"Go home" training?

hiriki

Active member
Oct 19, 2014
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183
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
Hello all. I feel like I've been posting a lot... lol.

So before I started learning about positive reinforcement training, operant conditioning, clicker training, etc, I was working with my lovebird very differently. Getting her to go home in particular is a bit of an issue. She's fully flighted and sometimes will put herself home, but for the most part I have to convince her to go home. My OLD method was to sing "go home" and follow her calmly around the room until she put herself home, and then placing a treat with her in her cage. HOWEVER even before learning more about training I had a bad feeling about this method. I want to encourage her to approach me, not reward her for running away from me :(

She's just about target trained now but she still won't follow the stick more than a few inches... She most certainly will not step up for me yet, never mind recall training.

I don't want to continue my go home method because it seems to directly contradict all of the other work I'm doing and I don't want to confuse her. What is an alternative method that would work for a hand-shy lovebird?
 
OP
hiriki

hiriki

Active member
Oct 19, 2014
163
183
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
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It does sound very simple, I will give this a try. I'm worried the treat won't be enough to convince her to go back but as long as I give myself a good half-hour to put her home so I'm never in a rush, this should work.
 
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It does sound very simple, I will give this a try. I'm worried the treat won't be enough to convince her to go back but as long as I give myself a good half-hour to put her home so I'm never in a rush, this should work.
Sounds good! Keep us posted on her progress.
 
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hiriki

hiriki

Active member
Oct 19, 2014
163
183
Chicago, IL
Parrots
(Birdie - Jenday Conure)
(Elby - lovebird)
(Bitty - Cockatiel)
(Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
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Well! I wasn't able to just put the treat in her food bowl and leave it because the moment I stepped away, she just looked back at me and forgot it was there.

But, I actually *was* able to target her back to the cage with the chopstick. I'm kind of shocked.

Elby is home, it was a success! Lol.
 

Owlet

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Oct 27, 2016
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Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
I'm currently in school to become a certified dog trainer, though the methods taught are frequently used with zoo animals and etc. The method I would recommend is to just watch her and whenever you see her going into her cage say "go home" as she goes in and give her a treat once she is in. This is called capture training. Don't say "go home" repeatedly until she does it, just as she is going into the cage.
 

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