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How to Train Your Bird to Wave Hello

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How to Train Your Bird to Wave Hello

When your bird raises his foot in response to your finger, he has completed the wave command.

(c) 2009 Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.
Training your pet bird to wave hello is a great way to bond with your bird and offer him/her some extra mental stimulation. On top of that, having a bird that can do tricks is fun! Try your hand at teaching your bird this easy wave and see for yourself how fun it is to train your own parrot.

This trick is for those bird owners who have already taught their birds the "Step Up Command". Birds that can already reliably step up are sure to pick up waving quickly and easily.

Prepare for Your Training Session

  • Choose a proper training spot. It's important to choose a proper place for your training session to get the maximum results from the work you do with your bird. For training, go to a quiet room away from the bird's cage -- a neutral area. Choosing a room that the bird is less familiar with will make him more cooperative during training.

  • Have a perch for your bird to sit on. In order to teach this trick properly, your bird must have a proper place to perch. Ideally, this would be a t-perch or playstand that the bird is comfortable with.

  • Be ready with delicious treats. Have a handful of your bird's favorite treats ready to reward your pet for a job well done. Try to make sure that any treats you use for training are small, soft, and extremely delicious. Using smaller treats means that your bird won't get filled up too quickly, and using a soft treat (such as fruit or veggies) will mean that the bird can consume it quickly, making it easier for you to move on in your training session.

  • Remember to keep it short and sweet. Training should be a fun and positive experience for your bird. It should never feel like work! Keep your training sessions short and game-like so that your pet doesn't lose interest. Always remember to end your training sessions on a positive note -- your bird will then look forward to training again in the future.

Train that Bird!

Start by placing your bird on his perch in front of you. Spend a few moments petting him and speaking to him softly. Once your bird seems comfortable in the training space, you can begin teaching him the trick.
  • Step 1: Give the Wave command. Face your bird and say "wave" in a pleasant voice. This usually works best if you try to say the word as you would in normal conversation.

  • Step 2: Extend a finger toward your bird. This is where knowing the Step Up command comes in handy. If your bird already steps up for you, he will recognize your finger coming toward him and lift a foot to step onto it. When the bird lifts his foot, do not allow him to step onto your finger. Instead, slowly pull the finger away.

  • Step 3: Praise your bird. If your bird has lifted his foot in the air, he has essentially completed the wave command. Give the bird a treat and praise him lavishly.

  • Step 4: Repeat, repeat, repeat! Repeat steps 1-3 for about 15 minutes or until your bird loses interest. This concludes your training session! If you keep working at it, eventually your bird will automatically raise his foot when you ask him to wave, resulting in one of the cutest and easiest bird tricks that you can teach your feathered friend. Keep up daily training sessions until your parrot is a waving pro!
Many parrots will learn how to wave hello in only a few training sessions; some take a little longer. Don't give up on your pet if he or she doesn't pick up the trick in the first few tries! Parrots are highly intelligent and will respond to training in time. Keep working at it and your bird will eventually reward you with a stellar performance!
Related Video
Train a Bird to Step Up
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