Let the Training Commence


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20th January 2008

"Rosie's" basic training commenced on Monday 31st December 2007. The problem in the first instance was that he was very timid, and/or cautious. This means that his trust has to be established before any real progress can be made. The initial exercises consist of familiarising him with a hand-held perch, with an extended finger, and with a seed covered stick - this last being a food reward.

The main idea, at this stage, is to get him used to having a finger or hand close to him. so the hand-held perch is progressively withdrawn in to the hand, as is the seed stick, until he is dealing with the finger or hand. In the first fortnight we reached a stage when he will step up on to the on the hand-held perch, and sit there briefly, he will walk over a finger on the perch occasionally, and take seed from the seed stick protruding one inch out of the hand. At this point there is no question of doing any of these things to order. But, progress has been substantial - he is no longer frightened, he is starting to get the idea, and he is apparently trying to cooperate.

Verbal communication has also been established - though it is still very limited. He understands the instruction "Hold tight", He leaps on to the side of his cage and hangs on like grim death. Usually this instruction is used when the cage is moved, but he will also get back in to his cage from the aviary or conservatory when he hears this instruction - not always instantly, but usually within a few minutes. We are going to have to clean up our language, and standardise the words we use with him, if we are going to avoid confusing him.

When off-duty he does gymnastics around his cage, flying exercises in his aviary, and has a bath two or three times a week, see page 2.

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Alan Dobson 2008

originated: AWD - 30th January 2008 - amended 6th February 2008