How to Get Your Parrot Comfortable with a Harness

Learn how to get your parrot comfortable with a harness from Parrot Wizard Michael Sazhin in this Howcast video.

Alright. So, this video is about teaching your parrot to wear a harness. This is for ensuring a parrot’s safety when you take it outdoors. Whether your parrot is clipped or flighted it’s very important to put this restraining device, parrot harness, on them when you take them outside so that they can’t fly away.

Even a parrot with clipped wings can get a gust of wind and be carried up into a tree or into a street and hit by a car. So, it’s a very important safety measure to have a parrot harness and to clip it to your belt.

I like to use a carabiner hook to clip the harness to my belt to ensure that my hands are free and that the parrot cannot fly off.

Even when you’re using the harness at home for training you want to keep the harness clipped to your belt. Because if the parrot were to fly off, it’s better that it hit the end of the leash than to fly and get snagged on something and crash.

Most parrots are not accustomed to wearing anything. So, it’s very important to get them accustomed to the material, not be scared of it. Just being able to even show them the material without them getting scared is already a big step forward.

Many owners will force a harness onto their parrot, and because their parrot’s very tame, maybe the first couple times they can get away with it. But after awhile, the parrot, when it sees the harness, knows that you’re going to put it on, and it’s going to get scared and try to fly away or bite. So it’s important to make the parrot not scared of the harness in the first place so that it never tries to resist having it put on.

One thing we can do is we can drape the harness material or put it near the bird and show it that nothing’s going to happen with it, and give it treats. Maybe we can move forward to touching the bird with the harness. What? Making sure he doesn’t get too uncomfortable. Just going to touch him with the harness and then give him a treat.

This desensitization process with the harness can easily take a few days, even weeks. It’s very important that your bird not be scared of the harness before you put it on. If the bird is already scared of it and you put it on it’s only going to make things worse. So, this early desensitization process really is the most important part. Alright. I’m going to touch him with the harness and show him it’s no big deal and give him treats.

Turn. Good boy. Now we’re making progress. I’m able to hold the harness on him longer without him getting edgy or moving around. So that’s the goal. I want him to be able to stay still and not resist having the harness put on.

We’re going to move on to not only putting the harness on top of him but I’m also going to drape my hand around it to simulate the process of having it put on him. You’re going to have to touch your bird a lot during the harness donning process so you’re going to want him to be comfortable with your hands.

I’m going to drape the harness on the bird and hold him with it. Show him that’s it no big deal. No harms going to come. I’m not even going to force it on him.