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#199394 - 04/23/09 05:58 PM Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!!  
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tribrats Offline
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It's been a while since I've been on. Real life got in my way wink

So I discovered by accident a means of training Alfie and Tilly. We are "stick training" in the same manner as clicker training.

I can't reach the curtain behind their cage so I use a dowel to push it open. It slipped and hit the top of their cage. Tilly responded by tapping the bars with her beak.

So, always willing to play with the birds, I tapped again. Again she tapped back. I noticed when I raised it up while playing she also responded to that (don't remember what she did now) so it hit me that maybe we could use the dowel for training since I had been thinking of clicker training anyways.

I use it in much the same way as a clicker. I use voice command unless she doesn't listen. If she challenges me I lightly tap the cage, my hand, or something close to me to make a tapping noise. She usually follows command immediately after. Usually all it takes is for me to pick up the dowel for her to follow command or to raise the dowel.

I think when she challenges then I get the stick she is trying to apologize for challenging because she will touch and trumpet, lol.

Alfie is just too smart for his own good. He learns very fast. Now at night when I pick up the curtain dowel (that one is a 1" dowel and the one I use for training (the kids call it the Tilly stick) is a 1/4" dowel and they know the difference) he knows it is bedtime and goes right in the cage. Tilly waits for me to tell her it's bedtime.

I think for myself this is more natural for training since I grew up working both cattle and sheep farms and know how to use a crook.

#199450 - 04/24/09 03:31 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: tribrats]  
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Progress? We here at Mytoos focus on the use of only positive reinforcement with our birds. It's evident that your birds fear the dowel, and that makes using it punishment. Do you have any idea how damaging that is? The training methods you are using are not even close to using positive reinforcement, which is what clicker training is.

Natural training? As in by fear of a crook w/cattle and sheep?? I hope you stick around and learn how to handle your birds in a more positive manner. You won't be disappointed, and your birds will benefit.


Last edited by EchosMom; 04/24/09 03:34 AM. Reason: added last sentence

Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#199451 - 04/24/09 03:42 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: EchosMom]  
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I really must agree here. I have read this post a couple of times today and wanted to reply a few times but have been left speechless...

If you think this is clicker training you must go and read over any posts on the board about clicker training again. This is not clicker training. Where is the positive reinforcement? What are you using for a reward? To me you are ignoring your birds and they are trying to tell you they are scared of that dowel.


Jan

Sometimes damaged goods are the best gifts the world has to offer
#199456 - 04/24/09 03:58 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Janny]  
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Tribrats, can you explain what you mean by this statement, "When she challenges me".

What does your bird do that makes you think she is challenging you?

I read your post this morning and was shocked. I just read it again and I think it might be coming across the wrong way. Please clarify.

Bev


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#199468 - 04/24/09 07:58 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I'm sorry you feel that way. They are NOT afraid of it. They are NOT being given negative reinforcement and obviously you do NOT understand how a crook is used.

I have worked with animals all my life and can guarantee you that I've NEVER used negative reinforcement and while I feel that too many in this forum are way too radical for my tastes I gave it a chance. Obviously this forum is too narrow-minded for any other method that doesn't fit your fairy-tale world.

I know what I'm doing with their training. Tilly is a very dominating female, no different than any other animal that feels they are the Alpha critter.

Good day, have a nice life, and rest assured I won't be back.

#199469 - 04/24/09 10:22 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: tribrats]  
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Instead of going on the defensive and offensive why not try to explain the crook a little better and answer the questions. People have real concerns but are willing to hear you out. If you're not willing to come back on then it only reinforces the fact that you also must think that it is fear that rules with the stick. Having used a crook with many animals I have to agree that a crook with a bird is using fear. A crook with a larger animal is used for directing not for training. Even with the larger animals that I worked with training has always been done with positive reinforcement.
For those new to birds please do not use a stick during training. It will cause a total loss of trust in your bird. Unfortunetly I've seen the outcome of a person who thought a stick was fine to use to get a too back in their cage. We were in the process of trying to desensitize the bird to perch training for transport. The bird was never hit with the stick but it was used to herd him back to his cage. The stick training was a total loss as he feared the stick after that. Nancy


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#199472 - 04/24/09 02:36 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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If only using positive reinforcement means I am in a fairy tale world, that's fine by me. Better that than in a world where people think it is OK to use punishment to get an animal to do what they want. And we are supposed to be the intelligent species? Yea right!!!

What I don't understand is if you can get your bird to do something because he/she wants to do it, isn't that one million per cent better than using any kind of punishment to get the same behaviour. And just because you don't think it's punishment, doesn't mean it isn't. It's the bird behaviour that decides.

"Tilley is a very dominating female". No, Tilley is a bird who has been made to do things she doesn't want to do and then is forced to do so by the use of a stick. And parrots don't have Alpha birds so where does that leave you. What did you expect us to say?



Bev


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#199496 - 04/24/09 07:22 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: ZazuSally]  
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I never said it was negative reinforcement, Reinforcement (negative or positive) maintains or increases the rate of a beavior, and determines the probable future behavior.

Based on the way you have presented this, the behavior that you want to see is the birds going back into their cages. The dowel is being used, again as you have explained it, when the bird is not doing something you want it to do (go in the cage).

