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Old 04-15-2019, 11:44 AM
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How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

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I just wanted to make this video and share it around because of what I've been reading (not necessarily on this forum, but other parts of the Internet). As you guys know, I don't claim to be an expert, not even a Cairo-expert. I've been getting concerned, reading on the Book of Faces people saying how their birds didn't like it the first time or how harnesses aren't for their bird or how their bird always struggles.

But I do believe that if you take an approach that matches your bird's mental process and body language, then harness training is possible. A lot of my training with Cairo is based purely on personal experience - not just with other pets in my life, but also with tertiary-level music training and working with children with special needs (including nonverbal and GDD).

And largely because I live in a place where leg chains are common, I am a HUGE advocate for harnesses. (I doubt I would be so aggressive if we lived somewhere that normalised harnesses.) So I am more than happy to constantly post and write nonstop to advocate for a safe way to bring companion birds outside and to help anyone who wants to do the same for their own birds. Seriously, I'm open to comments on this thread or PMs - that's how much I want people to switch from leg chains to harnesses.


I'm not saying we're perfect. I'm just hoping more people will give harness training a fair chance.

...

Adding a photo and video of why we, including Cairo, love the harness:



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*He grew up in a Malay-speaking family, so we have to respect his name and preferred pronunciation

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Last edited by charmedbyekkie; 04-15-2019 at 12:03 PM. Reason: added photo and vid
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:09 PM
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Re: How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

Great videos!!!

I have an Aviator Harness for Ember, and he still has yet to get used to it being on him. This definitely helps show how its all a process and the process works!! Great job!
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:23 PM
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Re: How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

Awesome video....Perhaps I’ll give harness training another go!
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:23 AM
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Re: How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

Share your stories (and struggles) too! I was terrified I was going to make a wrong step constantly, but Cairo was so forgiving every time he got tangled, likely because I worried so much and kept going back to the beginning of training to iterate the positive association.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:33 AM
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Re: How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

I had been trying to train Kermit to put his head through the loop willingly for months, but one day I just decided to put it on. He has a lot of trust in me and doesn’t mind (even enjoys) being grabbed/held. I know that people here like to take their time and wait until the bird is fully acclimated to the process of putting on the harness, but what we did worked out well for us. Kermit didn’t bite me a single time and he didn’t struggle a lot, and he certainly didn’t lose trust in me. If he goes outside and has a positive experience, that’s what matters. He doesn’t have to put the harness on himself in order to wear it. He has gone outside several times now and I think he’ll just get more comfortable with the harness each time. He enjoys his outings and apart from chewing on the harness here and there, he does very well.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:44 AM
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Re: How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

Very informative! We have not started harness training yet as there are training aspects that need attention but your method looks promising.

I know with my conure, new items cause wariness especially when confined. Not sure how he will take to wearing a harness at first.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:09 PM
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Re: How We Did Harness Training with a Touch-Phobic Bird

Today’s outing with Kermit. He did amazing and barely chewed on his harness.

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