Dear Parrot Lover,
Every parrot owner wants to know the secret to owning a happy,
and well-behaved, parrot.
The secret is quite simple, actually. A trained parrot is
a happy parrot.
Much like training your dog, training your parrot helps him
learn boundaries and what behavior is acceptable and what is not. A well-trained
parrot is one that is quite content in his surroundings and does not need to
rely solely on his owner for stimulation.
But training your parrot can seem like a very daunting process,
especially if you are new to owning a parrot. The key element is to never give
up, and to never stop training your parrot. Understand that, at first, your
parrot may be resistant to training and you may endure bites, scratches, and
be subjected to screaming tantrums. But know that the more you stick with a
training regime, the better things will be in the long run.
However, when training your parrot to do anything, the most important thing
to remember is to always interact with your parrot in a happy and positive way.
Parrots thrive on positivity and will learn faster when you teach them with
kind words and smiles, rather than stern looks and shouting.
So, before starting your training session for the day, do
a self-check and make sure that you are in a positive and calm mood. Leave all
your stressful troubles at the door. Parrots are more perceptive than their
owners give them credit for, and your parrot will very quickly pick up on any
stress that you may be feeling. This will make your parrot feel uncomfortable
and he may be hesitant that usual during the training session.
When scheduling a training session, make sure that you choose
a time when there will be the least amount of distractions in your home. This
includes distractions from the radio, TV, and other family members. Always stick
to a time limit. The shorter and sweeter the session, the quicker and better
your parrot will learn. Otherwise you run the potential of your parrot becoming
bored and irritable, which will cause the training session to be cut short.
Never raise your voice at your parrot, in or out of a training
session. Parrots have wonderful memories and will remember your raised voice
for a long time. Yelling at your parrot will only make him become afraid of
you; and a parrot that is afraid will bite to defend itself. It is better to
give your parrot a disapproving look than it is to yell.
At the end of the training session, allow your parrot to have
some free time to himself to play. Reward him by allowing him to play on his
play tree or elsewhere outside of his cage. Remember too, that you every parrot
is as unique as human children, and will therefore learn at different paces.
So practice patience, remain calm and happy, and your parrot will quickly become
a happy, and well-trained, parrot.
Is Your Bird a Biter?
Biting is common in pet birds
Biting is common because it is a normal reaction for birds.
It often is used to express fear. For example, if a bird is afraid of being
touched or being approached, he will express that fear through various movements
or vocalizations. If this doesn’t stop the movement or touching, the bird
will bite. Biting is really to teach a person to stop touching. And it works!
Biting is painful.
A bird should never be punished for biting since this is a normal reaction
and is one of the last ways a bird can express its discomfort. But there are
ways to help him become less fearful.
Working through his fears
The only way to stop a bird from biting is to systematically teach him that
there is nothing to fear from you. He needs to learn to trust you, and you need
to fully respect him in order to make progress.
Will you be bitten in training? It is possible, but ideally there is no need
for you to be bitten as part of the training process. The reason why is that
you are going to teach him positively in small portions that don’t make
him uncomfortable enough to bite you. It really does work, and it comes down
to the use of a clicker.
Using a clicker and The Power Pause
A clicker is a small tool that makes a consistent noise each time a button
is pressed. It is commonly used in dog training as well as the training of other
animals, chickens included! The clicker is a very useful tool for training parrots
and other birds as well.
The Power Pause is a technique that utilizes a clicker. You are going to click
and reward the bird for remaining calm as you approach him. The reward at this
time is actually going to be you walking away when he remains calm.
Here is how it works: you approach the bird and stop several feet short of
the bird. As soon as he stops talking and closes his mouth and settles down,
click and walk away. Once he no longer reacts at this distance, you move closer.
By working in incremental levels that the bird is comfortable with, you can
teach him that you approaching (and eventually touching) is a good thing. You
can ultimately stop his biting with this technique.