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Old 11-19-2018, 07:45 PM
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A Kermit Training Update

Hey all, I posted a while back about my progress with harness training. That was about a month ago. I'm happy to say Houston, we have progress


I've been pretty busy so this is only with a 10-15 minute training session per day (which is shared with the second piece of progress I'll share in a moment). She's a LOT more comfortable. I can rest it on her back, I can usually get the strap under one wing. I could push her more, but at this point I'm trying to make small steps. But it's all coming together pretty fast now.

I did discover why Kermit and I suffered our initial set-back. Generally when first starting these sessions, she'll barely put her head through the loop. I have to give her an "easy win", gloat on the seed she totally didn't earn, and then she's ready to go. I think this is what happened initially, but I took it as a complete setback in progress and then proceeded to push her too hard to the point that she regressed... so at the end of the day, I have to let the parrot think this is all going according to HER plans. Let's just say she's been scoring a LOT of safflower seeds.

Next I'll try draping the strap under both rings and get her more and more used to be the harness being manipulated. Ultimately I'd like to have her wearing it and just munching on seeds.

~~~

Now, for the second piece of training that I like to call Alex and Dr. Pepperberg. I've been very fascinated by what goes on through Kermit's little mind, so we're working on our colors ! This is a pretty common game I've seen others teach their parrots, but I haven't seen a GCC do it yet.


It's a challenging piece of intellect and Kermit is only about a month into the game. It took a while to teach her just to take the rings off and put them back on. Now we're focussing on listening to the language. My ultimate goal is I'd like her to understand and identify the colors Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green. So far we're just on Red and Yellow (largely to teach her to differentiate).

I also want her to understand commands with these words like Put (place on ringstand), Take (take off ringstand), and Touch (touch a specific color -- very useful for introducing the concept of colors).

So in essence, I'm trying to get her to understand 2 words sentences. She's by no means 100% (and hilariously with the 'touch version' of the game, she'll often touch both yellow and red just to see which pays out; with the 'put' version of the game, she has very strong opinions on the red ring belonging on the green ringstand), but I see potential here. I'm very curious to see just how far she can take this game, and even when she doesn't get it, throwing around rings is good fun.

Every now and again, I do see the little gears turning. It's very cute. Sometimes she'll focus very intently on what I just said, turn her little head down, and stare at the table. A lot of times after coming out of this reverie, she connects what I'm asking of her. It's pretty neat to watch !

So just a bit of progress right before Thanksgiving. It gives me something to be thankful for I s'pose
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:40 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

Amazing! I love GCC attitude, lol . Great job!!!! I feel like such an underachieving parront...
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:45 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

Awesome! Such a smart girl...
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:00 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

You have the patience and understanding this girl needs! I would like to say I have that...but I wouldn't be honest. You're and inspiration, Indy!
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Old 11-24-2018, 04:13 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

Thanks all for the warm thoughts and encouragement We've taken a bit of a training break in light of Thanksgiving madness and a large national exam I'm taking in a few days. I'll update when I get more progress. I did manage a short harness training session today. I think she's open to letting me get the strap under the other wing.

It's funny... it does take patience to train a parrot for sure, but the little bird gets so much joy out of it. She's screamed at us a few mornings for delaying her training -- she wants those safflower seeds bad. I don't always feel like I'm fullfilling her intellectual needs from her toys (I've hit a patch of creativity block on making her new toys from my bucket of parts), so training always feels like a satisfying way to make sure she's using her little noggin.
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:58 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

Wow it looks to me you and Kermi have it down pretty good. As well all know,the way to ANY parrots heart,or brain,is always thru the tummy
Give Kermit whatever it takes to do the job. I know Al (Wrench13) went thru ALOT of pine nuts initially with Salty lol.

Awesome job...the both of you!


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Old 12-03-2018, 12:04 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

Another update:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Y3D...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f4E...ew?usp=sharing

We took a step forward and 2 steps back. The first image is from Thursday where I managed to get both her wings in the harness ! Woo for us, and I was excited the end was near. However, in subsequent days Kermit became much more reluctant. She doesn't even want to put her head through the loop. I don't think she's traumatized or in a complete panic when it's on as she'll still take safflower seeds when it's on, but I can tell it makes her very uncomfortable. This will just be something that takes time for her to sort out. We may need to take another little break from the harness. But she's made great strides and I think she's very close !

On the ring front, I've seen a lot more progress. She's starting to get the concept of 2 word sentences. It's very neat ! She'll listen for the world yellow vs red, and more often than not seems to go for the one I ask. She understands (ish) the difference between take vs put too, though we're still working on the distinction. The trick is to keep things easily within her reach. If I frustrate her, she'll have a small temper tauntrum and throw rings everywhere until she feels better. I'm very proud of her, she's doing so well !
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:53 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

great progress with Kermit ! Especially on the hrness. Concentrate on putting the loop on and off of Kermit, thats usualy what they hate doing most. THe under wings part is easy because it can be made much larger then needed .

LOL on the rings, believe me Kermie has it down, and is just messing with you now. Salty does that all the time. He will do them right a fw tmes and then get bored and messup on purpose. try putting the rings on the post and asking for the color from Kermit, just to change hings up. Keep up the good work!
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Old 12-22-2018, 04:15 AM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

Another update.

Training is going well in that it had to take some steps back.

Shortly after posting my last message (where she had the harness under both wings), Kermit almost completely "lost" all our training progress. She would approach the harness, maybe, but it got to the point where she didn't even want to put her head in the loop. I know I've been pushing her pretty close to her limits, so I decided to give her a few days break. We started up harness training. The first few days were slow, but after no more than 3-4 days of progress she started warming up to the harness again and allowing it on her body for extended periods of time. I did change one element of our training that seems to be a success -- once I put the harness on, I place the entire bowl of safflower seeds in front of her so she can have infinite seeds as I fiddle with the harness.

Overall, I think I could get her to wear the harness once but I'm trying not to push her limits too aggresively lest I never get it on again. I also busted my thumb a bit (in a nonparrot related incident, as this apparently is most my friends' assumptions LOL) and until the bandages come off, I'm hesitant to do anything that requires much in the way of coordination. Still, I think we are close


Ring training update is quite interesting. Some days I'm not sure if she "gets it" or not. I've noticed it really depends on how I'm phrasing my commands and how mentally fatigued she is at the time of asking it. I.e. I'm better off holding two different colored rings and asking her to pick a specific color vs spreading it out on the table. I also think she tries to "hack" the game a bit, like when I ask for a yellow ring she'll run and touch BOTH rings until she gets the payout. I'm trying my best to keep "resetting" the layout to keep her from taking the easy route. Such a funny little bird. I'm delighted to see how that brain of hers works.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:25 PM
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Re: A Kermit Training Update

How is your harness training going? Curious since I’m harness training my Kermit and it’s been going slow, but he’s making good progress. Should I be preparing for a setback like what you experienced? Has (your) Kermit recovered and has she made progress since then?
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