Posted By: C. Doug

Reinforcement? - 09/28/17 01:11 PM

So We've only had our Peachy girl for a week and a half, I'm (We) are trying to be very conscious about not reinforcing negative behaviors! I am sure this is very normal, but Peach sometimes (not always but I'd say about 80%) will scream/make her call when I leave the room- and sometimes I've left the room to go get her a grape (we have been using those (in quarters) for treats as they are her FAVORITE! But I don't want to leave, have her scream and then come back in to reward her for it lol! So I usually wait until she's been quiet and then I give her a treat. However, I wanted to start trying the ABA- so sometimes she says "pretty Bird" when I leave the room- so when I leave the room, I wait till she makes the "pretty bird" call and I respond with my own "pretty bird" and also come and give her attention and treat?

Edit: Ok an excellent example of what is confusing to me...

Sometimes I feed Peach on her playstand, This morning after we took a short walk around the house with me talking to her I took her back to her playstand to feed her breakfast. when I left the room to go get her breakfast she started her "calls" as soon as I left the room and continued until...? Today I walked back in about a minute after she stopped calling, but isn't my coming back into the room and feeding her reinforcing the screaming? How do I handle this? Basically what I'm asking is when I leave the room to go get her breakfast how do I give it to her without reinforcing the screaming?
Posted By: AJMontyBird

Re: Reinforcement? - 09/28/17 05:14 PM

Ideally, when you go get Peachy's breakfast/snacks/etc, you'll want to wait until after she's stopped screaming (even for just a moment) or makes an acceptable contact call before going to her and giving her food and attention. What you did today is about on track, and yes - waiting until she makes her "pretty bird" call, responding, and then going to her with a treat/attention is the gist of it! smile

I used to struggle a lot with this same behaviour in Monty. Even now nearly 6 years in we have days where she seems to "revert" and have a really hard time id i leave her sight - specifically if i leave her and she hears me talking to people. How rude of me! It isn't perfect, but what'a more or less working right now is giving her a snack before I leave the room and a promise that I'll be back (i have a stash of nuts and nutriberries for this purpose), and if I'm leaving the house she wants me to turn on her radio and watch me get ready. When she finishes her snack, She'll usually contact call ("hello?"), and ill call back and tell her what im doing. Sometimes She'll escalate into screaming, but a lot of the time she's content with knowing where I am. If she's getting worked up past the point where She'll listen to reason, I bust out the "mom voice" and start counting to three. Monty usually snaps out of it and goes back to contact calling by the time I get to two, but if she isn't having it (usually if there're people and she can hear them talking, but can't see them) she gets a brief time out (in cage with cover on) lasting no more than 5 minutes.

The key is consistency. If you give in once, you've lost your progress!

Good luck with Peachy, and keep us posted. smile

Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Reinforcement? - 09/29/17 11:45 AM

There really is no reason to wait for Peachy to give the first contact call. The goal here is to avoid the screaming behavior and reinforce the quiet or low sounds. Tell her where you are going when you leave the room and that you will be right back. This sounds silly but start calling her right away as soon as you are out of sight, hopefully before she starts to scream. She wants to now where her flock(you) is. In the wild they call to each other through out the day. With Cassie I would start the calling to her and talking to her as I made my way to the kitchen or where ever I was heading. Each time she would call, not scream to me I would answer her. It is a lot of talking back and forth initially but as she is more comfortable that you are returning to her she will decrease the screaming and you will be able to decrease the calls to her. Keep in mind that you will never be able to do away with them entirely, 13 years here with Cassie and I still call to her and tell her where I am and what I'm doing. And yes she still has her days of being loud all day. She has a screaming fest each morning on her boing and sometimes at night. Many cockatoos do the scream fest in the mornings and evenings, again this is normal behavior seen in the wild. It only last a couple of minutes. Be sure to find another reward before she tires of the grapes and don't give the reward at any other time during the day or with her meals.
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Reinforcement? - 09/29/17 12:26 PM

I have done a similar thing with my RB2's.....especially Harry....separation anxiety is a big thing for him. He as learned a number of words. When I am in the other room out of sight I will call some of his learned words to him and he calls back...this goes on for several minutes, then quiets down. That has helped big time. He knows that his flock is around, just out of sight, and seems to feel more secure.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Reinforcement? - 10/07/17 03:35 PM

How are things going?
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