Friday, August 20, 2010

Training jealousy

When I train my parrots, I usually do so when everyone else is in their cage. This wasn't always necessary. In the beginning, I would train them when everyone was out, and they would watch what the other bird was doing and learn from it.

But, as training continued and everyone liked it so much, jealousy started to occur. If I was training Max, Beeps might fly over and attack me, or Stella might fly over and displace Max. If I was training Beeps, Max would buzz me. This is the opposite of the behavior that training is trying to encourage, so I arranged my environment to minimize these conflicts (i.e. keeping the rest of the birds in their cages!)

Yesterday after work, Thomas got home before me, so all of the parrots were already out when I got home. I needed to train Steve and didn't want to put everyone away as they'd just gotten out. I asked Thomas to secure Rocky and thought everyone else would be fine since there isn't any jealousy on their part with regard to Steve.

I was wrong.

As I'm training Steve, Max moves to the point closest to me on her stand and starts doing all of her tricks to get my attention. I praised her, but didn't stop training Steve to train her. She ramped up her cute tricks, even doing the more difficult ones that she rarely initiates. Finally, she buzzed me, which I ignored, and then she went back to her usual perching place and waited for her turn.

Rocky was the one who shocked me. He was on Thomas's lap, and started doing all of his tricks! He was really working hard to get the attention of someone that he doesn't even like (me).

I quickly finished up with Steve, briefly trained everyone else, and will hopefully beat Thomas home tonight to avoid this issue!

Unrelated picture of Max eating Thomas's food:Another Friday! I have another 20+ mile run scheduled for tomorrow. The last two have gone very well, so I just have to hope that I'm not peaking during training -- my race is still about 6 weeks away.

1 comment:

belovedparrot said...

I wish you'd feed those birds better. Maybe they wouldn't have to sneak around and eat Thomas' food all the time . . . . ;-)