Sometimes you can get discouraged watching parrot training videos. Those birds always seem to do all the tricks perfectly (despite the trainer’s claim they’re not even tame… yeah right) while our own training efforts make us wonder if there’s something wrong with our birds… or us.
The truth is, that no bird knows how to do every trick the first time we try to teach it. And even a fairly well trained parrot can have an off day. What’s important to remember is that that’s perfectly okay. We’re not dealing with matters of life or death; we’re just working on some fun tricks. So if your parrot isn’t in the mood to practice his tricks, try again some other time.
Just to show you what happens “behind the scenes” of parrot training videos, here’s what you usually don’t see (because it gets edited out):
We did clicker training for 3 minutes. The first minute went well, then something set Stewie off and I spent the next 2 minutes (the part shown in the above video) trying to get his attention back on training. Eventually I decided to end the session and let him do his own thing.
Just as I don’t force him to train when he’s not in the mood, I also don’t bother training when I’m not in the mood. Remember, training is supposed to be fun! Your training sessions will be much more rewarding if it’s something you do because you both want to, not because you think you should stick to some sort of schedule.
On a related subject, please check out this blog post about unscrupulous marketing tactics by some parrot trainers.