How to Teach Your Parrot Tricks

By Valdette Muller| September 27, 2016 | Blog

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A great deal of time and effort is needed to teach a parrot tricks as they learn from observation and imitation.  Every parrot has its own preferences and unique personality. Some commands will take longer to grasp than others and on some days your parrot may even just ignore you.

Before you begin training make sure your bird is comfortable with you and will allow you to touch its body, feet and wings. It should also be able to readily take food from your hand. There must be complete trust between yourself and your parrot or not much learning will take place.

It’s best to have short training sessions of 10 to 15 minutes twice a day. Be consistent and always reward with treats such as nuts and fruit that your parrot does not usually have as part of their regular diet.

Many parrot owners train their birds to speak. The process is simple, repetition and more repetition. Teach one word at a time to avoid confusion. Start with your parrot’s name or a simple hello. Make sure that your parrot can watch you speak as they will learn through imitation. Use facial expressions and use a tone of excitement in your voice. Teaching a parrot to speak can take days, weeks or even months. Be persistent in your training and be patient. Take care not to use bad language around a talking bird. They may choose to repeat these undesirable words to your pastor or granny!

Teaching your parrot to wave is another simple trick. When your parrot is on their perch face them and say the word “wave’’ in a normal tone of voice. Extend a finger towards your bird; your parrot will lift a foot to step onto it. Do not allow your parrot to step onto your finger; just slowly pull your finger away. If your bird has lifted their foot in the air and “waved” give praise and a treat. Repeat for around 10 minutes. Keep working on this trick and your bird will raise his foot when asked to”wave”.

The “step-up” command is an important trick for a bird to know. Birds need to be able to perform this task in the event of a trip to the vet. Start by slowly extending your hand out, move slowly and calmly. Gently press your index finger to the bird’s lower abdomen. Most birds will automatically “step-up” when they feel pressure on their bellies. Use a normal tone of voice and say “step-up”. With regular training this command will be a cue for your parrot to step onto your hand.

Birds that receive lots of praise during training make fast and eager students. Always let your parrot know that they have done a good job.

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