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Harness Training?

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Author Topic: Harness Training?  (Read 3216 times)

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GreyFeathers

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Harness Training?
« on: June 17, 2011, 02:24:21 PM »

Hi,
I don't have my baby grey yet but i'm looking at things to buy in advance so it's all sorted with the cage by the time he arrives.
I'm keen on harness training, I think it will be good trainning him to go on a harness from an early age of 12 weeks, so I'm looking at buying one.
What's your opinions on harness'?

I think it would benefit the bird, keep it safer around the house and he may even enjoy it once hes used to it and it would be an achievement for me if i can get him harness trained, how would i approach him with this?

I may be thinking early about this but i want to do everything right and as best as i can to give him the best start.
I'm just thinking ahead, wanting to buy things before ;)
-GreyFeathers
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bkhowe

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 02:34:19 PM »

Hi
The sooner you start the harness training the better, great to get them outside on a harness, it's the aviator medium size you want.
Nothing wrong in thinking ahead  :thumbsup:
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geffsgrey

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 02:36:09 PM »

Send for the Aviator, it comes with a DVD to show how to prepare the bird to wear a Harness and how to fit it.
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pip

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Re: Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 02:58:24 PM »

If you're buying a baby, choose a breeder who will start to harness train the bird a soon as all it's feathers are through, that's by far the best option.

I can recommend a great breeder who'll do that for you, let me know if you'd like her contact details.

pip

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Re: Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2011, 03:00:37 PM »

Also, don't buy the Aviator from a UK retailer, buy direct from the US manufacturer, it'll cheaper believe it or not. Can't post a link as on phone but look up The Parrot University.

pip

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2011, 03:15:25 PM »

Just seen you've already chisen your breeder :)

In that case, ask them to harness train your baby once you've provided them with the harness, a good breeder will be happy to do that for you :dance:

pip

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2011, 03:33:10 PM »

GreyFeathers

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2011, 10:53:55 PM »

Thanks for the replies.
I will ask her about harness trainging, but i might just wait til we pick him up and start it then. I would feel more happy knowing i've done it myself if you get me haha.

And oh thankyou Pip! I will buy it there as it only works out at around 20!
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pip

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2011, 05:05:10 AM »

Fully understand you wanting the challenge then the pleasure, I just like to make things as easy and free from stress as possible when it comes to parrots, they can be stubborn wotsits!  :rofl: :rofl:

Pat

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2011, 06:21:11 AM »

Harness training is a must I think, it's great to be able to take them outdoor and the Aviator is by far the best harness.  Just one thing I picked up on in your post, you said it would "keep him safer around the house" you aren't going to keep the harness on him in the house are you?  I might have read that wrong.  Harnesses are really just for taking them out and about, you don't need to keep a harness on him in the house.

GreyFeathers

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2011, 09:59:41 AM »

Pat, I must of wrote it wrong but i was meaning arounf the house as outside around the house. Sorry didn't make it very clear haha.
I will buy the harness next weeek! :D  :ty
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Pat

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2011, 10:33:48 AM »

Phew, that's ok then, I had visions of a Grey with a harness on permanently in the house!  :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

lizduncan

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2011, 10:35:24 PM »

I agree the earlier you start the better  :thumbsup:
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Greg Glendell

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2011, 09:52:49 AM »

I'm not generally in favour of harnesses as most birds find them uncomfortable.  Unlike mammals, who are adapted to having things touch their body like this, birds are not, as wearing anything disrupts the feathers and makes then feel uncomfortable.  Many find it distressing to wear them, even so, some people force them on their birds.  Sometimes the birds reaction is as though the harness is a foriegn body on them which has to be removed and this can make them panic, as though they are trapped in something.  Baby birds are submissive, so they are not likely to *show* any objection to wearing one.  So, they may tolerate it, but not actually like having to wear one. 

Of the harnesses, the aviator seems the best.  I was sent some samples by the manufacturer, but could not get Meyers or greys to accept them. 

The manufacturers instructions do not use bird-friendly ways of getting the birds to wear them but suggest you more or less force them on the bird regardless of your bird's reactions.  I had an email debate with manufacturer about this but he did not  understand about using positive reinforcement for introducing the harness to the bird, hence his use of forceful methods.  I would certainly encourage you to teach the bird basic flight requests (without wearing a harness/indoors), so the bird flies to and from you on request for a reward.


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bkhowe

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2011, 06:32:06 PM »

Good to hear differing opinions on the harness, maybe you could outline what your positive reinforcement methods would be Greg  :thumbsup:
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Greg Glendell

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2011, 08:21:46 PM »

Hi Bob,
If I were to train a bird to wear a harness, I  would not follow the maker's instructions on the Aviator.  Instead I would show the bird the harness and encourage it to touch it many times, before asking it to wear it.  I would reward the bird's interacting/touching of the harness.   Next I would reward the bird  for letting the harness touch it, on its back  and gradually elsewhere.  If this went ok, I'd put part of the harness on the bird for a few seconds; then reward, then remove.   So I would do the wearing thing *very gradually* with the bird and only proceed to a further stage, each time untill I was sure the bird was happy with the current stage, and showed no opposition to the harness.   

So *the bird* determines whether it is acceptable for him/her to wear it in the end, rather than the bird's trainer/owner.   
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jennifer steadman

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2011, 04:28:34 PM »

I cant get Bailey to even go near her harness. I've been leaving it near her cage for about a month now and moving it closer and closer.

I hold it in my opposite hand whilst stroking her with the other, but as soon as I try and approach her with it in my hand, she's off!!  :run

I have a sneaky suspicion that she isnt going to let me even try and train her.

I wont give up. I will keep on trying  with her though and see how far she will allow me to go. I have no intention of forcing her at all and if she really doesnt like, so be it.

Jennifer XX
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Pat

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2011, 05:26:48 PM »

I think once you get your Grey to accept the harness you need to put it on him a few times a week otherwise they will get out of the routine.  Charlie has a harness when we take him out and about, he loves to fly on Dartmoor I don't put it on him until we are ready to take him out of his Pak O Bird though, he doesn't need to be in it any longer than necessary.

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2011, 07:24:08 PM »


Hi,

I've been reading with interest the issues with harnessing Greys.  My bird was scared stiff of the first one I bought... it was red, and she seems to have issues with the colour.. honestly!  I've since changed it to pink, which whilst she hasn't yet worn it she is prepared to have it near to her and play with it... even showing interest in it.  I noticed her issue with the colour red when I had other red items near her... she'd freak out!  Strange since she has a red tail... but who knows why?  She won't come to me when I wear my red pj's but is never away from me when I'm in other colours; I'm stumped by this one lol.

I found the DVD that came with the harness very good.  It may have been changed since a previous poster had mentioned that the harness fitting part wasn't done well for the bird... it's all done in stages, gradually introducing it to the bird in small time segments and seemed agreeable to the bird, so I've been following the method and making some headway; I suppose only time will tell as to whether or not I'll actually get it entirely on to Ruby :rofl:
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Greg Glendell

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Re: Harness Training?
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2011, 08:02:15 PM »

Very good points Jenny about the colour red. 
This is probably a warning/threat colour; greys fan their tails when frightened or aggressive.  But the tails is almost 'hidden' when the bird is relaxed and the wiongs are folded over it. 

The harness-makers should be aware of this, but then, they don't 'do' behaviour do they!    Why not write to the folks who make the aviator...?    Black would also be a bad colour; a nuetral grey would be much better for a grey bird, and Amazons  should have green; cockatoos white...etc.    It's fairly obvious really isn't it, when you think about  it!   

For the birds!

Greg.

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