Making New Things Fun for Your Parrot

Making New Things Fun for Your Parrot

Barbara talks about Making New Things Fun for Your Parrot you

Making New Things Fun for Your Parrot

My Parrots just blow me away sometimes. Or perhaps it is better to say that training with positive reinforcement blows me away. I recently brought Delbert, my yellow naped Amazon Parrot to a new location for a photo shoot. He is fully flighted and an extremely competent flyer.

Before letting him out, I made sure the room was safe for a flighted Parrot. Windows and mirrors were all covered, dogs were outside and no one was allowed to open a door unless he was safe in his travel cage.

New environments can sometimes be pretty frightening to Parrots. Delbert has been around a number of new places, but not near as much as I would like him too. So I was going to have to really observe his body language and see how he responded.

What I wanted to avoid was my bird flying around the space in a panic.

My first signal that things were probably going to be OK was when he started chatting away while we were doing the final set preparations. He watched from his travel cage and starting asking “Ya wanna come out?”, “Are ya ready?”, “Here we goooooo”

Letting him look at the space for about 20 minutes was a great opportunity for him to acclimate. There are some things that usually evoke a fear response in Parrots such as things moving overhead, quick movement nearby…but sometimes it’s the things you don’t expect that you have to watch out for.

This is when reading your bird’s body language becomes super important. Although he had been looking at it for some time, a long narrow cardboard box was simply unacceptable. Any steps too close to that would send Delbert circling around the room.

Fortunately because of all his recall training he would land on my hand after a few laps. We opted to remove that box while Delbert was far away from it.

Another thing that proved a challenge was the backdrop. The coloured drape would occasionally move. This especially happened the moment Delbert would launch off of my hand for a cued flight.

Although it took him a bit of time, the way he gradually got past this challenge was by doing simple behaviours and getting reinforced. Delbert loves flying to new people.

So for some of our photos he got to fly back and forth between me and new people. This meant treats and attention that he loves.

Pairing doing simple A to B flights and getting reinforced made the background fade into …well, the background!

Delbert presented excellent flights on cue, posed like the super model he is for his close ups and enjoyed preening the hair on every head there. He also ended the day snoozing on the photographer’s shoulder, beak grinding away.

I suppose technically a photo shoot is “work” but I have to admit it sure felt like fun to me….and I think for Delbert too. (I think we were done shooting way before he decided it was time to wrap it up.) What made it fun was reading his body language and remembering to use positive reinforcement to make sure the experience was a good one for him too.

Hmmmm, maybe he has a future in modeling. Look out Zoolander…..here comes Delbert!

Find the newest products for your Parrot here.

This article was originally published on Good Bird’s blog in April 2010.

Barbara Heidenreich has been a professional animal trainer since 1990. Her company Barbara’s Force Free Animal Training (www.BarbarasFFAT.com) provides animal training DVDs, books, webinars and workshops. She has been a featured speaker in over twenty countries and has been published in nine languages. Barbara works with the companion animal community and also consults on animal training in zoos.

How to Get Your Parrot to Play with Toys

HOW TO GET YOUR PARROT TO PLAY WITH TOYS

In this blog post Barbara Heidenreich talks about How to Get Your Parrot to Play with Toys and the different techniques you can use to encourage the acceptance of new toys in the cage or playstand.

How to Get Your Parrot to Play with Toys

I have been inspired by a question posted to my yahoo group. The question was asked how do you get a parrot used to a new toy? I think that is a marvelous question. All too often we assume because it is a toy, our parrots should automatically be eagerly interacting with it. In general parrots tend to show hesitancy around new items or situations. As positive reinforcement enthusiasts, most of us know that we can train our birds to be calm and confident with change. But it does take some investment on our part. Not a financial investment, but a commitment to teaching your bird via positive reinforcement training strategies. But if in this moment your bird has clearly demonstrated new toys create a fear response, what can you do?

