Parrot training is a vital part of parrot ownership. Research from Scientific American reveals that an average parrot’s intelligence is at least comparable to a two-year-old child.
Further, training will not only help you rear a presentable pet parrot but will also strengthen the bond between you and your pet parrot. It is likely for a parrot to look forward in every session as it gains a one-to-one attention from you. Can a bird be potty-trained? How do you train parrots? Start simple and keep all your interactions positive.
Three principles in parrot training
- Give rewards appropriately.
When a parrot exhibits good actions, do not forget to reward your pet parrot. Treats should be something your bird will look forward to. Treats should be exclusively given as treats such as nuts or fruits.
- Ignore undesirable behaviours.
As soon as the bird starts to engage with undesirable behaviours, simply ignore it.
- Never use the method of punishment.
A negative reaction from you can be perceived as a reward to your bird especially if it seeks more attention. Doing so might unintentionally cause and develop further undesirable behaviour.
1. Prepare an ideal environment for training.
Pick a proper training environment. Consider a safe area where your parrot is more comfortable and alert. With that in mind, they are likely to digest instructions better.
Look for its favourite perch or stand. Place the said perch in a familiar room that’s quiet and private. Prepare food treats for motivation. Smaller parrots including budgerigars, cockatiels, and other parakeets enjoy millet sprays as treats. However, do not overdo in giving food treats. Instead, you may switch to giving praises or toys. Make sure that every session ends with a positive note to motivate your pet bird.
2. Start simple and do not be too hard.
Be realistic when introducing new commands. Know that there may be commands that are harder to learn than others. Make sure to begin the training only when the parrot is in the mood for learning or when it is calm.
Training sessions should not last for more than fifteen minutes. Once it begins to lose interest, the best thing to do is to end the session.
3. Let your parrot get comfortable in touching.
One simple trick is to allow her to eat food treats right from your hand. You will not only be introducing new tricks but will also help in strengthening your bond. You may wear gloves when you are doing it for the first time. Apple slices make good treats if you are concerned about having your fingers pecked upon. Remember to stay calm when giving food treats from a hand.
Furthermore, here are favoured spots when petting and stroking parrots:
- Beak and under
- Eye rings
- Under and on top of the tail
- Underside of the wings
Remember to do gentle stroking. Avoid stroking certain spots such as the tops of its wings, tail feathers, and breast.
4. Click and treat.
Clicker training is not only effective for dogs and cats but to parrots as well. Clicker training is introduced with a handy clicking device that produces sound of a pen clicker. This is deemed effective in telling the pets that they have displayed proper behaviour. The clicking sound should be immediately followed by a reward.
5. Discourage biting behaviour.
Birds may use their beaks for balance. They may place their beaks on the area that they wish to step on. That being said, do not be startled when it does. It might become nervous upon stepping on your hand.
Aggressive biting should be discouraged. Take a look at your bird’s stance. It may try to flap its wings and scream or tilt its head upwards, which is an attempt to look bigger. How do you train a parrot not to bite? Do not ignore it nor stand down.
- Walk to a short distance, creating a space from you and your parrot.
- Slowly approach the cage and wait for the discomfort to ease.
- Whilst the parrot still thrashes, stop and stay at a distance. Do not approach nor retreat.
- Wait for it to calm down.
- It may still appear uncomfortable but as long as it begins to relax, you may reward the parrot by walking off.
Show it to your parrot that the only way to get what it wants is for them to be calm.
How’s your parrot finding these tips? Is it helpful? Don’t forget to share this article with your pet owner friends!
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