JUST A PINCH
by Jami Galindo
My thoughts today have been drawn to training and training treats. Many of you have read or seen us talking a lot about treats, but today I want to focus on TRAINING treats. These are tiny morsels that hold a high enough currency value to your bird that they would do just about anything for "JUST A PINCH."
Some prime examples of these are that special tree nut that they don't get often (a cashew, almond, macadamia or a Brazil... etc.) crushed to crumble size. A piece of a fruit pellet, I know I would take out the green pellets and they were crumble size training treats. However, the absolute 100%, hands down favorite here is AIR POPPED (or plain cooked) POP CORN. Air popped or plain kernels put in a brown bag and microwaved (no butter and NO salt). A tiny morsel of anything healthy that is not given often and only for training.
A training treat is always a healthy tiny morsel used for instant reward for a task preformed as asked. At the point in time you have 100% of a birds attention so the treat will need to be small so your bird will come back for another, and the training can continue. It is ALWAYS used for positive reward and not a bribe (to stop screaming). If this treat is used to bribe the bad behavior will continue because the bird will associate the bad behavior with the good treat as you are, in fact, TRAINING your bird's bad behavior.
The treat training treat should be a dry treat and preferably no larger than the size of a crumble. The bird will learn quickly that these are the special treats and will pay close attention to get one. Please use this time wisely and reward promptly or at any attempt. You and your bird are communicating, and building a trusting bond.
Trust and communication a long with that special currency will help your training endeavors go a lot smoother. If you would like visual examples, Barbara Heidenreich is a training guru so search for at Good Bird Inc.
Good luck and we are here to help.