The Importance of Good Parrot Training
Somewhere in Hollywood is an archetype parrot who can speak just enough to give away his owner's secret identity or private love affair, and indeed, with proper parrot training, can do some pretty remarkable stunts. But are they just copying what we say? Or is there something going on in those bird brains?
Science tells us that two bird families, the parrots and the crows, are indeed much smarter than their other cousins. This may be because these two bird families developed ways of cooperating among themselves to search for food.
Parrot training experts and scientists believe that the African Grey is the most intelligent of this family. One particular African Grey, Alex at Brandeis University, is supposedly able to identify colors and some objects correctly around 80% of the time. Perhaps this parrot is learning. Or perhaps he sees visual clues from the researcher, like minute facial changes, that help point him to the right answer. Small parakeets can also have a vocabulary of hundreds of words.
Parrot fanciers say that the most loquacious birds are the ones that feel most a part of the "human flock". If a family has a single bird and spends lots of time playing with it, the bird will attempt to mimic the sounds that he hears all around him. Some dedicated pet fanciers have raised parrots that seemed to be exceptionally smart. Whether they are real thinkers, though, is not confirmed.
There is no doubt however, that parrot training for the parrot to be able to obey a few commands is possible and useful. For example, they can learn to step from your finger into their cage or vice versa. Certainly they can be taught to say a few words on command.
Some people say parrots are thinking probably like a four-year-old child. They like attention, activity, and toys. Parrot training in regards to getting the parrot to say its own name is a good first step. Then teach the parrot your name, so he can call you!
Repetition is the key to good parrot training, and experts advise that you should be sure to be consistent when you want to teach a parrot to say words. For example, every time you feed the bird, repeat the same phrase, "mmm, food", or whatever you like. Then the parrot will learn to associate those sounds with getting food, and he might just start to call when he's hungry.
Trainers also say never punish a bird; he may be smart, but not smart enough to attach negative actions with punishment. Instead, simply ignore the bird if he is doing something wrong.