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Harness training?

Mia V

Meeting neighbors
Joined
9/22/18
Messages
24
So I did what the avian fashions said to and I think I still screwed it up. Stuck it nearby the bird for awhile. Even gently pet him with it. He got to the point where he didn't fly away from it, he just nibble and bit it (which honestly seems like as good as it gets with this bird cause thats how it goes with toys). I kept his food dish empty for a couple hours then I stuck the thing on and he freaked out, flew off onto a curtain and focussed entirely on biting this thing. Stuck his food dish next to him and it didn't even register, so I took it off.

I don't get how you condition them to the point of being comfortable in the harness. I mean, they can be comfortable with it off them, but it seems like once it's on them, it's a whole different ball game. I mean, these guys are naked their whole life and scared of anything new.

The only solution I can think of is just keep putting it on him for five minute increments until he gets used to it and wrapping a napkin to it, so he'll focus on that and not ruin harness. However he's probably going to put up more a fight now that he knows what's up when I open the flight suit and put it next to him. I'll also use a higher value treat like apples or seeds. Any other tips or better ways to do this.
 
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Zara

❀♡ My birds are responsible for 99% of my typos ♡❀
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I don't get how you condition them to the point of being comfortable in the harness.
By bringing it closer slowly over time. Eventually when your bird has access to it and is exploring it with their beak, you can put the loop over a wing, then take it off, then on, then off. Once you notice they are uncomfortable, stop. Do it like a game, as if a peekaboo type game putting the loop over wings and head and removing it. It is really important you don´t overwhelm them.
Don´t just put it on him all in one go. Too much.

Here is the info vid from Aviator harness if you haven´t seen it;
 

Mia V

Meeting neighbors
Joined
9/22/18
Messages
24
By bringing it closer slowly over time. Eventually when your bird has access to it and is exploring it with their beak, you can put the loop over a wing, then take it off, then on, then off. Once you notice they are uncomfortable, stop. Do it like a game, as if a peekaboo type game putting the loop over wings and head and removing it. It is really important you don´t overwhelm them.
Don´t just put it on him all in one go. Too much.

Here is the info vid from Aviator harness if you haven´t seen it;
That makes sense thanks!
 

owlsthetic

Strolling the yard
Joined
7/14/22
Messages
107
Location
BC Canada
I'm also harness training my boy currently. And I think clicker training helps a lot. I started with clicker training first and getting him comfortable with the harness by having it wrapped on my wrist when doing positive interactions with my bird like giving treats or scritches.

I used the stickied thread on clicker training which has been very helpful for training in general.

An Introduction to Clicker Training

I kept his food dish empty for a couple hours
I just use high level treats like safflower seeds, hemp seeds or millet for training but I still keep food available for my bird though I know some training videos suggest using hunger as training motivator but I think just having the high level treats work well enough.

It is a long process though. We're a month in harness training and he's only accepted the harness over his wings so far. As you mentioned they're naked their whole lives and we're suddenly trying to get them to wear a harness so it's understandable they don't like it. I think if we try to "force" it on to them too much it might backfire and leave to aggression, behavioral issues so I usually do 5 min increments of harness training a day and I stop as soon as my bird displays any fear or uncomfortableness with the harness being on/near him.

To be honest I don't think harness training works for 100% of birds even when done with perfectly, some birds tolerate it better than others and some just won't have it at all so I'm just going with the flow and seeing how far I can go with the training with my bird and if it doesn't work out in the end I imagine I would have to suck it up and just take him out in his bird backpack.
 
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