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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 27 (permalink) Old 08-04-2011, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Basic Commands?

What are the basic commands I should be training my lorikeet to do? I've taught Crayola how to "step up" onto my finger - the only problem is that it likes to nibble/bite on my finger before it steps up onto it.

What other things should it be learning? I mean with dogs, you have "sit," "stay", "lie down, etc. As this is my first bird, I need all the help I can get..

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 04:12 AM



 
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I do stepping up onto me or a stick, stepping down on what I want them to step down onto and when I get my conure I'll be doing recall training. I wouldn't worry too much about commands with a bird, as long as they know things that can make you handle them easy. Birds don't need that many commands, unless you wanna train them to do tricks

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:26 AM
 
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Tiffany,

You really should think more of being a friend with your bird and bonding with your bird than becoming a commander. Birds are not dogs that love to be commanded.

My birds do far more for me as a friend than if I am a commander.

Riamfada was a wild caught CAG as seen in her open leg ring. She was a rescue and given to my charge when she was about 5-6 years old. She came to me bitey and fearful.



In about a year, she was doing free flights to me.



Yingshiong above is a white rumped shama. A shama is a songbird. He was caught from the wild at about 3 years old. He was given into my charge at about 5 years old. He flew to me on cue within a month of coming to me. Breeders of shamas told me even their breed shamas , some they hand raised, never ever landed on them. They told me above was the first ever they seen of a male shama landing on a human.



Libai is a Greater Greenleaf song bird. Caught from the wild and probably about 3 years old or so when he came to me.

Even wild caught and old birds can be so easily trained and bonded if you know how.

Understanding them is the first and most important step that can be taken.
That is the most fundamental truth in looking after birds. Read the Understanding the mind of your grey and other parrots


Everything else, training techniques and all, are so trivial in comparison.

Warmest regards

Shanlung
山 龍




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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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WOW, Shangling!

What a wonderful gift you have! Your birds AND your care for them.

I have always believed that the animals can see and hear things of a world beyond what is in front of us. If we listen and watch them long enough, we too can get a glimpse of that world.

You seem to have a wonderful gift of tuning into that.
God Bless!
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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What Daisy said, you don't really need to teach them anything fancy. Simple commands that get you two around easily on a day to day basis is all that is necessary, unless you want to teach some fancy smancy tricks. Step up as well as step down is necessary. You can either say step down when you put your bird somewhere, or, I've heard you can use the same command "step up" for picking your bird up and putting them down. I use the command step up all the time with Kiki, and when I want her to step down somewhere, she usually knows what I wants and steps down whether I say something or not (that also goes for stepping up at times), unless she really, really wants to stay on me. Sometimes just your authoritive tone encourages a bird to do something, whether they understand you exactly or not, because they know you are asking them to do something.

Training and cooperation is actually very healthy between a bird and its owner. Shanlung is right, there is a huge difference between dogs and birds, but not in the way that you shouldn't have some kind of power of them. They aren't striving to please you as much as dogs do, but they cannot be allowed to be in control, that just mean chaos.




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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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Really, the step up from ANYWHERE command is the most important - you have to know that your bird will reliably step up no matter what. I would recommend stick training as well, which is simply getting your bird comfortable stepping up onto a stick as opposed to a hand, so other's can handle your bird in an emergency. Those will save your birds life in an emergency situation i.e. he gets loose outside, lands somewhere unsafe in the house, there's an emergency in the home and you need to get out NOW, etc.

Past that, it's all just building a trusting relationship. You can teach your bird to do tricks on command, you can use clicker training to teach things (such as touching a target stick, doing tricks, recall flight training, etc), that's all up to personal preference. I personally like using clicker training to teach tricks and commands - it serves as a source of enrichment, helps you bond with your bird through positive reinforcement and experiences, and gives both you and the bird a sense of accomplishment and communication. I have taught Goober to go to target, 'come here' aka come to where I point, wave, say hello, dance, and shake hands so far. We both really enjoy it. As soon as she sees me grab the clicker, she gets very excited and starts doing random tricks at me lol! As a reward, I give her corn (her favorite) or just praise and petting. Either one, she's happy with.



