Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm being Home Schooled now!

Yeah, that's right! Ever since Barbara Heidenreich came to visit me in the summer of 2008, Marcia has been reading and learning all about Positive Reinforcement Training.  She went to and bought a bunch of books and DVD's.  Marcia is a busy lady, but she made it a priority in her life to train me to do a few things on cue.

To date, (March 2011) I have learned learned 6 vocalizations and 2 movements on cue.  Marcia recently posted this video on YouTube and some of you have asked questions.  So watch the Video and then I'll answer the questions.

What treats do you use?
The treat used in this video are Chow Mein Noodles from Szechuan Chinese Restaurant. I also like pretzels (low or no sodium!), almonds, pecans, and Baked Lays Potato chips. All treats are cut into very, very tiny pieces!

Do you use a clicker?
A clicker can be used in Positive Reinforcement Training, but Marcia doesn’t use a clicker because I would learn to imitate the clicker sound. (Very annoying!) She uses use the word "Good!" and then follows up quickly with my favorite treat.

How much time per day do you spend in training?
Every minute of the day is a possible training opportunity. She has treats at the ready at all times. (In the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen) So if I utter the word she’s trying to capture, she can bridge & reward ASAP. Right now she’s trying to capture "Raspberry". Every time I say it, I get a treat! Pretty Cool!

Our "going through the routine" (like what is on this video) is anywhere from 5-20 minutes about 3-4 time a week. Sometimes I’m not interested, so Marcia doesn't make me. Sometimes, just the basics, like “step up” & “step down” still require treats to get me to do those tasks. Jeff, on the other hand, doesn't have to. I’ll do most anything for Jeff! He’s my favorite!

During the course of the day... every interaction with me is training in some way. When I’m given something, they tell me what it is. (Carrot, apple, sweet potato, etc.) When they do something, they tell me what they are doing. (Go computer, take a shower, gotta clean, etc.) But, I don't treated for these because it is interaction.

How long does it take to get a word on cue?
It varies. Depending on how diligent Marcia is to capture the word and how often I'm willing to say the word.  (I can really drive her crazy with that!)

Are you hungry or starving when you train?
Ha! Do I look underfed?  No, my training sessions are usually right before lunch or dinner.  I'm motivated to work for my treats at those times and they are kinda like an appetizer!

What's your favorite subject?
I like recess a lot! But, my overall favorite subject is LUNCH!!!

How can I learn more about Positive Reinforcement Training?
Just go to and click on "Parrot Store".  You will find all the DVD's and Books.   When you are ready to check out, enter the word "Einstein" in the box that says "special code" and it will give you a 10% discount!

No comments: