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GCC Harness Training, Impossible to put wings through...

tropicdragon

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So this is my first post here. I have exhausted any ideas I have or anything I could research online so I decided it would probably be best to ask others! I have been training my one year old, greencheek conure, Gordi, to wear an aviator harness for almost 3 months now. At this point, my green cheek conure will successfully approach the harness on his own, and put his head through the headhole, and remain calm for up to two minutes (as long as there are treats around, basically). He also is pretty good about taking it off. However, I have been stuck at this step for weeks.

At first, while distracting him with a treat, I tried to put one of his wings through the wing hole. He didn't notice it very much at first, but once I had to take off the harness he freaked. I didn't try it again for the rest of the training session. In one of the next couple of training sessions, I tried doing this again except this time he freaked out and ended up getting himself tangled in the harness. This scared him for a bit, but I got him back to the point he was originally at (putting his head through the headhole and staying like that for at least a minute) with a little bit of coaxing and treats. Today, I tried a third time, but he was just not having it.

A couple of other things you should now about Gordi: He is totally fine with being touched and me lifting up his wings. He also knows how to follow a target.

I really don't want to give up especially since I feel like I am so close...Does anyone have any suggestions of how I should move forward? I would really appreciate it! :)
 

Shezbug

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Did you get the training DVD with the harness by any chance?

Some people have given up on trying with the Aviator and gone to other brands that go on the bird different than the aviator harness. I think leathers for feathers was one of the other brands people here have used for the smaller birds :)
 

HolliDaze

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I’ll try to get a video of putting a harness on Dexter when Karen has the free time to film us (no tripod and it is a two hand job) Are you using an aviator? If so, Two important points in the meantime:
1) is the harness the appropriate size? For a while I used a harness on Dexter that wasn’t one size too small. It was much harder to take off than put on, including shifting his flights around And holding his crest down, other wise it gets caught and irritates him. (The latter doesn’t apply to you of course)
2) make sure you’re moving the wings appropriately, the movement required to remove the harness is much different than putting it on. Make sure you’re making the wing openings as wide as possible when removing it and putting it on.
 

Zara

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Did you get the training DVD with the harness by any chance?
The video is online :)

Make sure you’re making the wing openings as wide as possible when removing it and putting it on.
I second this, I make the wing part very large before putting the harness on, then tighten afterwards.
 

tropicdragon

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Did you get the training DVD with the harness by any chance?

Some people have given up on trying with the Aviator and gone to other brands that go on the bird different than the aviator harness. I think leathers for feathers was one of the other brands people here have used for the smaller birds :)
Yes I do have the DVD! Unfortunately, the bird pictured is much more calm than my Gordi. Gordi is rather hyper and fidgety so I am always having to find other ways to gradually get him used to the harness. And interesting! I guess I'll take at the leathers for feathers.

I’ll try to get a video of putting a harness on Dexter when Karen has the free time to film us (no tripod and it is a two hand job) Are you using an aviator? If so, Two important points in the meantime:
1) is the harness the appropriate size? For a while I used a harness on Dexter that wasn’t one size too small. It was much harder to take off than put on, including shifting his flights around And holding his crest down, other wise it gets caught and irritates him. (The latter doesn’t apply to you of course)
2) make sure you’re moving the wings appropriately, the movement required to remove the harness is much different than putting it on. Make sure you’re making the wing openings as wide as possible when removing it and putting it on.
Hey! Yes, I make the wing openings as large as possible. I think most of the time its more the taking off part that bothers him. For example, when I would put his head through the headhole he would often freak out taking it off, but once he realized it was very simple to take off he was no longer afraid of doing so. Now putting one of his wings through the winghole adds and extra step. So, when he gives me the signal to take the harness off and finds that the harness takes 10 seconds longer to take off than usual and also that there is some of it around his wings and for some reason that freaks him out (maybe he feels he is not in control anymore?)

I am wondering if maybe I shouldn't go gradually wing by wing so he does't tangle himself in the harness? I feel like training him to put one wing through then another just makes it easier for him to tangle himself? And just let him sit with the harness and treats for a little bit then take it off ? And continue training this way?

Also I have the Petite size harness! Gordi is a little on the smaller size when it comes to Green Cheek Conures, but the harness seems to fit him well.
 
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