Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So, I was going to post a bit about what happened yesterday, but I really don't remember the details and all I was thinking. I do know that I started with flight stuff with Peepers, and my impression is that it went well, with more work of course to be done with discriminating between cues. I also have decided to try and separate the flight and harness/table sessions a little bit because I think the flight stuff seems to interfere with Peeper's interest in the harness stuff.

In any case, I did Sparky next. Her video is here: At the end, I did try to start the wing lift the same way I have done it with Peepers. She seems pretty offended by my efforts, so I will have to play it by ear.

Peepers got his turn. I thought I would try and get him to just leave the big loop over his head and do a wing lift. I think this may be a good way to get him to understand he can do things while it's on, and give him a little more confidence in getting out. You can see his solution to the problem of what to do when I cued the wing lift while the loop was over his head here:

Today, I did the flight training about 2 hours before my planned time for harness stuff. Peepers was pretty good, but I did find an area where he was very confused about whether to fly to the perch or come to me. He has been doing either successfully on cue from other areas of the room, but this one spot had him just befuddled. I'm not positive what it was about this one spot that caused so much problems for him, but we worked on it. I suspect that it will still be a problem tomorrow, so I plan on working with him on it then.

I also played with the dogs a bit, something I really need to do more of. Bungee seems to have decided it is actually possible to move while holding something, but he mouths a little bit while he's doing it. He also is learning to target his foot, which I will build up to a "go to" target. Dempsey is still learning to hold. He's so so fidgety while he's got the dumbell in his mouth, but before I have taken it from his mouth. He taught me (again!) today that I really need to take the dumbell BEFORE he starts to fidget if I want to have any hope at all of teaching him to stay still. It made for some really rapidfire reps, but I think that if i keep that in mind, he will have it down in no time. Sophie has reminded me that she, in fact, is the queen of all things and will hold anything I hand to her if there's cheese involved. That's a girl that never forgets what she's learned :).

I started the 2nd parrot session with a new fun skill for Peepers - the retrieve. I spose technically it's not new, as he did learn it about 8 years ago, but he hasn't been asked to do a retrieve for at least 5 years. So I decided to start over and shape it again. I used a die because I wanted something relatively easy to carry but not too interesting to fiddle with. And, I wanted it to show up on camera decently. The beginning of this looks much like 101 things - look c/t, approach c/t, touch c/t, etc etc. Peepers enjoyed it very very much - he's now regurgitating while he works on some things, and this was one of them.

Then Sparky was squeaking for her turn, and we worked on her harness stuff again. She has started exploring the harness a little bit more, and was putting her head fully into the loop to target the stick. I think she's starting to figure this isn't a big deal, and maybe we'll be able to make some more progress on this.

Peepers was a total pest during Sparky's turn, so I thought he'd be pretty up for one more turn, this time working on the harness. I am still thinking that a wing lift while the big loop is draped on him will help Peepers a lot, so I continued to work towards this today. He's kind of funny, offering the wing lift before he sticks his head in, and after he takes it out, but he still isn't quite up for doing while the loop is across his neck. It's ok, because he's more willing to try this than he was to put his head through the small loop. I like that I am getting back the willingness that I was starting to lose.

One thing that I am not to happy about is my inability to quit before the parrots do. Today, Sparky swallowed a pc of almond wrong, and needed to stop. For some silly reason, I asked her to do one more rep before quitting. I know better. And Peepers is starting to leave the session earlier than I plan on, which is so so bad. So, I am going to try and make sure I don't ask for more than they are willing to do. And I will be giving myself a think on the head if i fail to do it lol.

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