How to train my parrot to step up

by saif
(United Arab Emirates)

hi, I just want to know how can I train my African Grey to step up on my hand and understand it when I tell her to do it. I've been trying to teach her but I just can't.

Comments for How to train my parrot to step up

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Apr 03, 2010
How to train my parrot to step up
by: Linda

New birds are always afraid of our hands, so you'll need to use a shortened perch and train her to get up on it first.Make sure per is correct diameter of 1.5" to 2" for this work. I believe cage perches should be 1"--1.5" and made from natural wood branches so bird's feet get to relax.With natural wood branches, diameter can be 1" up to 2" for the Grey.

BEFORE ANY KIND OF TRAINING MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TAKEN BIRD TO AN AVIAN (BIRD) VET TO HAVE HIM CHECKED OUT FOR BACTERIAL/VIRAL INFECTIONS. This has to be done before any training of any kind can begin because a bird who is sick or getting that way cannot learn, and the training takes energy that bird does not have.

After bird has clean bill of health or medicine for any infections and/or parasites, here is how to work with him.

First, limit any training sessions to NO MORE THAN 10-15 MINUTES. You can do this a couple times a day, but make sure you do not work the bird more than the 10-15 minutes at a time as they lose interest, get tired, and will not learn if they are tired and may bite you to let you know that.

Using a perch, gently place it against lower abdomen above legs and say "UP" or "STEP UP" WHICHEVER ONE WORKS FOR YOU. Bird should step up on the stick, and you can then take bird from cage and put on an outside perch or top of cage. Once bird is out of cage, use the perch again and place it where you did before and say "UP". You DO NOT HAVE TO RAISE YOUR VOICE, AND DO NOT LOSE YOUR TEMPER EVER WITH YOUR BIRD. Birds learn at different rates, and are sometimes stubborn about things, so ALWAYS REMAIN CALM and give the "UP" request in a normal tone of voice. It is important to make sure perch is where bird can easily step up on it, so the lower abdomen directly above legs and feet giving bird room to be able to step up works. Work with bird the 10-15 minutes a couple times a day until he is stepping up quickly and appears to understand what is expected. Keep using the perch for another few days before you use your hand to take bird from cage making sure bird understands the "UP" or "STEP UP" request.

For further training, there are some links on this site for more training information and help.

Good Luck, and always be patient with your bird as they are very intelligent though it sometimes takes them a while to understand new things. NEVER LOSE YOUR PATIENCE OR TEMPER WITH YOUR BIRD OR WHATEVER TRUST YOU HAVE WORKED HARD TO HAVE WILL BE GONE. Trust is much harder to get back than to keep once it is given.


Apr 02, 2010
Step Up command
by: Anonymous

every time your african grey steps onto your hand say the command. ALWAYS say it when she climbs onto your hand, DO NOT just hold your hand out and say step up or she will not know if just standing there means step up. Eventually your bird will say step up whenever she wants to come out of the cage, especially an African Grey whos speaking abilities are definitely up there for parrot talking.

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