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Old 01-10-2021, 12:27 PM
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Foot targeting - a unique technique for trick training birds

Foot targeting is a great technique for trick training. You can use your creativity to produce uncommon tricks with this approach.
This is quite easy to train if your bird likes to use their feet regularly.
I use thick highlighter pens as the target and use a different colour to teach the same behaviour on the other foot.

For Gemma, the foot touching the target was easy to capture as she’ll grab anything. Although, for those that are not so keen on ‘feeting’ the pen or another object you might use, you could try placing the target as an extended perch and first click for both feet touching the target if they’re too fast to capture one foot.
Or, you could place the target on a table and place the treat next to the target. As your bird reaches for the treat, either click for coming close or for stepping on the target to get the treat (this depends on the bird’s confidence). Continue to click for closer approximations. Eventually take the treat out of the picture and wait if your bird might offer the behaviour themselves. Once your bird can step onto the target, start angling the target as to accomplish only one foot touching.

Here are two pictures of Gemma foot targeting





I taught Gemma to cross her feet with this technique (only one foot so far) and named the cue ‘criss cross’. ‘Criss’ for her right foot and ‘cross’ for her left.

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Old 01-10-2021, 01:47 PM
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Re: Foot targeting - a unique technique for trick training birds

The photos did not come through but this is very interesting! It’s a very good reminder how a lot of the behaviors we train actually are targeting behaviors of some form or another obviously you have targeting to a chopstick but you can have instances of targeting a butt to a floor (sit for a dog), targeting a foot to a finger (step up), the list goes on on. Understanding that opens up a world of tricks and behaviors for you.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:28 PM
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Re: Foot targeting - a unique technique for trick training birds

Cool idea! I did similar with Alex without realizing what I was doing... "show me your foot" "other one" "gimmie five!"(cuz he has 4 fingers, plus my 1 ), etc.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:27 PM
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Re: Foot targeting - a unique technique for trick training birds

Our Julio's great love for take things apart may turn this into a coloring event.

Neat idea!
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Old 01-12-2021, 12:38 PM
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Re: Foot targeting - a unique technique for trick training birds

The inspiration actually came from dog training. I couldn’t think of a new trick to teach Gemma which she would enjoy until a few days ago.
We (I) do use a lot of targeting without realising it so often. This can be used for more precise foot movements if desired.
For those that cannot view the images and would like to, you can have a look at the album ‘Gemma’ on my profile viewing page.
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