Learning “come” and “fetch”

Yesterday I was reaching up to get Pixel down from her favourite picture frame perch when she eagerly flew about 12 inches to my arm. So I put her on the table and held out my arm, saying “come”. Each time I rewarded her with millet, put her back on the table or washing airer and moved a little further away. Within a few minutes she was flying half way across the room to me, even when I wasn’t expecting it! Today she has even flown to me from her favourite perch.

I also started teaching her to “fetch“. I placed her on the perch above her cage, put a plant pot saucer underneath and held out a small plastic object in my hand. When she nibbled it with her beak, I dropped it into the saucer, clicked and rewarded her with millet. Eventually I held onto the object until she actually held it in her beak. She found this tricky at first and I realised that it was too slippery for her to get a proper grip, so I swapped it for a flat piece of Lego instead and she manages to hold it briefly before dropping it. However, she has bitten me hard (not hard enough to hurt, but previously she has been very gentle with her beak) a couple of times since we started learning fetch. I think she’s just trying to figure out what she can and can’t bite!

Until now we’ve only been doing “turn around” on her cage-top perch, but today we practised on the washing airer as well so that she learns to do it in different situations. Colin was very impressed when he arrived home from work in the middle of a training session! Pixel seems to really enjoy learning new tricks, she is such a clever little bird and she likes the attention and stimulation, not to mention the treats!

Hi, I'm Sarah. I home educate my two children, Aaron and Tabitha. I am looking forward to learning more about budgies.

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