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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to start a training journal to help myself and others.

Elsa is an 11 month old(?) female budgie. I'm questioning her age because she was originally a pet store budgie. I've owned her since April 21st. I have yet to see too much trust from her, but I'm working on it. She has started to show her personality. She likes to scream at my mom's rescue dog, Lily. She ignores my dog's special needs dog, who has recently been rehomed to us. She also seems to not be very fond of men. Perhaps this is because my dad tried to grab her from her cage when I was out of the room.

Yesterday afternoon was my first serious training session in a while. I kept me hand still on the lowest branch for 15 minutes. Because of late start Wednesdays at my school, I got ome extra time to work with her this morning. She was still in her roosting spot, on some slanted bars in the top right of her cage. My hand was resting on the top branch and to to the side, which was about 5 or 6 inches away from her. She was a bit more relaxed and more interested in me. She kept cocking her head back and forth. Her chest wasn't moving as fast, so I took that as a good sign.

I'm about to change her food and water, and then start another 15 minute hand session. Wish me luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just finished with Elsa's 3rd training session. I'm very happy with what we've done today. It may not be much, but it's a lot compared to the last five months. The lower branch in her cage is forked, and the front fork extends to about 1 inch from the cage door. She was calmly sitting right across from my hand. The gap between the forks in about 4 or 5 inches, and my pointer finger was extended about halfway between. She only looked at it, and looked at me, but I see it as progress.

I was also impressed that when Lily barked at children playing outside, that all Elsa did was turn her head sideways. This surprised me because Lily is an APBT/Greyhound mix, and has a very loud bark. I've also confirmed that she likes me much more than my mom's boyfriend. Elsa actually scooted towards me when he walked through the room!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This sounds good Griff, you seem to be building up some trust already and are showing Elsa you are willing to spend the time with her.

Keep up the good work. :)
Thanks, Nick!

We finished up our session for today. I've decided that I'll do one session on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays, and two sessions on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

I was very impressed with Elsa today. While I was changing her food and water, I noticed she had picked a new obsevation spot. This was news to me because she usually chooses to watch from the very back right of the cage. I'm assuming because it's the farthst she can get from my hand. But this afternoon she was perched on her top branch, which is closest to the cage door, so she was a few inches from my hand.

It didn't last, though. As soon as I extended my finger to set it on the perch, she hopped to the back right of the cage, what I call her safety spot. Though when my mom and her boyfriend walked through, Elsa did scoot enough so that she was perched opposite my hand on the back fork of the lower branch. What's more, is that she started preening herself in front of all of us, even while my mom and her boyfriend's voices were a bit louder that normal. I'm pleased with her progress.
 

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Thanks, Nick!

We finished up our session for today. I've decided that I'll do one session on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays, and Fridays, and two sessions on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

I was very impressed with Elsa today. While I was changing her food and water, I noticed she had picked a new obsevation spot. This was news to me because she usually chooses to watch from the very back right of the cage. I'm assuming because it's the farthst she can get from my hand. But this afternoon she was perched on her top branch, which is closest to the cage door, so she was a few inches from my hand.

It didn't last, though. As soon as I extended my finger to set it on the perch, she hopped to the back right of the cage, what I call her safety spot. Though when my mom and her boyfriend walked through, Elsa did scoot enough so that she was perched opposite my hand on the back fork of the lower branch. What's more, is that she started preening herself in front of all of us, even while my mom and her boyfriend's voices were a bit louder that normal. I'm pleased with her progress.
Good job Griff!! You'll be great friends with Elsa in no time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After I had my dinner, about a half hour ago, I brought a thin slice of apple up for Elsa. I put it in her treat seed cup, but she's just been hunched over and staring at it. She occasionally looks at me. It appears that she might be saying "What is that THING you put in my cup?!"

Hopefully she'll get used to it soon, though. I'm trying to see what kind of treats she likes for when I can start training her more :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried a slightly later training session today. Unfortunately, not much progress happened today. Maybe because it was night outside instead of late afternoon sun. I have a timer set for 15 minutes for each session. When the timer hit 9 minutes, I took a break to let the dogs out. When I came back, Elsa was sitting in the middle of the back portion of the forked perch. Curious, I tried setting my finger a couple inches away from her on the same fork she was sitting on.

Unfortunately, she scooted over to her safety spot. She stayed there pretty much for the entire remainder of the session. I'm not giving up, though. I know it'll be a while before she trusts me too much. Oh well. Maybe she'll like me more tomorrow. But she was a little more chatty today. She was probably telling on the dogs :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yesterday, I unintentionally gave Elsa a break from training yesterday, but we're back at it. Not much happened today. She perched on the far left on the top branch, very close to my hand while I changed her food and water. As soon as my hand came in all the way, she went to her safety spot. I'll have to figure out how to coax her away from it. She let me get pretty close to her, about 3 inches. I didn't push it, though.

What amazed me is her patience with cameras. Up until this afternoon, I've only ever taken pictures of her with my phone. Today, I had my iPad up against the bars, and she didn'tmove away. She's never even seen it before, but she looked at me. I actually got a pretty good picture:


If anyone has any suggestions on how to coax Elsa out of her corner, the're welcomed!
 

