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Video:Train a Bird to Step Up

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In this video, learn how to teach your parrot to step up, and the best way to reward your bird.See Transcript

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Transcript:Train a Bird to Step Up

Hi, my name is Lisa Bono.  I'm associate certified parrot behavior consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.  I own the Platinum Parrot in Barnegat, New Jersey and I'm here for About.com to show you how to train your parrot to step up.

How to Train Your Parrot to Step Up

This is Benny, he is a black-headed Caique. He is approximately 8 years old and when you're working with the bird, what you want to do is you give him your hand, he got up a little quick but you give him your hand, you usually put it right in the middle of their chest, come on sweetheart. You tell him up, up, up, good boy a lot of times.  What you can do is reward them and giving him a nut.

When you want him to step down, you want him to step up on to something. You don't put him down backwards. You don't want to offer your arm because it's too big for him to really step up on and grab and hold on securely. Same thing if you offer like this, it would be like stepping on a balance beam.

This is Naynay. He is a Congo African Grey. He is approximately 25 years old. You can see from his body language, he is a little anxious. He may not want to step up, so some of the classic signs of not wanting to step up, you'll see him being a little agitated. You could see his head being down.  Up, up, up.  No?  One thing you could do with the bird if you're trying to work with them and they really don't want to get up, you can distract them, you can use your other hand but he is just a little agitated today. 

You always want to end your training on a positive note. Perhaps, he is just not ready to work yet. Try it again, ready, up, come on, good boy. We will do it again.  Come on up, up sweetheart, up good boy.  Once you get them used to doing that, you can gently put your thumb over their toe and that kind of get stabilizes them and they get a little bit more secure. What you can do after that is you hold them a little bit closer to your chest and in this way, they feel secure.  You can move about the house without them feeling like they're going to fall off or get hurt.  Good boy.  Good boy. 

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