Basic Bird Tricks to Teach Your Pet Bird

Teaching your pet basic bird tricks and commands will not only make it smarter, but will also build trust and develop closer relationship between owner and pet. Furthermore, being successful with training will surely bring joy and satisfaction to the owner. For birds, training demands a lot of time, perseverance, patience and understanding. Although birds are considered to be slow learners compared to dogs, teaching them basic tricks is not an impossible tacks. With the right bird training techniques and methods, you can be a master bird trainer in a few weeks or months.

bird tricks holding card

Photo:  Peter Békési | Flickr

Bird Temperament

First things to consider for basic bird tricks are bird behavior and temperament. Most birds are active and have short attention span. Keeping this fact in mind, you must accept that there will be times that your pet bird will be eager to learn and easily follow your command. On the other hand, there will be days when it will show lack of interest to your training. During these moments, it is important to extend your effort and patience. Knowing the mood and tendencies of your pet will be vital in making the bird training a successful one.

15 to 25 minutes per day is the recommended training schedule. Going over this schedule often makes birds uninterested and lazy. Whenever your pet does something right, proper appreciation must be given. Giving it a prize like bird pellet will enforce its desire to do tricks.

Set Realistic Goals

Knowing the behavior of your bird is not enough, you should also learn a little of its history and traits in order to set realistic goals. For example, you must know if your pet belongs to a specie that can talk. Obviously, training a non-talking bird to do so will be just a waste of time.

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Step-up on Finger Trick

This trick is one of the most basic and common bird tricks. This bird trick commands the bird to step-up or move to your finger. The first step is to make sure that your position is higher than the bird, which stresses the fact that you are the master and it must follow your command. Make sure that it is looking upward to your direction. Next is to put your finger in the breast area of the bird while firmly saying “step-up”. Use a little force to make the bird move its feet towards your finger. When it follows, be sure to give a treat and firmly say “good job”. Practice these steps daily until the trick is mastered.

Towel Training

Your bird will be seeing and feeling a lot of towels during its lifetime. Towels of all sizes will be used for several instances like wiping the body, treating wounds and giving medicines. With this fact, it is vital that your pet becomes familiar and comfortable with a towel touching its body.

In towel training, you must use only white colored towels because other colors specially the bright ones can affect the bird’s focus and attention. The first step is to put some bird food beside or on the towel to attract the bird. The goal here is to make the bird go near the towel and become comfortable with it. Once comfort is achieved, you can slowly wrap the towel in the different body parts to mimic treating wounds or wiping.

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Biting Bird Tricks

Birds love to bite, which sometimes gives their owners headaches specially when they have bitten and damaged a valuable object. To avoid this problem, letting it know what it can and it can’t bite is a must. The first thing you need in this trick is a biting stick, a short but sturdy chopstick will do. Place the stick near the bird’s mouth and entice it to bite. When the bird complies, give it a treat and say “good job”. When you master this trick, the bird will understand that the only thing it can bite is the stick.

For extreme cases of bird biting, anti-biting spray is recommended. This bitter spray is useful in deterring birds from biting wooden furniture and fixtures. However, make sure to only use veterinary approved brands to ensure the safety of your pet. Some unregistered sprays may contain chemicals that can pose health risks to your bird.

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