How to Get Your Parrot to Be Nice to Strangers

Learn how to get your parrot to be nicer to people he doesn't know from Parrot Wizard Michael Sazhin in this Howcast video.

Michael: It’s no big secret the training techniques you’ve done on your own pay off very well with strangers. If your parrot has learned to target and to do tricks, it’s great to have the parrot do that with strangers to become more familiar with them. Since those were some of the key elements that helped you build a relationship with your parrot to begin with, to have others interact with the parrot in a similar manner is very effective as well.

So, what I’ll do is I’ll have my parrot step up. And to introduce to the stranger, we’re just going to do fun stuff together. I’ll do some tricks with her, you’ll do some tricks with her, and we’re just going to make sure she’s enjoying the process of doing things she’s familiar with.

Alright. Wave. Wave. Good bird. Shake wings. Wings. Alright. Good bird. Now, I’m going to have you ask her to do some of those same tricks. Have her do one trick and then you can give her the treat when she’s done.

Female: Wave.

Michael: Good bird.

So, by getting your parrot to do tricks for strangers, not only is it fun and exciting for strangers to be able to see those tricks, it’s also an easygoing, hands-off experience to get the parrot to participate.

What I also like to do is to use tricks as an excuse to get the parrot to step up on a stranger’s hands. If the parrot has to step up on the strangers hands to get the treat or to do the trick, it just becomes a natural part of the process, without the parrot worrying about it too much.

So, what we’re going to have her do is, I’m going to have her step up onto your hand for the opportunity to do a wave. So, once she steps up on your hand, you’re just going to ask her to wave, like this. Wave. Good bird. Alright. So, I’m going to have her step up, and use your other hand to cue her to do the trick.

Female: Wave.

Michael: That’s very good. Good bird. And I’ll take her back, or she can stay on there.

The more time your parrot spends with strangers in a positive light, the more your parrot will be okay with strangers. It’s very important that all the interactions your parrot has with strangers are a good one. Naturally, strangers are generally a bad thing for parrots. They come to your house. They may behave erratically. They may handle the bird in the wrong way.

If nothing else, they’re just diverting your attention away from your bird. So, they’re competing for attention. So, by turning your experience with guests and strangers into a positive one, you can try to overcome some of those negativities of having other people invade the parrot’s home.