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Issues with Harness Training

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Issues with Harness Training

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Tue May 16, 2017 8:54 pm

I really need help on this one. I really want to be able to take Ducky with me places, but I've had major issues with harness training. Today I got him comfortable sticking his head through the loop with the target stick, but once he stuck his head in too far and couldn't get it off. He flew around in a panic, and then landed and couldn't stop trying to rip it off. He wasn't interested in all the seeds in the world, all he wanted to do was get that thing off him. In the end, I had to use force to hold him down and take it off. Now, I'm worried that after this bad experience, he will be deathly afraid of the harness and want nothing to do with it. How do I get him used to it again and be comfortable with the collar around his neck? He always put his head in, touched the target stick, but pulled his head out immediately as if he wasn't comfortable.
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
Bluebell- Blue Budgie :bluebudgie:
Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
Trick or 'Tiel
Conure
 
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Re: Issues with Harness Training

Postby Pajarita » Wed May 17, 2017 11:08 am

Pull it off before he has a chance to do it himself - meaning, target, allow him to put his head through it, praise and reward and immediately take it off - and repeat - and repeat -and repeat and wait until the following day when you will start again doing exactly the same time: target, put head through, praise/reward and remove. And, as time goes by and he starts getting used to having it around his neck, delay the removal of the harness from his neck just a tiny bit (and I am taking seconds, mind you!) at a time until you see that he will leave it alone for, say, 5 minutes or so. Then start (very gently and very slowly) to put one wing in and remove the whole thing - and again, and again with the same praise/reward and immediately remove until he leaves one wing in. Then you go for the other wing and so on and so forth.

The trick is to take as long as it takes for the bird to feel comfortable with each step of the procedure and always take it off before he starts struggling so he doesn't feel as if this is something that is being forced on him.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
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Re: Issues with Harness Training

Postby Trick or 'Tiel » Wed May 17, 2017 6:15 pm

The problem is, he doesn't stick his head very far in and doesn't leave enough time to reward. If the collar is really ON him, like around his neck, all he is trying to do is get it off and doesn't care about the reward. He isn't "grabbable" meaning he isn't comfortable with me manipulating his body like pulling his wings out or picking him up by the neck. So I probably need to get him used to that stuff first before I attempt to put the whole harness on him. I see so many people with big parrots on harnesses outside with them, but very rarely with small parrots like tiels. I just want to be able to take my little buddy with me outside!!
Ducky- Lutino Cockatiel :pied:
Bluebell- Blue Budgie :bluebudgie:
Kermit- Yellow Sided GCC :gcc:
Trick or 'Tiel
Conure
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 124
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel, Budgie
Flight: Yes


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