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How to Train Your Parrot to Step Up or Down (Command)


Staff member
How to Train Your Parrot to Step Up or Down (Command)

Dear Grey Lovers!

I have received lots of messages and noticed lots of questions about how to have your bird step up. I thought I would write a quick post in here and hopefully this will help!

Just as you train a young puppy to “sit” as one of his first commands, there is a first command you need to teach all pet psittacine birds. That first command is “step up.” It is an easy command to teach a bird because the physical motion is something he normally does many times during the day.

By teaching your bird this command, you will decrease any fear the bird may have of you, reinforce the bond between you and the bird, establish your authority, have better control over the bird, and decrease the chance the bird will become territorial.

After the bird begins to learn the command, he/ she will relate it to good things happening, such as attention from you, treats, and eventually rewards such as going to the “play gym.” :)

Stepping Up!

The step up command is the most important command to teach your bird as it gives you some control over him/ her and helps you to interact with the bird. Many birds will have learned how to step up before you get them home, but if they haven’t then this short guide should help you.

1. Choose the command you want to use and stick with it. It can be as simple as Step Up but it should not be a question and should be short and sharp.

2. Choose a time to train when you have the birds complete attention. You may need to go into a neutral room such as a bathroom away from the cage to begin training. Make sure there are no distractions for the bird’s attentions such as other pets, or people.

3. Hold your hand at the bird’s abdomen above the feet and give the Step Up command. The bird should step up. If he doesn’t try pressing lightly on the birds abdomen.

4. When he or she steps up give him/ her lots of praise and his/ her favorite treat. As the bird gets better at stepping up you can decrease the treats, but keep praising.

5. You can have the bird step from hand to hand to practice. But when you see the bird is getting tired or losing concentration, stop at the next successful step up, give lots of praise and end the session by offering the treat. Read complete article here!