If you’ve ever watched one of those delightful little Youtube videos featuring talking birds then you’ve probably wondered how those animals were actually trained, right? I mean, it’s almost magical to watch some bird behaving and interacting with human beings as if it were one of them, heck, sometimes they even dance! Well, believe it or not, teaching feathered friends like Parrots to talk isn’t all that difficult, it just takes some know-how and patience. First off you’ll need to be sure that your particular breed of bird is actually capable of speech (we’ll leave you to check on that, of course). Here is a detailed guide designed to help you turn your persistently silent parrot into a chatty little Polly…
Don’t be a stranger
The truth is, you’re not going to be able to train a parrot to talk unless you are diligent and frequently interacting with the bird. Make it a point to constantly speak to your little feathered friend and remember to use specific phrases. Naturally, you might make the mistake of training the animal to repeat the “wrong” words, which sometimes occurs (and can be most embarrassing too), so be mindful of what you do and say around the little guy.
Eye to eye
Speak with most professional bird trainers and they’ll likely tell you that eye to eye contact is very important when attempting to get a bird to actually learn to speak words. Needless to say, even though parrots are among some of the more intelligent animals species out there they don’t have particularly long attention spans. In other words, make it perfectly clear that you are indeed trying to communicate with your parrot and eventually they’ll catch on.
Repetition is key
In any type of animal training, repetition is very important. Eventually, the parrot will begin to identify certain phrases or words and might even start to associate them with certain items or actions. When you reach this point you really should keep on going, trying to further emphasize these examples until the bird starts to mimic you.
Reinforcement and conditioning
Ideally, you should be using certain phrases when you do certain things already (on a daily basis). For example, if you feed polly every day at 3 PM, be sure to say something like “time to eat”, and if possible, use your most excited voice too. This is a subtle way to train the bird to associate certain things with daily activities. Eventually, you’ll build up an impressive assortment of these phrases and your parrot will start to connect the dots. Each expression needn’t be complex though, even really simple commands like “bath” or “food” should be sufficient enough to get the job done. Just be mindful of HOW you say things and the speed in which you say them because again, they tend to imitate everything.
Polly want a cracker?
As with any type of animal training or conditioning, offering a parrot treats when they do something desirable sends an instant signal to them to do more of the same.