Monday, July 27, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

I had planned on getting some good training time in over the weekend, but I managed to sleep pretty much the entire weekend :(. I really don't know how someone can sleep for 48 hours almost straight, but I managed it. So formal training kind of went out the window, but I did discover something that I hadn't realized.

Peepers does not recognize, in any way, the "stick em up" cue when we are not in a formal training session and PB&J is on the line. He could wave, but he just seemed to be so frantic about getting his share of the PB&J that he wasn't even registering that I was giving a different cue, let alone what that cue may be. So he and I have another project that we can work on at other points in the day. And I found another potential reinforcer for him, as long as I don't mind a very messy training session :).

Peepers has also moved on from almonds and now picks pine nuts consistently as his reinforcer of choice. This kind of suits me, as he just gulps those down without savoring every bite.

Today I finally got out to the barn again with Peepers, and he enjoyed himself, although he wasn't terribly into working. He pretty much just wanted to mess around out there, so I had to back up a little bit and ask him to fly to the perches from my hand. Since he wasn't nervous I decided to raise the criteria a little bit and asked him to fly from my hand through the bars to each perch, and I also raised my enery level quite a lot (part of this was from necessity - in order to reinforce him at the perch as he landed, I needed to run to the perch right behind him). This seemed to engage him a little bit and give me a chance to make some progress with him on flying skills. He also really wanted to do his bottoms up behavior and combined it sometimes with stick em up. I think that I will try to combine the 2 behaviors into a new one - batbird! I suspect it will be a little difficult for me to keep each of these on their own cue, but hey, nothing like practice :).

I tried to train both the birds later for their harness and retrieve, but neither wanted to do a thing. I have no clue why. It's so unusual for both of them to be uninterested that I feel there must have been something "in the air" so to speak. Ah well. No biggie. We'll see what they think tomorrow. If they both decide again that they don't want to play, then I will take a closer look at the house and see if I can find something I need to change.

No comments:

Post a Comment