Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Juggled African Grey

I have been working with Manzi for the past week to get him to let me toss him while on his back. We are getting pretty good at this. I am not the most coordinated tosser in the world so I need some practice and Manzi sometimes moves and wiggles a bit making it more difficult, but it is really fun.

As requested, here is the training process to get to this point:
1. Get him to lie on his back on my hand (this was done a long time ago)
a) Have him perch on one hand while you cover his back with the other hand.
b) Slightly tip him backwards and immediately reward him
c) Tip him more and more each time and over a few days he was fine being tipped all the way backwards.
d) Un-do his feet from you finger after tipping him back so he is no longer holding on and just laying in your hand on his back.
2. Put him on his back in your hand and slightly move your hand up and down, then flip him back over and reward him.
3. Increase the speed of the up down movement (wait until the second training session) until he is actually gaining air. Manzi kinda flipped out the first time he gained air, but after a couple of times he realized he wasn't getting hurt and he was getting a treat.
4. Move him from one hand to the other, without tossing him. This is so he is comfortable with you changing hands while he is lying on his back.
5. Begin to toss him from one hand to the other, increasing the height of the tosses over 4-5 training sessions.

Since I am using both hands, I couldn't really use a clicker. I think a clicker would be really helpful in this, so if you have someone around who is willing to help, have them handle the clicker for you. In this scenario, you want to begin clicking very early (right after putting him on his back or right after moving him up and down once) at the beginning of this process. That way, since it is so new, you're not going to be asking for much and they get rewarded and are excited to do the training. After a couple of sessions, begin taking longer and longer to click, that way they will let you toss them a few times back and forth before trying to flip back over and look for the reward.


Jen said...

you have some serioius training skills!! I am impressed.

Rachael Awad said...

That is AMAZING!

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