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Trick Training

Teaching tricks to your parrot can be a fun way of spending time together.

There are a couple of fairly basic and simple tricks that most parrots will learn fairly easily.

Clicker training is one method to use – or you can use the basics of clicker training without actually using a clicker.

Find a treat or treats that your bird really loves. It might be sunflower seeds or peanuts or popcorn, etc - but make sure the pieces are small enough that it doesn't take long to eat so your bird is ready to practice the trick often in a short period of time. Larger birds can have larger pieces than smaller birds, but not more than a mouthful each time.

Schedule several short sessions in a day and always end with a positive result. For instance if your bird just doesn't seem to be getting the trick the way you want him to, you can end with something that he already knows and does consistently.

If your bird steps up and onto your hand when asked to, these two tricks should not take long to teach.

Wave: Reach towards your bird as if you are going to ask him to step up, but when your bird lifts his foot, you wave your hand in front and say “wave” and immediately give him a treat. Repeat and treat a few times and before long you will just have to say “wave” and your bird will lift his foot for you.

Shake A Paw: Reach towards your bird as if you are going to ask him to step up, but when your bird's foot touches your hand, you gently move it up and down, saying”shake a paw” and give him a treat. Repeat and treat a few times.

If you have been in the habit of not saying “step up” or “up” when you want your bird to step onto your hand, you may have to start saying it again once your bird knows these tricks.

I realize that this is just enough to get you started, but the idea is to try more and more little tricks while you and your bird have fun together.


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