How to Pet a Parrot | Parrot Training

How to Pet a Parrot | Parrot Training

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This video is about how to pet your parrot. And many people don’t realize that birds can actually be really cuddly animals and they can enjoy head scratches. But, unlike a dog, they like it in a slightly different way.

So, come on over here, birdy. They like to be pet against their feathers like this. And what I like to call this is petting etiquette. Instead of just petting your bird whenever it wants and letting it use its beak to dictate where and when you pet it, I teach them petting etiquette, where I keep their beak between my fingers while I pet their head. This wa,y if I hit a spot that they don’t like, they can’t bite me and they can’t be bossy about which spots I do and don’t.

They have to take all or nothing. So, if they enjoy the petting, then they’re going to just keep their beak between my fingers and let me scratch them all over their heads. They also really enjoy getting scratched behind the ears. Birds do have ears, they’re just covered by feathers. They’re right over here, and they love getting theirs ears scratched.

Keep in mind that some birds aren’t accustomed to petting. They might not even like being touched on the head. So, you can use some of the training techniques that are outlined in my book and throughout these video series to get your bird to be accustomed to being touched. And once a bird is accustomed to being touched, you can pet its head.

And then, if it learns to like it, if the bird gets the chance to realize how good it feels, then this can become its own positive reinforcement and you can use the petting as a reward for good behavior. So, here’s some tips on petting your bird. Just remember that they like having their feathers stroked in the opposite direction. It’s a good idea to hold their beak so they can’t get too bossy and it’s also a sign that they like to be pet.

My birds, when they want petting they’ll come over and put their beak between my fingers, rather than bite me, because that’s the way I’ve always taught them to ask for it. Petting your bird is just a great way to build a relationship with your bird and teach them to like being on hands and being around people.


  1. That seems rather cruel to hold their beak like that. If the bird bites you because you hit a sensitive spot or a spot they don't like, then don't do it or at least be more careful and gentle. Respect your bird, don't force it down like that.

  2. I have a lovebird who I got untamed when he was 5 weeks old. However, my lovebird is now tamed and used to me but hates to be touched! I really want to pet him on his head and on his ears but whenever I put my finger close to him he bites straight away. He allows me to hold him, feed him and kiss him just not likes to be touched. If anyone had this problem and has fixed it please comment back, it would mean a lot to me ;-)

  3. My parrot baits people by putting her head down like these birds, but when you try to pet she lunges at your fingers. 

  4. Wow this make my parrot better
    Now he is now nicer calmer and more comfortable around me
    These videos are a lot of help

  5. Mine's totally opposite. He likes getting pet following the feathers, I think he gets tickeld if I pet him against the feathers.

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