Want to know how to train a pigeon to sit on your shoulder? Keep reading:
Pigeon Shoulder Training
Before starting this training you need to ensure that the pigeon you are working with is very comfortable with you and is happy to sit on your hand.
If your pigeon hasn’t pecked you or hurt you in any way for the last month then they should be a good candidate for shoulder training (otherwise your ears may regret it).
If you have a pigeon that fits the bill then keep reading.
1. Show Your Pigeon the Way
Call the pigeon to your hand, and gently place it on your shoulder. For at least a week, your whole concern should be making sure you’re safe against any sudden moves from the pigeon. Keep your eyes looking forward to protect them from any curious pecking.
The sole purpose of this step is to show the pigeon that your shoulder is suitable for standing. Don’t force them to stay on your shoulder. Doing this will break the trust you built and may make the pigeon aggressive.
2. Behaviour Reinforcement
Now back to our magical methods: clicker and treats.
Place the pigeon on your shoulder and instantly click and treat. Repeat the clicking and treating every 10 seconds. That way, the pigeon will associate the time it spends on your shoulder with the positive feeling of food.
If your pigeon gets bored and chooses to fly, stop clicking. It’s preferable to keep the clicking conditional to the shoulder training only at this period. Hence, the pigeon will understand it faster and better.
3. Keep Your Pigeon Happy
Keep caressing your pigeon in its favorite spots as it stands on your shoulder.
You can get creative with the cues you want to use to signal the pigeon to sit on your shoulder. Whistling and tapping on your shoulder is a cool way to impress your friends.
5. Use Pigeon Pants
Yup, you read that right! A pigeon can wear pants. These are cute harnesses in which you can fit a panty-liner to collect your pigeon’s droppings. However, this doesn’t impede its movement or wings by any means.
Pigeon pants will allow the pigeon to stand on your shoulder or roam through the house as much as it wants. You’ll have to change the panty-liner every 2-3 hours.
After the pigeon associates the snap with the shoulder sitting, try calling it from a distance. If it responded, click and reward, if it didn’t, then you need further training.
You can use other cues like calling your pigeon by a name, whistling distinctively, pointing to your shoulder, etc. Get creative to impress others by what your pigeon can do. The key is to stay patient, as good training takes time to accomplish.
Also read: How To Train A Pigeon To Do Tricks