Train An African Gray Parrot

How Do You Train An African Grey Parrot?

It can be easy to train an African Grey parrot. The possibility of success rises with how well the right steps are followed. Among the animals on our verdant Earth, the parrot is one of the few along with humans gifted with the power of speech.

The African Grey Parrot has won the heart of many a parrot lover with its mimicry and beauty. It might seem at first glance, a bit strange, due to its ashen color.  They are totally different from other parrot species.

Specialties Of African Grey Parrot

African Grey parrots are known for their ability to imitate different sounds, as well as their seeming expertise in human speech. Because of their great ability to talk, they have proven to be a perfect companion for great rulers, long past and short past. As they are temperamental beasts, there is a need for being especially attentive to them.

In this article lies a comprehensive list of several methods that will help you to train said parrots and be a proud owner of this unique species. Read on to discover more. 

Are African Greys Appropriate For Beginners? 

It takes a lot of responsibility to raise a parrot, especially if you are a beginner. Those who first dive into the world of parrots want to know which parrot is the best for beginners. Should they consider purchasing the African Grey Parrot, or something else?

In truth, these birds are not for the faint-hearted. If you’re planning to own this parrot, then keep in mind that they need a lot of care and mental stimulus. Yes, it is true! But if you think that you can take proper care of an African Grey, within a suitable environment, then you are certainly the rare individual to make this special and meaningful choice. 

Where are African Greys Found And What Are Their Distinct Individualisms? 

These birds are native to the equatorial areas of Africa. Like Angola, Cameroon, The Congo, The Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda. The species is found in the open savanna areas and on the edges of forests. But they can be found dwelling in the dense canopy as well.

Did you know that they’re less affectionate than other parrots? Well, if not!  The thing is, there is a tendency for them to be highly social but self-reliant and not too human-centric. The exceptional intelligence of these birds means that each may have a very distinct personality. So a few can be more affectionate than others. There is room for more variance among them, perhaps that is why they can imitate humans so well.

🔵Building Bonds With African Greys

These parrots are intelligent, sensitive, and uncomfortable with instability. They are known to be very warm-hearted and loving birds. The process of bonding with a Grey may be slow, but with time and proper care, your pet will be able to learn the value and needs of your company. 

🔵Recognizing Body Language 

Irrespective of whether the bird is young or mature, the first step to bonding and understanding a bird’s body language is to try to recognize its boundaries. If you find your parrot squawking at you or quivering, then there may be a chance that your parrot is frightened or angry. Simply, these are some of the signs which suggest that your parrot doesn’t like what you are doing, and if you continue, you may be bitten. The pupils, when they contract and expand quickly, show curiosity and excitement on their part. During this time show your parrot that you are calm. If you can build trust during both its apprehension and excitement, your bond will be robust.


Foraging on the ground and in the trees is a practice that exposes animals to predators. If you want your African Grey to adjust well, try to be friendlier and socialize with them. Involve your parrot in most of your day’s activities, talk to them and most of all, keep their cage in that corner of your house from where they can see all of your family’s activities.  Gently introduce your African Grey to new people and situations at a careful pace. The caution will build a good bond with your family and strangers. 


Provide your African Grey with appropriate training, this is one of the best ways to build trust. Keep sessions between 10 to 15 minutes so that they can adapt to things quickly. Make sure to ignore bad behavior and reward them for good behavior frequently. Do not approach your Grey from the back as this can create fear in their mind which can also spoil your bonding. 

🔵Be Patient 

It is pertinent to be patient with these flighty birds. Even though the Grey is a smart bird, it cannot be expected to learn faster than people where imitation is concerned. With such perseverance, you will find that your bird is on the way to mastering the art of imitation.  

Easy Ways to Train an African Grey Parrot 

Seeking the simple and most straightforward way to train an African  Grey Parrot? We have you covered. We will elucidate everything you need to know about training an African Grey Parrot! You just have to focus on the undermentioned steps if you want to train your African Grey Parrot. Let’s get started: 

 1. Speak Frequently With Your Bird

Try to make a habit of talking with your parrot. The more you talk to your  Grey, the sooner it will learn mimicry. You will be surprised to learn how well such a social bird can adjust to your home when you speak to it on a regular basis, along with your housemates and/or family members. If you are unsure about what to say, simply mention your day, what you did and how it went. It’s really that basic.

2. Take It Slow

If you want to train an African Grey parrot, then you must start with simple words like “Good Morning” and “See You”.  You could also use this time to teach its name. When your bird is familiar with them, introduce greater complexity, like longer phrases.

Your African Grey Parrot will learn through habit, therefore, it will be most beneficial if you enunciate clearly and slowly so that your beloved bird can follow you most easily and accurately. If you’re teaching said simple words/phrases to your bird, make sure to often use these words in its presence.

3. Use an Enthusiastic Tone 

 Be driven in teaching your bird, then your parrot will be a good student. If you try your level best to make your bird learn, and you fail, it’s important to keep heart, your bird will learn what you wish to teach it, eventually.

4. Learning Through Rote Memory

During your practice to train your bird’s plastic memory make it a habit to reply with what you think it’s saying. Express enthusiasm at your parrot’s success in mimicking your voice, this will go a long way in encouraging your bird to learn. If your bird is able to mimic your speech properly, give it snacks for its achievement. But make sure that you do not overfeed your bird, that could give it health problems.

5. Use Rewards with the Right Generosity

Remember to adequately motivate your parrot. Be appreciative of its efforts with snacks, make sure that they’re specialty snacks. Please wait for your parrot to speak the word correctly, before you give the snack, as this positive feedback will enable them to learn much faster than normal. With this method, your bird will reach the goals which you had planned for it.

Read more: 10 Fun Facts About Parrots You Never Knew

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these are simple steps that you need to follow if you want to train an African Grey parrot. Furthermore,  African Greys are one of the most intelligent birds on Earth. They have been known to speak different languages, at times at once. These amazing creatures are also very social.

In fact, they are so smart that they even can imitate human speech with the fluency of a human speaker, while they cannot exactly understand what you are saying, over time, they will learn to associate certain speech patterns and tones and learn to associate certain phrases with either certain expectations like your departure, arrival, reward, love, anger, etc.

Part of their intelligence is their love for new things, whether actual objects, people (if introduced properly), or phraseology. In order to train an African Grey parrot, you must first be patient, attentive, and nurturing. Start by teaching them some basic  commands like “sit” or “come here.” Once they understand what you are saying, start introducing more complicated phrases. You can do this by manipulating their plastic memory through rote learning.

If you find it difficult and challenging to take care of your bird, there is no shame in finding a new home for your pet. It just shows care and concern for the Grey. A home where the bird can be cared for will be good both for you and the bird. The bird will be well trained and cared for and you can continue guilt-free.

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