Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Improvement with social differences

We have started a new phase. To jump up Manzi's comfort level with Samuel, we brought Samuel into Manzi's comfort zone with rewards. With other men, Manzi begins to fidget at about 8-10 feet. With Samuel, it was about 5 feet. In just one training sessions this dropped to nothing. By the third training session, Manzi was doing almost all of his tricks for Samuel. It is good in many way: It shows Manzi that Samuel will not hurt him, it shows Manzi that he can work for Samuel and will be rewarded for doing so, also it gives Manzi a comfortable place as follower and shows him that he doesn't have to be dominant to be taken care of and even rewarded, and that it is alright for Samuel to be dominant over him (his dominion can be trusted). We will continue with the trick training. It has been extremely helpful to have the play stand back inside. Manzi is already falling backwards when I point my finger at him (to play dead).

Manzi is still having aggressive bouts with the door. I'm trying to distract him, but have not been able to solve or even improve this situation. Hopefully we'll get it figured out soon enough.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Balcony again

My brother talked me into letting Manzi out this morning after breakfast. Manzi was getting into so much trouble inside so maybe flying would help him release some energy. Manzi was a bit hesistant to fly around at first (maybe because he never goes out in the morning). After a few minutes he was off and dissappeared. I found him nearby in a tree and let him be. After not returning for 30 minutes, I called him down from the tree. Instead of coming he did a lot of flying around. He would get with a foot or so and then take off enjoying himself. All was well until he thought it might be fun to land on a balcony again. This time, there was nothing for him to chew except the railing (which I didn't worry about). He wouldn't come down and was very interested in the noises coming from inside the house. A couple was fighting (quite loudly). I didn't want to knock and their door and interrupt them to get Manzi down, so I just called my sis and talked with her to tempt Manzi down (making him jealous I am doing something other than paying attention to him). It worked and after 5 minutes Manzi came down to me. After getting a grape he was ready to take off again. I let him play in a tree for a few minutes, but then I took him inside since I didn't want him be stuck out in the heat of the day. If so, he would get too hot and wait to fly down until it cooled down. It is a major set back in training because I am reinforcing that if he comes down to me, I will put him away. I wasn't sure what else to do since I have engagements to attend today. I shouldn't have let him out to begin with so early. I think for the time being I will stick to evening flying sessions.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Long Update

Quite a few things have happened since the last update. I was scared about a week ago. Manzi was outside flying around in the park while I was having a barbecue with my neighbors. I stopped hearing Manzi, but I figured he just went further away and would be back. After 20 minutes I decided to go looking for him. I couldn't find him in the usual spots. I went to the far side of the apartment complex (where he has never been) and found him up in a tree with a man watching him. I called Manzi and he came right down to me. The man told me he found Manzi in the park (where I was with him) so he took him to his place and tried to put him in a cage. Then Manzi bit him and flew up into the tree. Since Manzi hadn't been over there before he wasn't sure how to get back and was just waiting for me to get him. I couldn't believe that the man wouldn't have asked me or other people around if Manzi belonged to one of us. I didn't see him take Manzi either. It scared me because I never thought Manzi would just go to someone else, let alone a man (as he usually dislikes men). In addition, the person was just going to keep Manzi in a cage. If I couldn't find Manzi, I would have assumed that a hawk got him and wouldn't have thought to see if a neighbor took him. Now I know better. That situation made me realize I need to watch Manzi a lot better. I trust Manzi, but I don't trust other people.

After that situation I decided to work on having Manzi fly around and recall without giving him quite so much freedom. The first day he didn't want to recall so quickly after being let out, but he did come back and after getting a grape and being let fly again he did recalls much quicker. Yesterday I did the same thing and Manzi did quite a few recalls being awarded with a grape each time. He is doing quite well and I feel much more comfortable with his flying. I recall him about every 5-10 minutes and he comes, gets his grape and then goes back to playing.

The situation with Samuel is greatly improving. Samuel can now pick up Manzi if he gives him a treat first. Manzi also hasn't bitten Samuel any more times since the first bite on his arm.

Lastly, we finally brought the play stand back inside and Manzi can already do his "play dead" trick. I cue him by pointing my finger at him (like a gun) and he falls backwards. He isn't doing the turn around trick, but he hasn't done it on his play stand before so we just need to work on that.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More Free Flights and Manzi the Super Hero!

Today Manzi got into a bit of trouble. He was flying around outside when he decided to land on a neighbor's patio. They had chewable looking patio furniture and Manzi could not withstand the temptation. He ignored my recall and went for the furniture. Luckily I got to him in time to stop any damage. I didn't want to take him in quite yet so I let him fly around some more while I conversed with some neighbors. After a few minutes, Manzi landed on my shoulder ready to go inside.

Also, I found out that Manzi's name has African origins. My neighbor, from Uganda, has a nephew named Manzi which translates to "hero." I wouldn't say Manzi is a superhero, but he is definitely my hero. I took some videos that I'll edit and post later.

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