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Author Topic: African Grey Training  (Read 1164 times)

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Boegie

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African Grey Training
« on: June 15, 2016, 08:23:37 PM »
I came across this information on the web by Christine Wagner. I cannot get hold of Christine through Facebook. This information is to valuable not to share, therefore I apologize to Christine and hope that when she see this post, that she would be ok with it.

THE ONE PERSON PARROT  - by Christine Wagner

Why Doesn’t My Parrot Like Anyone Else?

Parrots can make wonderful family pets, but in some instances parrot owners encounter a situation in which their parrot seems to favor only one person. When there are several people in the family, it is important to know how to teach your parrot to bond with others in the family as well. One of the most critical things to keep in mind is that when a parrot appears to be bonded with and only interacts with one family member, this type of behavior can sometimes lead to demonstrations of aggressive behavior toward others. Therefore, it is imperative for owners to be proactive and put a stop to this type of behavior before it escalates. If you do not take steps to nip this type of behavior in the bud when it first begins you may find yourself living with a parrot that nips, bites and screeches whenever anyone other than their favorite human approaches. Not only is this annoying, but it can also be somewhat dangerous; especially if you have children in the home.

Understanding the Elements of Bonding for a Parrot:

Bonding is one of the most desirable traits among any type of pets, parrots included. When a parrot bonds with only one person, they can often become very protective of that person. Not only can they become aggressive, but they can also become territorial as well. It should be kept in mind that in parrots bonding is really a type of instinct that is deeply ingrained. In the wild, almost all parrots establish long-term bonds with another parrot. These pair bonds are typically life-long. Pairs often spend significant amounts of time with their partner. Even in a very large flock it is often very easy to determine which birds have paired with one another by their physical interactions and close proximity to one another. As a result, this type of bonding is hardwired in most birds, even when they live in captivity. Bonding usually cannot be completely eliminated, but you can manage it.

The best way to avoid problems with bonding is by making sure your parrot is adequately socialized, especially while still young. Your parrot should be socialized with all members of the family and even persons who visit your home on a regular basis. You may still notice that your parrot seems somewhat closer to certain people in the family than others, but proper socialization will help to prevent him from developing behaviors that might be overly-protective.

If your parrot has already become bonded with just one person in the family, a good way to approach the problem is to begin teaching your bird some simple tricks or behaviors that do not require anyone to handle him. This makes it easier for others to cue the parrot and offer a treat, thus setting the stage to develop trust between them and the parrot. Your parrot will then begin to associate the other person with receiving a treat. Also, your parrot will be able to focus on the trick or the behavior rather than aggression.

Boegie

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Re: African Grey Training
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 05:55:20 PM »
TEACHING YOUR PARROT TO WAVE by Christine Wagner

A verbal and visual cue for each trick you teach it keeps the pet bird on track in the beginning, but as soon as the bird learns the cues you are free to drop either one.

The verbal cue for this trick is to simply say “Wave.” Place your pet bird on a table, the floor or on a T-stand, and let him get used to being there. Practice having your bird get on and off your hand and to and from the T-stand to give you a chance to reward him and praise him for good behavior.

Hold your bird’s treat in your right hand and wiggle the fingers as in a small wave, and say “Wave.” Then put your left hand in front of the bird’s chest as though you were asking him to step onto it, but do not let him! The minute he starts to lift his left foot to step onto you, withdraw your left hand and praise him immediately. I use the word “Good.” Reward him at the same time with the treat in your right hand.

(You will be using this immediate praise and reward combination continually from now on, so I will refer to it as simply “P&R.”) You must offer your left hand here, because in a later trick, you will be asking your bird to place his right foot on your right hand in the same way.

Watch carefully for the minute your bird starts to raise his left foot and try to immediately P&R him. It won’t take him long to realize that “Hey, all I have to do is raise my left foot slightly, and I get all this attention as well as a treat?”

For some birds, this trick will take only 10 minutes to teach, for others maybe a while longer, but it is an easy first trick and worth teaching.

As soon as your bird seems to have the idea of raising the left foot to the cue, up the anti.

Wait with your P&R just a few seconds longer to see if he won’t try and lift his foot just a little higher. Do this each time you ask for the wave, and you will be surprised at how high he will lift his foot just to make sure you see it. Wait a few seconds longer and see if he will finally start to drop the foot. Immediately P&R. What you are working for is an up-and-down motion of his foot like a wave. He will quickly get the idea and you will soon have a genuine wave.

