To use a Clicker or NOT to use a Clicker?

Clicker Training Image

We now know that the science tells us that the two most important characteristics of effectively delivered consequences are:-

1)      Contingency – which means that there must be a dependency or relationship between the behaviour and the consequence – the “if” – “then” relationship

2)      Contiguity – which means the consequence must be delivered in a timely manner to have relevance to the behaviour

This is all very well but how do we relay this information to our parrot? Well we do this by “marking” the behaviour we want to see increase by using a “bridge”.

We do this by using a “Clicker” or the word “GOOD”, which is my personal preference, to mark the moment the bird does the “Behaviour” we want to see increase. This now buys us the time to deliver the treat or “bridges” the gap between the behaviour being emitted and us being able to deliver the treat.

Now when we start out training our parrot they will not know what the word “GOOD” or the sound of the “Clicker” means so our first role is to “Charge” our bridge or give meaning to it for the bird.

We do this by either “clicking” the clicker or saying “GOOD” in a clear concise way and delivering the treat at the same time. GOOD = Treat or Click = Treat

Now it is entirely up to you to choose whether to use a clicker or just use the word good for your bridge, I prefer to use the word “GOOD” as I always have my voice on hand so for instance if my parrot says the “hello” and I want to increase this behaviour then from across the room I can say “GOOD” now the bird knows that the word “GOOD” means ‘treat’ and we will teach them that what they are doing (Behaviour) when we say “GOOD” is what they must do in order to get the treat. This will be covered in detail in my next post on “TARGETING”.

Have a watch of the video on this link for a clearer explanation on how to charge your bridge.


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