Potty Training

Okay my furry friends, time to avert your ears – I need to talk only to my feathered friends. Okay? Are they gone? Good.

Okay my feathered friends, we need to talk about something personal – your potty habits. Crude, I know, but we do have to talk about it. Some of you tend to go wherever you see fit, but, as higher lifeforms, we really should have better habits than that. Even the dog knows to go outside! We’re better than the dog, right? Right! So let’s get down to it:

Step 1: Choosing a potty area

Have your human choose a good potty area. It could be your cage or play pen, a piece of newspaper or towel, it can even be over a trash can. Whatever they chose, make sure to use the same thing every time. Later, after you’ve got it down, it can be a couple of these things, but for now just keep it simple.

Step 2: Choosing a command

Next, have your human pick a phrase that works for both of you; something simple to use as a cue for when you’re both ready. Remember to have them choose something that doesn’t normally come up in everyday conversations. Nobody needs that embarrassment.

Step 3: Training time!
Most of us relieve ourselves first thing in the morning, after eating, or right before flying (got to lighten the load, you know!). Have your human keep this in mind and get your favorite (small) treat ready. Now have your human watch your body language for crouching, tail movement, stepping back, these are all signs that poo is imminent. When they see these signs they need to move you to your potty place, give the command and wait. I know that some of you are going to make them be patient, but try to do it with only a couple of repeats of the commands. Don’t want the human to become discouraged. And after you’re done, get a treat! Some of you are smarter than others and will pick it up faster. For the rest of you, just keep trying. You’ll get it soon.

Tips:

  • After holding it for most of the night, we all naturally have to go first thing in the morning. This is the perfect time to ask for the potty-on-command, it’s a good time to make the connection between the command and the act.

  • Have your human take you to your potty spot every 15 to 30 minutes (longer for you bigger birds). The more opportunities you have to get it correct the quicker you’ll learn.

  • If you are in a potty place and your human sees you go on your own – have them praise you or pick you up. Soon, most of you will start to hint to your humans that you want to be picked up by going.

  • Have the potty place be the cage or play stand, any potty break is also a good food and water break.

  • Depending on how your human’s house is set up around yours, make the potty area easy access from where you both hang out together. A ladder to the play stand is great. Some birds (like myself, if I may brag) take themselves to the potty area to do their business.

  • And most importantly: Forgive yourself and your humans for accidents. They happen. You forget, they don’t see your warnings, etc. You’ll get it right next time.

Okay my feathered friends, this is it! Now the time to prove how superior we are to the furry pets our humans keep. And remember, no matter how well trained you are, you can always “forget” your training whenever your human makes you mad. Good aim!

About me…

I’m a 24 year old Senegal parrot. As with any creature as small as I am, I have a big attitude and know how to get what I want. I share my home with my human servant Megan and her Australian Shepherds, whom I torment to my heart’s content. Coming from a rescue, my history is a little bit of a mystery. My early life has caused me to be a picker, but it doesn’t matter too much – I know I’m gorgeous!

Have a question for me? You can contact me through my secretary, Megan, at meganvd@santarosavet.com or you can call one of my other staff members at your friendly Veterinary Hospital – the Santa Rosa Veterinary Hospital.