How To Tame A Cockatiel: A Step-By-Step Guide

By | August 6, 2022
One year old tame cockatiel in Brecon, Powys Gumtree

Cockatiels are one of the most popular pet birds around. They are sweet, gentle, and intelligent birds that can make great companions. While they are not as easy to train as some other pet birds, it is possible to tame a cockatiel with patience and consistency. If you’re thinking of getting a cockatiel, or already have one and want to be able to interact with it, this guide will help you learn how to tame your pet bird.

Understanding Your Cockatiel

The first step in taming your cockatiel is to understand its behavior. Cockatiels are flock animals, meaning they live in groups in the wild. They are used to being around other birds and need companionship just like any other pet. As such, they can be quite shy and timid around people, especially if they have not been socialized to humans. They can also be quite territorial, so be prepared to give them their own space and not push them too hard.

Cockatiels are also highly reactive birds, meaning they can easily become stressed and anxious. This can lead to them becoming aggressive, so it’s important to be patient and gentle when trying to tame them. It’s also important to remember that they are prey animals, so they may be scared of sudden movements or loud noises. Make sure to keep your voice low and gentle when interacting with your cockatiel, and avoid sudden movements.

Taming Techniques

Once you understand your cockatiel’s behavior and temperament, you can begin to work on taming it. The key to taming any pet bird is to be consistent and patient. Here are some tips for taming your cockatiel:

  • Start slow: Don’t try to rush the taming process. Begin by talking to your cockatiel calmly, while keeping your movements slow and steady. Once it becomes used to your presence, you can move on to more advanced taming techniques.
  • Hand-feeding: Offer your cockatiel treats from your fingertips. This will help it get used to your presence and will help it learn to trust you. This is especially important if you have a young cockatiel, as it will help it bond with you.
  • Positive reinforcement: Give your cockatiel positive reinforcement when it does something you want it to do. This could be a treat or a gentle head scratch. This will help it learn that it will get rewarded for good behavior.
  • Avoid punishment: Never punish your cockatiel for bad behavior. This will only make it more scared of you and could make it more aggressive. Instead, ignore bad behavior and reward good behavior.
  • Provide a perch: Give your cockatiel a perch that it can use when it wants to be close to you. This will make it feel safe and secure, and it will also help it get used to your presence.
  • Interact with it: Spend time with your cockatiel every day. Talk to it, offer it treats, and give it gentle head scratches. This will help it become more socialized and comfortable around you.

Time and Patience

Taming a cockatiel can take time and patience, so don’t be discouraged if your bird seems scared or uninterested at first. Just keep at it and don’t give up. With enough time and patience, your cockatiel will eventually come around and you’ll be able to enjoy interacting with your pet bird.

Safety Tips

When taming your cockatiel, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t force it: Never force your cockatiel to do something it doesn’t want to do. If it isn’t interested in interacting with you or is scared, give it some space and let it come to you.
  • Keep your movements slow: Cockatiels are very sensitive to sudden movements, so make sure to keep your movements slow and steady when interacting with your bird. This will help it feel more comfortable around you.
  • Never grab it: Never grab your cockatiel, especially if it is scared or doesn’t want to be handled. This could cause it to become aggressive or stressed, and it could also lead to injury.
  • Be gentle: Always be gentle and patient when handling your bird. This will help it learn to trust you and become more comfortable around you.


Taming a cockatiel can be a long and challenging process, but it is possible with patience and consistency. If you follow the tips outlined in this guide, you should be able to tame your cockatiel and enjoy interacting with your pet bird. Just remember to be patient, keep your movements slow, and never grab or force your bird to do something it doesn’t want to do. Good luck!