Your bird may add an innovative behavior (one the bird does on its own without training) like opening and closing the toes. Immediately reward innovations. Some of the innovative behaviors become the best tricks because they are so unique.

Stop the lesson when the bird has the idea. Don’t bore the bird with endless repetitions. Some people claim parrots have short attention spans. They don’t if you keep the lesson interesting. A lesson can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour and twice a day or twice a week — it is up to you. After the bird has mastered the first trick, move on to something else, but don’t have a playtime follow a lesson. Make the lesson itself be his special time with you.

Boegie

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Re: African Grey Training
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 09:50:37 AM »
UNDERSTANDING AND CONTROLLING PARROT SCREAMING by Christine Wagner

Once a parrot begins a screaming habit, it can be quite difficult to break. For parrots, this type of habit is much like any habit that any human may develop. If you have ever dealt with trying to break your own bad habit, then you should be able to understand that it can be quite difficult for your bird. This is why, when it comes to controlling a screaming behavior, you must have patience. Keeping in mind that it will take time will make it much easier for you to be patient with your bird.

Why Is My Parrot Screaming?

To begin with, you must establish why your parrot is screaming. This will help you determine a plan of action to stop it. However, any bird that screams may scream for a totally different reason from another. You cannot deal with the bad habit without determining why the bad habit developed.

There are usually tell-tale signs of why your parrot screams. Usually, there is a certain action that sets it off. For example, your parrot may scream out of separation anxiety when you leave your home. Your parrot may scream out of fear. It could be that they scream because they know it will get a reaction from you or someone else in the house. There are many things that can lead to the development of this habit. Look for the things that may have lead to it and this will give you a better idea of how to take action.

Control the Screaming of Your Parrot:
Once you know the whys, you can adjust the hows. Depending on the reason for your parrot’s screaming habit, then you will need to handle the bad habit in different manners For example, if your parrot screams in response to loud sounds or frenetic action, then you need to provide the bird with a calm quiet environment. Chances are, this kind of reaction is a fear reaction. You need to address it by helping to avoid the thing that scares your bird.

If your parrot is screaming because it believes it will get a response from you, then you will have to let it know it will not get the response it wants. Whenever the parrot screams, do not give the bird the attention that it is trying to garner. It will not take very long for your bird to determine that it will not get the attention. Parrots are quite intelligent, and they can easily connect actions to reactions.

If your parrot is screaming out of separation anxiety, then you will need to take the time to slowly get it used to the idea of you being gone. You should not make a big deal of leaving in front of the parrot. You should also leave in a gradual manner, giving the bird attention, then sitting in the room without giving it attention and then slowly leaving the room.

A screaming behavior in a parrot is a habit much like a habit that any human may have. In order to get out of this habit, you will need to be patient and understanding.

Boegie

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Re: African Grey Training
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2016, 10:55:30 AM »
INTRODUCING A NEW PARROT TO AN EXISTING ONE  by Christine Wagner
 
If you are already a parrot owner and you would like to introduce another bird to the home, then you will need to consider how you go about this quite carefully. Just like any other pet, a parrot could become jealous toward the new bird, especially if the new parrot is getting lots of attention. This would happen with any pet. However, due to the high intelligence level of parrots, they will experience this to a greater amount.

Your parrot may react to the new bird in a variety of ways. It could become aggravated toward you because it feels betrayed. It could become aggressive toward the new bird out of jealousy. It may interact completely fine with the new parrot. No matter what, you must be prepared for any reaction, and you must introduce the new parrot in the right way.

How Will My Parrot React to a New One?

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« Last Edit: June 24, 2016, 11:00:08 AM by Boegie »

Boegie

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Re: African Grey Training
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2016, 03:00:39 PM »
PLAYTIME WITH YOUR PARROT by Christine Wagner
 
One of the greatest things about owning a feathered companion is playing with them. This is a way to have fun and enjoy your bird to the fullest. Playtime does not have to be long periods of time but it should be done daily. Unlike a training session, this is a free for all and should be spontaneous. It is simply another opportunity for you to strengthen the bond between you and your parrot. It will also curb monotonous activity for your bird, which could lead to behavioral problems that often develop from bored parrots.

Parrots have often been compared to human toddlers intellectually. A parrot’s sense of play can certainly be associated to one. With that being said, just as a small child a parrot’s attention span can be short. You will notice they play with one favorite toy for a while only to move on to the next. This same reaction should be expected with when you are interactively playing with them as well. Parrots with continue to play throughout their lifetime. There are two types of play. They are passive and interactive.

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