Tips for Training Your Parrot to Talk

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February 24, 2011
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Amazona aestivaA parrot that has been trained to talk and can respond to their owner is a dream for many who love them. Parrots are excellent at mimicking however, some never learn to speak. If you are a parrot parent and have been thinking of trying to get yours to talk, here’s a few things to try and facts to know about these wonderful creatures.

Most parrots that learn to speak tend to fall into one of three categories:

1. Parrots kept alone with humans

2. Parrots kept with other parrots that already talk

3. Members of a species that are pre-dispositioned to learn a few words such as the Yellow-Naped Amazon, Mexican Double Yellow-Head Amazon, African Gray Parrot, and Blue Fronted Amazon

When training your parrot to talk you have to decide what kind of speech you’re going for – imitative or responsive. Imitative is when the trainer says a word and the parrots says it back. Responsive is when the trainer asks a questions and the parrots answer. Responsive is way cooler but also way harder.

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

1. When trying to teach your bird to speak start with imitative speech.

2. Choose a simple word.

3. Do not try to teach you parrot multiple words immediately, he’ll get confused.

4. Repeat the word firmly, slowly, and distinctly every few seconds until your bird makes a sound in response. Try “Hi” as the first word.

6. Reward your bird with a treat as soon as it makes a sound.

7. Repeat.

8. Once your parrot has learned to repeat one word consistently then you can start on a new word.

Once your parrot has mastered a few words you can move onto teaching him to respond:

1. Teach it to imitate the response or the answer first.

2. Once it has mastered the response then begin asking the question.

3. Prompt your bird to say the response.

4. Reward.

5. Repeat.

6. Remember that this is much harder to learn and will probably take a longer time for your parrot to get it right.

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