I would like to ask for advice on a specific training method.
Our CAG Smokey lives in an aviary, she is 6 months and three weeks old, we have had her since the age of three weeks, she has been free-flying outdoors since the age of four months, and she already speaks a few simple words (she has also started her Baby molt, which is really early I think).
I have begun to play with her to put a colored ball into a same color cup, but this is where I feel that I could be doing something wrong. I started with just using a red marble (15 mm diameter) and a red cup. Every time she picks up the marble I’ll say “red”, and when she drops it into the cup, she will get a click and a treat. I put the marble in such a way that, after picking it up, she will have to turn around to find the cup(s). I then added a green cup. Shifting the cups around often I will tell her “red” when she picks up the marble, and on average she will drop it into the red cup about 50% of the time. Sometimes she will almost drop it into the green cup but change her mind last second and walk over to the red cup. But at other times she can also get it very wrong and drop it into the green cup five or six times in a row. She won’t get a click or a treat for that, of course, and she is smart enough to know that it was wrong and will take the marble out of the green cup and drop it into the red cup (and she will then look at me with great pride and expectancy). I will also change the marble from red to green and play the same game but tell her “green” every time she picks it up. It is beginning stage still, but I just don’t feel that she relates to the colors (yet)… there was one incident though when I accidentally left the red screw cap of the treats container on the table and upon telling her “red” she went straight for it instead of turning around to look for the usual cups (but I can’t be sure whether it was just a cup to her or specifically a red cup).
Please do advise if there is something wrong with my method. What I envisage is that she has three differently colored marbles and cups, and that I’ll tell her “blue”’ and she will pick up the blue marble and drop it into the blue cup. Is that even achievable or am I expecting too much? Could it be that the marble is too small for her to ‘notice’ that it is the same color as the cup?
Thank you so much.