Do Cockatiels Know Their Names?

Ever since humans have been naming their pets they have wondered whether or not those pets recognize the name they were given. We can say with good confidence that dogs and cats know who you are calling when you utter their name but do cockatiels?

Do Cockatiels Know Their Names? Animals, including birds, don’t speak the same language as we do so, when we call our cockatiel Felix, he might not respond, at least not right away. Cockatiels need to learn their name using simple repetitive techniques. 

Can You Change a Cockatiels Name?

Yes, but the difficulty of doing this will rise the more the bird is already used to the name they have, which is why I suggested keeping the original if you like it. If the bird was given the name of your ex and you must change it then it can be done. You will just have to put in the time. 

The first step is to stop using the old name. Just stop altogether and begin the steps below.

How To Teach a Cockatiel Their Name

Give Time For Adjustment

First, you need to make sure your cockatiel is feeling safe in her new home. If you put yourself into the mind of an animal you should be able to deduce that they have a ton of experiences they never chose to have. This bird didn’t choose you. You chose him. So, coming into a new environment is frightening so this needs to be taken into consideration. 

Experts suggest a minimum of two weeks before you start any training sessions at all. This will give your feathered buddy time to adjust to her new surroundings and realize that no harm will come to her. Let her learn that she is in a safe space, which will make the training sessions smoother in the long run. 

Get Some Treats and Get Ready For Repetition!

In other pieces I’ve referred to cockatiel as “baby-like” and teaching them to respond to their name isn’t much different. When we have a new baby and we want them to know what it is we say it to them over and over and over again. Repetition works and has been a long-used practice in training since Pavlov’s dog salivated after the first bell ring. 

Unlike babies, who will listen and eventually learn how to communicate with us, a bird is limited so they need a little incentive. The same way Pavlov gave his dog a treat after ringing a bell, which elicited the infamous salivation, pets need something more. 

Get a little fruit or a bowl of healthy treats and start your training. All you need to do is say their name to your cockatiel and then give them a treat. Keep repeating this again and again for the duration of the fifteen minutes and then give it a rest. Repeat this process three to four times a day until you notice your bird perk up when hearing her name. 

Give It Time

Be sure not to let the training sessions go longer than fifteen minutes even if they don’t seem to be grasping the new moniker right away. Cockatiels have little bellies and they get full easy. They need time to digest all their earnings. 

Another important thing to remember is to have patience with yourself. Your new friendship is a marathon, not a sprint. The time you put in will be well rewarded with love. 

Do Cockatiels Get Attached to Their Owners?

Bonding with a cockatiel can be a challenge it all depends on how many bonds the bird has already formed and if those connections are a part of their lives or not. There are many things that go into this for them it would be an article all by itself. But the simplest answer to this question is yes, they do, and when they are attached everyone else better watch out!

Some cockatiels are so attached they might lash out by hissing or trying to bite at anyone who comes near the human they have bonded with. There’s no need to be concerned though. If your cockatiel shows aggression toward anyone you can put them back in their cage. But likely, if they come across a person they haven’t connected with they’ll likely be aloof. 

While cockatiels aren’t as easy to bond with as a dog or cat they are easier to bond with than a fish so there is still hope. If you practice patience, which is a good rule of thumb in general, you’ll find that you and your little buddy will have a secure bond between you both. 

Can Cockatiels Bond with More Than One Person?

They can but it takes work. To be bonded you both need to be active with your cockatiel and spend at least one hour a day outside of the cage with you. But don’t be surprised if your bird tends to favor one person in the household over everyone else. Some feathered friends are “one person birds” and all the coaxing in the world won’t change that. 

Our cockatiel won’t let me snuggle the way he does with my partner. But he had a connection with the bird before I ever came into the picture. He will sit on my finger and likes to play fight with me but when it comes to real cuddles, he waits for his person to do that. I don’t take it personally and am happy they have a special connection. 

Will My Cockatiel Remember Me?

They sure will. Even if it seems that they haven’t bonded with you yet cockatiels are super smart and they know who gives them food whether or not they’re ready to admit it yet. My bond with our bird isn’t as strong but when I come walking up the front steps after being away for a while I can hear him calling even before I hit the first step. 

Trust is the most important aspect when it comes to bonding with your cockatiel. There is no denying that a dog trusts easily but a bird isn’t the same. They have not had to adapt in the same way as other more common housepets. But, like anyone’s trust, once it’s earned the feeling is so rewarding. The time spent in attempts to bond with a cockatiel is well worth it. 

Earning trust with a cockatiel isn’t difficult. All you need to do is spend quality time with them, make them feel safe, loved, and that you are someone who is worthy of their trust. And treats. 

We have pets because we want that connection. One of the greatest connectors is conversation. It’s important to remember that, even if you teach your cockatiel how to talk, he won’t understand what you are saying. But he will know you are communicating and he’ll love those extra treats!

Animals are not possessions that we own. They are members of our family. That’s why we give them names, safe homes, food to eat, and toys to play with. We do this because we love them. When your cockatiel can recognize that you are there to love and take care of them they will bond with you in no time. 

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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