How to Target Train Your Parrot | Parrot Training

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Target training your parrot is one of the most useful skills you can teach to your bird. What you simply use is a target stick. This happens to be a chopstick, but you can just as well use a wooden dowel. Avoid using pens and things like that, because it may be toxic. Also, using your finger is not the best idea because the bird ends up touching it. You don’t want to necessarily teach your bird to bite your finger. So, a target stick is the best method to use.

Then, I’m going to use my clicker, which makes a clicking sound. I’m going to click whenever the bird touches the target stick and give it a reward. At first, when you’re starting to teach your bird a target, it doesn’t know what a stick is. Luckily, most parrots touch anything you put in front of their beak. When you put that target stick in front of their beak, they may just naturally touch it or play it. Right as they touch it, you’re going to click your clicker and give it a treat to teach it that touching the target stick is what you want it to do.


If your parrot is scared of the target stick, or running away, you can just patiently leave the target stick in front of the bird and wait for the bird to come toward the stick. Even if the bird just inadvertently by accident turns to face the stick or walks in that direction without touching it, if it’s moving towards the stick, that’s progress. Click and give a treat.

Eventually, you’re going to be able to direct your parrot with the target stick and have it turn its head or take a step to touch it. Over time you’re going to be able to use that target stick to teach that parrot to step up and to do other tricks, like this.

Target. Good bird.

Since the parrot is focused on targeting to the stick, they don’t quite notice your hands there as much. They’re less likely to bite since their attention is captivated on the target. They’re forced to step on your hand and touch the stick.

The target stick not only teaches your bird to follow and touch, it also teaches your parrot how to learn. Since it’s such an easy behavior for your parrot to pick up, it’s a great trick to begin with.

Also, it’s useful for teaching additional tricks to parrots, such as turn around by having them follow the target stick.

Target. Good boy.

That’s how you target train your parrot.

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12 Responses

  1. Bogdan karpovich
    | Reply

    Let's go to woodprix website, if you want to learn how to build it yourself.

  2. Issa AlBalushi
    | Reply

    Please can you share a video about how to train your parrot to perch on hand

  3. Aynonn
    | Reply

    Thats one talkative parrot

  4. Flame the Fire fox
    | Reply

    Were do you get the target stick?

  5. Creative Thinker
    | Reply

    Hello howcast

    I have two cockatiels one is male one is female but the male bites and is scared,so how do I stop that.btw he perches on my hand or finger and I don't know why he is like that so plz help

    Yours sincerely
    Your fan

  6. Lucy Boulton
    | Reply

    My budgie is scared of it and will just fly away does anyone have any tips

  7. 7HumanSouls
    | Reply

    Is the same for pet birds? Sorry if its obvious i just want to make sure!

  8. Jason Knight
    | Reply

    ta.. target training. ! dedšŸ˜€

  9. Sadman Sajid khan
    | Reply

    what if i dont have a clicker??

  10. Siva sundhari
    | Reply

    can I use a toothpick

  11. jacinta m
    | Reply

    target training is helping me a lot!! thanks for this video!! this is day one of me training rio to let me touch him , he hated being touched under the wings and anywhere on his body except his head . after doing this there is aldready progress from day one. this is going to take weeks and months but i m going to do this everyday with him so i can put the harness for him !!! thanks again parrot wizard!! and howcast too!!

  12. Jedediah Huss
    | Reply

    What is the training food you use and where can I get it?

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