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Old 09-17-2017, 03:46 PM
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Unhappy Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

I was just getting back to where we were before I forced the harness on her. I thought I found a treat she would do anything for (unsalted pistachios in the shell) and we were about to make very rapid progress.

Suddenly, Kizzy refuses to work with the harness. Period. She flies away. No amount of cajoling or special treat can get her to cooperate. It's been three days now. Maybe I made the mistake of giving her a day off in the first place. I don't know.

I tried putting her in her cage and "working" with some fake parrots I have, making a big fuss and letting them have all kinds of treats. It was sort of a mean model / rival method. I did it once today and she got very pissed. During her cage time, she first started singing to get my attention and when that didn't work, she beat the crap out of one of her toys.

If jealousy and treats don't work, where can I go from here? I want to use positive reinforcement, but darn if she isn't a stubborn little bird. Just when I think I've made real progress with her, she proves me wrong. Right now she is outsmarting me.

Before posting this, I tried something else. Out of curiosity, I offered the harness as a toy and she beat the crap out of it. She definitely has some issues with it. I have no idea where to go from here.
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Old 09-17-2017, 03:53 PM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

How long have you been working with her on this? Every night? As a part of other trainng, or just doing this? I so want to help Kizzy enjoy the freedom of going out in harness.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:16 PM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

Quote: Originally Posted by wrench13 View Post
How long have you been working with her on this? Every night? As a part of other trainng, or just doing this? I so want to help Kizzy enjoy the freedom of going out in harness.
So do I. Except for the last three days, I've worked with her every single day since she was around 8-9 weeks old. Usually, I work up to it after tricks she enjoys doing. But she is acting phobic and I don't know why.

I've worked with lots of parrots in my life (most of them when I was younger) and never have I faced such an intelligent, stubborn little girl. She is insanely smart. I would go so far as to say she is the smartest parrot I've ever worked with. If she wants to learn something it doesn't take her very long. She also has her own ideas as to what constitutes a "good enough job" to receive a treat and if I don't give her one, she gets very angry. This little girl is something else.
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Last edited by Ladyhawk; 09-17-2017 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 09-17-2017, 04:47 PM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

Starting Point: It is NEVER the fault of the Amazon!!! It is ALWAYS the fault of the Human!!!

The reality of Harness Training is that it requires that your Parrot has 100% comfort with you doing near anything with her. Plus the harness has been hanging around and she is as comfortable with it as the water and food bowls.

If you, in fact, forced it on her - you are now in the Amazon (dog) House!

Having her 'vent' her displeasure on the harness and as you saw, she had no love for it! Great Idea, much knowledge gained, and a clear statement you will be starting from square one!

You may want to have a long discussion with Wrench13 on the process staring from square one.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:10 PM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

Quote: Originally Posted by SailBoat View Post
Starting Point: It is NEVER the fault of the Amazon!!! It is ALWAYS the fault of the Human!!!

The reality of Harness Training is that it requires that your Parrot has 100% comfort with you doing near anything with her. Plus the harness has been hanging around and she is as comfortable with it as the water and food bowls.

If you, in fact, forced it on her - you are now in the Amazon (dog) House!

Having her 'vent' her displeasure on the harness and as you saw, she had no love for it! Great Idea, much knowledge gained, and a clear statement you will be starting from square one!

You may want to have a long discussion with Wrench13 on the process staring from square one.
Yeah, I know it was my fault and I won't make that mistake again. I thought if I showed her she could go outside and have fun, she'd understand why the harness was a good thing. Instead, I lost all the progress I'd made up to that point and it took us over two weeks to get back to where we were.

Now we're at square one again and this time I don't know why. She suddenly decided she was not going to work with the harness. I don't know what she's thinking, but something made her decide, "No! We simply aren't doing this anymore. I don't care how hard you try to bribe me." I honestly don't know what it was. Wish me luck as I try to figure it out.

The first time, I had to change the "command" word from "on" to "put your head through" and start from the beginning. Maybe this time I should make the harness a simple toy and we can wrestle with it...let her take out her frustrations on it. I don't know if that will help, but it's about all I can think of.

Keep in mind that Salty and Kizzy have vastly different personalities. Kizzy is sensitive and will probably have a bigger negative reaction to my mistakes. My mistakes will be amplified, so I have to be careful going forward.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:41 PM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

Quote: Originally Posted by Ladyhawk View Post

Yeah, I know it was my fault and I won't make that mistake again. I thought if I showed her she could go outside and have fun, she'd understand why the harness was a good thing. Instead, I lost all the progress I'd made up to that point and it took us over two weeks to get back to where we were.

