I've NEVER Worked With a PARROT LIKE THIS!

– So if you guys are wondering why we started on the floor with this bird, this African gray, it was because first thing, unexpectedly, this gray flew to the ground, and we thought, “Oh! Birds are more likely to step up from the floor anyway, let’s just work with what we’ve got” and then you kind of notice that this footage is sort of like spliced together, and a lot of the training sessions were unplanned, because we’d be working with another bird in the master class, and then suddenly Ruby would fly and do something to demand our attention, and we would end up working with her And so that’s why it seems, and it is, so random, is we, our master class is around four hours long, and we just kind of take turns working with each bird And we were constantly making jokes that Ruby wanted to be worked with and she was the only bird that wanted to be worked with because she was always demanding all the attention So, just to preface why you’re gonna see first thing this bird on the floor, that’s why – Hey everyone, meet Ruby she’s a Congo African Gray that’s 4 years old, and her main problem or struggle is that she has a fear of stepping up because when she was young going through the fledging age she was clipped and so she fell a lot, which resulted in pain And she wasn’t able to trust her own wings or her own body to save herself from falling or people And so she developed this fear of standing on hands or stepping up at all So she won’t do it from any surface, not from the ground, a perch, her cage, nowhere So Sean’s actually had a consultation with us before via Facetime, and we’ve gone over this and she was only stepping up with one foot, as far as putting that one foot on his hand, so we taught him to train with the other foot and now she will place either foot on his hand, but as you can see, she’ll do the splits before she actually steps up with both feet So that is our main struggle today with what we’re trying to overcome with Ruby So, enjoy the video – Oh – Good, okay Good job It’s okay – That was perfect – [Dave] The bird got a treat the instant the second foot came up off the ground, he gave it a treat, let the bird go back That was a perfect example of how he was able to not blow out this bird’s trust If, however, he picked the bird up, was like, “Woo! We got it!” (laughing) You guys haven’t seen how phobic this bird is of stepping up, so that was a huge step and it was beautifully done – [Dave] What do you guys see from the body language now with the Gray? – [Jamie] Can I answer, or no? – [Dave] Can’t see it? – [Jamie] Can I answer, or no? – [Dave] Yeah, you can answer Jamie – [Jamie] Content – [Dave] Yes.The bird’s content So, if I apply a little bit of pressure, this bird doesn’t know me, it might become a little less content – [Jamie] You guys all see the feathers? – [Dave] Okay now look, she’s going towards Shawn – [Jamie] We’re gonna offer, Shawn – Okay. It’s going to offer Okay. So, we’re getting closer And if you guys can’t see this, try to position yourself so you can – [Jamie] See if without moving your hand she’ll go any further Come on, buddy, really. (laughs) – Okay, so there, the base of the foot came up, all the toenails were still touching but the entire foot came up, if that makes sense I mean, we’re dealing with little tiny wins here And if I move any more this way I’m gonna roll in poop I’m like holding my breath – [Jamie] Literally! – Geez – [Shawn] Aw, man – Okay so let’s just take a break for a sec She’s willingly putting up one foot, but will not- when it’s on a perch, she’s got a death grip, into full-on splits, won’t let go of the perch, so here even on the floor, that’s a better opportunity, coz she doesn’t have the grip What Shawn’s doing excellent is he’s making sure not to just go for it We may get to a point today where we wanna just go for it, but right now, this bird really trusts that it’s okay to take it one little step at a time We’re dealing with so much fear from what we assumed was a clipped bird falling and just getting hurt It’s was struggling to get past that, but, there was a lot of little tiny wins there

So if I was to create a little bit of discomfort here, we may be able to get another repetition that may be better Him leaving would fall under the category of minus punishment. It’s not a bad thing, but what it does is it will increase the value of him as a treat later If we were to use minus punishment on purpose, we always wanna follow it up with plus reinforcement of treats Just gonna see if there’s- oh! Ah, (bleep). Too much pressure. (bleep) (laughing) – [Dave] What would a typical training session look like for it? – Take her out, I’ll work on some flight with her, to and from her cage to her stand, we’ll do the target training, and, usually, then I’ll kinda work on her stepping up Because she was already comfortable using her right foot, put it on my hand, I’ve been working more with the other foot to get to that comfort level Yeah, it definitely