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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Dove training question (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

durgy
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Toronto
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Hey everyone.

So it's an exciting time for me. I am currently on week 4 of training my first dove ever. The room I train it in is small sized room with nothing in it except for the bird cage and a shelf beside it. Here is my problem/question. Currently when I throw the bird into the empty area and stand near the shelf/cage it will return to me, basically because it has nothing to land on. Sometimes it comes lands back on my arm, sometimes it lands on the cage/shelf. However if I ever launch the bird from the other side of the room (ie towards the shelf/cage) it never returns. It just goes and sits on the cage/shelf. My question is, do your trained doves return to you almost every time whether or not they have something to land on in front of them? Or do they only return to you if nothing can be found to sit on. (ie. on a stage if all the lights are off except for the stage lights, it probably won't be able to find somethign to sit on and return to you as well?) Do I just keep on practicing and with time it will return to me whether or not there is something else for it to perch on? Or is this the best it will get? Thanks.

durgy
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Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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I find this is a common situation among new dove workers. Training cannot be rushed and everyone attempts to do the fly back too quickly. You must establish a good trusting relationship between you and the dove. Don't rush the fly back. Keep tossing from hand to hand and gradually make an arching toss. When you have a fully trained dove, try covering up the shelf and cage when you rehearse so it only sees you. The reason it is flying to the shelf is because doves will fly to the first thing they see. Once they get into the mode of flying back to you, you can uncover the shelf and it should instinctively fly back to you.

On another note, you must ask yourself why you want to do the flyback. Is it really necessary for your act? Not every act is set up to perform that effect. If it isn't necessarily part of your act, don't spend the time training it.
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durgy
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Toronto
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Thanks dave.
I thought I wasn't rushing. I followed the steps on tony clarks dvd. Anyways yes it would be nice to have the bird return. No I don't need it to do that but this way I can use it with a sleeve toss which in my opinion is one of the greatest dove moves.

Durgy
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boppies2
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Arizona
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At this time, I am looking for a great bird illusion. I am more interested in having my babies stay perched on my finger. I have have been trying to hand feed them with some amount of success. Anything else I should do?
Max
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Max, I'm not sure how to answer this question. What do mean by "anything else I should do? Are you looking for training techniques or suggestions on routines and effects.
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boppies2
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Arizona
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Dave,
I am looking for training techniques to have the bove stay perched on my finger and/or wand.
Max
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Max, perching is a natural function for birds. All that is required is that you establish a repore with them by handling them everyday. They need to bond with you. Then they will naturally perch. Hand feeding doesn't necessarily accomplish this.
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boppies2
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Arizona
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Dave,
Thanks for the info.
What does hand feeding accomplish?
Max
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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You have to ask yourself why you are hand feeding them. If the babies have parents, then they are fully capable of rearing them and it is part of the birds learning curve to depend on them. If the babies don't have parents, then you must hand feed them but remember, babies eat a lot and you have to be there for them.

It sounds like you are using the food as a reward to keep them on your finger. There is nothing really wrong with that but I personally feel it is much better just to work with them constantly to build that bond between you and them. They will stay there when they feel comfortable.

I'm not sure "accomplish" is the right word to use here but what you are trying to ultimately accomplish is to establish a repore with the birds and make them feel comfortable.

You can use seed as a treat for them though during training. Just have a little bit in your hand so when they do what you want them to, they get a little treat.
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boppies2
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Arizona
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Dave
Thank you for guiding me in the right direction. I appreciate your comments.
Max
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