How to Get Your Parrot to Play with Toys

I usually start with systematic desensitization. This means I place the toy a distance away from the parrot. I also make sure the bird is presenting calm relaxed body language. I then leave the toy there for a period of time, maybe even days. Over time I gradually place the toy closer and closer to the cage. Again making sure the parrot is relaxed and comfortable. Eventually I may hang the toy on the outside of the cage, but near the bottom of the cage. I can gradually move it higher. When the parrot is ready, I can try moving the toy to inside the cage. I usually put it away from food and water bowls and preferred perches. This is because if the bird has any concerns with the toy that I failed to notice, it will not be a hindrance to his physical needs and comfort.
Once the parrot is comfortable with the toy in his cage, now I can consider some of my other positive reinforcement tools of the trade. I can use a target to help encourage the parrot to move closer to the toy. I could pair positive reinforcers with the toy, by placing them near or on the toy. I could also “free shape” the behavior.
How to Get Your Parrot to Play with ToysTo free shape, rather than use a target or a food prompt, I would just wait until the bird presents an approximation I can reinforce. For example if the bird looks at the toy I can reinforce that. After several repetitions the bird may move in the direction he has been looking. I can reinforce that. Eventually the parrot may move closer, and over time try to touch the toy. This is all shaped by looking for the slightest approximation towards the desired goal behavior of interacting with the toy.
I recently used this strategy to help my puppy get past a fear response he had with a new vacuum cleaner. First I reinforced him for looking at the vacuum from far away and then reinforced him for approximations he took moving closer to the thing. He then sniffed it and eventually touched it with his nose and paws, and even moved it. The entire process took about twenty minutes. I have promised my yahoo group http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/GoodBirdGroup/ I would get the video clip on my YouTube site. http://www.youtube.com/GoodBirdInc I will notify everyone once it is up!

Hope this gives readers some ideas for ways to get your parrots playing!

This article was first published in Good Bird Inc Blog

www.BarbarasFFAT.com
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Barbara Heidenreich has been a professional animal trainer since 1990. Her company Barbara’s Force Free Animal Training (www.BarbarasFFAT.com) provides animal training DVDs, books, webinars and workshops. She has been a featured speaker in over twenty countries and has been published in nine languages. Barbara works with the companion animal community and also consults on animal training in zoos.

Free Parrot Training Webinar by Barbara Heidenreich

training parrots webinar

training parrots webinarFree Parrot Training Webinar is Back!
Hopefully for Good with your Support

I have to be honest, while my name may be somewhat known, I am like many in the animal business and make a modest living. As an animal lover I struggle with the inner battle that many share, of needing to make a living but at the same time wanting to help as many animals as possible.  I realize at this time some cannot afford to pay for the behavioral help they need for their parrots. However I believe I may have a small solution to this dilemma. As is commonly the case, as a community we are quite strong. When times are favorable we often have the ability to support our friends and colleagues. We often do this by donating what we can, when we can.

So for this reason I have decided to continue to make the webinar on Training Rescued and Re-homed Parrots available at no charge. However I ask if you watch this webinar, that you consider saying “Thank You” by offering to pay what you can.  The amount is up to you! (The parrot training webinar normally sells for $19.95.) Your contribution will help make it possible for this item to continue to remain free for those who can’t afford it. If the generosity of others has helped make this a wonderful opportunity for you, you can help pay it forward by helping spread the word about this resource on social media, in chat groups, etc.

If parrot people come through with their support, maybe this can be extended to other resources. I sure hope so! It is up to you parrot community 🙂 If you love these resources and want more, let it be known through your contribution and/or word of mouth support. What you do and say matters!

Webinar Description:
Whether you work in a rescue or sanctuary, foster parrots or have adopted a parrot into your home it is sometimes difficult to break through or overcome behaviour problems with a parrot with an unfortunate or unknown history. This parrot training webinar will provide guidance for those working with some of the more challenging behavioural cases in the avian community. Total run time is 1 hour and 50 minutes. You can log in and out as much as you want to watch at your convenience or repeatedly.

