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Bird Training

Bird Training:

Pet bird training is an important part of owning a pet bird.

Although most people tend to see training as some sort of accessory, it is in fact essential in order to have a happy, healthy bird. This is because no bird is naturally equipped to live and interact with humans. Natural responses that would be essential for survival in the wild – such as flying from a threat, screeching, pecking, and biting – tend to be undesirable in a human household, and could also be dangerous, if not for the bird itself then for the owner. Training helps the bird adapt to life in a human family, and helps to build trust between the bird and its owner, as well as humans in general, although only to a certain extent.

Training also helps to engage a pet bird. In the wild, there is a lot that a bird needs to do in order to survive, and there is also plenty it can do to amuse itself. As a pet, many of these opportunities and compulsions are non existent. As a result, numerous behavioral problems can erupt.

Training helps to avoid this by challenging and entertaining a house bound bird.

The best way to train any animal is through positive reinforcement. This is not only more humane, but more practical and effective than other approaches that use negative reinforcement or punishment. A very important element in positive reinforcement is rewards – in pet bird training, the simplest and most effective reward is usually food. Find the food that your bird likes best, and use that food in your training. In addition, praise is also very important, and it will also help tremendously if you use a clicker. In conjunction, food, praise, and a click will effectively communicate appreciation when the bird performs the correct action. Of course, the actual process will usually be much slower and more complex than that. There are several things that you need to keep in mind for your training to be successful. Train in quiet and familiar place, so that you not only have the bird’s attention, but it also feels at ease. Patience is also very important – the training must proceed in very small steps, and each step could take days to be completed. Finally, remember that each bird is different, and will have different strengths, interests, and capabilities.

For more in depth bird training tips, you might feel the need for a book, CD, or perhaps even a professional trainer, at least in the beginning. Do not hesitate to look for help from these sources.
  Submitted on July 13, 2010  

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