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Before you can get any bird to talk, you have to tame it first. It is a common misconception that you can both train and tame a bird at the same time. If you need a hand in taming your pet cockatiel, you can ask your vet or a pet store owner to help you out, as they are more experienced in this aspect.
Just like other animals (and yes, even your ex-husband), your cockatiel learns through repetition. Set aside maybe four 10-minute sessions a day to teaching your cockatiel to talk. Begin by saying a monosyllabic word to your bird over and over again. If the word is a noun, for instance, show your cockatiel the object it refers to. If it’s an action word, act it out as you say it. This helps increase the bird’s comprehension of the word. Don’t be slumped over your lounge chair as you teach your bird the word “jump”.
Give your pet a treat every time he says the word correctly. This motivates your cockatiel to listen to you and look at your lip-movements more intently.
Don’t talk while your bird talks. Be sure it is silent before you say anything, because it may not be learning what you’re trying to teach it if it is busy talking at the same time you are.
While teaching your pet bird to talk, take it out of its cage and hold it. This reduces distractions around him. It also helps to talk in a high-pitched or sing-song tone of voice. This makes it more interesting for them, enough to hold their attention.
Don’t expect your pet cockatiel to outtalk David Letterman at his first attempts. Initially, your pet’s speech may be garbled, but that’s alright. Just keep practicing and encouraging your cockatiel. Don’t scold it if it doesn’t seem to get things right. Patience is the key here.