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How to Train a Bird?

Bird training is the act of using behavior modifications to get the desired result of behavior. Doing this can help with potential issues and will calm the bird. Some owners even train their bird to do tricks. Continue reading to find questions answered by Experts.

Be Prepared

Equipment that may be used to train a bird include:

  • treats
  • sturdy perch or dowel
  • small, light colored towel
  • small stick
  • bitter apple spray
  • bird leash
  • pet carrier

Let your bird get used to the props by leaving him near the cage for a few days. Pique his interest by playing with the toys.

Be Realistic

Each bird has their own personalities and preferences. Some commands will take long to teach than others. There may be tricks your bird will refuse to do no matter the treat. Just like a human, your bird will have moments in the day where their mind is more receptive to learning and being handled.

Pay attention and learn to recognize these cues. Your pet will feel safe and more trusting knowing there is not a reason to feel anxious.

Handling Your Bird

It is best to start with the basics by holding and touching your bird. Here are some tips on proper handling:

  • Always stand above the bird. This will allow you to remain in the master position.
  • Place your finger against your bird right above its feet to encourage the bird to step onto your finger. Use the commands, “up” or “step up.”
  • Be careful not to hold your pet too high or too low.  The proper level is chest high.
  • Limit petting your bird to only its head and feet and ask others to do the same. The reason for this is that birds’ sexual organs are located on their back and under the wings. If you offer full body strokes, you are stimulating the organs and the bird can become protective of you thinking you are its mate.
  • It is not recommended to allow your bird on your shoulder. At this view, you are not able to see your pet’s body language and cannot see if something is going to bother him. When they are startled, birds respond with a bite. If he is on your arm, you can take steps to avoid this.
  • Be careful wearing jewelry around your pet bird. Some birds like bright and shiny things. If you have jewelry on around him, expect it to be played with. This may mean damaged necklaces or earrings being removed with force.
  • A towel can be used to restrain your bird when needed. Familiarize your pet with a towel long before having to restrain him. You want him to associate the towel with positive things.

Basic Commands

Here are some basic commands you can train your bird:

  • Step Up Command: This is the most important command you can teach your bird. This is achieved when your pet steps onto your finger, wrist or into a hand-held perch. The step up command makes it easier to retrieve your bird in a dangerous or inconvenient situation.
  • Step Down Command: You can also teach your pet to step down onto a perch. Make it worth it’s while to step down with treats or toys if he likes to hang out with you.
  • Contact Call: Since you are your bird’s flock, it will naturally want to keep track of where you are. Teach a special whistle, word or phrase to use when it wants you to respond. This can replace the ear piercing call that your bird may do when you leave the room.
  • Bite a Target Stick: Teaching your bird to bite a small stick, other than a bird, can be helpful when calling the bird to walk or fly to you.

Training Mistakes to Avoid

Some mistakes to avoid while training include:

  • Do not let your bird bite. This can easily become a habit.
  • Do not be intimidated. Stand by your bird if it is acting aggressively. Once it is calm, you can leave. This shows the bird you are not scared of it.
  • Do not expect your pet to pick up on commands and tricks after one training session.


Treats should be given when the bird is doing something that is encouraged and should only be given in small portions. While it is still young, it is a good idea to begin giving your bird handheld treats after it has climbed into your hand. This helps your pet associate positive things with being handled. Treats should be held with the tips of your fingers facing out to the sides instead of up and down.

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