Some owners assume their parrot is too old or not the right species to learn tricks, but this isn't the case. Parrots are highly intelligent animals that can be taught a wide range of words and phrases.
In fact, a budgerigar parrot named Puck holds the current Guinness Book of World Record for the largest vocabulary at 1,728 words. Read on as we discuss 3 tricks you can teach your joyful pet parrot.
1. How To Teach Your Parrot The Wave
The wave is one of the easiest tricks to teach a parrot. With persistence, repetition and positive reinforcement, owners can teach their parrot how to perform a basic wave motion, which is bound to draw impress friends and family members.
Certain tricks can be tedious to teach a parrot; however, the wave is a simple trick that parrots of all ages, species and dispositions can learn.
What You'll Need To Teach a Parrot The Wave
- Small treats (sunflower seeds, cracker pieces, peanuts, etc.)
- A small, chewable toy
- A wooden perch
Teaching a Parrot To Wave: Step One
The first step in teaching a parrot to wave is to place them comfortably on a perch where you can sit down and face them at eye level. I recommend using a wooden perch that's attached to their cage, as this will keep them focused on the training session and not surrounding distractions.
Of course, owners can also take their parrots out of the cage to train them, but just remember to create a quiet, distraction-free environment beforehand.
Teaching a Parrot To Wave: Step Two
With your parrot comfortably nestled on their perch, give them a small, chewable toy to play with. Plush bird toy dolls work well, of you can use a chew stick. Depending on your parrot's disposition, you may need to tease them a bit with the two so they'll want to play with it.
If your parrot isn't taking the toy, hide it in your hand and then open it up. This should encourage them to take and play with it.
Let your parrot play with the toy for a couple of minuted (3-5 minutes usually works best) and then take it away. I know, your parrot is going to look at you with those pitiful eyes, but this is a key step in teaching them the wave.
Teaching a Parrot To Wave: Step Three
Keep the toy partially closed in your hand and move it in an arch-shape from one side of your parrot to the other. While you are doing this, speak a verbal command, such as "Do the wave," or "Raise your hand." As long your parrot knows the toy is inside your hand, they should reach out to try and grab it with their claws, at which point you should reward them with praise and a treat.
2.) How To Teach a Parrot To Say "Hello"
Ever wish your parrot possessed the same "hello" vocal abilities as some of the ones you see on documentaries and television shows?
If you are interested in teaching your parrot how to speak, it's usually best to start with a basic "hello." From there, you can move on to some of the more complex words and phrases.
Speak It Often: Step One
Want to know the secret to teaching a parrot how to say a particular word or phrase? It's to speak it clearly in front of them as often as possible. The more they hear the word, the more likely they will be to remember it. This is why some parrots have a rather "foul" vocabulary...
So, anytime you walk by your parrot's cage, stop for a second to say "hello" to them. Even if they don't respond, you are still implanting the word into their memory, and that's essentially how they will learn it.
One-On-One Training: Step Two
Of course, it may take a little more work to teach your parrot how to say "hello." Try to set aside at least 15-20 minutes each day for a more personalized one-on-one training session with your feathered friend. Take them into a distraction free zone and say "hello" while looking directly at them.
Remember, you want to say the word as slowly as possible for your parrot to really comprehend what you are saying. After speaking the world, give your parrot a chance to respond. Continue doing this for at least 15 minutes each day and your parrot will saying "hello" before you know it.
Rewards: Step Three
When your parrot does in fact say the magic word, you'll want to reward them for doing such a good job. Positive reinforcement goes a long ways in training, and it will be one of your most valuable tools in teaching a parrot how to say "hello."
From the first time you hear your parrot say "hello," you should immediately give them a treat while telling them how much of a good bird they are. Some treats to consider giving your parrot include apple slices, bananas, peanuts, pears, carrots and celery. Keep plenty of these all-natural treats on hand so you can quickly reward your parrot for saying "hello."
3.) How To Train a Parrot Not To Bite
Does your parrot constantly bite you? Here are some tips.
Allowing your parrot to bite is both careless and dangerous. Even if it's a "playful" bite, they can still break the skin to leave behind open cuts and wounds. If a friend or family member comes over and attempts to pet the parrot, they could be bitten as a result of this behavior. The bottom line is that biting is something that should not be tolerated by parrot owner.
This is usually a problem that can be fixed with a few simple steps. If you’re having trouble getting your parrot to stop biting, keep reading and we’ll walk you through the necessary steps to getting back a loyal, loving bird that’s safe to touch and play with.
No matter how hard you try to prevent it, you’re going to get bit by your parrot at some point or another. When this happens, don’t scold your parrot, but instead tell them “No,” followed by blowing on their face, which is essentially a form of disciplinary action.
Blowing on your parrot’s face isn’t going to hurt them, but it’s going to let them know that what they did is unacceptable and needs to stop.
Some owners may allow their parrot to nibble on their hands when petting or playing with them. While it may not cause any pain or discomfort, doing so gives the parrot the message that nibbling is okay; therefore, they may try to push their luck in the future by biting you. The bottom line is that a parrot needs to keep their beak closed when your fingers are in their face.
Know and Understand Your Parrot
Most first-time parrot owners don’t know when they should refrain from touching their parrots. Like all animals, parrots have alternating moods from happy to sad and anywhere in between. Trying to force your hands on a parrot when they’re visibly upset or agitated may cause them to lash out by biting you. So, how do you know when a parrot is agitated?
The easiest way to identify agitation is to look for fluffed up feathers, almost so much that they’re poofy. When a parrot has their feather fluffed up, you should give them space until they cool off. You wouldn't want someone poking or messing with you when you’re having a bad day, so don’t force it upon a parrot.
Another time when owners should refrain from touching their parrots is when they’re busy eating. Even if they see it’s your finger and not a treat, their automatic reflexes may cause them to accidentally bite you. It’s not their intention, but it does happen. Wait until your parrot is done eating their food before trying to pet or play with them.
Common Reasons Why Parrots Bite:
- Territorial aggression
- Hormones (particularly problematic when males and females are placed in the same room)
- Abused by a former owner
- Lack of socialization
- Scared of a new toy or accessory
Aren't those 3 tricks just perfect for your next happy training session with your pet parrot? Parrots are highly intelligent species and with just the right amount of knowledge and homemade snacks and treats, they will soon become the most happy and active pets you will have.
Do know that exercising regularly is very important for parrots, so why don't you incorporate some training with it as well. We’d love to know your parrot’s tricks! Share your stories in the comments below.