Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 23, 2021

Green conure


Hi my green conure always refuses the leash and it always refuses to put it on no matter where we take him. I see other green conures put leaches and go out but nothing from ours


Answer:

Hi Sue,

All birds are different when it comes to learning something new. Some do take to the harness and leash right away. But generally those birds were trained to wear the harness when they were very young. To begin with, if you take your bird out without it, he has no incentive to wear it. No matter how well clipped a bird’s wings are, they can and will fly away if you take them outside without a restraint. All it takes is a noise or animal to startle the bird, and he can be gone. It is easier for a clipped bird to fly outside because he can catch the wind. As for training to the harness, you need to take it one step at a time, and only use positive reinforcement. If he refuses, ignore him. When you make progress, give him a reward. Since a harness does go around a bird, it can trigger his flight instinct, because a predator would grab him from behind. He needs to trust the harness. If you turn it into a struggle, he will keep resisting. Just go slow and don’t give in, which means until he will wear the harness and leash, he can’t go out to places. Each time you give in, you undo all of the training you have already done.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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