Step up on to hand, any tips?


New member
Sep 1, 2015
African Red Bellied
I started clicker training with my 5 year old Red Bellied who has never really been trained but was hand reared.

He has got touch mastered, and will step up on to a short dowel. When I say step up I do not mean holding it in front of him, he will walk to the dowel or fly to it on 'step up' command, but am now trying step up with my hand, he backs away, or nips me, not a proper bite, just a little nip.

What do people hear suggest, to continue the way I am doing without pushing him too much or....?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance :red:
Sounds to me like you are on the right track. I'm certainly no expert however the little nips he is giving you may be his way of "testing" if it's aa solid safe step.

My conure used to "test" things before getting on them...still does if it's something totally new to him.

Keep doing what you are doing, but maybe work on having him step up on different items to build his confidence and trust in your requests and as you build on that incorporate your hand again.

I just remembered, years ago I had a cockatiel once who was terrified of hands too so I covered my hand with a rag he liked to preen and chew on and I was able to get him to step up on my finger covered by the rag. :)

Good luck and do keep us posted!

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No it was a bite, not a 'test the perch', but I'll just keep persevering and hopefully eventually he will come around.

I've only had him a month and he has come quite a long way already.

He has a hatred of water though, can't spray him, tried a tray, no go, tried wetted spinach etc in a tray, looked at it, but then realised there was water involved. He even puffs up, sneezes and shakes his head when I run the kitchen tap to do the dishes, lol.

He also has a hatred of healthy food, but I have read that is quite normal?

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