I taught both of my cockatoos how to "roll over" which is pretty much the same as "bang" and "playing dead" because they all involve teaching the bird to go onto its back on command. However, the thing is, I taught both of my birds using different ways. I used clicker training with both, but separate techniques (sort of). Let me show you what I mean by showing you just that. In the video at the top of the post, I describe and show you how I taught my female cockatoo, Bondi. In the video below I demonstrate how I trained it to my male cockatoo, Bandit. You will see the difference for yourself in these clips so take a look!
Bandit's might be a bit more entertaining to watch seeing as he falls off the make shift training table not once but twice! He's hilarious and so much fun to train. Another thing I really had going for me when training this behavior is it comes very naturally to galahs. They are silly, playful and ridiculous (ask any aussie!) and they do this all the time. Bandit and Bondi's friend "Ace" the cockatoo who has made a few appearances on this blog even knows this trick, but to him it's known as the "seizure" which is pretty darn funny... Here is a video of Ace doing this trick as well taught by his own owners.
So in Ace's case, you could wait for the behavior, have a clicker handy and click and reward once you see the bird doing the behavior you want to reinforce. This is called "capturing". It's a great way to get natural behaviors and put them on cue. Three birds trained 3 different ways... every single bird is different which is why you need to be able to determine what type of training method will work best for yours. Happy training! PS: If you want to see some of my training that was "in the process" of getting these results please take a look at the following videos on You Tube: Bandit Rolls Over on Cue, Fun Bird Training, Fun Birds, and Roll Over Training.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.