Galahs are undoubtedly one of the most unique and striking looking parrots, and it’s perfectly understandable that they are as popular as they are.
Cockatoos in general, though, are known for being boisterous, to say the least.
This has made them quite difficult to train and tame, but there are certainly ways to do it.
I was interested in getting a galah of my own, so I decided to look into it.
So, how do you tame a galah?
You shouldn’t attempt to tame a wild galah. By tame, we mean train an already domesticated galah. The simple answer is patience and persistence. It will take a long time, but the traditional methods of positive reinforcement, clickers and treats is the most direct route to get it to do what you want.
So, just to reiterate, we are not suggesting you tame a galah from the wild.
Wild animals should not be brought into your home and kept as pets.
That said, training domestic galahs, while easy by no means, is definitely completely doable.
Let’s look further into it.
How to train a galah
The actual nuts and bolts process of training a galah isn’t much different from other animals.
First thing to do is get some kind of treat and a clicker.
Clickers are really handy for creating the positive associations when they get something right—they’ll come to understand, quite quickly, that the clicker means you want them to do something.
Also, use the treats as positive reinforcement as well.
It’s all about creating the associations in their mind to get them to behave in the way you want.
Of course, this question will depend somewhat on what it is you’re trying to train the galah to do.
For general house training, this is the way to do it.
Use the positive reinforcement to help it understand which behaviors are good and which are bad.
You will also have to lightly scold them if they behave in ways you don’t want them to.
The best way to do this is just to end the interaction at the point that they exhibit a behavior you don’t want.
This, compared with being given a treat for correct behaviors, will create the right associations.
You just need to be very patient with the galah.
Cockatoos, as I said, have been known to be difficult to train, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Just be patient and persistent and you’ll get there.
How long does it take to train a galah?
It will depend.
Usually, domestic galahs are handled by humans from around three weeks, so they naturally become used to a lot of the stresses of every day life.
However, if you want to train your galah to talk, for example, this is going to take longer than just training it to return to its cage when given a command—or any such basic command.
If the galah was raised with humans from a young age, it may not even really need to be housebroken.
To learn a single trick or command, though, it might be around 3 weeks before it fully takes.
Can you tame wild galahs?
The simple answer is that you shouldn’t.
A fully mature, wild galah will never be able to comfortably live in a domestic environment.
It will be far too used to the open air.
Even if you could, you still shouldn’t.
Wild animals should be left in the wild.
Growing up around humans, as domestic galahs do, makes them completely different to wild galahs.
Wild galahs wouldn’t be able to rely on you for food, and they would behave erratically.
Do not try to tame a wild galah.
Is it hard to train a galah?
Not particularly, but it will require determination and persistence.
Training any animal is always going to be a bit of a task, so prepare yourself in that sense—it’s not going to be quick.
That said, for a galah with an average disposition, you shouldn’t have a hard time training it.
Parrots in general, and cockatoos in particular, are very smart, and this means they take to new things very well—it does also mean that they’re not necessarily easily controlled, though.
The lesson is just to keep at it, then.
Ultimately, your galah will be eager to please you, and if you treat it properly, you won’t have a hard time training it.
So, with a bit of persistence and determination, you’ll have no problem training a galah.
It will take time, as these things do, but it is entirely possible.
Be at it as much as you can every day, but also give your galah space to relax, as well. It will need to recover in order to be most susceptible to training.
Just keep at it, is the best piece of advice I can give.