For our upcoming road trip to Phoenix, I have started to get Leo used to his new Aviator Flight Harness for parrots. Leo has never had much fear of new things. It is usually easy to get this cockatoo used to something different. But familiarizing Leo to his flight harness is unlike teaching him to accept a new picture hanging near his tree or changing the placement of his cage. I don't want Leo to simply tolerate or grow to accept his flight harness. I want him to truly like it.
I first introduced Leo to his flight harness during a very laid back moment. I praised and rewarded him for his curiosity about the new object. I think Leo learned that I wanted him to like his flight harness a little too quickly because later that day he managed to grab his harness from the shelf near his cage. By the time I noticed Leo had the harness, he had chewed through one of the straps. This was a difficult training moment because I wasn't happy about the wrecked harness. Still, I praised him for his curiosity. Then I ordered another harness.
Leo seems to have come to know the flight harness as a part of his everyday life. The next step in our training is for Leo to allow the flight harness on his body. I want him to decide how and when that will happen. I give him opportunities to get closer to his flight harness that might involve him putting his head through a loop of it or having it on his back. So far he has not volunteered these actions but I praise and reward even the tiniest movement towards the goal. If Leo makes the decision to eventually wear his flight harness, it's fun, positive training as well as something he'll enjoy for years to come.
Thank you for joining Cascadian Nomads, Dachshund Nola & Tenacious Little Terrier for the first Monday Positive Pet Training Blog Hop. Each month, bloggers and readers share and learn about positive pet training techniques, tools, frustrations and triumphs. Please join us next month, Monday, May 5th, with posts and stories about positive based training with any pets.