What You Don’t See in Parrot Training Videos

May 16, 2008

Sometimes you can get discouraged watching parrot training videos. Those birds always seem to do all the tricks perfectly (despite the trainer’s claim they’re not even tame… yeah right) while our own training efforts make us wonder if there’s something wrong with our birds… or us.

The truth is, that no bird knows how to do every trick the first time we try to teach it. And even a fairly well trained parrot can have an off day. What’s important to remember is that that’s perfectly okay. We’re not dealing with matters of life or death; we’re just working on some fun tricks. So if your parrot isn’t in the mood to practice his tricks, try again some other time.

Just to show you what happens “behind the scenes” of parrot training videos, here’s what you usually don’t see (because it gets edited out):

We did clicker training for 3 minutes. The first minute went well, then something set Stewie off and I spent the next 2 minutes (the part shown in the above video) trying to get his attention back on training. Eventually I decided to end the session and let him do his own thing.

Just as I don’t force him to train when he’s not in the mood, I also don’t bother training when I’m not in the mood. Remember, training is supposed to be fun! Your training sessions will be much more rewarding if it’s something you do because you both want to, not because you think you should stick to some sort of schedule.


On a related subject, please check out this blog post about unscrupulous marketing tactics by some parrot trainers.



  1. Raphael, my sunny sunny sun has developed laryngitis I think. He normally has a very loud squak when he warns me about an invader, but for the last couple of days all he can manage is a soft chirp. from reading all the comments it may be normal. Guess I shall just have to wait and see. Any other ideas? Thanks.

    • I don’t know anything about laryngitis in birds (??) but my suggestion is to get him to the vet. It’s one thing to train a bird to not scream, but if your former screamer all of a sudden *can’t* make noise, that sounds serious. Please have him checked out by a qualified professional (i.e., an avian vet) as this might be a symptom of illness.

    • My Sun Conure is showing the same larngitis, other than that she’s eating and seems fine. What happened to your Raphael? What did you do??

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