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Training/ reward questions

Parakeet88

Jogging around the block
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Hey everyone

I got my first GCC a couple weeks ago, hes settled in well and Ive been starting some training with him. Ive done a lot of reading on training but have never actually trained a bird (or any animal) before. Ive been using a clicker and he already knows the clicker means food and he runs over whenever I pick it up. He already knew dance and kiss when I got him so Ive been using the clicker training to reinforce those behaviors. I figured this would be an easy starting point for both of us and would help him understand what a training session is like.

He got the hang of things really quick so after giving him a break I started trying out some touch/ target training using a chop stick. Heres the main issue, when he touches the stick I click and give a treat but often times he will bite my fingers when I present the treat. He only does this with the stick. When I go back to dance or kiss he no longer bites me when I present the treat. I don't know why he bites only during the touch training. I feel like he kind of gets carried away with biting the stick and gets too excited so he bites my finger. He is young still (7 months) and is a little bit nippy to begin with although in my opinion he does really well with not biting me considering hes new and not trained. I don't know how to continue with the touch training without reinforcing biting behavior. He basically is biting me and then getting a treat (the treat he was supposed to be getting for touching the stick).

Heres another issue I'm curious about. Sometimes if I'm not moving quick enough for him and he wants another treat he will just start dancing like crazy thinking every time he dances he will get a treat. Should I ignore his dancing if I didn't give him the verbal cue? should I give him a less rewarding treat like a scratch or "good boy"? I want to reinforce the behavior but I also need him to understand he cant just have a treat every time he dances, he'd be a very fat bird lol

I'm also curious what every one uses for rewards. Obviously it has to be something the bird really loves but I feel like giving him nuts all day is going to make him fat lol He really likes dried green beans, walnuts, almonds, and nutriberries. Ive been using the nuts because they are easiest to quickly grab and give and make the least mess. I'm looking for some other ideas, maybe something a little bit healthier that I can feel better about giving him on a regular basis.

If you can help me with any of these questions that would be great! thanks!
 

expressmailtome

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