Training medium size/little parrots - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Training medium size/little parrots

Hi,

I have six birds, three parrotlets, two lovebirds, and one Sun Conure. Over the past two months I have been training them to recall, simple tricks like spin, wave etc. I have discovered that my Sun Conure understands more and easier than the smaller birds. Have any of you discovered or had luck in training your smaller birds to become less nervous and a loving pet? I'm thinking its like the little dog to the bigger dog. Let me know your opinion is it better to have a medium or larger bird to show more affection than the smaller ones.

I hope I haven't ruffled any ones feathers.

Julie
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 07:48 PM


 
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Studies have shown parrotlets to out perform larger birds like cockatoos in many very complex tasks. All birds are capable of learning. On the parrotlet forum there many many people who have taught their parrotlet tricks. I taught mine to wave and turn around with a clicker and treats. He learned them in just a day or two.

STUDY: http://cityparrots.org/journal/2013/...rollPosition=0

Not sure what you mean by your comment about small and large dogs. According to studies on dog intelligence, there were several small dog breeds in the top ten most intelligent out of 160+ breeds.

FROM THE BOOK: The Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren

Intelligence is not the same as trainabilty. Trainabilty has to do with the animal's motivation to please. This has to do with personailty and the bond it has with its trainer.

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Owned by & slave to: Oliver, Gemma, Cozette, & the English Budgie Crew

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 09:01 PM
 
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I would like to see any study that says parrotlets out perform larger birds. I'm not sure I believe that.

I think the little guys are just as capable as the bigger guys though. I watched a video recently where a love bird was doing several tricks and I've seen a few budgies that do tricks as well.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 11:09 PM


 
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Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
I would like to see any study that says parrotlets out perform larger birds. I'm not sure I believe that.

I think the little guys are just as capable as the bigger guys though. I watched a video recently where a love bird was doing several tricks and I've seen a few budgies that do tricks as well.

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Here's the study I was referring to. Parrotlets were the only species able to complete all five tasks, which got more and more complex. The birds involved in the study were sulfur crested cockatoos, green winged macaws, rainbow lorikeets, and spectaculed parrotlets:

http://cityparrots.org/journal/2013/...rollPosition=0

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 04:46 AM



 
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Yes the study about the parrotlets did show that they were on the same level if not better than larger birds

I personally don't think it has anything to do with the size of the bird, I think it's just down to the individual. My parrotlets were extremely, extremely nervous birds (a breeding pair). Now people on here owning parrotlets are usually comparing them to their closely related cousins, the Amazons, only in a smaller package I can sit back and watch my aviary birds all day figuring stuff out and it's wonderful to watch

I've also found many, many small birds to be affectionate. Loads love scritches, especially big English budgies

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 04:42 PM


 
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Parrotlets are very trainable: Bonsai the Parrotlet - Tricks - YouTube . This video almost convinced me to get a parrotlet, I just think linnies fit my lifestyle better, but if I were younger and had more time i probably would've thought more about parrotlets.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-12-2014, 07:06 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catalinadee View Post
Yes the study about the parrotlets did show that they were on the same level if not better than larger birds

I personally don't think it has anything to do with the size of the bird, I think it's just down to the individual. My parrotlets were extremely, extremely nervous birds (a breeding pair). Now people on here owning parrotlets are usually comparing them to their closely related cousins, the Amazons, only in a smaller package I can sit back and watch my aviary birds all day figuring stuff out and it's wonderful to watch

I've also found many, many small birds to be affectionate. Loads love scritches, especially big English budgies
Yes most wild birds are pretty nervous in comparison to tame birds of the same species.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France
Owned by & slave to: Oliver, Gemma, Cozette, & the English Budgie Crew
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 10:11 AM


 
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You can't really use this study as proof of a higher intelligence or trainability in plets. For one thing, the smaller species are more food-oriented than the larger ones because they have a higher metabolism so they eat more and more often than the larger species and all these tests were directly related to food availability and it's one thing to figure out how to get food than be willing to learn useless tricks. Other species do better on tricks because they bond more deeply with humans which makes them more oriented toward pleasing (like senegals, for example, which are not large but do excellently when it comes to learning tricks because they bond so deeply with their humans). For another (and this is explained on the study), the type of social substructure the species has makes a difference in what they use their smarts for, with larger species having a closer relationship with their flock mates (and with humans) which involves utilizing a different type of mental function (more geared toward pleasing than figuring out).

And last but not least, when it comes to animals, there are different types of intelligence and they are all 'measured' differently. There is instinctual intelligence (self-explanatory), there is adaptive intelligence (figuring things out) and there is trainability or working/obedience intelligence (for example, people say that Golden Retrievers are intelligent but, in reality, they are only highly trainable due to their eagerness to please).

As to loving, it depends on what you call loving because all parrots, from the tiny plets or budgies to the hyacinths, are VERY loving only some are not cuddlers.

And 4thebirds is correct, the most intelligent dog breed is the border collie with the poodle, the Jack Russell and the Australian cattle dog not far behind and they are all small breeds. But, if you go by trainability, you would have to put the German Shepherds, the Golden Retrievers, and the Labradors in there.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-13-2014, 01:07 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petiteoiseau View Post
You can't really use this study as proof of a higher intelligence or trainability in plets. For one thing, the smaller species are more food-oriented than the larger ones because they have a higher metabolism so they eat more and more often than the larger species and all these tests were directly related to food availability and it's one thing to figure out how to get food than be willing to learn useless tricks. Other species do better on tricks because they bond more deeply with humans which makes them more oriented toward pleasing (like senegals, for example, which are not large but do excellently when it comes to learning tricks because they bond so deeply with their humans). For another (and this is explained on the study), the type of social substructure the species has makes a difference in what they use their smarts for, with larger species having a closer relationship with their flock mates (and with humans) which involves utilizing a different type of mental function (more geared toward pleasing than figuring out).

And last but not least, when it comes to animals, there are different types of intelligence and they are all 'measured' differently. There is instinctual intelligence (self-explanatory), there is adaptive intelligence (figuring things out) and there is trainability or working/obedience intelligence (for example, people say that Golden Retrievers are intelligent but, in reality, they are only highly trainable due to their eagerness to please).

As to loving, it depends on what you call loving because all parrots, from the tiny plets or budgies to the hyacinths, are VERY loving only some are not cuddlers.

And 4thebirds is correct, the most intelligent dog breed is the border collie with the poodle, the Jack Russell and the Australian cattle dog not far behind and they are all small breeds. But, if you go by trainability, you would have to put the German Shepherds, the Golden Retrievers, and the Labradors in there.
No one said any species is of a higher intelligence, just that there is no reason that smaller birds can't do just as well with training, if not better (depending on the task they are being trained to do, their personality, and their bond with their owner) as larger birds. This study substantiates that.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France
Owned by & slave to: Oliver, Gemma, Cozette, & the English Budgie Crew

Last edited by 4thebirds; 02-13-2014 at 01:09 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 10:17 AM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4thebirds View Post
No one said any species is of a higher intelligence, just that there is no reason that smaller birds can't do just as well with training, if not better (depending on the task they are being trained to do, their personality, and their bond with their owner) as larger birds. This study substantiates that.
I agree 100%. But your sentence is qualified with "depending on the task" which is what I was saying, in essence. Other posters had understood (or at least, that was the way I read their comments) that the study proves that plets outperform the larger species, which is not true.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 11:55 AM


 
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Originally Posted by petiteoiseau View Post
I agree 100%. But your sentence is qualified with "depending on the task" which is what I was saying, in essence. Other posters had understood (or at least, that was the way I read their comments) that the study proves that plets outperform the larger species, which is not true.
Yes. It was true for those tasks, and then, logically for different task similar in nature as well. I can tell you without a doubt that my parrotlet gets things in a flash and can solve problems without even trying to figure it out. My budgie and linnie will just keep trying to solve the problem using the same method each time, even though it did not work for them the first time they tried it. Working with cockatiels, budgies, linnies, and gcc's, I would definitely say that parrotlets are one of the smartest in the small bird category. If there are other owners of parrotlets on here, they can tell you that sometimes it is erry how smart they are. Another example being when they talk, they very often speak in context rather than just repeating stuff randomly.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-14-2014, 07:16 PM
 
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IMO the only limiting factor in the equation is how adept the trainer is in terms of technique and application.

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