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 Potty training and other learning

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Nokota
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PostSubject: Potty training and other learning   Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:54 pm

I got Vivi at seven weeks old, he is now three months. The breeder who raised him did not handle him much, sadly, and he never learned to fly despite fledging at 4 weeks or so like most 'tiels, so the first thing he did out of the cage is bite my mother and fly out of control straight into the ceiling.

A lot of clicker training, handling, and a 4-feather wing clipping later (he can still fly, he just can't power himself straight into the ceiling like that. He can learn better control as those feathers come back) he is being handled willingly, knows how to step up, and can target.

My issue is this: I've been trying to get him potty trained. I am wondering if this is too hard a behavior to teach with a bird so young since our human kids don't learn until around two years old and a 'tiel is not as intelligent (at least, not at three months) as a human child. Shall I wait until he has more worldly knowledge and, as it were, more bladder control? Or is it realistic to expect him to learn this behavior now?

We have been doing recall training and he does fly to me, but any farther than a few feet and his aim suffers horribly, still not too coordinated in the flight department. I am wondering if I ought to hold off on that, too?

I aim to eventually get my little guy in an Aviator Flight Harness and take him with me around town during the warmer months!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKCxkohGzJw&list=PL80346787B9AB2868
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PostSubject: Re: Potty training and other learning   Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:46 pm

Nice job training the guy! I see you've put lots of effort into training him. Job well done!

As for the potty training, there's really no problem with doing it at such a young age. He seems to be a super quick learner. Really, bladder control probably doesn't matter. I'm not sure how you are planning to go with this but here's how I would do it. It's pretty simple. And I think it's the easiest one.

1. Try have a designated and visible target where you want him to go. Maybe a colored napkin or a special paper plate. From now on, only use this for potty time. Make sure it's always out whenever he's out of the cage.

2. Try to get him to poo onto the napkin. Pretty easy, just have it under him during out time. But point to it and make sure that he knows its the thing you want.

3. When he does poo, reward him and use a special word. Like, poo. Keep on doing this until he learns: "Poo" = Poo on pretty napkin = Yummy treat. Then keep reinforcing the behavior.

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PostSubject: Re: Potty training and other learning   Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:07 pm

I've been doing this, but with a perch mounted over a paper towel. I have two of them I made, identical, mounted on a shallow box for the paper towel, and I've been doing all of that. He gets that he gets a treat for pooping on the "potty perch", because he immediately poops when I put him on it and say "go potty" but he makes no effort to get to it himself or to keep from pooping in other places.
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PostSubject: Re: Potty training and other learning   Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:19 pm

Well, that's the part that's a little harder. That would have to be a whole nother way of training. This way, you're training him to go poo at command. When you want to make sure he's cleared his system, take him to the potty perch. You can do this like, every 10-15 minutes to make sure he doesn't go potty anywhere else.

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PostSubject: Re: Potty training and other learning   Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:42 pm

Vivi poops roughly every 30 minutes. But sometimes its 40 minutes or an hour. Keeping track of it is a pain in the butt when I'm sick all the time, but I've spent many days just sitting and watching TV with Vivi in front of me, keeping track of when he should poop and making sure he uses the potty, but he still won't go to it on his own. I think I'll try painting his potty perches bright red with non-toxic acrylic and then getting some red napkins for them? Maybe that will help?
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