What you have here is not reinforcement, positive or negative. It is positive punishment. You are introducing an aversive (the dowel) and the birds go in their cages not because they will be rewarded, but to avoid the dowel. The tapping that you are making, before presenting the dowel is a cue to them. You are teaching by your tapping "If you don't listen, I'm going to get the dowel". Please explain how you feel that this is positive?
They aren't receiving something pleasurable for going in the cage, they are doing so to avoid something. This is escape/avoidance training. "If I do THIS (go in cage), then THIS (no dowel) happens. Rather, you should be looking for ways to make going in the cage a pleasurable experience. If I do THIS ( go in cage), then I GET this (something pleasurable). Going into the cage to avoid the stick is not positive reinforcement.

I'm not sure what you expected us to say either. Give you a pat on the back because you using punishment to get desired behaviors from your birds? It won't happen here.

I really hope that you do come back for the sake of your birds. The techniques use to herd livestock have nothing to do with training birds. They aren't cattle or sheep, yet again from the way you presented this scenario, the dowel is being used as a herding technique and that is not appropriate with parrots.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#199497 - 04/24/09 07:35 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: EchosMom]  
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I don't want to interfere with this thread but I think it is important to point out that Bev (ZazuSally) and Janet (EchosMom) have formal training in Applied Behavior Analysis and Nancy (BE2Cassie) has extensive experience as a zookeeper and animal sitter. We are not trying to create a fantasy world here, just help people to have better relationships with large parrots and cockatoos. I would hope you would welcome their wealth of knowledge and experience.

#199498 - 04/24/09 07:51 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Charlie]  
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I don't really understand what you perceive as a dominating female? I had and aggressive female M2 that I took in.Is that what you mean. If it is I have to explain something here.

When Cabrie came to me she was used to biting to get people to stay away from her because of fear of humans. So to her biting kept them away.When you are dealing with this situation it is better to form a trusting pleasurable relationship filled with allot of treats and good things. I would stand by her cage talking to her softly and then give her a treat.She started to see me as a provider of those goodies she loved so much.It has taken some time and the relationship is not perfect yet but she is trusting me more and more each day. I can pet her all the time,she has 2 times actually stepped up for me.She has only been here since last November and she has done amazing with the help of positive reinforcement. AND the bonus is...this is what she wants to do.She is allowed to choose what she wants to do. I never once shoved my arm under her to make her step up.She chose one foot at a time to come on my arm and got rewarded for doing so.

Sure I could have shoved a stick at her. Would she have trusted me...no. Would she have wanted to come to me.No. She would have had too but not liked it at the same time.

Please really think about this. I know what some people find as acceptable training is maybe acceptable with another animal but if you just give this some thought and really open your mind to ABA and other tools you will find a whole new world of loving and trusting relationship with your birds.


Jan

Sometimes damaged goods are the best gifts the world has to offer
#199499 - 04/24/09 07:59 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Janny]  
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EM and Janny and Nancy:

Well said, I couldn't be more proud of you!!

Bev

Last edited by ZazuSally; 04/24/09 08:00 PM. Reason: added something

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#199510 - 04/24/09 10:35 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: ZazuSally]  
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Thanks Bev that is very nice to hear!


Jan

Sometimes damaged goods are the best gifts the world has to offer
#199511 - 04/24/09 11:00 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Janny]  
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Bev thank you.
Nancy


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#199512 - 04/24/09 11:15 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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Yes, thank you Bev. We have an excellent teacher (YOU)!!!!


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#199515 - 04/24/09 11:39 PM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: EchosMom]  
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OH boy, cattle and sheep farming in comparison to Toos is scary...


Flock is Nina (U2), Tootsie (U2), Baby (LSC), Ruke (TAG),& Birdie (T2),
#199521 - 04/25/09 01:18 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Rukesmom]  
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Bev ditto to what EM said!!


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#199534 - 04/25/09 02:17 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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Tibrats probably won't be back...sad for Tibrats & sad for the birds! Education is so helpful!


Gail
#199547 - 04/25/09 03:22 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Bird Mom]  
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Hopefully she will read the post and see that all we want is what's best for the birds in her care. Education is helpful!!
Nancy


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#199565 - 04/25/09 04:02 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: BE2Cassie]  
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Ok, I might be clueless because I've never had any formal training, but here goes. I have a clicker - somewhere - and never had a chance to learn to use it. It's probably packed in a box downstairs. I've never used a stick in any way with Rocco. He just steps up. I don't even have to ask him to. He's reaching for me before I even get to the cage, or couch, or wherever he happens to be. Getting him into his cage at bedtime is no problem. On the rare occasion when he gets a little aggressive and unmanageable, I just put on one of the "Birdtricks" videos I have. He calms down almost immediately, sits on me and watches it with me. I always wonder what's going through his mind when these are on. I honestly can't remember the last time I had to give him a "command".

#199567 - 04/25/09 04:10 AM Re: Progress with Alfie & Tilly!!! [Re: Walter]  
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Walter you're any thing but clueless! Seems to me maybe you have more than a clue when it comes to Rocco. I think that thing is called respect! Trust and respect go hand in hand.
Nancy


Nancy & Cassie BE2

Moderated by  BE2Cassie, Beeps, EchosMom, Janny 

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