I was recently asked on one of my parrot taming webinars a great question about “How To Tame A Parrotlet” that I thought I’d share with you…
Hi Guys, Kermit is my Mom’s 9 year-old parrotlet and I have “inherited” her. As Mom’s health has deteriorated over the past 6 years, Kermit has been confined to her cage and only given basic care. In an effort to improve her quality of life, I’d like to re-tame her, but so far all my efforts have resulted in a frightened little bird who seems to comfort herself by pulling her chest and back feathers out. I’ve just started your Power Pause while offering a branch of millet and the progress, if any, has been SLOW. Am I beating my head against a wall here? My vet doesn’t seem to think a mature bird can be tamed but I hate to give up. Thanks for any suggestions! Liz
Where you able to spot why Liz is making slow progress with how to tame her parrotlet?
Let’s see if you spotted the same problem that I did?
What I noticed from Liz’s email was that she says she JUST started the Power Pause technique while offering millet.
The problem with that is that the Power Pause technique is a NO FOOD training method. So Liz is actually attempting to use two training methods at the same time, and it’s NEVER going to tame her Parrotlet… there’s just too much fear.
Well I shouldn’t say never, it would work with a Parrotlet who has almost no fear issues and who’s nearly tame already, but it won’t work with a bird who’s already frightened.
Because usually a frightened parrotlet get’s stressed out when you get close enough to feed it it’s treat. Which means EVERY training session is at least a little bit scary.
If Liz continues to train like this, she will train her bird to hate training and make her problem worse.
Let me put it this way…
I want you to think of the one thing in life you’re most afraid of, go ahead and think of it now…
Ok, got it?
Now imagine that every time you have to go make dinner you CAN’T have dinner unless you’re also doing the thing you fear most at the same time.
Let’s say the thing you fear most in the world is spending 1 on 1 time with your Mother In Law. He he he. (evil I know)
So now every night before dinner you have to call up your Mother in Law and invite her over to have dinner… JUST the two of you. No spouse to hide behind. And then sit there as she tells you how inadequate you are and how wonderful her son or daughter is?
And you have to do this for the unforeseeable future.
Let me ask you… what happened to how much you now like dinner time?
Depending on your relationship with your Mother in Law, and statistically 50% of mother in laws are certifiably insane… you very quickly start to loathe dinner time.
And to pour even more salt in this festering wound, not only do you start to hate dinner more and more, but the level of bitterness towards your Mother in Law doesn’t just stay the same, it GROWS right?
Well this is how FEARFUL birds who don’t like you to touch them feel about YOU feeding them all the time. It typically only makes them like you LESS!
So what do you do?
You do what I plan on doing with my son or daughter in laws some day… I’m going to try my damnedest to find out why my son or daughter in law loves to do, and make it a priority to engage in that activity with them cheerfully! I don’t care if it’s underwater basket weaving, I’ll learn how to do it (and like it) if it means that my children’s spouse ends up liking me versus spending every waking day trying to avoid me.
So the question is, what does your parrotlet LIKE to do?
Whatever it is, start dropping a tasty treat in his bowl every time he does something HE likes to do, and pretty soon he’s going to start realizing that you’re not so bad after all. But force him to do what you want him to do, and he’ll turn out like a bitter, mother-in-law hating child who despises you.
If you’re looking for the safest bet on what you can start rewarding your parrotlet for doing, talking is one of those things parrots typically only do when they are happy.
So if you haven’t already done it, make a commitment to yourself that you are going to drop a treat into your birds bowl, EVERY time you hear him talking for the next week.
If you’ll do that one thing, you’ll be SHOCKED at how much more tame your bird is around you in just 7 days.
But I have to warn you…
While getting him to like you coming to give him a treat and being near you is a good step, you’ll jack everything up if you don’t use a set of different techniques to get him to truly become tame.
Bridging that gap of getting him to do stuff he already likes to do to earn his trust, and then asking him to take a leap of faith and do something out of his comfort zone is where the real ART of parrot training comes into play.
And it’s those precise methods that we show you how to do in our Parrotlet taming course.
So if you’d like to master those techniques I’d recommend choosing one of these two courses:
For Parrotlets with Mild Fear:
Taming, Training & Tricks For Parrots
For Parrotlets with Severe Fear:
Total Parrot Transformation DVD Series