How to Tame a Cockatiel

We love animals, but we need our pets to behave well, which requires taming and training. If you’ve never owned a bird and were wondering how to tame a cockatiel, we have an answer for you with detailed steps to help you along the way. Let’s get right to our solution; how to tame a cockatiel. 

Step One: You should start taming your bird only after having time to acclimate to the new surroundings, which should take a few weeks. Put your new bird in a quiet room. Follow the steps below. 

When you are around your cockatiel, don’t make any noises and try to maintain a subdued demeanor. Don’t put your hand over the cockatiel’s head. 

Step Two: Start speaking to your bird through the cage bars. It doesn’t matter what you say, but you should be calm and avoid getting loud or shouting. The softer you speak, the more relaxed the bird will be. You should make yourself less threatening to it by lowering yourself to eye level. Repeat this step for a few days. 

Choose one person in your household to bond with your cockatiel. Too many people coming at her could make taming more difficult. You will begin to see signs of your bird becoming comfortable with you. 

If it moves forward when you talk, this is a sign they are used to the sound of your voice. At this point, you could start training your cockatiel to step onto your finger, but it’s always a good idea to start slow and maintain that pace through all training sessions. 

How long does it take to tame a cockatiel?

Taming can take anywhere from two days to several months. Your results will happen faster the younger the cockatiel. Older cockatiels with bad habits take longer to change. A cockatiel should start training anywhere from eight to twelve weeks. 

No two cockatiels are the same, so it’s difficult to predict precisely how long it will take to tame yours, but it shouldn’t take longer than a few months. Cockatiels are individuals with personalities that have to mesh with yours. Patience is essential to generate your desired goal. Positive reinforcement also works. 

How to get your cockatiel to trust you. 

Spend time with your cockatiel in a non-threatening, calm way. Greet them with a smile in the morning. Learn to read their cues and body language. Spend time with your cockatiel and try to get them to play with you. Giving your cockatiel treats will also generate trust for you. 

Once your bird senses you are not there to harm them, they will step closer to you. Be careful with your bird always and be kind. Birds can sense your behavior and will trust you when they learn that you are trustworthy. With trust, training them to whistle, do tricks, or talk will be more accessible. 

How do you tame a scared cockatiel?

If your cockatiel hisses, moves away from you or tries to bite your finger, then they are likely scared. You can use the steps we listed above, but you will need to do it slower if the bird shows signs of fear. Treats work to gain trust with scared cockatiels too. 

You may have decided to adopt an older cockatiel that couldn’t find a home. Rescues are not like younger birds. They have a different set of life experiences. Older birds may miss the person with whom they already bonded and are confused about where they’ve gone. Gaining the trust of an abandoned bird is more challenging. 

How to tame a cockatiel that bites.

Say “No!” in a stern voice but don’t yell and scare your cockatiel. Continue this pattern every time it bites. You can try to tip the perch, so your bird loses balance if your friend is sitting on your finger or shoulder.  

While you want to be stern, you don’t want to get angry. Otherwise, your bird might bite you again. A young cockatiel will learn to stop biting rather quickly. 

Do not give rewards to a cockatiel that bites. Reward them when they allow you to hold them without biting. If your bird continues to bite, leave it alone for a while so it can relax. Come back later to continue training. Neglected and older birds may take more patience and time compared to a younger cockatiel. 

If your bird continues to bite and doesn’t learn, you may want to have him checked out by an avian vet. Aggression could be a sign of illness. Avian vets train to specialize in birds, their behaviors, and how to get them to stop biting. 

How to get a cockatiel to like you

Treats will help you to win the affection of your cockatiel, but you should use them sparingly. Calmly approaching your bird is a great place to start. Then follow the steps we listed above for taming a cockatiel. 

Apprehensive birds take a longer time to tame, so be patient. While we always suggest treats, it’s good not to let training sessions go over fifteen-minute intervals. Too many treats are not suitable for their tiny stomach. 

You can’t “get” a cockatiel to like you. Cockatiels are intelligent, and they will either like you or not. Somewhat like when you meet a new person. But, cockatiels are social and like to bond, so they are more likely to admire you after spending quality time with them and gaining their trust. 

How to tame an aggressive cockatiel

Cockatiels are social and love to bond, so they are aggressive because they have been mistreated or are scared. Use our tips in the earlier portion of this article to gain your cockatiel’s trust, which will require patience. Keep children away from aggressive cockatiels. 

There are many reasons why a cockatiel might be aggressive. If this is a pet you’ve had for a while, maybe your bird is sick or suddenly scared of you. 

If you just purchased the cockatiel and he is hissing or biting when you try to get near then, he is likely scared or feels threatened. New birds might act that way if we try to push ourselves on them before they are ready. Give your bird time with the taming advice we gave above in small intervals. 

Aggressive birds could also just not like what you are doing. They might just be “in a mood.” Give your cockatiel the space it wants when it becomes aggressive. Like people, birds need time to calm down too. 

If the aggressive behavior continues regularly, you may want to train with them more frequently and in a neutral location. Take the birdcage into another part of your home. When a bird loses its sense of territory, it may not feel the need to protect its space. 

Birds who suffer from neglect or inadequate care might have a bad attitude because of their past abuse. Even young birds who bad breeders raised might be more aggressive. Older birds who are lonely or missing the human they have a bond with could act up too. All of these situations mean that the bird is scared or not feeling safe. 

The only way to change that is to do everything in your power to make that bird feel like they are in a safe environment. The more they trust you’re, the more likely they are to stop their aggressive behavior. 

We realize there are rotten eggs in every group, but more often than not, a fierce bird is acting that way because they are scared. You need to review what you may be doing to instigate that fear. 

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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