What you need to know about training

Besides humans, the parrot is the only animal that has the power of speech. Its mesmerizing qualities and attractive colors have caught the attention of many animal lovers. There are many parrot species but the African Gray parrot is the most popular one due to its high intelligence and ability to understand human speech and imitate various sounds. They can be temperamental and so require enough attention. If this bird lacks proper attention, it would start to pluck feathers. Providing the bird with toys can terminate boredom and feather plucking. To get the most of out of these birds, you need to train them using the following training tips.


Before bringing this bird home, install a cage that it can dwell in. Gray parrots are very temperamental and so a proper cage will prevent them from taking flight. A strong bond between the bird and the owner will make training easier. They tend to get attached to only one family member and so you should introduce it to other members of the family too. Spending at least one hour with the African Gray will make it easy for the bird to get acquainted with its environment.

Bonding video

Pick up its favorite treats as you may use them while teaching the bird some tricks. Treating the parrot when it obeys a command will encourage it to listen to you and perform your commands well. The bird should be well acquainted with the trainer’s touch so that it can accept regular petting and handling. Provide the bird with some treats and then pat it until it’s comfortable and relaxed. You can also offer treats to keep your bird calm. Continuous handling may irritate your bird leading to bad behavior and so treat the parrot provided it behaves well.

Training to Talk

The Gray parrot can mimic any sound. Therefore, they use this skill as a weapon to divert the attention of predators and save themselves. The parrots will start talking when they turn a year old. Teaching them to talk requires a lot of time, patience and efforts. The first step is to build a strong bond so that it can trust you. To make the parrot talk, pick some simple words but be patient as the bird will take time to understand and register the words. A quiet environment and speech clarity will help the parrot master the language faster. Therefore, choose a quiet place to train your bird.

How to train your african grey parrot to talk video

Continue repeating the words while maintaining eye contact to strengthen the bond between you and the bird. Praising the bird whenever it tries to imitate sounds is a perfect way to encourage and motivate the parrot to follow your commands. After the parrot masters a word, follow the same procedure and move on to the next one. As the bird continues to master more words, you can start teaching him phrases.

Toilet Manners

Teaching a Gray parrot some toilet manners is essential to avoid a messy home. Teach the bird to potty in the appropriate place, which may be on the perch or in its cage. If the parrot settles in the wrong place, pick it up gently and then put it in the right place where it’s allowed to potty. Repeat this procedure until the parrot understands the master’s wish.

Funny video about potty trained parrot

How to train not to bite

Since African gray parrots are very bright, they often try to assert themselves by biting. However, you can train your African grey not to bite.

How to Train Parrots to Stop Biting

The first step is to understand why the bird is biting. If the biting is out of fear, find out what made it afraid and then avoid exposing the parrot to it. If the bird bites you, calmly and firmly say No and then put it on the floor immediately. A parrot is a prey animal and so it will feel insecure when it’s not off the ground. Repeat this procedure any time the bird tries to bite you.


Step-up involves teaching the bird to settle on the hand or perch. Start by opening the cage and placing the hand in the front and then keep repeating “Step-up” until the bird tries to step-up. Praising its efforts is necessary. Continue repeating the command until the bird learns to step-up on the perch or hand.

Teaching Parrots to Step Up and Down

17 thoughts on “What you need to know about training

  1. sameer parkar

    Hi I wanted asked a question I have just bought a african grey it’s been a month & now they are about 8 month old when ever I try to make them step up they run from me please advise for further training

    Sameer parkar

  2. Dany

    Hello.i purchased an african grey parrot from about 3 days ,it was talking her name and whistling when i ve test it from where i have purchase it.
    now the bird is at my home but always whistling different tones at loud voice and disturbing ,the bird just say his name”riko” from time to time while whistling but she always concentrate on whistling different sounds at very loud voice.the bird doesn t attack anyone ,doesn t scream ,and she s not biting anyone she likes all the people and she loves if i touch her and somebody else touch her ,she play with me ,she never bits and i put my finger in her mouth too.
    Please i want to know how to stop these disturbing loud whistles and let her speak more words else than her name .thank you

  3. feisal

    I have an african grey parrot a one and half year now but any time she wants to bite me shout me and I try to love and to be friend she dont want.

  4. ini

    You should whistle along with her dany and say her name along with her. Then introduce new words because she knows that whatever you say, she should say too but it may take several training sessions

  5. Kevin dunn

    had my cag 3 days now and very worried. When i got him he was talking and on the owners hand eating nuts. Since coming home him hasn’t eatin anything and i go within 2 foot of him he growls and is shaking. Please some advice would be great

  6. Andy

    Congos from what i have researched are not easy going to changes, you must slowly move closer. It may take days to do so. Once the Congo growls and starts to quiver stop, back up until he stops. Talk, sing and so forth with your congo. Over time you will be able to work closer to him, but i highly recommend researching behaviors and body language and diets. As your going to have to provide him food regardless. Greys are not the type of parrot to relax easy or quickly.

  7. maryam

    Hi I have a seven month old grey and he only calls his name.. and I want he to talk more word. Thanks

    1. Beth

      I talk to my birds a lot, repeating phrases over and over. I also leave classical music on when I leave and now my Sweetpea can sing some of it to me…

  8. Beth

    We just acquired a 10 year old African grey. He bites and hasnt been handled , had never had veggies, and had thr manners of a goat…
    He now eats veggies, his manners are a work in progress ” he immatates belching” .. however I am still having a lot of issues with him wanting to bite, I can touch his feet now but only if I distract him with a treat..
    I need help. How do I teach him he can trust me so I can hold him… he sees me walk around with my cockatiel on my shoulder, but he just will not let me touch him, and its heartbreaking..
    His prior owner wasnt mean, nor the person before that “he was passed between several family members before he arrived here”
    Any help would be appreciated

  9. vahid

    i have got a nice gray parrot but i can not teach step up command to him when i close my hand to him he bring down his head for coddling and if i make it closer he put away my hand by his beak so plz help me to start step up command

  10. Patricia

    Any body have knowledge as to what age I should introduce rope perch? I have a 3 month African Grey.

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  12. Yolande

    I have bought a 5yr old grey about 2-3 months ago.The lady at the petshop told me that she is very tame and does not bite as it was 2 eldery people’s grey.The next day I went back to buy her but the previous day there were an incident with her.A drunk guy were at the petshop and he also wanted to buy her and the lady of the petshop took her put of the cage as the guy wanted to touch her and make contact with the grey,so what exactly happened I don’t know.The lady of the petshop told me that the drunk guy was to harsh on the grey so she bit him and he never bought her,so I did.Now she always wants to bite me and my husband even if we want to give her fresh food and water.She is still tame though,she talks alot and take treats from us through the cage.(she do so on a very proper manner and thank you for it)So now I want to know how am I going to get her not to bite?She has bit me twice on both hands (like in attacking mode)blood has came out from where she has bit me.I also tried to tell no when ever she tries to bite me,but it seems that it does not work.Please,I need some proper advice on how to learn her not to bite.
    I also bought a 4 month grey 2 days ago which is in another cage and he is doing very well.

    1. answer to yolande s question

      hey yolande i know how to make him stop biting u. u should put your finger next to him but outside the cage then if he puts his head down then it means he wants to get peted. bye!

  13. aduq

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    coming out with some great stuff.i shared this on my facebook and my followers love it!keep up the good work :

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