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Is It Ever Too Late To Train A Parrot?

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Author Topic: Is It Ever Too Late To Train A Parrot?  (Read 2361 times)

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jennifer steadman

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Is It Ever Too Late To Train A Parrot?
« on: August 21, 2011, 11:56:50 AM »

As most of you know, Bailey was just about 2 years old when I rescued her from Paula and Rick and it appears that she may not have been handled that much before by her previous owner.

She knows the words step up and does do it when she crash lands on something so I know she just wont do it when I want her to because she just doesn't want to!

I may have made the mistake of not working with her enough up until now because I was thinking along the lines of letting her get used to being with us.  I spend a lot of time with her, but she wont let me touch her anywhere else apart from a tickle or a scratch on her head. I'd love to be able to tickle her under her neck and to have her cuddle up on my lap etc...
I think my problem is that I'm not repetitive enough?

So, my question is, can a bird ever too old to train? Or is there such a thing as an untrainable bird?

I'm not saying that Bailey is untrainable or that she is old, I'm, just curious to know.

I am now the very proud Mummy to Bailey.


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Re: Is it ever too late to train a parrot
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 12:02:10 PM »

I took on 2 that were over 10 years old, and over time they have learned what I want them to do, such as step up etc, But I think some birds may be more difficult but not impossible to "Modify" behaviour.


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Re: Is it ever too late to train a parrot
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2011, 12:11:24 PM »

I don't think they are ever too old to learn.  I think the key is to keep it simple, keep to one or two words and use the same words over and over again for the action that you want them to do.

I posted this in the training section a while ago....

Do you recognise yourself in this?  You can substitute Charlie's name with your own Grey.

Hello Charlie, are you being a good boy, come on then, step up, Charlie, step up...come on, be good...ok, no, right, let go of the bars, step up, come on....step up, good boy,  you want this toy, yeah, come on then, step up.....step up.......Charlie...ok, what about this then, you want this.....right, step up then. yeah, come on.  Ok, you want to sit on that perch then, ok, good boy, you sit there, have a nut.

What have you achieved?  You have managed to tell your bird that if he doesn't step up, if he doesn't do what he's told and if he goes to a perch that he wants to go to.........he'll get a treat!  So, next time you want him to step up or fly to you, or do whatever, what do you think he's going to do?  He'll do whatever he wants because eventually, he won't have to do it. Total confusion.  If you want your bird to do anything first of all establish the word that you want him to associate with it.  I don't tell Charlie to step up, I say "Up" in fact, I don't say anything very often now, he just does it.  Stick with the same words for the same things, if you change them or even the tone or pitch of your voice, they won't know what you mean.  Fetch the penny......god I am so sick of saying fetch the penny, but he knows what I mean, if I say go get the penny......eh?  what does go get mean? 

Watch your bird, see what he does and build on that.  Charlies High 5 was originally a scratch on the head!  I saw that he was going to scratch his head, said High 5 and put my hand up to him.  He nearly fell off the perch, he didn't have a clue what I was going to do but it stopped him scratching his head and he sat for a millisecond with his foot in the air, that was my chance to say High 5.  It only took about 20 minutes to get that one sorted, honestly. What I'm trying to say is, if you want your bird to do one thing, then say one thing, stick with it, if he doesn't do it, he doesn't get a treat, maybe he doesn't understand, but he will learn but only with time, patience and the same instructions over and over again.........parrot fashion.

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Re: Is it ever too late to train a parrot
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2011, 12:56:42 PM »

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Pat you will need to change pennys name or poor charlie is going to be confused


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Re: Is it ever too late to train a parrot
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2011, 02:16:07 PM »

I would say that very few birds are untrainable (maybe the odd wild caught one would be)
Bailey is still a baby really so shouldn't be that hard for her to adapt....and as said you have already made progress.
I don't really do any training with mine...they will both step up when I give them my hand, although I don't actually say step up...and I can get them both in or out of there cages no problem.
I am trying to learn them the "Be Quiet" command with no success at all  :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


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Re: Is It Ever Too Late To Train A Parrot?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2011, 05:10:16 PM »

Have you watched the aviator harness DVD? Not with a view to the using the harness but being able to touch her.
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