improved, so I just need to put the pieces together, you know? – So, what I might see here is that because you’ve done such a good job training, I’m trying to relate back to, I don’t know the right words for it We worked in the Amazon, with the lady in Pittsburgh? – [Jamie] Which one? – The one that came in last – [Jamie] Oh, yeah yeah yeah – The last one of the class And she had a similar issue, about, her bird wouldn’t step up, because she had trained so well with just I think it was just one foot as well, right? – [Jamie] Yeah, it was just putting the one foot on his- on her hand – And so the trick became – She thought that was a trick – One foot on the hand. Now, it stemmed with this one from fear, but this may be a chance where we want to push a little bit harder – Okay What may happen is you might have a really big breakthrough with that today If she does step up – [Shawn] Okay – Click, reward, and immediately let her go back to the perch So we don’t- and I mean, have her on your hand for one second, and put her back. Even if she goes back to the perch to get the treat, that’s okay. That was a big win if we do get that So if at any point you feel like you could push through a little harder, coz I felt it here, you were like right there If you would have lifted I think you might have got it – [Shawn] Okay. I know you covered that before, you said, you know, I felt I kind of baby her a little much? And with my training sessions after that, I did push and she responded pretty well to it pretty quickly I think that might be- – [Jamie] You’re really in tune to her, she trusts you. You read everything And you’re really respectful of what you read – [Dave] So, that’s more reason why the whole topic of maybe pushing a little harder is happening is because I trust you know what your limit is, right? So, even though we’re giving directions for this, if at any point, you feel like it’s gonna backpedal, then don’t do it Ultimately, it’s up to you knowing what’s best for your bird But I do think that we are gonna have an opportunity to push and get value – The relationship has room – Yeah. So, this is kind of what we talked about in our family-friendly video too, where there’s a birdie bank account Every bird, you put in deposits in their account with good relationships, good trust, good training, and that’s what’s happening This bird is not afraid of things, obviously she trusts you, and so because that bank account is full, you may afford a quick withdrawal If you have to towel her put her in a cage, the rest of the relationship’s been so great that that’s not gonna cause the bird to mistrust you forever Right? So if we have to push, push a tiny bit harder than you normally would, and again, I say that with understanding that that may change in a moment where I can’t call it You have to make that decision So let’s see if in two to five inspections, you can get her in a routine or get her to potentially try to step up (clicking noise) – [Dave] Oh, oh, oh, oh (clicking noise) You guys see that? The foot came up a couple of times – [Jamie] I can’t even begin to describe how long we worked with this bird Okay. We worked with it for four hours, in between other birds This took so long that I have sped up this footage for you guys What I’m doing this time is our attempt on the floor, is I’ve created kind of this wall that I know that she is not upset with, she’s still a pretty content bird on the floor, she has nothing to really be scared of, she’s not scared of me, but she’s also not going to step onto me or initiate interaction with me I’m pretty much neutral

So, I’m trying to make it so that Shawn is more appealing for her to step onto, but what ends up happening is she’s just kinda getting irritated with him And we don’t wanna make him less, so we eventually back off, and just allow her to choose to end this whole interaction and session by giving her a way out Shawn’s kinda blocking her other way, hoping that she’ll take the way out by stepping up onto him, and when he backs off, you can see that she just takes that way and she’s like, “Nope! I’m done. I’d rather not hang out with you humans.” She does wanna interact with Shawn, but this bird will just not step up, no matter what we do He tries to kinda lift and scoot and try all sorts of things, and she’s just not having it And he struggles and struggles and struggles He’s trying to make it so that if she steps up all the way onto his hand, she can reach that treat, even scooting’s not working We’re trying to explain how to use momentum and just lift right up, because you can tell that she really trusts him, but it’s a hard concept to explain (laughs) Well, (bleep) (laughs) – [Dave] She’s like, “That’s all I have to do to you, bud!” – [Jamie] Slide! (laughing) – [Dave] All right, let’s, let’s, uh do you want to try one more time with her? – [Shawn] Yeah I’ll give it one more – [Jamie] He is so close – [Dave] Okay. She’s really excited about it, though – Hell yes. That isn’t so bad Slide it up. Slide it up It’s