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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 05:01 PM


 
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I just talk to my birds as normal. When I want them to come to me, I would say "come here". When I want them to step up, I just hold out my finger and say "come on" If they get distracted by something and not listen to me, I would repeat "COME ON!" but louder . When I want them to step off or when they gets naughty and fly to and perch on top of my TV, same talk and that would be 2 words "get off" and when they are very naughty, I would use the word "HEY!" I find that using different tones in my voice works better than commands. So yes I just talk to them as normal with more emphasis on the tones of my voice.


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 09:05 PM
 
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Yeah, I think birds can tell by your tone what you mean when you say certain things, like what I said about the authoritive tone.




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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 11:54 PM
 
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Missie,

Thank you.

I just like to show a different way to live with your beasties and birdies in harmony.

Perhaps its because I am a cat person.

I actually like dogs too, but never had them as my wife did not like dogs. And perhaps in the dog world, dominance and authority might be required. Even so, I have my doubts. But until the day I keep dogs like Tibetan Mastiff or Rottweiler, I hold my opinion of training dogs in abeyance.

I did not even know what I did with cats was unusual. When my wife feed the cats, the cats seemed to listen largely to me.

They walked outside with us without leash.
And during mountain walks

http://shanlung.livejournal.com/108103.html


Or calling and seeing Dommie to come to me at the ocean






http://shanlung.livejournal.com/119935.html

Can anyone imagine however authoritative a voice or loud commands can do the above ? That simple quiet request of friend to friend can do again and again?

By the way, being equal works both ways. As good friends, there are limits. It is then your responsibility to let them know what is acceptable behaviour and unacceptable behaviour be your friends humans, beasties or birdies.

Unacceptable behaviours such as biting my wife saddens me. (even if I provoked that inadvertently, as Riam would take it out on my wife). I allowed the sadness to flood into my heart as they are empaths. And scold them with anger.

You cannot be hypocritical with empaths. Having a sweet voice to them while your heart being a nova with hurt, pain and anger. You just confuse them and they never will know, or they think it is just a game.

And why should I command them when a simple request to fly to me was done with military precision with split second timing. Can command with authority make them respond even faster? Perhaps. But I do not need that. To win the battle and lose the war and my soul.


As you can see with Yingshiong on his come to me
The intermediate recall
‪The intermediate recall‬‏ - YouTube
Yingshiong intermediate recall II
‪Yingshiong intermediate recall II‬‏ - YouTube
When I decided YS is to go back into his flightroom so Ivan the cat can be out, I just signal with my hand
and tell YS ' go back'. You can see this sequence here, where YS flew back to his flight room and into his cage at my
cue.

Yingshiong flies back into cage on cue
‪Yingshiong flies back on command‬‏ - YouTube
Libai, that green leaf bird in recalls

Events that happened // LiBai flights in apartment

Tinkerbell and Riamfada were seldom videoed on recalls. With recalls done outside that ranged 60 to 100 meters away, nothing could be seen until they were nearer.
Tink and Riam would fly back to their room when told to.

You can see the report and the videos of Riam flying to me when requested and getting the shower that she enjoyed.

And of her flying back into her room when asked.
Pakistan & Russia//Village Harban & Omer // Shower for Riamfada &back to room


I do believe, whether humans or beasties or birdies. You can either be friends, or boss/sub ordinate relationship.
It is your choice what kind of relationship that you think works best for you and what kind of relationship that you like to have.
You cannot have both.

I can only show you a window into my life that it is indeed possible to live together as equal and as friends.

