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Old 05-13-2019, 12:39 PM
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Sadly, I have given up on harness training

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Hi bird family! I come to you today, somewhat defeated I have been harness training my yellow dragon Lemon for over 4 years to accept his harness. I did it "by the book" with positive reinforcement and this went on for years! Finally, one of the members here advised me that he doesn't have to like it, he just has to wear it. So, I did the slip it on and you'll have to live with it method. I did that twice and he was miserable both times. He just would not have it. I gave up on the aviator and bought him a flight suit. Did the conditioning thing and decided to slip it on the day before yesterday. I took him for an hour long walk and he was absolutely miserable the entire time. You're supposed to distract him from chewing on it. NOTHING was distracting him. A hawk could have grabbed him and he still would have been focusing on the harness instead. I literally had to grad his head to stop him from trying to get it off. I did not even look ahead of me during this "walk." My eyes were on Lemon since he'd go after the harness every 3 seconds.

So, I get home and take it off and he is terrified of me. This is a bird who would walk on lava to come to me and now when I go towards him he runs away from me This happened the first two times with the aviator, but he forgave me pretty quick. This time he seems way more terrified.

At this point, I have accepted the fact that I have one stubborn little $%^& of a bird and I don't think he will ever accept being harnessed. Too bad since his is so bonded to me I would love for him to experience being able to go anywhere and everywhere with me. Thanks to all of you guys for your support and suggestions over the years. All is not lost, he can still go on car rides with me and in his carrier to visit family, etc!
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:56 PM
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Re: Sadly, I have given up on harness training

Im sorry to read this i self have no experience at all with harness training 4 years sounds alot im sorry it didnt worked out for you but every bird has its own character right?
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:17 PM
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Sun conure named Lemon (nickname Moonie) hatched August 28, 2014, BFA Professor Green hatched August 22, 2014, Macaw Flash hatched Sept 15, 2007
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Re: Sadly, I have given up on harness training

Amsterdam, yes sir! Some were "made for the harness" and others were not. I can accept that. I was just really excited for him since he is the very definition of velcro. He wants to be on me 25 hrs per day 8 days a week! So, on a day when maybe you were out of the house for a while and have to pop in for an hour and then leave again, it would be great to take him with me. How enriching would that be? I think huge. However, as you say, every bird has his own character and I think I should stop trying to force this on him.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:29 PM
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Re: Sadly, I have given up on harness training

I guess he is one of the few that will just not abide any sort of harness or other restraint. A shame but forcing him seems to be going more harm than good.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:32 PM
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Re: Sadly, I have given up on harness training

Quote: Originally Posted by Kalel View Post
Amsterdam, yes sir! Some were "made for the harness" and others were not. I can accept that. I was just really excited for him since he is the very definition of velcro. He wants to be on me 25 hrs per day 8 days a week! So, on a day when maybe you were out of the house for a while and have to pop in for an hour and then leave again, it would be great to take him with me. How enriching would that be? I think huge. However, as you say, every bird has his own character and I think I should stop trying to force this on him.
You could always do what I do with my Amazon. He was okay wearing a harness when he was really young, but as he got older, he refused to wear it. So I just got one of the backpack carriers so he can still go run errands and on day trips with me.

I opted not to get an actual pak o bird because I couldn't justify the cost at the time, but I got a similar style carrier off Amazon for $100. He loves it and when he sees me get it out he starts pacing saying "go bye bye, Bo Bo go bye bye."

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