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Basic Training Rules for a Macaw

  1. Never hit your bird. If you do so, you might as well just take the bird back to the store and get a new one, because you broke the trust.
  2. Always use positive reinforcement.
  3. Make sure all your movements are slow and deliberate. Never sneak up on your bird. By making your movements slow, your macaw will be able to follow and learn quicker.
  4. Keep sessions short. 15–20 minutes of training is plenty. Feel free to do two sessions a day; just make sure you spread them out.
  5. Try not to take a day off. Trick-training relies on consistent training every day
  6. Your reward treat should be easy to eat.
  7. Make eye contact. Seems silly, but it works. This doesn’t mean have a staring contest, but your bird will try harder to impress you by doing the trick if he or she sees your eyes.
  8. Train on a perch or table in a room with no windows and, if possible, very few decorations on the wall. Basically, keep the distractions down to a minimum. Don’t blast music. Turn the TV off. If you don’t have a windowless room, at least roll the shades down on the windows.

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