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How to Teach Your Parrot to Talk

Learn how to teach your parrot to talk from Parrot Wizard Michael Sazhin in this Howcast video.


This video is about how to teach your parrot to talk. First and foremost, it's really important to remember that not all parrots talk. A lot of people buy a parrot and they're disappointed to find out that that bird does nothing but make noise or that it never learns to say a single word. You've got to get a parrot because you enjoy having a bird and enjoy the way that they are, not just because you want a talking companion.

Keep in mind that parrots don't have a mute button like a TV. So, you get a parrot that you want to talk and maybe it will talk all day long, maybe it will scream all day long. You've got to be able to accept the noise and accept that the talking might just never come to them.

That said, some parrots do learn to talk very well. First, they learn to talk on their own. They learn by listening to things. So, the first thing you can do to encourage it to talk is to talk to the bird. Keep in mind that the words and phrases you use are all up for repetition. So, don't say things to your parrot that you wouldn't want it to say back.

To encourage your parrot to say specific phrases, pick five or ten phrases that you really want your parrot to repeat and try to say them on a regular basis. Try to talk to your parrot when it is in a heightened state. That's usually when their eyes are pinning or they're attentive. Oftentimes, this is when you just walk in the door, the parrots are excited. The first thing that most parrots learn to say is hello because that's the first thing that they hear whenever someone walks into a room, and that's when they're excited to see someone new.

Some parrots talk in a more calm environment when they think no one's looking. African grays, Capes and other parrots like that are more shy and will tend to talk in their cages. Meanwhile, some other parrots are more bold and love the attention. Amazons and cockatoos are more prone to talking in person and for attention instead.

Lastly, you can try to capture your parrot's vocalizations on cue. The way to get your parrot to say what it says when you want it to say it is to capture it on cue using a clicker. Whenever you hear your parrot saying the phrase that it learned that you want it to say, click the clicker and go and give it a treat.

Over time, the parrot's going to learn to say that phrase more and more often. What you're going to try to do is predict when your parrot's going to say it, and say your cue. For example, if you want to say "hello" and you want your parrot to say "what'cha doing" in return, whenever your parrot says, "what'cha doing" respond with "hello" and then give it a treat. Over time, since it's going to be saying it over and over again, first you say 'hello' and if it responds back with "what'cha doing" you can go and give it the treat.

If it doesn't, then keep saying 'hello' until is says the response and then you'll have the reason to click and give it a treat. Just remember, not all parrots are going to learn to talk. However, the more you talk to them, the better their chances of picking some talking up are.

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