Training Your Bird
Sadly, many parrot care books still advocate wing-clipping and ‘dominating’ your bird as part of its so-called ‘training’ but such practices can cause even more problems! Reward-based training and safe flying are of great benefit and essential for parrots. Unlike other pet parrot books, you’ll find details in my book Breaking Bad Habits in Parrots of how to teach your bird some basic flight requests and guidance on how to keep companion parrots safely without wing-clipping them. Email Greg here to ask for a copy of his book.
The training methods I use are based on learning theory; this is the science of behaviour and is the most bird-friendly way to work with your parrot. It relies on offering rewards and incentives for your bird to learn the requests you are teaching him while working at a pace which is comfortable for your bird. There is no use of punishment and parrots are never ‘told off’ for unwanted behaviours. This is explained in detail in my book Breaking Bad Habits in Parrots. This is an effective, bird-friendly approach to training which includes teaching flight requests. With this, in addition to the usual ‘step up’ request, you should be able to teach your bird to:
- “Stay”. This means please do not approach me or fly to me for the moment.
- “Go”. This means please fly off me to some other place such as your cage or stand etc.
- “On here”. This means please fly to me.
- “Off there”. This means please fly from your present place as it is not suitable/safe for you to be there.