African Greys are known for their ability to mimic. They can learn words and phrases with ease, but sometimes they pick up swear words. This is common among pet African greys, who hear the word from a human in close proximity (usually their owner). African grey parrots swearing isn’t uncommon when you have an <agrey in your home or office. There are ways that this can be prevented if it’s something you’re concerned about.
African Grey Parrots Swearing Prevention
Picture this, You’ve got some guests over at the house for dinner. Everythings going well, Then suddenly your grey parrot starts swearing up a storm that even the vilest sailor would blush at.
This reflects on you, where else could they have picked up such nasty words? Your guests are appalled and leave immediately! (or more realistically laugh..).
But you see the problem right? Not everyone will find it funny. And it’s also terrible for any kids in the area to be exposed to such language.
They might not even pick it up from you – you might just be an innocent guy who likes to have Rick and Morty a little too loud in the background. African parrots will pick up such phrases with ease from tv, radio, and music.
The problem is, these birds are so vastly more intelligent than people give them credit for. They only need to hear the word once and boom, it’s now in their (massive, over 200 words) vocabulary. And they won’t forget it either.
Once they’ve learned a new word, it’s out of your control how they use it. They will never forget it and it’s with them forever.
In fact, it’s so bad, That not too long ago a zoo that adopted 3 new parrots had to keep them in the back because all they wanted to do is swear at the guests. You can read that story here.
So what can you do?
What’s the solution? When you’re watching tv or listening to music, turn it down. When you’ve got guests over and you know they tend to have a colorful vocabulary, have them sit away from the parrots.
Having a parrot unlearn what it’s already learned is a very difficult task. One could say it’s virtually impossible.
You could teach them as many words as possible to try and dilute the swearing. In a (long) period of time, you might get them to stop using it almost entirely by doing this, But there are no guarantees.
Just remember, You can’t discipline a parrot. It won’t understand why it’s being punished and just cause it undo stress. It’s not the parrot’s fault, she’s just mimicking you and the sounds you surround your life in.
The only thing that will accomplish is to damage the relationship and trust between you and the bird.
Instead, you should be giving your grey parrot plenty of attention when she’s not swearing. Seems counter-intuitive but that will help with stopping the habit in a much more natural way without causing any trauma to either bird or parent.
When she decides to swear to get your attention, You should ignore it until she uses a better word. No reaction is the best reaction.
In conclusion, African grey parrots are a joy to have around, but it’s not always easy. It takes patience and understanding to make this relationship work well for both of you,
In the end though! I think they’re worth all the effort that we put into them.