I just want to share how fun and easy clicker training is for parakeets! It's wonderful! And this is coming from a newbie who isn't trying very hard & is only in the middle of a clicker training book. I've watched just a couple of short you tube videos too. I've only been clicker training here & there over 2 weeks! I also read the clicker training Stickies on this web site.
I have a male, Calvin & a female, Hobbes. They are about 7 mos old.
I thought my birds wouldn't "get it." But I figured I have nothing to loose & everything to gain. One was bullying the other when a treat was given & it was suggested that I do clicker training.
What I do is just put the cage next to the computer while I work at the computer a few days a week. I just take a couple of real short breaks through the day to train them. I don't want to put a huge amount of effort into it & I figured I'll just see how it goes...
I started off with the basics of getting them to know that the clicker means a millet treat. Each step forward takes about 2 - 3 days, just a few min at a time.
Next step was teaching them to throw a ball. They were scared to death of it. Too funny! Eventually one got curious & touched it - click & treat! Then only Calvin repeated that a few times. The next day, out of the blue, the scaredy-bird, Hobbes touched the ball because she saw what Calvin was doing! After 3 days, they are now both throwing the ball to the floor! What a riot! We have such fun! They really make me laugh!
Now we're learning about the cue- the chop stick! Again- they looked at the chop stick like it must be a horrific device that must be ready to stab them at any moment! I felt discouraged, but thought I could reward them for throwing the ball by feeding them millet taped to the end of the stick. OK - not such a scary stick after all!
Now on the 2nd day, today, they are both touching the stick with their mouth & moving TO the stick (not far, but still...) In this case, Calvin learned from Hobbes this time. She is a bit of a biter, so she touched her mouth to the stick 1st. After I rewarded her two times, out of the blue, Calvin decided, OK, I see what works for her to get the treat, I guess i'll try it too!
I thought this would take much more deliberate effort, but it's just a little here & there. It's especially helpful if I don't give them new food in the morning until after a couple of short training sessions. (They have food in their bowls, it's just mainly the "rejects" of sorts though...)
I have tears of joy in my eyes seeing how it's working out - I didn't think it would work for me! I look forward to them learning step-up to my finger hopefully soon!
That's amazing! Huge congratulations! I know what you mean - the first times our budgies come eat from our hands, it really brings tears of joy. It may sound like nothing to an outsider but we know how much it means.
Flock behavior seems to be an advantage with training more than 1 bird
My husband had an interesting experience with clicker training yesterday. He could only find one of the balls to use for the two birds (it starts to be a lot of work recovering them!)
Our female Hobbes is the shy one, so with the one ball, Calvin, the male, runs forward to enthusiastically throw the ball over & over again. But my husband rewarded both of them each time.
Surprisingly, even though Hobbes was being rewarded without throwing the ball, she jumped forward to get that ball herself this time! But she couldn't grab it well, so Calvin tried to push in to do the "job" himself - but she lunged over at Calvin with an angry cheep! So she still wanted to do it herself! This time she grabbed it but it was stuck in the bars - so again Calvin got impatient and tried to do it himself - but again, she uncharacteristically warded him off.
This series of events went on for a while, my husband even started to feel impatient. But she finally threw the ball out of the cage shelf all on her own!! I think she was very pleased with herself!
In conclusion, it seems to me that she fully desired to be part of the game because otherwise she wouldn't have insisted on throwing the ball herself if she was taking part of the rewards w/o throwing the ball. So needing to be part of the flock seems to help the shy scaredy one to catch on to "the program!"
So I was thinking that Sdodo who has 3 that are tame enough to do clicker training, maybe the 4th one will watch it all & catch on "miraculously" because of wanting to be part of the flock!?
btw- as I was typing this, Hobbes, flew onto my forearm to be rewarded with millet for the 1st time! It was only yesterday that Calvin did this a couple times for his first time & I thought it would be a while before Hobbes did it- but it only took a day! (And a real wet poop on my arm to boot! Yuck! - maybe some day i'll actually be able to train them not to do that on me!!! Yay!!)
I do wish Star would miraculously want to be a part of the flock. I need her to be willing to take treats reliably from my hand first. We aren't at that point just yet. We are getting there
Know that two of my four have been with me ether just over a year, or just under. Both Kiger and Max are already super use to me since they have been around the longest (Kiger being the longest and most trusting of the four) Ziggy and Star came to me only threeish months ago. Ziggy had been relatively tame to start and has a far more easy going personality. Star wasn't tame, was new to her pervious owner before she was given over to me and hasn't really been worked with until she came to my home.
Its good to hear both of your little ones are flying over to you!!! That was actually got me started clicker training. I wanted to teach Kiger to fly to me on command. We moved away from working on that but Kiger is still the only one who will fly over to me.