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for in parrot body language to let her know if a relaxed parrot is interested in food or not. She also covers the importance of non-food reinforcers and give a number of examples of how things besides food can be used to train behaviours. She also explains that we shouldn’t assume a parrot we have never met should like us just because we like them. Instead she teaches caregivers to pair something good like a food treat or toy with your presence to help make friends with a parrot you have just met. Identifying what an animal wants is an important part of force free animal training. These desired items or experiences can then be used to reinforce good behaviour.


This workshop was within easy reach of London. Barbara expressed some disappointment that numbers of participants were low. Although she recognised the workshop was a bit of a last minute arrangement. In USA she told me a workshop like this would have about 70 people attending. Barbara, who when working is always upbeat and positive, remarked how fewer numbers (we were around thirty) meant a more intimate gathering. We comprised a mixed bunch divided between young zoo keepers, veterinary professionals, college students and trainers and companion parrot carers. In essence the message that Barbara teaches is deceptively simple but real


Barbara is keen to point out that training parrots is something far beyond trick training - amusing and cute as that can be. What a parrot trained by Barbara’s methods will show is how parrots can be cooperative, fun, interactive and free of behaviour problems.


WORKSHOP


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