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Caiques training

Caiques standing on a wood stick

Caiques are social creatures, and in the wild, can live in flocks of 30 or more. Their love for interaction makes them great candidates for training, since they’ll enjoy, and even look forward to, the sessions with you.

The only problem with caiques is that they’re extremely stubborn birds, and you will need to be patient yet firm. Acting hesitant or timid around them will only encourage them to be more aggressive.

You will also have greater success if you get a caique when it is still a baby. Ask for a hand-fed bird, which is used to humans and constant handling in.

However, don’t make the mistake of over stimulating it in its first days in your home. Give it time to adjust, or it may become wary, nervous or aggressive. Then, let it get used to your face and your scent. Personally bring its food to its cage, and constantly talk to it in a soothing but firm voice. You should begin serious training sessions only when you’ve gained its trust.

Most enthusiasts believe that caiques are more training at night. Each session should be about 20 minutes long. Start your “program” with the simple trick of taking a treat from your hand. Then, you can teach it the “up” command, when it hops to your finger and perches on it on cue. Always reward your pet when it’s mastered a trick. (Try walnuts, seeds, or a favorite dried fruit.)

Caiques are not good “talkers” and it will be very difficult to teach it words or phrases. You may have greater success with males, especially those that were hand-fed, or birds that are not kept in pairs. Solitary caiques are more motivated to learn human speech, so it can communicate with their new “flock”, but bear in mind that you will need to give it a lot of attention to compensate for lack of company in the cage.
Caiques are better at acrobatic tricks, such as walking through a hoop, or climbing a set of rings. You can try getting a play gym, which will give it plenty of room to practice.

Some caiques can also be taught to dance, and with enough motivation (do you have those walnuts ready?) you can tempt it to bob, hop and step to the beat of a favorite song. These are complex tricks, though, and need many sessions. You should invest in books or manuals, and consistently practice each night so it doesn’t forget what it’s learned.