As soon as I read this question about how to properly end a training session with your bird I thought it was a GREAT question.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your bird is video tape your training sessions. I don’t care if you are camera shy or training in your pajamas… no one has to see the videos, I’m not asking you to put it up on youtube for the world to bock at… just video tape them for yourself.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or noticed things I did right or wrong in a session when I go back and watch it over and over again. An outside eye is always a good thing, even if it’s your own!
If your bird is ending the sessions for you, and you don’t see it coming over and over again, you have to watch what you’re doing. Have someone sit in on your training session, maybe they will notice something you didn’t. Your bird is letting you know, there are signs, you are just missing them or not recognizing them as signs.
Watch for change of focus, lack of interest, slow response from your bird… a change in body language, a start of pacing, kind of like when a boyfriend or husband is losing interest in your story you’re telling. You have to notice the bird lose interest. You have to learn to recognize the signals your bird shows you to indicate that it is getting tired or frustrated.
If you are teaching something brand new, end on a success from the bird and if the bird is really struggling, end the session by cueing it something it likes doing that’s easy. For my birds it’s something as simple as the wave. I can end any session on the wave; it’s so easy for the bird to do and it’s an easy treat in their eyes, it’s also a win for them. They did something right and they’re confident doing something they already have mastered.
- Keep your training sessions short.
- End on a high note, a win, a positive success that your bird had, not you.
- Keep your mood positive, a bird is like a mirror to your moods and frustrations.
- The point of training is building confidence, that should be your goal.
- Always end the session before your bird can end it for you.
- Video tape your sessions so you can see both you and the bird, I promise it will be like looking at it from a whole new perspective and you will notice and learn something you hadn’t of otherwise.
- Keep track of how many treats your bird takes in a session to reach its full limit. Sometimes birds get full before we realize.