How do I gain confidence without training

How to gain your parrot's trust

If your parrot doesn't trust you, behavior problems like screaming, biting, or plucking are almost inevitable.

Without a trusting relationship with you, your parrot will be under stress. And when your parrot is stressed, it will behave in such a way that you will end up stressed out too. And voilà: you already have the perfect vicious circle.

It doesn't matter if you've just taken a new parrot into your home - or if your parrot has lived with you for a while ... this article is designed to help you gain your parrot's trust.

Step 1: Give your parrot enough time to get used to it

When you have a new parrot, it's best to give it time to get used to it. It's best to leave him alone so he can explore his new home. Let him see where the food and water is.

Give him time to inspect his cage and get to know the one around it and his new family.

This usually only takes a few days and if you talk to your parrot regularly in a calm voice and approach its cage, it will quickly find out that nothing bad is happening to it.

You can safely change the food and clean the cage (or the aviary).

It's rare, but there are also parrots that panic if you get too close to the cage or just walk into the room. Some parrots are already stressed as soon as you clean the cage or bring them new food.

But there is no reason to despair. You can also develop good relationships with these parrots. You just have to be a little more patient.

Step 2: Show your parrot what behavior you like best

You have probably heard of the Russian behavioral scientist Pavlov. We are now using his method to show your parrot what behavior we want it to do.

Put a small bowl in its cage in such a way that your parrot can easily reach the bowl and at the same time, as a holder, you can easily throw something into this bowl from the outside.

Always pay attention to your parrot's body language. If you see that he is very excited, then you shouldn't look at him.

Slowly approach his cage and drop a treat into the bowl. Then, move away from the cage calmly but quickly. By the way, animal psychologists also refer to the treat as an amplifier.

Now watch your parrot from a distance. As soon as he gets the treat, say the word "good" immediately.

If you repeat this process a few times, your parrot will quickly notice "Oh, now there's something nice"!

Once that is the case, you can shorten your distance from the cage. Just get a little closer to the cage, give it a new treat, and see how your parrot behaves.

If it picks up the amplifier without hesitation, say "good" immediately. If he's still hesitant, take another step back so your parrot isn't scared. He'll grab the treat as soon as he feels safe.

The point of this exercise is that your parrot associates the word "good" with something pleasant - and that he associates you with the word "good".

Step 3: Repeat the exercise until it is properly seated

Very soon it will be seen that your parrot will migrate towards the bowl or even fly as soon as it sees you.

Then just stop and throw the amplifier into the bowl. If your parrot picks it up, immediately give it a "good" rating again.

If he doesn't take the treat, take a step back. It's okay if it takes a little longer, but you'll see: this exercise is worth it.

Once it works out well, you can expand the exercise.

Step 4: direct your parrot's behavior with a chopstick

When your parrot has become more trusting, you can hold your finger or a chopstick over the bowl.

The stick is also known as a "target stick" - and can be a simple wooden stick like the one found in Chinese restaurants. The term “target stick” comes from the world of “target training”, an extremely effective method of training parrots and influencing their behavior.

Wait until your parrot taps the chopsticks with its beak.

Then you have to praise it immediately with "good" and toss the treat into the bowl.

This way, your parrot will get used to touching you and you will create an important foundation from which to teach him many advanced tricks.

You can expand the process as you like, and for example point your parrot from one side of the cage to the other.

It is very important that you never forget the word "good" plus the amplifier. That is the top priority!

If everything goes well, you no longer have to throw the amplifier in the bowl, but can give it out of your hand.

Which rewards work best

Animal psychologists also refer to “good” as a bridge. For the animal it is a sign that something will come later - namely, the amplifier.

So the “good” prepares your parrot for a really tasty reward. This way your parrot learns much faster.

By the way, you can also replace the “bridge” with a clicker. The results will be just as good with it and it is entirely up to you whether you want to train with or without a clicker.

You should always have a selection of different enhancers available and not limit yourself to a single treat.

If you were to eat chocolate every day, it would soon be boring too. It's the same with your feathered friend.

Keep trying out what he likes to eat and write down the things that your parrot especially likes on a list. So you will always know how to “bribe” your parrot.

It is very important that your parrot does everything on a voluntary basis. After all, you have to be his to gain his trust. This is the be all and end all of keeping parrots. Everything has to be done voluntarily.

The optimal duration of a training session

Training times may vary depending on the parrot.

Some parrots immediately enjoy it and last 10 minutes at a time, while others want a break after just 1-2 minutes.

Adapt to your parrot and, if necessary, do the training in many small steps that are spread over the day.

Repetition is important and consolidates the exercises you have learned.

Also, be careful not to go too fast, because if your parrot has not yet grasped the exercise properly, new tricks will become very confusing.

Then the learned behavior can collapse very quickly like a house of cards.

Here is the most important rule for the duration of the training units: You should start every training session when it is most beautiful!

I know from experience that this training works wonders and I really recommend it to you, especially if your parrot is scared.

You now know the first steps towards trust. You just have to go ...!

Have fun and good luck!
Your Annita

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