Isolate physically and/or acoustically: birds must be only exposed to the training material. If they listen to adults either cocks or hens we can spoil all our work.
Separate in subgroups: when we isolate a group of canaries (whether we educated or not) there is a possibility that one of birds assumes the leadership of the cage and it is followed by the rest. If this individual possesses faults in the repertoire execution, these will be copied by the rest of the member of the cage (again, whether we educated or not). This is a permanent risk so what I recommend is to separate our youngsters in groups of 10 individuals and by doing so generating different “classrooms”. I guarantee that birds from each cage will not sing alike even if they are members of the same family. It goes without saying that we must dedicate enough time to listen to the canaries to quickly detect those with defects and get rid of them.
Continuous exposure: even though there are two critical periods for learning that influence decisively in the learning , even for birds that were born in close days, they don’t go through the molt period at the same time, therefore it is highly recommended that continuous exposure to the training material is provided (whether we use a maestro bird or an audio) until “song” is closed by the youngsters.
Selection: If we use the education to traing our birds, we must execute a strict selection at the end of the competitions, keeping only those individuals that were outstanding in learning or execution the training material. In this stage there is no place for sentimentalisms or special considerations different for their capacity to learn and execute. Only by acting rigorously we will approach to our ideal singing bird.
Consistency: we must work year after year using the before mentioned criteria, unfortunatedly there are many spanish timbrado fanciers that each year introduced numerous birds from other breeders underestimating their own work. This is one of the most dangerous practices to be successful.
In my particular case, I try to minimize new birds unless they are carefully selected and either contribute or complete the work in progress. Of course the latter is only valid if we possess a stock of high quality.
I hope these few lines can be of help and guidance, especially to those fanciers that are just beginning in the fascinating world of the Spanish timbrado canary.