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How To Get Out The Door When Your Bird Doesn't Want You To Go

Forcing your parrot into her cage when you're late for work is not the way to build a trusting relationship. Try these tips instead.

Rebecca K. O'Connor

African grey
If you need to get out the door and your bird doesn't want to go back in her cage, don't force her. Make her cage interesting instead.

The New Year often means new resolutions, and for many of us are trying to squeeze a bit more into our mornings. Maybe you’re getting in a few sit ups or packing yourself a healthy lunch before work. If you’re hoping to stick to your goals, you’ll need all the help you can get. And the chances are good that your parrot isn’t helping speed up your routine.

You Can’t Make Me
There is nothing as adept at slowing down your morning progress as a parrot. How can you blame them though? You’re on your way off to work and your parrot will be home alone for quite some time. Our parrots deserve as much time as we can give, but someone has work to bring home the parrot food. So how do you deal with your parrot’s stalling techniques?

If you have trouble getting your parrot back in her cage before you have to run out the door, you’re not alone. Most of us find that at some point our parrots realize that they are going to be put away and decide that they simply don’t want to go. Forcing your parrot back into her safe space can have negative consequences on your relationship. Waiting out your parrot and being late for work can have consequences as well. So what do you do?

Morning Training Made Easy
Training makes life easier for everyone and every animal in the household. What you may not realize is that day-to-day training is extremely simple. Just think of it as a clear and consistent conversation that is dependent on actions not words. A parrot only repeats a behavior (including going back in her cage) if she gets something she likes when she does it.

What are you doing to make it worth your parrot’s while to go back into the cage? Think about it. If everything fun in the morning happens outside of the cage and going back in means a boring rest of the day, what is your bird’s motivation for letting you put her back inside? Is there anything new and fun to do in your parrot’s cage? Is there a surprising treat? Are there ways for your parrot to occupy her time while you are gone?

Training can be as simple as consistently making sure that desire behavior is reinforced.

Make Your Bird’s Cage A Playground
There are a lot of ways to make a parrot’s inside space more entertaining than her outside space and most of them are quick and easy. You know your parrot better than anyone. What would your bird be excited to find insider her cage? Here are some jumping off ideas.

  • Make sure breakfast includes a few of your parrot’s favorite treats and don’t place the bowls in the cage until right before you put her back inside.
  • Teach your parrot how to forage and make sure there is always something to explore and discover when it comes time to go back to the cage.
  • Does your parrot have favorite toys? Put a new toy in the cage before you leave for the day.
  • Mix it up! If your parrot is never quite sure what goodies might be waiting, then that is all the more reason to climb in and check things out. 

Once you get home, play time can start up in earnest. In the meantime though, give your parrot a reason to enjoy her day. What do put in your parrot’s cage that she really enjoys?

Previous: How To Streamline Your Morning Bird Routine

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Posted: January 16, 2015, 1:30 p.m. PDT

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How To Get Out The Door When Your Bird Doesn't Want You To Go

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Reader Comments
Quite frankly, I bribe her. I put a little pinch of extra seed in the food bowl and usually she'll go right in.
LZB, Richmond, CA
Posted: 9/11/2015 3:55:16 PM
Good one
Shakima, Detriot, MI
Posted: 4/21/2015 8:38:34 AM
Helpful article
Amylynn, Portland, OR
Posted: 4/21/2015 8:37:56 AM
My Amazon stays up late, so I keep her covered in the mornings. My husband lets her out when he gets up later on. He is home with Ginger mostly all day.
stacey, jacksonville, FL
Posted: 1/21/2015 9:56:23 AM
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