Stick and clicker training help needed

gibson2503

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Jul 11, 2013
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Apollo (8 years old Sunday conure), and Ari (7 years old jenday conure) and Cosmo 9 years old goffins cockatoo). All DNA tested females.
We have a goffins cockatoo who was about 4.5 years old when we got her. She is now somewhere between 10.5 and 11 years old. I’m not sure her first family did a lot of training with her. To be honest, I haven’t trained her even remotely as much as I should have.

Most of the time she steps up when asked. Sometimes I let her watch me pass a treat or small toy, like a die, back and forth between my hands, getting faster and faster with each pass. Then I will stop and show her my closed fists and she will touch one fist with her beak and I open that fist to reveal the treat or toy. A large majority of times she gets it right. On those times when I show her my empty hand she immediately touches the other fist. I’m not sure if that really counts as training though.

Anyway, I am finally trying to stick and clicker train her. The stick is just a chopstick. The problem I am running into is that she seems afraid of it as soon as she sees it and I can’t get to the training part yet. So I have left it in the same spot, where she can see it, for days now. I was hoping she would see that it won’t hurt her and she would warm up to it. Her favorite toys are dice. So I put a few dice next to it. She will go get the dice, but she won’t touch the chopstick. When I pick it up she runs away.

What can I do for her so that she stops being afraid of the chopstick?
 

chris-md

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Feb 6, 2010
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Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
I LOVE this! Your caring is so clear💚

There’s a faster way to do this! It’s called shaping. I actually made a video on this EXACT issue, and what the training actually looks like. You’re going to start by teaching him that LOOKING at the target gets him treats and work from there.

Start at 6:30. Just keep in mind Parker overcame his phobia in 5 minutes because he’s already target trained. It’s possible it might be a couple SHORT training sessions (3 minutes or less, likely) before your cockie becomes habituated.

 
OP
gibson2503

gibson2503

Member
Jul 11, 2013
104
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Apollo (8 years old Sunday conure), and Ari (7 years old jenday conure) and Cosmo 9 years old goffins cockatoo). All DNA tested females.
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I LOVE this! Your caring is so clear💚

There’s a faster way to do this! It’s called shaping. I actually made a video on this EXACT issue, and what the training actually looks like. You’re going to start by teaching him that LOOKING at the target gets him treats and work from there.

Start at 6:30. Just keep in mind Parker overcame his phobia in 5 minutes because he’s already target trained. It’s possible it might be a couple SHORT training sessions (3 minutes or less, likely) before your cockie becomes habituated.

Thanks for this. I will give it a shot tomorrow morning.
 
OP
gibson2503

gibson2503

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Jul 11, 2013
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Apollo (8 years old Sunday conure), and Ari (7 years old jenday conure) and Cosmo 9 years old goffins cockatoo). All DNA tested females.
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So I got a clicker on Amazon and some chopsticks from Walmart. Using small pieces of walnut I began training Cosmo a few days ago. I started after she woke up in the morning and before putting her food in her cage. No TV or any other distractions. Days one and two she would put her crest up and scoot away a few steps and just look at the stick. As soon as she put her crest down I hit the clicker and gave her a piece of walnut. We did that for about five minutes each day. Day 3 she did the same thing for the first two repetitions. Then she began touching the stick. We did that for a few minutes. Day four she touched the stick from beginning to end. This morning she touched the stick every time, took the walnut, but didn’t eat it.
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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Try a different treat. I always recommend that the owner figure out the very favorite most treat, and use that only for training. For our Amazon, its pine nuts. He would build me a Vollswagon for a pine nut. I cut them into 1/3rds because they are high fat nuts. Experiment, find his favorite.
 
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gibson2503

gibson2503

Member
Jul 11, 2013
104
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Indiana
Parrots
Apollo (8 years old Sunday conure), and Ari (7 years old jenday conure) and Cosmo 9 years old goffins cockatoo). All DNA tested females.
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This morning she started to play with the first piece of walnut. Then she decided she wanted to eat it. She’s just finicky sometimes. Her absolute favorite thing to eat would be oatmeal with a little no sugar peanut butter in it. I will try have a quarter teaspoon of that ready and give her a taste as a training reward.
 
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gibson2503

gibson2503

Member
Jul 11, 2013
104
Media
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12
Indiana
Parrots
Apollo (8 years old Sunday conure), and Ari (7 years old jenday conure) and Cosmo 9 years old goffins cockatoo). All DNA tested females.
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  • #8
I would like to get her to roll a little bowling ball at the pins, or put rings on a peg, or go down a little slide.
 

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