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Training to recognize color: advice please

JapanBirdLover

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Hello all,
I’ve been clicker training with Apple, my GCC, for a few months now and she loves it. The clicker training helped her pick up targeting a stick, fetching a little ring and placing it gently on my hand, etc.
but now we’ve plateaued. I’ve got this game which she enjoys where she goes to pick up a little plastic coin and drop it in a hole. She can do this great, but when there are several colored holes she can’t get it in the right color. She’ll just put it in the nearest hole and then, if I don’t click, hurriedly take it out and put it in the other hole. Cute and seems to be lots of fun, but if only she could get it in the right hole... she’s so close. There are four colored holes, but I have two covered up to try make things easier for her.
We’ve been at this stage for almost a month now. Any ideas on how to get her to recognize colors? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Monica

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Are the holes on one toy, or separate?

Have you "allowed" the failure, then if he tries to correct it, reward his correction?
 

JapanBirdLover

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Hello everyone, thanks for stepping up to rescue! The holes are all on the same toy, can’t be separated. I just cover two holes with some cardboard. Here’s a picture, with ballpen for scale.

oh and yes, I tend to to reward her if she corrects her mistake... is that right? I’m thinking that might just teach her to put it in a random hole until she gets a click.
 

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TikiMyn

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I taught my birds colors by showing Them a colored bead and clearly pronouncing 'red' for example. Then i Adler then for red and they picked up the head. I repeated that a few Times and then added other colors. They know about fout colors by name, and touch Them when I ask. You could start the same wat with the chips:)
 

Laurie

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I think you are on the right track.

I am thinking that maybe you can be a little more clear in your communication and that might help. I could be misunderstanding but when you say "if I don't happen to click" or "I tend to reward her" it makes me thing that improving your consistency and timing may help.

It sound like you are on the right track though.

Here are a few ideas:
- Brush up on you timing with the clicker. If she has a coin in her beak have the clicker ready. As soon as the coin is in the right whole then click immediately (the instant the behavior is done you want to click) over time your consistency will help her to clearly understand what is the correct behavior. Always, treat after the click.
- Be absolutely consistent with your rewards. Figure out exactly what the minimum criteria for getting the click/treat is and don't reward for anything less than that. If she is failing you can lower the criteria for a while and then raise it as she improves but each repetition should be consistent.
- Finally, you could train each color separately to get her used to the matching holes and colors. Leaving only one option but practicing each color separately might help. Then when use one color coin with two holes and only reward the when she gets the matching right. After she figures that out you can add the other color coin. I would put out one coin and let her put it in then put the other coin out and let her put that one in. Eventually you can put out all the coins and holes at the same time and let her match them up.

These are just some suggestions and you may not need them all or you can adjust as you see fit.

Also, you don't have to be super strict, you do want to keep it fun but the closer you can get the click to marking the instant the behavior happens the better and allowing her to master one part before moving on to the next step will be key in getting her to preform this complicated behavior.

I am impressed she will put it in the box, mine don't like to put things in containers, they like to trow them. I did manage to train one bird to pick out any purple object from a group of other colors but that is as far as we got. My other bird learned to stand on a yellow placemat but he would stop chewing on them, LOL! We did have fun though and that is what matters :)

Keep up the good work!

I am adding this now that I went back and saw your video. I looks good.

I am not sure that he gets that blue goes in blue. He just tries Yellow and if it doesn't work he goes for blue. I think I would try training the blue chip with just the blue hole so he gets the idea to do blue the first try then add back the yellow whole and see if he picks blue on the first try. Maybe that will help.

You timing looks pretty good.
 
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JapanBirdLover

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Thank you so much for the advice! I shall work in consistent criteria. I’ll need to think about this, but maybe I won’t let her to put the coin in a box and then swap it to correct herself... maybe that should be part of the criteria.
And timing I need to pay more attention to, also. Maybe as soon as the coin goes into the right box, instead of now where Iwdit to gear it fall.
Also I’ve never tried just one color. So I’ll start that, just get used to the color going in the right box, one hole at a time.
 

iamwhoiam

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Do one color at a time at first. Start with just one and then when your bird can put those colored coins in the right box @80% of the time add a second color and so forth.
 
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