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Training sound on cue


Sprinting down the street
Avenue Veteran
Texas USA
Einstein is an African Grey that I would really love to teach to make sounds on cue. However I have found myself to be less than adequate at the technique of behavior capturing. Einstein already has a wide variety of sounds that he makes and picks up new sounds quickly. A fraction of Einstein's repertoire is Basket ball whistle, Phone ring, Twitter sound, creaky door, squeaky dog-toy, Blue Jay. I went ahead and bought a whistle and a squeak toy.

Einstein came to the facility over a year ago. Not long after arriving, there was a day when Einstein would make a creaky door sound when anyone would open any sort of door. He did "creaky door" when he saw someone open a gate or bird cage. The finniest part was when he was in his pet carrier, I assumed he couldn't see me. But peeking through a hole, he creaked when I took the lid of my drink.

All this happened before I has started clicker training him. The hardest part of clicker training was to find a treat he would respond to. For several months now, I have him target trained with the clicker, so that I will click and reward when he touches the target. He understands the click and reward. When I give him his food for the day, he will often imitate the clicker.

I am now trying to use behavior capturing to get him to make sounds on cue. My problem is that I am such a novice at bird training. I'm trying to use behavior capturing, but I'm not making any progress. It could be that I am not patent enough.

Einstein would watch as I used a Bluetooth speaker to play music for Gizmo. I had not used the speaker for at least three months. The crazy thing was when I did again get the speaker out for the other bird, Einstein made the Bluetooth connect/disconnect sound. I did not even recognize the sound at first. This happened a few weeks ago, I tried to use this as the break through but was unsuccessful. Now he doesn't do the Bluetooth sound.

Any suggestions?


Seriously Nutz!
Super Administrator
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The first thing you need to do is teach him that his "words" are good and will recieve reward. When he speaks, let's use "hello" as an example, repeat the word he says and reward him. When you are doing your normal daily activities and he says "hello" say "hello" back in an enthusiastic voice and reward him.

You are teaching him that his words are reward able and what the cue word is.

For your sounds.
The cue word is what you repeat. So, when he makes the dog toy squeak, say "doggie toy" and reward him. Once you do this enough you can ask for a "doggie toy" and get a squeak. :)

Patience and repetition is key. Once he starts to get it, it goes much quicker. ;)