Hand fed babies are easier to tame as they have received human contact from the time of birth. However, it is not true that you cannot “teach an old lovebird new tricks.” A lovebird of any age can be tamed and trained. With the right amount of time and patience any lovebird can be a happy, well-adjusted pet.
Begin handling your lovebird as early as possible and play with him/her every day to reinforce appropriate behavior. Choose a small area with limited furniture, no noise (T.V., radio), and close all closets and doors, to avoid distractions as lovebirds have a very short attention span. Take your lovebird out of its cage, if it resists, simply try again. Constantly talk to your bird in a low, calm voice (ex. “Good boy/girl.” “Pretty bird.” etc.) DO NOT yell or show frustration. While taming you need to gain your pets trust, if you scare him/her, they will not cooperate with you. Also, never hold your bird on it’s back. Once your lovebird can be trusted to stay close to you while out of its cage, start with the “up” and “down” commands. (I always found it much easier having their wings clipped until tame, but it is not necessary.) Lay your hand flat, palm down, or use your index finger, place low on your bird’s stomach and gently press, saying “Up.” Baby lovebirds will catch on to this
quickly, older ones slightly longer. Once the “Up” command is understood, when you place him or her back in their cage, say “Down.” The best way to master these commands is repetition, and only trying to teach one at a time. When taming your lovie, avoid making loud noises and sudden/big movements. Only work with him/her three to five intervals no longer than fifteen minutes each, everyday. When you are not working with your bird, continue to talk to him/her. This goes for training as well.