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Topic: Dove Training
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Aug 18, 2004 08:32AM)
I'm going to enter Young Magician of the year, (for US folks that's the magic circle in londons prestige competion) and it's going to be a patter act but I have come up with a nice opener I'm not going to post it because I'm sure that people entering are on the Café. But I want to use one dove I have 5 dove,s all untrained but I have one that I'm thinking of using I have untill December to get him trained. I know people are going to recommened videos but all I want is some advice on making sure he wont fly of. I have been told you can train a dove in two hours with hemp. Is this possible? He's going to be in an invisble dove harness so I was thinking of hooking the 'line' to my table to make sure he wont fly off. I don't want to do anything clever like the fly back I know most of the dove stuff apart how to train them!

Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Aug 18, 2004 08:49AM)
Matt, you have plenty of time to train your dove. It ususally takes about 6 weeks to get them "trained" depending on how much time you can spend with them.

I don't like the idea of tethering the bird to the table. If it takes off from the perch, it could get hurt. Training is the best method. I recommend at least an hour a day just tossing the bird from one hand to another gradually increasing the distance between the hands. You don't have to work on a fly back but it is a good idea to work on tossing the bird out in a arc so it comes to you just in case.

Try to work and practice with the bird with music playing and the brightest light you can find shining towards you. This will get the bird used to your hands, noise and lights and it will feel safe on your finger. If you intend to put the bird on an open perch for a length of time, be sure to let it sit on the perch while you do the rest of your act. The more comfortable it feels, the better off you'll be.

There is always the chance of the dove flying off. We've all had it happen. Plan for it so you have a cover doing your act just in case.

So, you want to practice, practice, practice, and when you're through, practice a little more. Doves will always be startled by sudden movements and loud or unusual noises so try to expose it to as much of that during your rehearsals as you can.
Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Aug 18, 2004 12:10PM)
Thanks Dave, great advice. Ive Just finished todays session and it went great. The dove even 95% did a fly back which was pretty amazing! it didn't like the harness at first but eventaully it seetled well into it. Sometimes I think he gets bored as if I keep on reapting tossing it from one hand to the other sometimes it flys off, and usually to the highest piece of furniture in the house! He was really great ive not had him out of the avairy for months and he was acting like he had done loads of times before. I think it may be something to do with the fact he was hand raised before I got him.
Message: Posted by: Darcy (Aug 18, 2004 01:39PM)
Hey Matt, it sounds like your training is going well, but a word of advise, before you go on to do your show (like a few minutes before you go on), go into a corner and make the dove flap his wings like crazy untill he gets tired. This way when you produce him he will not be as inclinded to fly away as he is still partailly tired.

Message: Posted by: Rupert Bair (Aug 18, 2004 03:08PM)
Ahh great advice. I also was going to do the squirt water under the wings trick.