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Dec 14, 2012

Rufo introduces itself... dancing!

As indicated in the heading of this blog, I intend to join theory and practice of training techniques to help improve the relationship with our pets. So, today I turn aside theory and show you a couple of videos with examples of what can be achieved by applying the techniques I intend to explain in this blog.

Personally, I think talking is the silliest thing our animals can do, but it is undeniably a striking and distinctive quality, and probably the one that has brought more people closer to parrots, so in this first video, I discuss briefly some tips to make our parrots learn to talk in context. You may have to excuse me but it is recorded in Spanish (I promise to make future recordings in English too).
Briefly, what I am explaining in the video is that I tend to repeat the question and answer several times during a week or so, trying to make it funny (watch your voice pitch), and repeating it only 5 o 6 times in a row (more  is not necessary and is boring for both). Then, during a normal training session (lets say we are training the retrieve, for example), we throw only the question and see if the animal responds with the answer (in that case, click, treat and lots of praise) or he doesn’t (in this scenario, juts keep on training the retrieve and, afterwards, keep repeating answer&question some more days and try again). Soon I will stop to explain the different techniques we can use to encourage this type of contextual vocalizations.

Anyway, as I said, for the first 3 minutes of the video you can hear my voice briefly explaining all this and, from minute 3.20 my CAG introduces itself... (you will hear me asking “¿cómo te llamas?” (what´s your name?) and he answering “Rufo” (his name), repeating it several times. By the way, this video is an example of how grays are able to "copy" the voice they reproduce (inthis case mine, other times my children or my wife), raising the conceptimitation” to its maximum expression (I'lltell you some stories derived from this ability...). Here we go:

In this second video (no Spanish talking this time, just dancing) we implement another simple trick, such as "turn around" on cue.

You will see my hand rewarding Rufo, according to the techniques of positive reinforcement. This video shows his first try with this song so please forgive the errors, which are much more mine than his...

I hope you liked it, and I encourage you to put into practicethe theoretical notions that I expose, and that I will explain in depth soon.Regards and thanks as always.

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