okay. Just give her the worm Bring her perch over here? – And when you get close to it slowly, she shouldn’t spook Perfect – [Jamie] I’m gonna try to explain what you guys just saw So, she ended up on the curtain, I “rescued” her. I say that in quotations I made it easy for her to get out of the predicament she was in by stepping onto me However, you can see she’s not comfortable on me, so I ask Shawn to bring her perch over because that’s gonna be her reinforcement for coming to me So, as soon as it’s in sight, she is onto that thing, and that is her reward The crazy thing is after that flight we thought, okay, she’s gonna wanna just chill on the perch, and hang out, and come down from it, but no, she flew again, ended up on the curtain again, so we encouraged Shawn to be the one to save her this time. And so he did And she was way more content on Shawn, so we encouraged him to keep her there, by giving her treats constantly, and then we told him to slow down with the treats, and only reward when she looked like she was calm, and not paying attention to the fact that she was in this predicament that she was a little bit uncomfortable with We were super happy about it Shawn was super happy about it But we finally wanted to slow down and see how content we could get her to be on him, and receive a treat at the same time – That’s pretty chill right there Okay. So same thing, we’re gonna wait for that again – [Jamie] Does she know that head shake? – Um, dance. Dance! How weak! – [Jamie] I saw it, I was like – Ruby, dance – All right, put her on the perch, and you don’t need a treat on the perch because that’s already really rewarding (bird screeches) Awesome – [Jamie] Yay, Shawn! (Shawn laughs) Look, we’re trying to train with other birds, okay? (laughs) – So yeah, have a seat, that was– – [Jamie] Yeah, that was good – This is probably where we say every interaction is a training session You’re gonna increase the chance of good behavior or decrease the chance of good behavior, since that’s behavior we wanted The reason that we want the food motivation, we don’t want you to have- we don’t want you to take the bird out unless there’s the right motivation level Because you might have a breakthrough opportunity like that, where that would have been wasted if the bird was full. Right? There would have been very little reinforcement because the value of the treat, over, get away from a hand, there’s no comparison But if the bird has the right motivation level, or the training level four I think we’d refer to it as, then that was pretty reinforcing, to get the treat, and you saw that once we’ve had that breakthrough, he didn’t walk around with the bird, we sat there until we got calm, and then we started reinforcing calm, and then misdirection, by “Hey, you’re on my hand, but I’m cueing you another trick, and a treat, so that becomes, you’re combining all these familiar things with the bird, and pairing it with being on your hand Seeing that now, if you get another step up, do the same thing. Maybe not as many treats the next time, because that, that needed that many, but the next time, do it, a little bit less of a jackpot, and then start cueing other behaviors that she can do from your hand, so that- – [Jamie] And extending the length of the time – No longer thinking about, “Oh crap, I’m on your hand”, she’s like, “What else? You want me to do this? You want me to do this?” And you can see how all of a sudden she got more comfortable when you asked her for things And then, yeah, as Jamie said, you wanna extend the amount of time she’ll be in your hand

– Oh! (clicking noise) So, you established that she’s gonna step forward Once she does, see what happens if you push towards her with her foot, while you’re still gently holding it – [Shawn] Okay (clicking noise) (whispering) Like that. (laughs) – (laughing) He tried to hold it on! – (laughing) I can’t..! – [Dave] That’s what we call, “premature clicking”. (laughs) – I’m like seeing it on my head, and then you do that. Oh, man – [Dave] So, an observation While you’re holding the treat, had you continued to hold the treat, which ends up, when she grabs it, you’re holding her beak a little bit too, use that as a third hand to help lift her up – [Shawn] Okay I think if you would have done it in that repetition you would have had it – [Shawn] Okay – [Dave] Yeah, and push in and lift So, rather than just pushing straight in, try to push and scoop up – Okay – [Dave] She’s really receptive, so, that’s why we’re pushing how we are – Okay – [Dave] Put that in (clicking noise) – So, are you going for the same timing of the– – [Dave] Yeah – You’re going for the scoop. Okay – You wanna coordinate it with, like all one motion? – We need, yeah we need, yeah – [Dave] Yeah. So as– – Huh? – [Dave] It’s a powder pouf (clicking noise) It don’t feel like you’re- Actually, give me the clicker – Okay (everyone laughs) – [Dave] You’re fired (everyone laughs harder) – [Dave] I just wanna do it – I know you do – I know I could get it, but– – I