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Basic Training

Women kissing a parrot

Parrots can be very fun pets to have. Like any pet though you need to train your parrot to exhibit behavior appropriate for your home. “Unruly parrots” often lead to unwanted and even abandoned parrots. Parrots though can be delightful when properly trained. Remember that as a pet owner it is your responsibility to train your parrot just like it’s the parents’ responsibility to train their kids.

Basic Parrot Training Principles:

Most unwanted behaviors that parrots exhibit can be addressed using some very basic training principles. It is suggested that you start applying these principles as soon as you buy your parrot. The longer you put off training your parrot the harder it will be to modify unwanted behavior.

Train your parrot only when YOU are relaxed

Training a parrot requires patience. Make sure that you are in the mood to train. Choose a time when you can be relaxed and do not have other pressing matters in mind.

Pick a time when your parrot is attentive

Do not choose a time when your parrot is obviously distressed or is eating or preening. Choose a time when you can get the parrot’s undivided attention.

Learn to read you parrot’s body language

Body language is how your parrot communicates with you. To be able to train your parrot effectively you need to know whether it gets scared or distressed by some of your actions. A distressed parrot will not be able to learn what you are trying to teach it because it’ll be to busy “defending” itself or worrying at the least. Give your parrot some space when distressed or give it a treat to calm it down. Do not force your parrot to do something it doesn’t want to do.

Find a treat or reward that works with your parrot

This reward or treat will be your way of telling your parrot if it has been “good”. Positive reinforcement always works best when trying to modify some behavior.

Keep your training strategy positive

As mentioned above use positive reinforcement. When your parrot does something good or obeys, give it a treat or reward. If your parrot behaves badly ignore that bad behavior. Your parrot would like to have your attention so ignoring that behavior is “punishment enough”. Never punish your parrot. Any attention even negative is still attention and punishing your parrot will make it get used to negative attention and may lead to your parrot seeking your attention by doing “bad” things. A positive strategy also means using praise. Once your parrot has learned something try using praise to reward your parrot. If you use a treat every single time as a reward your parrot might get “spoiled” and not want to obey or perform unless a treat is given.

Train you parrot for short periods of time only

Like a child a parrot has a short attention span. Training your parrot for long periods will not be very productive. Instead train your parrot for shorter periods of time but frequently and regularly. If you don’t have time for frequent sessions just make sure that your lengthy periodical sessions are fun and interesting enough to hold the parrot’s attention.