Dear Parrot Lover,
We already know how clown-like some parrots can be. Why not fine-tune those antics into fun and clever tricks that your parrot can perform?
Training your pet bird, by teaching them how to do tricks, can have a positive impact on their life. Your parrot’s socialization skills will improve greatly and you will be able to forge a much stronger bond with each other – it all comes down to trusting each other.
Due to their intelligence, parrots (especially the bigger species) have amazing memories. Parrots love to learn new things and spend time with their flock members.
Just like in a regular school, parrots need to have an assigned ‘classroom’ area that is free from any distractions. The chosen are should also be an area of your home where your parrot cannot see his own cage, or any other parrots, pets, or children.
Try to have everything ready before you begin the training session and bring your parrot into the area. Make sure you have plenty of treats to give your parrot as a reward for trying. This can be any food that your parrot loves the most – this is generally sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, exotic nuts, or even dried banana chips. However, you must make sure that your parrot will only get this type of food during his training sessions. Do not feed it as part of his regular diet.
As long as you have everything in place, your parrot will eventually be accustomed to learning something new whenever he is in this particular area of the house.
One of the easiest tricks to teach any parrot is the Wave. Just remember that having both a visual and a verbal cue for every trick will help keep your parrot’s attention better, especially when learning a new trick.
For the Wave, the verbal cue is just to say out loud the word ‘wave’. The visual cue is also simple. Have your parrot sit on a perch and, holding your parrot’s treat in your hand, waggle your fingers whilst saying ‘wave’. Place your other hand against your parrot’s chest gently, as if he was going to Step Up – but don’t let him actually do that. As soon as you see that your parrot lifts his foot up to step up onto your finger, you should quickly take your hand away and give him plenty of praise. Give him the food reward too.
After doing this a couple of times, your very clever parrot will come to the realization that in order for him to get a food treat and lots of extra love, all he has to do is lift up his foot!
The training session should come to an end as soon as you feel that your parrot has gotten the gist of it. Because they are so clever, parrots can become easily bored. If this happens, it will be harder to retrain his concentration.
Tips for Training your Parrot
Easy tips to make your training go smoothly
Training your bird is one of the most important tasks you’ll do with him. Not only does it help develop behaviors you’d like to routinely see in your bird, it’s a real bonding experience with him. There are a few things you’ll want to consider when training your bird.
First, safety first! Every time you take your bird out of his cage make sure that all windows and doors are closed. A bird can quickly escape out an open window, and you may or may not be able to get him back. Also make sure that any other pets you may have in the house aren’t a safety risk for your dog. Many birds and even some cats may find your bird a tempting animal to chase, harass, or even harm.
Second, make him feel comfortable. Always train him in areas that he feels secure in and doesn’t feel threatened. That also means not including strangers as part of the initial training process. An insecure bird can’t think and learn.
Third, spend time with your bird and socialize him to you and others close to you. You can’t expect your bird to train well for you if he doesn’t have a bond and some established trust with you. Do things he enjoys and reward him when you’re with him. Tasty food treats go a long way to building a positive association about spending time with you. This way he enjoys his time with you.
Remember that birds can frighten easily so you want to make sure to move slowly with training and always make it very positive. Don’t get upset with him or punish him but instead look for ways to always make him comfortable with the process.
Beginning your bird’s training
Training tricks is a fun thing to add into your training, but before worrying about these tasks you want to make sure your bird understands a few basic skills. Teaching him to Step-Up onto you and Step-Down from you, go willingly into his cage or onto his perch, and to Stay in his area rather
than follow you all over are all important starting behaviors for your parrot to learn.
The bird pros at Bird Tricks can show you a wide range of basic behaviors for your bird as well as advanced skills. Articles and videos help to make the training process easy to follow and implement with your own bird. They will also help you troubleshoot bad behaviors like biting and determine the best way to fix them.