know. You can’t though, coz she doesn’t like you – [Dave] (chuckling) Story of my life – Okay, so, right there, we lost a little trust – Okay – Trigger something, cue something that you know she’s good at and can do easily – Okay. Dance. Dance! All right – [Dave] Just regain the trust, change her mind from like, she knows what you’re trying to do now, I think (laughs) – Why don’t you ask her to do some easy stuff – [Jamie] So of course, because we take a break, we pay attention to other birds, Ruby decided to fly at some point So, she lands in this windowsill area, and Shawn is able to go over, offer his hand, and she steps up great So we are finally finding really really really extremely uncomfortable places that she ends up, where she is actually willing to step up onto his hand So again, we give treats, we encourage her to stay there longer, we wait for calm, now she looks totally cool, calm and collected on him We’re kinda laughing about the fact that this is the only way this bird will step up We try to work on this flat countertop, but she’s really uninterested, and even with all the bribes, she’s like “Nope! No thanks.” And while Shawn is trying to walk her back to her perch, she ends up flying onto the floor again So this is a hard concept to explain What I’m trying to get Shawn to do is to place his hand in a spot where she will step up onto it to get out of the situation that she is in So, she will find his hand as the most convenient place to go, and will choose to do it So, here we end up kinda working together, I’m trying to explain and encourage, and we end up each with a foot, so I pass my foot off to Shawn the rest of the way, and she’s a little bit like, “What just happened?” Takes her treat, drops it, gets startled and takes off, and literally ends up right back at the same spot – There have been times, like if she’s out, let’s say I go out of the room or somewhere else, she’ll fly off, come and find me She just– (laughs) – She’s like “Well, now that you’re here…” – Yeah! (laughs) – All right, you ready? – Yeah – Okay while you’re doing offers like this, almost hold her Put your arms next (backround noise drowns him out) left or right, and then push on to it when she seems ready (clicking noise) – Oh yeah. I went under his hand, so when she reached that one foot for me, you got it – Oh okay, so go to do that again? – Coz it’s been me transferring that other foot to you

– Jamie, just do the same thing, offer your hand, both sides There you go – Do you have one? – Yep – Nice, all right Trying to keep it calm. (clicking noise) (loud bang) – [Woman Off Screen] I’m sorry! – She’s desensitized, it’s fine She’s just chill about everything else It’s just a hand! Should we give her a treat? Should we take a moment? – I think we might be done – Oof! – Yeah, we’ll have to pick her up anyway to get her put back So let’s go and do it one more, then we’ll give her jackpot in the cage – Looks like she wanted more pets from you, actually, that time – Yeah she doesn’t like getting head scratches, so I see you holding her wings, almost, babe, made a big difference – Okay. Looks like a very chill chicken Like, pigeon (clicking noise) – See how much quicker that was? – [Woman Off Screen] I can’t believe you did it – All right, guys. So just go slowly, move her back in the cage – [Shawn] All right – One of my favorite things about the master classes is when people email us, or get in contact with us somehow, and give us a follow-up or an update on how their bird’s doing from the last time that we saw it Shawn was one of those people that immediately updated us, and sent us the following email It says: “Hi. I just wanted to give an update with Ruby’s progress She finally got it and has learned to step up Ironically enough, the same foot she never wanted to move is the one she now gives first I applied what Dave advised in regards to moving my hand up and in as she reached up for the treat while on her perch After a few repetitions, she now actually steps forward and up onto my hand I seriously cannot thank you both enough Without your expertise and insight, I’m not sure I would have figured this out You’re the best. Thank you, Shawn.” So, Shawn, thank you for actually applying the information It is so exciting to see that kind of progress And Shawn was nice enough to send some video to accompany this letter and I’m so excited to share it with you guys After everything that you saw in this video, all the confusion and probably questions you had of “What the heck were these people doing? What were they trying to accomplish?” And I have to say, it’s probably the first master class that Dave and I struggled, with knowing something really well, being able to do it ourselves, but having a very hard time conveying the method, and teaching somebody else how to apply it So, this was a challenge for us Thank you, Shawn, and it was very entertaining Check out this footage – Good girl. (clicking noise) (clicking noise) (clicking noise) Good girl. (clicking noise)