Archive for November, 2007
Stewie got tired of the the “put the ball in the cup trick”… not sure why, but he just doesn’t want to do it anymore.
Here’s a picture of him when he was still eager to do it:
We’ve been working on “put the ring on the peg” but this one has been difficult. To tell the truth, I’ve sort of abandoned the clicker. I’m terrible with it… my timing is off, I’m inconsistent, I’m uncoordinated (I need three hands to handle the prop, the clicker and the treat at the same time). So I’ve been trying to do clicker training without the clicker. It’s slow going.
Here’s the prop:
I originally got him the small version of the toy (I can’t help it, I keep thinking of him as a small bird, not a medium-sized bird), but it was too small. This is a picture of him with the medium-sized Ring Toss prop.
He’s still not very good at it, but he’s done it a few times where I was holding the peg and helped him get the ring onto it. Today I spent a bit of time playing with the rings and peg, picking up the rings in my mouth and putting them on the peg like I want him to do (rather than doing it with my hands). And he did it a few times by himself!
He also likes to throw the rings off the side of the cage, which is cute too (but doesn’t earn him a treat).
Stewie has gotten much better at putting rings on the peg. He’s not as good at it as he is with some other tricks, but he knows exactly what he’s supposed to do.
Stewie knows how to retrieve finally! It’s not really on cue yet, though. Right now there are specific props he knows he’s supposed to bring to me that only appear when I want him to “give it to me” (that’s the verbal cue, not random use of quotes for emphasis). Because he’s still a bit nippy, I hold my hand next to the cage, but a little lower. He picks up the prop (usually a blue ring), waddles over to me. leans down and places it in my hand. The funny thing is that he now thinks anything sitting on his cage that can be picked up should automatically be given to me… or dropped off the side of the cage where I usually stand.
The current trick we’re working on is for him to put a ring on a peg. I got him this toy from Chirp N’ Squawk.
A friend recently recommended a book called he Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell to anyone who had or was going to get a dog. Although I wasn’t considering getting a dog, I started reading it and got hooked. McConnell has a wonderful, friendly (yet not cheesy or “fluffly”) writing style, but what struck me the most is that much of what she says about human communication with dogs also applies to any other animal you would try to train.