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Training to Play (Part II)

Rebecca K. O'Connor | Aug 09, 2007


Nothing happens instantly when you are training animals. Or at least, things rarely happen instantly. Usually what you get is the overnight success phenomenon. The truth is that people who are "suddenly" successful have been slaving away—a hopeful rockstar singing in dive bars, an aspiring writer (ahem) laboring over one small book at a time, one success building on other until all of the sudden they are stars. Training parrots often progresses like this too. The progress is so subtle that you take it for granted and then suddenly it looks like everything just comes together.

This is what happened with Tao. I kept laying seeds on the egg carton. I thought I saw small nibbles on it, but wasn't sure. Then one morning I slept in an hour past dawn, wondering why the house was so quiet and woke to this:

Now every egg carton quickly finds itself in the same shape without any provocation. Egg carton = treats inside! Exactly what this lesson was supposed to succeed in doing. However, the other toys in the cage remain untouched. What next?