Target Training 101

Target Training 101

Hey there, fellow bird lovers! Chloe here, and today I want to talk to you about the basics of Target Training your pet parrot. Trust me; it’s a great way to strengthen communication and build a stronger bond with your feathered friend. It can also help with recall training and diffusing stressful or aggressive situations.

First things first, you'll need a high-reward treat that's broken up into small enough pieces to allow for multiple repetitions in a short amount of time. For smaller birds, you can use seeds or Millet, but for larger birds, safflower seeds or chopped-up walnuts or even hulled sunflower seeds work great.

Next, you want to ensure you're in a calm and safe environment where your bird can focus. A stable perch or tabletop should do the trick.

Now, onto the stick! You should introduce it slowly and give your bird time to get used to it. Birds are naturally curious and may test the stick out right away, but once they touch it lightly, make sure to use a verbal cue like "good boy” and promptly reward them with a treat. Timing is critical here, so practice the timing of when to use the verbal cue and when to deliver the treat before trying it out on your bird.

One of the most common mistakes people make is introducing the stick too quickly or removing it too slowly. Introducing it too quickly can scare your bird or even allow them to bite the stick. Removing it too slowly can confuse your parrot, causing them to continue biting the stick for a treat. So, a nice, slow, and controlled way of introducing and removing the stick is critical.

When giving your bird the target stick, keep it far enough away so they have to lean forward to touch it. This may even require them to touch it with their tongue, which is a good thing. And please remember to remove the stick as soon as they touch it to avoid any unwanted behaviour.

So there you have it, folks! Some basic tips and tricks to get started with Target Training your pet parrot. I encourage you to try it and see how it can improve communication and strengthen your bond with your feathered friend. And who knows, maybe someday you'll even have them doing tricks like a pro!

Happy training flocks

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