Parrot Clicker Training

“Parrot Clicker Training is a tried and true way for training your parrot.”

Parrot Clicker Training is a very successful method of training your parrot. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most successful applications of parrot clicker training and how to obtain the greatest results from it.

Introduction to Parrot Clicker Training

“Clicker training” is a method of educating parrots based on scientific understanding of how parrots learn.

For a long time, scientists have known that any animal, whether horse, rat, mouse, fish, dolphin, or parrot, is very likely to learn and repeat acts that result in positive results. The click training technique motivates parrots to do certain behaviours in exchange for positive actions or results for the bird.

Clicker training is a “positive-reinforcement-based approach of training” since it rewards certain parrot behaviours with treats.

Why is parrot clicker training successful?

“Operant Conditioning” is a kind of learning in which parrots practise certain behaviours in order to achieve a desired consequence. Clicker training is an operant conditioning approach for teaching parrots.

“Classical conditioning” is another method of learning. This is when a parrot (or any other animal) links actions, locations, people, events, or items with good or bad outcomes. The linkage is greater if a parrot perceives more assurance in the relationship between the event or environment and the result. This sort of learning is referred to as “reflexive” or “automatic,” and it is less deliberate than operant conditioning.

When using the clicker training technique to educate your parrot, the mode of learning will be classical conditioning at first. However, the parrot will rapidly begin to actively repeat the desired behaviour in order to get the reward. Operant conditioning results in deliberate behaviour in the parrot, while classical conditioning results in habitual behaviour.

  • The difference in behaviour between a parrot that behaves with purpose rather than by habit is huge
  • Parrots trained using clicker training will go out of their way to learn new behaviours (so they can get more rewards)
  • As a result of having more control over its environment and the consequences of its behaviour your parrot will develop more confidence
  • Your parrotwill be happier and enthusiastic about training because of its expectations for desirable outcomes.

Why Use a Clicker?

The advantage of utilising a clicker over other ways for training your parrot is that your parrot will know precisely which behaviour earned it the reward. This information is conveyed at the exact same moment the behaviour happened through a separate click. Your parrot will be rewarded as a result.

If your parrot does not hear the click when executing a certain action, he or she may not associate the reward with that action. Worse, your parrot may link the reward with an unpleasant behaviour. This challenge is solved by “marking” the behaviour that is to be rewarded with a clicker. Many trainers refer to the click as a “event marker,” while others refer to it as a “bridging signal” since it ties the behaviour to the reward.

Wouldn’t using a word achieve the same goal as a clicker?

Your clicker produces a really distinct sound. In any other situation, your parrot is unlikely to hear the distinct click. When your parrot hears the click, he understands it can only mean one thing: a reward is on the way because of what you did when you heard the click. Using a clicker, you may generate the sound instantaneously and at the exact time the behaviour happened. The clicker may also be used to register extremely little motions and behaviours, which is useful for teaching your parrots tricks.

Even highly skilled singers struggle to keep their voices consistent. When we utter a word, we may say it in a variety of ways, each of which conveys a somewhat different feeling or meaning. Frustration or fury, for example, might emerge quickly. The clicker alleviates this issue by producing the same unmistakable click every time. This greatly simplifies the learning process for parrots. They have difficulties distinguishing single words from phrases that they hear us use on a daily basis. However, the message of the click is always consistent, unambiguous, and aimed at your parrot. Your parrot understands that it always signals good news.

The clicker helps you to connect with your parrot more effortlessly and provides an additional level of communication. This will deepen your bond with your parrot and develop your training abilities even more.

How does Clicker Training Work?

You will click at the exact time your parrot accomplishes the required behaviour. Consider this as photographing the behaviour you want to promote. Soon after noting the behaviour, you will give your parrot a treat, which might be food, a toy, or caressing.

Within a short length of time (often as few as two or three clicks), your parrot will identify the distinct sound of the click with the reward you give it. Because of operant conditioning, your parrot will repeat the behaviour it displayed when it heard the click that resulted in the reward.

