Parrot Training Methods
Science Daily (Feb.. 18, 2009) — In a new, year-long University of Pennsylvania survey of dog owners who use confrontational or aversive methods to train aggressive pets, veterinary researchers have found that most of these animals will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified. The story went on to say that using non-aversive or neutral training methods such as additional exercise or rewards elicited very few aggressive responses.
Parrot Training Methods may be controversal for some, but research shows that aversive parrot training methods backfire, just like they do with all animals. Being animals of prey, parrots tend to be very sensitive to adversity, negative moods or energy and punishment than domesticated animals. Even though dominance-based training has been made popular by TV, books and punishment-based training advocates, fear eliciting behaviors on our part only result in the bird cowering or displaying owner directed aggression. And, parrots have a long memory.
One of my first birds was a Black Headed Caique named Rascal. When Rascal was very young and I was new to parrots, I improperly cared for him. First off, I made the error of getting a tall cage with the perches placed up high. He was too young to sleep through the night without falling off the perch. This caused him to repeatedly break his primary wing feathers. I added insult to the injury by "man-handling" him to catch him and I tried to stop the bleeding using styptic powder. I did not know that styptic powder can be quite painful to open injuries. TRascal associate me with pain and aggression. He came after me if I get anywhere near him. Even after consulting with notable behaviorists who choached me on positive parrot training methods, I finally had to re-home him with a couple whom he did not associate as being aversive.
I learned a sad, but valuable lesson that I apply with my current flock. Positive parrot trahing methods iare not new science, but they are well confirmed by science. One of the highest acclaimed parrot training methods involves training your parrot with a clicker. This method involves breaking training down into small, achievable steps, teaching your parrot that the sound of the clicker "clicking" is marking the behavior that you want the bird to continue, immediately rewarding the behavior with a preferred treat until that small step is mastered and then chaining the series of behaviors together. In essence, you are only offering attention for the behaviors that you want to continue. Being highly social yet intelligent animals, parrots respond quite nicely to Clicker Training. To find out more about this parrot training method, Check out Clicker Training for Birds. It will be one of the best investments that you make for your parrot.
Parrot Training Methods Take-Aways:
- Study Parrot Training Techniques from books or bird training DVD's
- "Force" training never works
- Positive Parrot Training Methods Work!