That another way is possible, and might turn out even more magical for you and your beasties and birdies

Warmest regards

Shanlung
山 龍



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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:16 AM


 
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Very true Abby, this is why when you posted thread before about Kiki being a bit bitey and I said to you use "hissing" sound or try out other sounds, this is what I mean "tone"

Here is a video for Shanlung ‪The Flock‬‏ - YouTube . I use slight different tones in my voice or whistle out loudly to get my Conure's attention, Of course I would not be able to do this to a wild cat and expect it to come near. I treat my birds same as any other human and members of my family, I raise my voice at my brother, my sister, etc. just same as I do with my birds. I treat them as human being

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 03:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippa View Post
Very true Abby, this is why when you posted thread before about Kiki being a bit bitey and I said to you use "hissing" sound or try out other sounds, this is what I mean "tone"

Here is a video for Shanlung ‪The Flock‬‏ - YouTube. I use slight different tones in my voice or whistle out loudly to get my Conure's attention, Of course I would not be able to do this to a wild cat and expect it to come near. I treat my birds same as any other human and members of my family, I raise my voice at my brother, my sister, etc. just same as I do with my birds. I treat them as human being
Ha ha ha!
Is that a clothing/drying rack that you hijacked and use as perch?
So I am not the only one to do that kind of stuff.

I never kept or handled a flock of birdies at the same time to fly to me as it had been one at a time in my case so far.

I find I have a far better knack with beasties and birdies than with humans.
Even wild beasties and wild birdies.

I fear no amount of clicker training with my wife or being very nice to her will make her obedient to me such as walking 5 mincing steps behind me or getting me a cold drink at cue and snap of fingers.

When I was living in Australia Brisbane, the place I rented forbid keeping of beasties and birdies. But the wild beasties and birdies befriended me.

Butcher bird would fly into my living room to sing and complain if I was late with food for them.
Bushtail possums brought their babies to me to let me play.

No complains as they pooped in the garden saving me work on that front instead of living with me and I had to take care of their poop.
The photos and videos and accounts here.

Belated compilations of some beasties/birdies events of Australia

Warmest regards

Shanlung
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 05:00 AM


 
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@ Shanlung. One of my Conures is wild (not handfed) I have no problem getting her to fly over to me, it's easy. My budgies are all wild too, just a bit of food is needed if I want them to fly over. Recall is easy.

My mother is Chinese, my father is Vietnamese. I was born vietnam, maybe it's an asian thing that we would hijacks clothing/drying rack and use as perch

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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tippa View Post
@ Shanlung. One of my Conures is wild (not handfed) I have no problem getting her to fly over to me, it's easy. My budgies are all wild too, just a bit of food is needed if I want them to fly over. Recall is easy.

My mother is Chinese, my father is Vietnamese. I was born vietnam, maybe it's an asian thing that we would hijacks clothing/drying rack and use as perch
I do not believe at all the promotion of handfed birdies as being tamed and more easily bonded to people.

I go even beyond that.

I have very dim view on 'hand raising' of birds.
That deprived the little birdie on proper interactions with its parents and designed to hopefully 'imprint' on it that he/she is a human. Are we that incapable of understanding and training with a bird that we felt compelled to rip a baby from his/her parents?

This lead to the marketing and selling of birdies thats not weaned. Perhaps better the profits to the breeders, but is that a better life for the birdie?
Or is a perceived easier life to us the only thing that matter?

Of course, claims of 'handraising' sells especially to people who do not know and wanted something quickly.

It seems too that handraised birdies later on developed serious psychological problems.

The sad part is even older birds, and birds caught from the wild, are really trainable.

You have seen that in that earlier entry I wrote above.

Even wild caught and old birds can be so easily trained and bonded if you give them the respect , dignity and courtesy due to intelligent sentients.

As for hand raised birdies I suggest to folks with open mind to read this article by Jane Hollander

http://parrothouse.com/congotimineh.html

That article was titled "Congos and Timnehs, Is There A Difference?"
But in reading that, I found it was more than that, relating the post natal caring of the birdies by its birdie parents that make a HUGE difference.
That many of the problems with captive bred and handraised birdies did not exist with captured birds. That trend extended to cockatoos too.