How to Contribute:

Click on this link.

The donation is set at $1. If you would like to increase this amount, change the number in the box under “Qty” then click on the  words “update quantity.”  This will allow you to increase your contribution by increments of $1. Then proceed to checkout.

parrot training webinar

Access:
Visit this link to access the webinar http://www.instantpresenter.com/barbarasffat/EB56DC86884B

If you are experiencing any problems connecting to the seminar in your usual browser, consider switching to a different browser. Just paste the link to the webinar in a different browser such as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Also be sure to have a current flash player on your computer such as Adobe Flash Playerhttp://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/

For iPads use the Puffin browser or Photon both are free apps. This will allow you to view flash video files included in the presentation. You can log in and out as much as you want.

This webinar is one of many resources you can find at www.GoodBirdInc.com. I hope you will find it extremely beneficial to helping you foster a wonderful relationship based on trust with the parrots in your life.

All the best!

Barbara Heidenreich

Credits: GoodBird

Last Chance for Free Access to a Webinar on Training Parrots!

training parrots webinar
Many people have had a chance to enjoy this free webinar and to put the information to good use! However, Barbara will be taking the free link down soon, so be sure to take advantage of this awesome information within the next 7 days.

What will I learn from this webinar?

  • How to train your parrot to accept oral medications, be comfortable wrapped in a towel, and participate in preventative care.
  • Discover techniques to introduce new objects (such as medical instruments) without creating fear responses.
  • Which behaviours to prioritize to reduce stress for health care of your bird and how to gain cooperation from your parrot while at the veterinary hospital.

Webinar on Training Parrots

The webinar was recorded on August 8, 2015.

The duration is 1 hour and 52 minutes.

It is available FREE of charge till end of this week!

Here is the link to the webinar by Barbara Heidenreich:
http://www.instantpresenter.com/WebConference/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=EB56DC86884B

If you have any problems viewing the recording or getting the link to work, try pasting the link in another browser (such as Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge for Windows users). If you are on an iPad or iPhone, use the free app Puffin orPhoton as your browser.

Credits: GoodBird

Upcoming Parrot Training Live Events This Month in Netherlands and Germany

Barbara Heidenreich

Barbara HeidenreichWhat are you planning to do next weekend? If you don’t have any plans yet why don’t you read the about the two upcoming events?

These workshops are focusing on Parrot Training as well as solving Parrot Behaviour Problems. Both events are presented by Barbara Heidenreich, who has been working with animals since 1982 and has been training animals since 1990. She is the author of Good Bird and founder of her company Barbara Heidenreich’s Force Free Animal Training.

 

“Two Day Parrot Training Workshop” in Germany

The first event is next weekend (October24-25, 2015) in Germany. It is a “Two Day Parrot Training Workshop” which will includes lecture, powerpoint, video examples, live training demos and hands on training opportunities. The lecture will be presented in English with German translation available.

For more information in German visit this link http://parrots-parcel.com/barbara-heidenreich-workshop-2015/

“Advanced Hands-On Parrot Training Workshop” in Netherlands

The second workshop this month is on 29-31 of October, 2015. It is going to take place in Erica (Drenthe) Netherlands.

If you are ready for more parrot training challenges, then “Advanced Hands-On Parrot Training Workshop” is an event that you should attend. The main focus will be on training, training, training!

This workshop will help you practice training more challenging behaviours. There will also be an additional emphasis on solving behavior problems.

Barbara Heidenreich, Bonny Talsma and staff members of Stichting Papegaaienhulp will be there to coach you on exactly what you need to do to improve your training skills. We will have some training goals prepared for you, but you will also have the opportunity to explore training goals of your own. The focus will be on the small details and special techniques Barbara has developed that can have a big impact on your training.

Plan on a fun, supportive intimate environment with lots of one on one attention.

Seminar is presented in English, with Dutch translation available.
Hosted by Stichting Papegaaienhulp.
For information in Dutch visit www.papegaaienhulp.nl.

Credits: GoodBird