Early last year I started a training process to get triton cockatoo Leo to learn to wear a flight harness. Last year, though, was an entire year full of all things inconsistent, to say the least. So another season of more warm, sunny days has come to Cascadia and Leo was only adventuring from the confines of his Popemobile. When our animal communicator visited last month, I asked Leo about his training harness. The animal communicator said he would wear one if it was purple. Leo relayed through the animal communicator that he understands the harness means he could have more fun while outside. Now I am stuck trying to teach him just that... again. Upon first researching the various ways to teach Leo to love his harness, the "just put it on and go have fun" method actually struck most true with fitting Leo's personality. Leo has now been on a forest hike and a couple of urban hikes as well as (what looks to me like enjoying) time in the sun from trees in the front and back yard in his new royal purple harness.
I believe the harness-is-fun lesson should be learned. Instead, it appears my initial fears about flight harness training have come true; Leo is scared of his harness. He panics when I begin to put the harness on and he is very difficult about taking it off. Oddly, though, once it is on, he seems to me (and others who have witnessed) to be having a great time. However, the battle to take the harness on and off is not balanced by this fun so I am back to square one in teaching Leo to accept his harness slowly and patiently. I really wanted Leo to get more out of being outside and going on adventures but even in purple, I must remember that it will take time for Leo to get used to something so new. It's okay. After the glimpse I have gotten of teaching this cockatoo to have a good time, Leo clearly still needs more training stages and patience. That will teach me.
Do you and your pets teach things to each other?
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This post is a part of the 52 Snapshots of Life Photo Challenge presented by The Lazy Pit Bull. This weeks theme is "Teach." Click here to see more of our photo challenge posts and check out the other "teach" snapshots below.