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Training a Parrot to Step Up

Training Your Parrot To Step Up

Training your parrot to step up is the primer training exercise for bonding with your pet and teaching him to look to you for "advice" on what behavior is acceptable in your home. Step Up can be taught in 2-3 sessions but should be consistently reinforced and retaught throughout your parrot's lifespan.  You can use these same strategies to teach your bird to step up on a stick, too.  

If you've adopted or rehomed a parrot, teaching basic and advanced bird tricks will help your bird gain trust in you and bond faster.  We always recommend Clicker Training for Birds which emphasizes a positive approach. 

Prerequisite Bird Trick: None.  Step Up is considered to be the primer bird training trick.

Prerequisite Bird Supplies: Bird training perch, clicker and bird treats

Prepare Your Bird Training Setting

Choose a quiet place to train your bird. Reduce distractions by choosing a quiet place to train your bird. Choose a place where your bird can't see it's cage.

Use a Bird Training Perch.A simple, portable bird training perch is best. Again, reduce the distraction of bird training on your socialization bird stand.

Have easy to administer Bird Treats. Proven bird training research shows that Clicker Training Techniques for Birds techniques work best.  That means, you CLICK when the desired behavior occurs and IMMEDIATELY deliver a  bird treat that is appropriate for the birds size.

Keep training short and sweet. Each bird training session must be short and sweet to keep your bird engaged. Birds learn best when bird training is fun. Anticipate that your bird will have the same attention span as a 2 year old child - 30 -45 seconds - unless it has delicious rewards delivered at a quick pace.  Any negativity will make your bird lose interest.End your training session with reward for desired behavior so your bird anticipates fun and success each time it is on it's bird training perch. 

Train Your Parrot!

Perch your parrot on it's Bird Training Stand and insure him that the training session will be positive and fun by talking in a gentle, but perky voice tone. Start bird training when your bird is attentive.

  • Step 1: Give the verbal "Step Up" command. Facing your parrot, say "Step Up!" in the same voice tone that you'll use when you want your bird to Step Up on a day to day basis.  
  • Step 2: Present the visual "Step Up" command. Usually, this is a finger for a smaller bird and a forearm for a very large bird. Touch your birds belly gently to throw it enough off balance that it lifts one foot onto your out-stretched finger or forearm- Click - Treat!
  • Step 3: Present the visual "Step Up" command. Again, a finger for a smaller bird and a forearm for a very large bird. Touch your birds belly gently to throw it enough off balance that it steps up with both feet onto your out-stretched finger or forearm- Click and treat!
  • Step 4: Repeat several times! Repeat steps 1-3 for 5-10 minutes or until just before your bird loses interest to make "stepping up" a habit.
  • Step 5: Step up on a stick.Teaching your bird to step up on a stick using the same techniques in steps 1-5 will pay dividends when your bird is hormonal or if you need to have a pet sitter come care for your bird.

Most parrots learn to step up in 1 - 3 training sessions but don't be disappointed if it takes longer. If your bird takes longer consider your voice tone, how quickly you deliver bird treats and how long your training sessions are.  Also, keep in mind that a special needs bird may need more positive, yet shorter bird training sessions.

Parrots are highly intelligent and respond to short yet positive bird training which includes favorite bird treats.  Join an online "Clicker Training Group" for helpful tips and advice on more advanced tricks..


Join Facebook Group for Feather Plucking Parrots