target training will help, and also stepping him up first on a perch and only then on my hand?
Also, his cage is is a little above 5 feet in height, exactly like me. :D So when the bird sits on the top of his cage he is above my eye level. Moreover, the cage has a perch over the top that is positioned even higher, and thus, I have to stand on a chair if I want to train the birdon the top of the cage. Which does not add up to my confidence.
You are wise to understand if you are afraid of handling the bird, you will give the bird a way to become the dominant member of your relationship.
This should definitely be a motto for every beginner bird owner!
 

Monica

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I must say, I'm glad you are thinking the way you are! :) Most people want to train away from the cage when that's not the best thing for you or the bird. Starting at the cage is fantastic!

I have gathered many links in this thread with a lot of helpful advice if you search through them.
Free Training Resources | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum


And so you know, both recall training and step up are forms of target training! :)
 

Simourg

Meeting neighbors
Joined
10/20/17
Messages
21
Location
Baku, Azerbaijan
Real Name
Fira
I must say, I'm glad you are thinking the way you are! :) Most people want to train away from the cage when that's not the best thing for you or the bird. Starting at the cage is fantastic!

I have gathered many links in this thread with a lot of helpful advice if you search through them.
Free Training Resources | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum


And so you know, both recall training and step up are forms of target training! :)
Thank you so much for taking your time to gather tons of helpful information in one post! I read a lot of articles and blogs from that post, but I should admit taming and training is still is easier said than done.
Jo-jo has definitely learned the principle of targeting, and he can perform it now. But he does it reluctantly, because I usually fail to create a right environment for the training (not hungry enough, wrong timing, my bad mood, reinforcer is not strong enough, critical lack of trust etc). The hardest part of all it is getting into right midset. I think that Jo-Jo can feel all my insecurities, anxieties and mood swings. I am rarely relaxed and usually I am in tension, struggling with myself and my failures. I know he needs a calm and confident person that could provide a secure and safe atmosphere for him and I am not the right one, but I try to be.
 

Monica

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If you can see where you go wrong, you can try and correct it in the future. Learn from the past to better influence the future!


We all must learn somewhere, and most of us aren't any good with working with birds at first. It takes time to really learn their body language, likes and dislikes, and that's okay! It's not something you are expected to know overnight. Don't be too hard on yourself.


I'm still learning a lot myself!
 

Mer Boy

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6/19/15
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218
It took a while for me to be comfortable with birds - even though I had done lots of reading prior to working with them. IMO confidence comes with persistent attention to your bird’s body language and needs. Good training skills come with practice. I don’t believe that anyone can get to the point where they are perfect trainers who don’t make mistakes. You’re doing really well!
 
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