Citron cockatoo flock calling loudly to his flock mates.

How To Get A Parrot To Stop Cursing

How To Get A Parrot To Stop Cursing

Parrots love conversation, and they appreciate drama. Whatever the reason a bird has latched onto a word has no impact on fixing the problem. It's a simple process, and the process will go on as long as necessary. Every bird is different.

Felix, our African grey, is a fine example. He came home with us using a favorite phrase, "Time to take a Fucking shower!"

He said it with a big cheerful old man voice. He said it when we announced our own intentions of showering. He said it in the shower. He said it when he heard the sink filling for dishes, or showers turning on. I laughed every time he said it, trying to imagine the context it was used in. Was the previous owner trying to sell Felix on a shower? Was the older gentleman being sold on one himself in front of Felix? We shall never know. But Felix loved saying it when he was happy and wanting us to join in a bit of conversation. It was just his happy interplay. I saw it as a piece of history. He'd come to us with a dozen or better phrases and exclamations. That particular word has been around since cavemen probably. 

He saw me laughing and realized he was entertaining. And ramped up the number of times he would declare the "Fucking shower!" Parrots, they all get the drift and the grift. Snickers picked up on it and decided to just yell "FUCK!" So, we set out to change Felix's vocabulary. No one needs eight parrots dropping F Bombs.

How do you eliminate "the bad word"?

Every time Felix said, "Time to take a Fucking word "Time to take a shower!". At first, he saw it as a game of who could say it louder. Then it was a game of who could say it faster. Then it was a game of who would use which word. Six weeks later Felix dropped the word "Fucking". 

Snickers changed his word through replacement. He shouted "FUCK!" We shouted "WHAT!?!" It took less than a week for him to shout "what" rather than. Now he sounds and looks as confused as I am naturally.

Remove or Replace then Call Back

  • You can replace a single word like "shit" with "sugar". Mirror the replacement word back with excitement and volume. Certainly, the appropriate word is FAR more fun to say!
  • It's important to remember that humans attach meaning and intent with curse words, but a parrot only attaches that which comes back to them. Flock Calling is the mirrored exercise of voice, body, and mind. Affirmations repeated for communication and direction.
  • Remove the word(s) you want to disappear. Mirror the revised phrase back with excitement and volume. Your phrase is FAR more fun to say!

There is no such thing as bad bird. There is also no such thing as a bad word, to a parrot anyway.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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