Target Training by Sara Houston
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Target Training by Sara Houston

Published on Friday, 6th March 2020

Target Training
Today we’re going to look at a trick called Target. Target is where we’ll ask our Parrots to touch the end of an object (such as a target stick). From there we can get them to follow the stick so we can position them where we want.
Target is as important to a Parrot as sit or come here is to a dog. It’s a trick that can be used in so many ways and is the basis for a lot of other tricks. From teaching a shy bird to step onto a hand, getting them to learn the turnaround trick or moving them to a safe location.

One of the best things about Target is that you don’t need to be able to handle you bird to teach it. And when you start teaching Target, you’ll find that your Parrot starts to become more trusting of you as they realise you’ve got all the nice treats.

Break down the trick:
Objective: Get your Parrot to touch a stick
What you need:  Target stick (chop stick, piece of safe wood), Treats
How to train Target:

1) Hold the target out, close to your Parrot, just in front of their beak
2) If they touch, say good or click clicker
3) Give them a treat


Once they are confident touching the stick
4) Start moving the stick slightly further away and repeat the steps above.
As they get confident at each distance, increase the distance. Soon you’ll have them running all over the place to get to it.
Stretch challenge
Can you get your Parrot to walk 30cms to target? Can you do this three times in a row?
My Parrot is scared of the stick:
Try using a different object, or use a treat that you can pop on the end of the stick.

My Parrot keeps biting the stick:
Offer the treat as soon as they bite it, they’ll soon start letting go quickly when they know there’s a treat coming.

My Parrot touches the stick but when I try to move the stick further away, they won’t follow it: Decrease the distance you’re moving it away. Go back to where they will touch it and then move it a few millimetres.

Train together
Why not record your training, and then when you’ve completed the challenge? We love seeing your videos on social media and don’t forgot to tag @northernparrots and use the hashtag #northernparrotstrickacademy . Also, remember to check out other people’s trick training and give them support too.

So, sticks at the ready – 3,2,1…. TRAIN!

Here are all the blogs in the Trick Training Academy so far

Trick Training Overview
Target Training
Trick Training Academy
Clicker Training

Use this link  to get 20% off the basketball and wiffle balls.

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