But of course, people with vested interests in selling 'handraised' birds that they make out to have greater value will always want to tell you that is the smartest and the best thing you can do.

With that, I seen with sickness in my heart so many baby birds sold in birdshops with eyes still close as 'handraising' them will make them fond of you. A big lie fostered by people with vested interests.

I wrote a few years ago of that in my Livejournal and the comments of others with problems on handraised birds were so disturbing.

WHEN THE BUYING STOP, THE SELLING WILL STOP TOO

Warmest regards

Shanlung
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 07:05 AM



 
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Shanlung, your pictures are always beautiful and you always raise such good points!

Tippa, I did remember you saying before that English was never your first language and I completely forgot to ask where you were from That's really cool!

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 12:05 AM
 
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Hi Daisy,

Thank you.

For those who still have nagging doubts that I was wrong in discouraging 'handraisded' birdies" and needed more than what Jane Hollander wrote, here is another very interesting article which underlined my concern. That was written by Micheal Doolan, an Avian vet, detailing the screaming, self mutilation, aggression and other problems.

Natural Birdsmanship Understanding/Treating Behavior Problems in Imprinted Birds


Warmest regards

Shanlung
山 龍



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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 05:56 AM
 
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Shanlung....Those pictures look great, the ones on the mountains and the ocean....beautiful sceneries.
Any specific tips on Greys, Shanlung, as I am getting one soon?




DIGBY 4-year-old male Congo African Grey

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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 10:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abby View Post
Shanlung....Those pictures look great, the ones on the mountains and the ocean....beautiful sceneries.
Any specific tips on Greys, Shanlung, as I am getting one soon?
Hi Abby,

Thank you.
I am sure you have even more beautiful places where you live. And if you decide what I do is doable, you will get even more beautiful photos on yourself and your birdies.

Congratulations to you and your coming CAG.

What I wrote is in general. CAGs are just so painfully intelligent that their personalities will never be the same.
What I did with Tinkerbell will not be what I did with Riamfada.
I do not mold them into what I want. I mold myself to what they are, and teaching them what is acceptable and not acceptable.
When I was wrong, I accepted their chastisements on me in the same way they accepted my chastisements.
Training is a two way road.

All those I knew, be they dog or cat or horse family, told me without exception that the CAG was head and shoulders above them all.

I met trainers of dolphins, of great apes, or killer whales, and who happened to have CAGs. It is humbling to hear from them that they felt CAGs showed far greater intelligence than the other sentients that they trained.

I cannot give you anything more specific on your CAG until you have him/her. Give him/her time.

With decades of years ahead of the two of you, what is a few days or even a few weeks to get to know each other.

Why not you start a new thread when you have him/her. Your personality and his/her personality will make that a unique path that only you can walk on with your CAG. I can only walk alongside and help you along that way.

Warmest regards

Shanlung
山 龍




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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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I have had Max about a month. He was approximately seven months old when I got him. I have enjoyed him immensly, but he has gotten really nippy in the last week--particularly when he is in or on his cage. He actually bites very hard. I have said "ouch" and "no bites", but they are not really effective. I have also thought about screeching, but am not sure this is a good idea. Any suggestions?

Also, he readily accepts the instruction, "Step up" anywhere except in or on his cage. If he is very resistant (like climbing the bars or backing away from me, I leave him alone. Again, I'm not sure this is a good idea.

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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:13 PM
 
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Friends,

I hope I left you all enough food for thought in my postings.
My own time constraints will take me away from here and this will be my last post here.
I remain ready to help those who like my help. If so, look for me in Facebook.

Goodbye

Warmest regards

Shanlung
山 龍



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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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Goodbye. I have only been here about a week, but already I know how much wisdom and knowledge you have and will miss your posts.
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