One of the greatest delights in having a parrot for a pet is seeing your parrot perform its tricks. Although some parrots learn a few tricks by themselves the norm is that a bird has to be trained to learn a trick. Many first time owners might find it surprising just how fun trick training can be.
If you plan on trick training your parrot you have to make sure that first of all your parrot has been trained to obey or is at least tame. Do not attempt to teach your parrot tricks if you can’t even touch or caress your parrot without getting bit. Once your parrot is tame you can start teaching it tricks.
Trick training has other rewards aside from being able to boast about your clever bird in the end. It can be used with parrots to help modify behavioral problems. It has been found that teaching your parrot tricks often results to a better behaved, more social, and happier animal. Note though that although trick training can calm some birds and help modify their behavior it does not work for all birds and for all problems. Trick training usually works for those with only mild to moderate behavioral problems.
Teaching Your Parrot New Tricks
The STEP UP Parrot Trick
One of the first tricks usually taught is the STEP UP. The step us is a very easy trick to teach since stepping up onto something is a natural thing to do. To teach this trick your bird should be standing on its stand. Move your hand slowly near your bird and gently press your pointer finger on it lower stomach. Then in a calm pleasant voice instruct you bird to “Step Up”. Usually the bird will instinctively step up to your finger. If this does not happen just repeat it until your bird gets it. Even if your parrot gets it right the first time you have to repeat it anyway so that the parrot will eventually recognize the words “Step Up” as their cue to do the trick. Give your parrot a treat and/or praise it each time it does a trick successfully.
The TURN AROUND Parrot Trick
The next trick to learn is the TURN AROUND. This requires that you parrot be perched on a stand again. Before you teach the trick warm up you bird by getting it to step up and go back to its perch a few times. Then holding its favorite at eye level, tell your parrot to “turn around”. As your parrot reaches for the treat, move your hand slowly to its back so that your parrot has to turn its head around to see the treat. Some parrots will immediately turn its entire body too to get to the treat. In case your bird does not praise it anyway and redo the trick telling it to “turn around” and coaxing your parrot to turn around next time. Once your parrot has learned this do not give your parrot a treat until it does a full 360° turn next time.