Stopped stepping up


Feb 2, 2020
My 2 year old CAG has stopped stepping up consistently, some days she just refuses. I have never forced her and she has always been a little moody compared to my Macaw, but recently a little more so. The only time she steps up is in the morning when she wants to cuddle and then after that she becomes a little bossy. Otherwise everything is the same and she seems well. Anyone have an idea how I can get her back on track? I went back to the basics of treats and excessive praise for stepping up and being a "good bird" but this does not seem to work like it used to. Thank you for you advice


Supporting Member
Oct 23, 2015
1 YNA (Bingo)
1 OWA (Plumas R.I.P.)
1 RLA (Pacho R.I.P.)
2 GCA(Luna,Merlin) The Twins
1 Congo AG (Bella)
5 Cockatiels
I ran across something like this with my Bella.
After the honeymoon period she got snippy with me and very resistant to step up.

At first I would refuse to let her out if she would not step up.
She wore me down before I could really get her to cooperate.
Now I only insist on step up (out of the cage) for her Red Butt Shower.
Bella is very good at stepping up when out of the cage, I can live with not stepping up when in the cage.


Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
Maryland - USA
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
The answer is easier than youd ever believe: REWARD IT!

They key here is to remember that step up is a TRICK like any other behavior. Most people take it for granted, and just expect it. But it’s a learned behavior that needs to be trained and retrained on occasion. I’m in that point with my eclectus right now, who makes it clear I’m not the favorite and I have to work extra hard sometimes to get him to step up.

So your solution here is 1) a bit of time and patience, because birds go through phases like people do as my friend noted above, and 2) for a while, reward whenever the bird steps up. It’s that simple. Eventually you’ll get back to a point where you don’t have to reward constantly. But when it becomes an issue, always remember: REWARD THE BEHAVIOR YOU EXPECT TO SEE MORE OF. True of talking, too.

Training 101 :)

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