Parrot Training – Dropping an Object into a Bowl

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,035
    Parrot Expert Jenny Drummey demonstrates dropping an object in a bowl.

    Jenny Drummey: Hi, this is Jenny from Phoenix Landing and we are talking today about how to train your bird to do some basic behaviors and in this segment, we are going to talk about how to train a bird to drop an object into a bowl. My friend, Lady Scarlett (ph) here is a very sharp parrot but like all parrots, she is very unique and she learns at her own pace, and she has also done some of this before but what we are going to try. She's never trained with me. So it might be a little bit different from her reaction. That's another thing too to remember when you are working with your bird, different people will listen different reaction. But you can watch her body language, she looks pretty relaxed to me, she looks pretty excited about stuff. The object here is to take a toy and just have her drop it in. So here she goes, she is picking over to get it. Good! And there's her reward. Now notice, I said, Good, and I know that I wanted to jump up and down and say, Lady Scarlett, you did such a great job, you are such a beautiful parrot. Oh, my goodness! But if you keep it crisp and clean and short, they are much more likely to understand that what they just did is what you wanted. So keep that bridge short.

    So let's try again, Lady. Can you pick up another one? And I am not going to go around behind you because I know that's not something a bird is going to like. Come on. Good! And here, good job. Here we want to start the behavior with the bowl very close to her. So all she has to do is drop it right in and as we train more to move our approximations and make them bigger, we are going to pull this away. So there she is, she is ready again. Good! She is going to get a nice piece of cheese that time. She is getting peanuts and cheese, those are her treats. I am varying them to keep her interested. Sometimes you can just give them one thing, it might not keep them motivated. She looks pretty motivated to me. You want to try again? Good!

    So occasionally parrots will bite, unfortunately, it's just a fact and if you don't make a big deal out of it and you just don't reward them, you never want to reward behavior that you don't want to see, but you certainly want to, and you want to ignore it. But here she is, she is ready to go again. Ready? It didn't get it into the bowl so she's not getting the treat. Good! So if you were going to extend this behavior, you would move the bowl further and further and perhaps further and further down. You might even try with a smaller and smaller bowl, you could move to a piggy bank. Some people train their birds to take a dollar bill and put it in a piggy bank. So you can do all kinds of variations on this but the basic idea is just to get her, to drop her lovely little chip right in the bowl. Good job! So in this segment, we taught a parrot how to drop an object into a bowl and in our next clip, we are going to teach a parrot to turn around on a perch.