Essentially, parrot clicker training consists of three essential steps:

  1. Obtain the Behavior
  2. Record the Behavior
  3. Reiterate the Behavior

How do clicker trainers ask for behaviours?

Before utilising a command or ‘cue’ during clicker training, you will wait until your parrot understands the behaviour. A cue is how we refer to a behavior’s name, such as saying “step up” or making a hand gesture. Wait until your parrot understands the behaviour before providing a name or trigger to it during clicker training.

You will be ready to educate your parrot to learn the name of the behaviour after it has been marked with the clicker and has repeated the behaviour a number of times, proving that it clearly knows which behaviour earns it the reward. This is known as “introducing the cue”.

To educate your parrot to repeat the behaviour on cue, speak or indicate the cue right before the parrot performs the behaviour. After a few repetitions, click and reward your parrot when it does the behaviour, but only if the cue is delivered. You must not click or reward your parrot if no cue has been provided to it. It won’t take long for your parrot to listen for or watch for the signal that indicates: If you complete the behaviour right now, you’ll earn a click and a reward.

What if my parrot does not obey the cue I am giving it?

A click-trained parrot will desire to execute behaviours that they know will earn them rewards. They will do the behaviour as long as they grasp the meaning of the cue and want the reward. If your parrot does not react to your signals, do not assume that he or she is defying you. Consider the following three elements instead:

  1. Does your parrot comprehend what the cue means?
  2. Does your parrot grasp the cue’s meaning in the context where it was initially taught but not in the environment where it was given?
  3. Does your parrot want the reward enough to engage in the behaviour?

After considering these three issues, you may change your training method to reflect your new findings. It is critical that your parrot understands and craves the reward presented in all circumstances, regardless of distractions.

Why shouldn’t I use punishment as well as rewards?

It follows that the effect of any behaviour may be both pleasurable and unpleasant. As a result, it stands to reason that punishing undesirable behaviours makes reasonable.

Scientists have learned, however, that although applying penalties may lower the frequency of unpleasant behaviours, they often result in the production of additional, unforeseen unwanted behaviours. As a result, utilising punishment as a teaching tool might backfire and have unintended, negative outcomes.

Furthermore, in contrast to positive reward through clicker training, poor behaviour is seldom noted. Punishment follows poor behaviour and is not clearly associated with a particular behaviour. This often implies that the punishment seems to your parrot as a random occurrence, which may lead to a variety of additional behavioural issues. Punishment is considerably less successful than clicker training, event marking, and positive reinforcement in modifying parrot behaviour.

Furthermore, employing positive reinforcement and clicker training aids in the development of a pleasurable connection with your parrot, something training with punishment is hard to do.

How can clicker training help stop my parrot performing unwanted behaviours?

When dealing with a misbehaving parrot, you might allow the behaviour to fade away via a lack of positive reinforcement. If your parrot is not obtaining anything beneficial from the behaviour, it will quit. If your parrot continues to exhibit the undesirable behaviour, you should investigate why or how it is being rewarded. Occasionally, the behaviour encourages itself; for example, a screeching parrot may be bored. It grows less bored as a result of the yelling. Here you may teach your parrot an alternative behaviour to replace the undesirable behaviour.

Do I need to use the clicker and treats for every behaviour, forever?

No! Once your parrot has learned the behaviour and cue, you will no longer need to click since your parrot understands the behaviour. Less intense incentives, like as pats or praise, might be used to continue the behaviour. Real-life incentives also help to sustain learned signals and behaviours: for example, sitting quietly will be rewarded with patting or petting.

Is clicker training a training method or philosophy?

You will realise the advantages and become extremely passionate about the technique of training after you completely comprehend the ideas of clicker training and positive reinforcement, which you will acquire through time and with practise. Many users of this approach have discovered that the basic ideas may be applied to other aspects of their life. Focusing on the good and avoiding the bad may have a significant impact on one’s life.

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