How to Teach Your Pet Bird to Talk

birds talk 1

If you want to teach your bird how to talk, there are certain steps that you will have to take.

It is crucial that you follow a certain process when trying to do this so that you are as effective as possible.

Some birds are better talkers than others, so you need to keep this in mind.

1. Consider Your Bird’s Age and Species

The earlier you start training your bird to talk, the easier it is going to be. For example, the African Grey and Eclectus parrots are natural speakers, but they do require at least some amount of training. There are also birds that don’t talk at all, so you need to keep that in mind.

2. Building Trust

It is crucial that you establish at least a minimal bond with your bird before you start trying to teach it any words or phrases. Your pet needs to trust you completely before you can begin doing this. This could take a little while, depending on the type of bird you have. The fact is that some of these animals form a bond with their owners faster than others.

parrots talk 2

3. Connecting Your Words with Actions

One of the easiest and most effective methods for training your bird to speak is to associate certain actions with specific words. For example, you can wave your hand in front of the bird every time you say “hello”. You can also cover its cage just before telling it “good night”. This can help the bird pick up on which words you want it to repeat fairly quickly. After all, birds are visual learners.

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4. Choose Easy-to-Say Words

There are definitely going to be some words that are easier than others for your bird to repeat. Some of these phrases include “good boy” and “bye bye”. The easier it is for them to form these words with their tongue and throat, the faster they will pick up on them. You want to make this process as easy as possible for your pet.

5. Keep Repeating the Same Words

Make sure that you keep repeating the words you want your bird to say back to you multiple times each day. This is usually very effective when training most birds how to speak. Many of these animals just naturally pick up on sounds, words and phrases they hear on a daily basis. This means that the more often they hear these words, the more likely they are to say them.

6. Use Positive Reinforcement

You’ll want to get visibly excited and praise your bird when it finally says a word or phrase you want it to. This positive reinforcement can work wonders when it comes to training your bird to do this. These animals tend to respond very well to this method.

You should also consider giving your bird a treat when it begins talking back. This will give it the motivation to keep doing this. Make sure that you choose a delicious fruit, vegetable or even insect that you know it will enjoy.

parrots talk to eachother

7. Let a Talking Bird Spend time with a Non-Talking Bird

If you have one bird in your house that has started talking and another you want to train, you should let them spend some time together. The more these two birds are near each other, the more likely it is that the non-talking bird will start speaking. 

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When you already have a bird that says everything you are trying to teach the new one, this method makes a lot of sense. Just make sure that they are both friendly birds that aren’t going to fight with each other. You don’t even necessarily need to have them in the same cage though.

8. You Don’t have to Tame it First

Even pet birds that are hardly tame at all can still learn how to speak, so you won’t need to do this beforehand. You can actually sing with certain untamed birds, including parrots. While it doesn’t have to be tame, it might help if you have a nice voice.

9. Say Each Word Clearly

The only way that your bird is going to learn all of the words and/or phrases you want it to is if you speak them clearly. If you are mumbling any of these words, your bird will most likely have trouble with them. 

The more clearly you say them, the clearer they are going to be. Remember to enunciate as much as possible while you are still in the training stage. This can go a long way towards making a lot of progress with your bird in a short amount of time.

10. Ignore Bad Words

If you find that your bird starts repeating any words you don’t want it to say, simply ignore it. You don’t want to give it any type of feedback, as it could reinforce their tendency to say the word.

Either a positive or negative reaction could cause your bird to do this, so you want to remain as neutral as possible. It can be tempting to scold your bird in this instances, but you’ll want to avoid doing this altogether.

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  • First you will need to consider the age and species of your bird. Some of these animals are better talkers naturally.
  • The younger you start with training your bird to speak, the easier it is going to be as a whole.
  • It is absolutely vital that you establish a trusting bond with your pet bird before you begin training them to talk.
  • Keep repeating the words you want them to learn each day as much as possible to increase your chances of success.
  • Make sure that you use plenty of positive reinforcement, giving your bird praise and even treats when it says the right words and phrases.
  • Avoid using any sort of negative reinforcement, as it could easily backfire in one way or another.
  • You’ll want to say each word as clearly as possible so that your bird understands what you want it to say.
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