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Yesterday, I unintentionally gave Elsa a break from training yesterday, but we're back at it. Not much happened today. She perched on the far left on the top branch, very close to my hand while I changed her food and water. As soon as my hand came in all the way, she went to her safety spot. I'll have to figure out how to coax her away from it. She let me get pretty close to her, about 3 inches. I didn't push it, though.

What amazed me is her patience with cameras. Up until this afternoon, I've only ever taken pictures of her with my phone. Today, I had my iPad up against the bars, and she didn'tmove away. She's never even seen it before, but she looked at me. I actually got a pretty good picture:


If anyone has any suggestions on how to coax Elsa out of her corner, the're welcomed!
You're doing great Griff!
what a pretty budgie you have there :)

does Elsa like millet? try taking her food away for 3 hours before you start trying to offer millet. Cut it into a length the size of your thumb and offer it slowly. Make soft reassuring noises!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You're doing great Griff!
what a pretty budgie you have there :)

does Elsa like millet? try taking her food away for 3 hours before you start trying to offer millet. Cut it into a length the size of your thumb and offer it slowly. Make soft reassuring noises!
I have little millet seeds that I've offered her before, but she was much more terrfied of my hand at the time. Do you think that would work? I'll have to try that this weekend. That's when I plan to do most training. My school work is very rigorous.
 

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You are doing a great job Griff. You are very patient and that's the single most important quality of anyone working with animals.
Budgiecakes advice is 'spot on'. So rather than offer her millet from your palm, you are going to extend 'the olive branch' to her. She can nibble from the extended tip of the millet sprig and feel safe. Just hold it at the same location until she get's brave enough to come over for a nibble or two. Don't push her into a corner with it. It won't be long before she's popping right off that 'safety place' and over to a position within the cage that is close enough to take a nibble from the extended millet sprig. Once that happens, you can start shortening up the sprig held between your fingers so she has to get a little closer to the 'scarey hand' in order to take a nibble.
With your excellent patience and observation skills, you will know when the time is right. Keep us posted. I've really enjoyed your journal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, it's been almost a week! So sorry for not updating. I've been a bad budgie owner and not been doing any training. I've been extremely busy with school and have been feeling a bit sick, so I stayed away from Elsa, save for changing her cage, and food, and water. I have some extra seed she hasn't been eating, so I decided to mix some in with her food. Also, my mom went out and bought some millet sprigs for me. Evidently it was the same kind they gave the budgies where we bought her, because she started to go loco when she saw it.

I tried offering her some this afternoon, but no luck. She seemed a little interested, but more or less sh was probably thinking "what is this alien creature in my home" more than "oh, it's some yummy food". My mom owned two budgies when she was my age, so she said I should clipping a sprig in the cage so Elsa can try it out during the week. I think I'll just do the millet training on the weekends, when I have time to take away food for a few hours. She seems to be indifferent about my hand being in the cage but the moment my mom put her hand in the cage, Elsa was half chirping/half screaming at her and flapping her wings. I thought it was a little funny, but Elsa didn't try to bite her or anything. i guess it was just a change in hand :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Apparently Elsa has taken a big interest in the millet. I see a decent amount of seeds have been eaten. She still likes to sit in her corner. But I was super close to touching her, though I chickened out. If I would've stretched my finger a little bit, I would've been able to touch her toes. The dogs were barking pretty loud due to a tiny squabble (which is pretty common, since the female is spayed and the male isn't nuetered), but Elsa didn't really react. Just a little turning of the head, and she wasn't paying any attention to my hand. She also started chirping while my hand was in the cage. She is usually VERY quiet, close to silent whe my hand is in there with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
i'm giddy with excitement right now! I only trained for about four minutes, but I got a crazy amount of progress, compared to the amount of time I've had Elsa. My hand was extremely close, to her, so I decided to stretch out my finger and touch her toe. She didn't do anything, so I started wiggling it a bit, and I think she sees it as a game because she keeps looking at the finger and tapping her toe on it. This is so surprising for me! Any ideas on how to go from here would be appriciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I guss I've been chickening out for a while because I opened the cage door this afternoon because Elsa decided to stay on the perch settled right in front of me. I touched her toes a little bit and then I gently started petting and pushing up with my finger on her belly. She let me do it a few times, but then jumps to the back of her cage. I've done this a few time today, but I'm hapy with that.

EDIT: I just tried again a few minutes ago and shelet a little foot on top of my finger and looking like she was thinking about it. And then she noped and hopped off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Worked with Elsa a bit this morning. I think she's figured out that she won't have death by fingertip. She lets me pet her tummy a little bit. When I put my finger underneath her feet she tapped it a few times before just holding onto it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Elsa's been very touchy about fingers lately. She doesn't care if it's right or left, but it's morewhat day it is. Some days she's very curious of the finger, some days pretty patient with me touching her belly and feet, some days she's done after a few pets, and then days like today she thinks my finger is the new Godzilla. So no pets today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just realized it's been a week since I'm updated! Elsa's retty okay with my finger stroking her belly, and she doesn't care if it's right or left. She even puts one foot on my finger like she's going to step up. But she eventually steps back down and jums away.
 

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Congrats Kassy on your dedication and wonderful patience. You are an inspiration! I love the joy that you express in each of your posts for this little budgies progress!!!
 
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