Why a Parrot Should be Taught to Step Up

A Well-Trained Parrot is a Well-Behaved Parrot

Parrots are intelligent creatures that can be taught to step up on command, responding to consistent verbal and physical signals. An owner should undertake hand-training because a well-trained parrot is much easier to control.

A well-trained parrot will step up when told to do so, instead of resisting by running away or biting. At all times, interactions between parrot and owner should be peaceful, with the owner in control of the situation.

A authority-based relationship that includes interactive behaviors will help to offset potential aggression problems that could develop in a mature parrot. A parrot should be taught to step up to foster a relationship that is peaceful and sustainable over the long-term.

Training a Bird to Climb Onto a Finger

Teaching a parrot to step up is an important exercise that makes for easy handling of a pet hookbill.

Importance of Step-Ups in Relation to Avian Behavior

Why a Parrot Should be Taught to Step Up: Pecking Order

Parrots, by nature, seek to understand their place in the pecking order. When they become part of a human family, that family becomes the parrot's perceived flock. It is important to teach a parrot that it does not rule the roost. Teaching a parrot to step up helps to curb dominant and aggressive behavior by establishing the desired power hierarchy and is one of the main reasons why a parrot should be taught to step up.

A Parrot Should be Taught to Step Up to Strengthen Avian-Human Bonds

A parrot's instincts will drive it to want to be with its owner twenty-four hours a day, engaging in side-by-side type activities. Establishing a loving relationship is good reason why a parrot should be taught to step up willingly and spend time with its owner. Receiving pets and food treats helps a parrot to build a warm and loving relationship with its owner. It becomes far easier to satisfy a parrot's need for companionship and attention if the human is able to handle the bird.

A Parrot Should be Taught to Step Up to Build Trust

Step-up training helps to foster trust between parrot and owner. A parrot is incredibly sensitive to its surroundings and to the humans it interacts with. Psittacines are prey animals and, as such, should be made to feel secure in their environment. Establishing mutual trust is a factor that plays a role in why a parrot should be taught to step up.

Why a Parrot Should be Taught to Step Up: Socialization

A socialized parrot is much easier to live with. In the course of each day, a parrot will need to be taken from its cage to its play area, from room to room or in the car. A parrot that has learned to step up when required and is comfortable with humans is also more likely to interact peacefully with visitors. Guests will be curious and fascinated by a parrot and delighted if it is willing to step up onto a hand, over lunging or biting at them.

A Hand-Trained Parrot and Vet Visits

One of the most important reasons a parrot should be taught to step up is that it may be necessary to take the bird to a veterinary clinic. A well-trained bird is easier to control in strange surroundings and when stressed. A parrot that has been taught to step up may be easier to handle if a veterinarian needs to examine it.

  • Before initiating step-up training, an owner should be in a dominant position, which means that the owner should be higher than the bird. This position will help to reinforce the owner's authority when teaching a parrot to step up.
  • A hand should be brought in gently under the parrot's belly, in front of and above its feet.

Trained to Hand Fosters Longterm Relationships

It can be seen that there are good reasons why a parrot should be taught to step up when required. An owner that spends time teaching a parrot to become trained to hand builds a foundation for a solid and mutually satisfying relationship with its avian companion.

© 2013 Athlyn Green

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    Athlyn Green profile image

    Athlyn Green887 Followers
    177 Articles

    Athlyn has shared her life with four parrots, written articles for avian publications, and helped owners address troubling parrot behaviors.

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