Now we're at square one again and this time I don't know why. She suddenly decided she was not going to work with the harness. I don't know what she's thinking, but something made her decide, "No! We simply aren't doing this anymore. I don't care how hard you try to bribe me." I honestly don't know what it was. Wish me luck as I try to figure it out.

The first time, I had to change the "command" word from "on" to "put your head through" and start from the beginning. Maybe this time I should make the harness a simple toy and we can wrestle with it...let her take out her frustrations on it. I don't know if that will help, but it's about all I can think of.

Keep in mind that Salty and Kizzy have vastly different personalities. Kizzy is sensitive and will probably have a bigger negative reaction to my mistakes. My mistakes will be amplified, so I have to be careful going forward.
You Have An Amazon! Yes, a Bit More Sensitive then 'maybe' others, but an Amazon, none the less! You pushed and she pushed back! You forced and she road blocked you! That is NOT sensitive, its stepping forward and clearly saying NO! That is NORMAL Amazon there!

Letting her have her way with that harness is a good idea! It maybe the end of that harness, but that's likely what it will take!

But, you are back to square one!!!

Goal:
Being able to handle your Amazon without her being one bit concerned is where you need to get too! Only Good Things Happens When You Are Handling Her Or Around Her. Once she begins trusting you again! Start with simply holding her in different positions that the Vet would need to examine her. Remember that there are pre-steps to each position. So, its one step at a time, even it it takes eight steps to get the the final position!

Months from now, it will be time to try the harness at that time!

Remember: There is nothing Natural about having a Harness on!!! NOTHING - its Pure Trust!
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:07 PM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

Well, I got her to put her head through the loop tonight and even drape it over her body. I think that for awhile I should allow her to pull her head back out any time she likes. I'm going to try one more time. OK, I'll just get her to put her head through the loop for now. I don't know why she suddenly gave in tonight. Maybe beating up the harness helped. XD
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:18 AM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

What has happened with Kizzy is more common than you might think. In fact, it is for this very reason that the DVD that comes with the aviator harness goes through such a laborious and painstaking process for harness training birds. Simply put, baby birds tend to be far more tractable than older ones. So they allow the harness to be put on because it's what their authority figure tells them they're supposed to do.

...and then they grow up. The day comes when they get a bit more independent with their thoughts and desires. So for quite a few, they come to the sudden realization that they don't actually like this! And further... that they don't have to allow it! Lol!

Something similar happened with my Bixby when I was still visiting him at the store while waiting for him to wean. I didn't get to do it the way they say on the DVD, because I never allow my birds to get clipped and the store policy doesn't allow flighted birds out of their cages without a harness. (Sensible enough rule, given the huge picture window at the front of their store. The huge picture window Bixby flew directly into upon his very first flight! Oops!)

So I just put it on him. Which worked well enough... until it didn't. After a few weeks, as he got closer to being fully weaned, he decided this harness nonsense just wasn't for him. Lol! So we went from me putting this harness on him like it was nothing, to him fighting tooth and nail (short of doing anything whatsoever to harm me) to keep me from getting it on.

Here's the thing, though. Through necessity (or rather, picking the lesser of two evils: either force the harness on him, or stop physically interacting with him until he was fully weaned and ready to go home), I actually handled the situation far worse than you did. I had a 10-15 minute wrestling match with him every day that I went to visit him. It was horrible. We always enjoyed our time together afterward, but the first 15 minutes were always a trial!

Anyhow, it took quite some time but I was eventually able to get him into a harness without an epic wrestling match. It all came down to offering treats as bribes and having the perseverance to outlast his stubbornness. Don't get me wrong. He passed before it ever became a smooth and relaxed process, but it was heading that way before the disease with which he was born took him away from me.

Point is, though, that if there was light at the end of the tunnel after so many rounds of daily 15 minute wrestling matches, there is most certainly hope for you and Kizzy. But if she's as stubborn as I think she is, it's going to be a while.
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:55 AM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

Wow. I only have one suggestion https://www.celltei.com/
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:34 AM
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Re: Harness training = stubborn, stubborn Kizzy

I'm sorry if my suggestions backfired with Kizzy.
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