Sunday, November 26th, 2017 I went to my very first in-person class for positive reinforcement. Overall, I would say it was a good experience. Everything that was taught wasn’t new to me as I just recently graduated from Susan Friedman’s LLA class but it was nice to do a personal, face to face session with a professional trainer as a refresher. What I learnt was so many people are working on delivering the same concept in their own way. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT is becoming more and more well-known amongst animal trainers which is absolutely GREAT!
This is definitely something I would want to conduct in the future for parrot owners so I spoke to Kristi Fleming, avian behaviorist about what I needed to do to get properly qualified to become a parrot trainer/behaviorist/consultant. I also have another trainer I work with via email who has been EXCELLENT! I feel like I’m walking in the right direction.
If you know NOTHING about positive reinforcement than I definitely recommend attending a class like this. You get a brief insight into positive/negative reinforcement, positive/negative punishment, bridging, target training, luring, shaping and a chance to hear other parrot owners’ thoughts and issues along with a professional’s opinion. There is A LOT of information out here, on the internet via blogs, Facebook groups, avian forums, YouTube etc… I am a big advocator for using them all to your advantage BUT I am also aware of all the wrong information that is being put out there. I am a part of so many of the above mentioned and honestly I hear wrong information being spit to people who ask for advice all the time. I use to try to give my two cents and correct the information but then I would get “Dogged” on so I have learned to keep my mouth shut which is SO unfortunate because the whole reason I started this blog and YouTube was to help others empower their parrots but instead I’m being silenced by “Caesar Milan” type people.
The point I’m trying to make is very little people look into taking classes like this and honestly it can only help you better your relationship with your parrot. When interacting with your parrot or when hearing advice from someone about what to do with your parrot ask yourself these two things:
“Is this trust-building or trust-destroying for our relationship?” – taken from Kristi Fleming.
Is this empowering the parrot? Am I giving the parrot a choice here or am I forcing the parrot? If the answer is yes then continue but if it is no or you have to really think about it then I would say PAUSE! Take a second and re-analyze the situation and see if there is another way to get the desire response out of your parrot which would make your answer be a yes!
I totally enjoyed doing the class, it would have been more informative for me if I didn’t already have the education behind my belt but nevertheless I know if I was clueless this would definitely give me a lot to think about. It opened my eyes to realizing I still have a lot to learn regardless of my graduation of the LLA program.