Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today I really got started on my program to rehab my relationship with Peepers. I had put out foraging stuff for him last night, so he woke up with things to do. He had a great time, I could hear when he dropped the nut shells, and sometimes when he tore open a dixie cup. He never came into the bedroom to pick on the dogs, although Sparky still must've caught it from Peepers, as there was an episode of lots of flapping and a little squawking. Still, a vast improvement in behavior from previous days.

Late in the afternoon, I finally set up a training session. I moved from the bird room to the kitchen, and I am hoping that the set up will film better. Plus it's a smaller table, and so I hope to have a little more success with Sparky and the retrieve when she gets used to the area.

I started with Peepers, and I was kind of lucky. Since I am not handling him yet, I had to rely on him to come with me to train (and it's a new area, which could have confused him). He followed me over, and when I pointed to the table he hopped right down. I decided to work with the die on his retrieve. I wanted to see where he is at with this after such a long break, and I also wanted to get my hand close to him at a time that he had something in his mouth. He started a little slow, so I backed up to clicking when he picked up the die. I only had to do that once, and suddenly he was back on track. He even got to the point where he turned his head to put the die in my hand. Nice job! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO_A-ppAkqU

I tried to do Sparky next, and unfortunately not only was she nervous, Peepers came back and interfered with her session right away. I had given him an almond over by the couches, and thought he would do what he had done in the past, which was sit nearby and watch Sparky's session. Instead he flew right into hers, and I mishandled it. I had the target spoon in my hand, and as he got on the table, I shoved the spoon between the 2 of them , and kind of pushed it in his direction. My goal was just to turn him away from Sparky, but you could see by his body language that this was a real mistake. Sparky flew off, and then I decided to work with Peepers again. I wanted to repair what I had just done, and since this is what he seemed to want, it seemed right to give it to him. We were still a little dicey, and I was jumpy thinking he was going to bite me, but Peepers did do well overall with working the retrieve thing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfpjOhu5zkk

After we got done with this impromptu session, I asked Peepers to follow me into the bird room, where I gave him an almond and then closed the door so he couldn't come back and interfere again with Sparky. All I did with Sparky was a little bit of targeting. She really was uncomfortable, so it was a short session that hopefully was a positive experience overall for her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSZZSW5CaQc

So far, so good. Time to set up the foraging stuff and see what tomorrow brings :)

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