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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I recently purchased an aviator harness for my pied cockatiel, and it fits him and he likes it, really. He doesn't like putting it on or taking it off, but once it's on he's like "ooh, new toy!" His crest will be in the content position, so he isn't scared of it, but occasionally he'll start chewing at the buckle. The buckle is doing fine, but the fabric that goes through it is starting to become frayed, and I'm afraid he'll chew through it! How can I teach him to leave the harness alone? I've tried saying "Kirby, NO!" in a firm voice, gently tapping his head, and moving him around to force him to stop (i.e. moving my hand or commanding him to step up). None of these seem to be working, though I may just have to be at it longer. I would like to someday be able to leave him alone on a perch for a few minutes without having to worry about him damaging the harness, but as of right now I can't take my eye off of him for more than a second before he gets into it. Can anybody help?

Also, on the subject of the harness, do you know how to train them to sit still while you're putting it on?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Still need help

I've figured out that I can turn the buckle around to his back so that he can't reach it to chew on it, but it doesn't stay back there and I think it's really uncomfortable for him. This is a temporary solution, so I still need help with this. Any advice to get them to stop chewing?
 

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Give him something else to chew. I wear a necklace that my ex boyfriend gave me, my bird loves to chew that. Or give him a Millet spray. It was a problem for me at first but I only use the harness when we're going out now. So now when it's on Gregory knows that he's going to the markets or the shops or for a walk so he's too interested in what's about to happen to be too focused on chewing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Give him something else to chew.
Kirby doesn't really like playing with toys, though...plus I want to be able to leave him unsupervised for short periods of time with it on (i.e. if I have to go to the bathroom).

Maybe, though, when I scold him for chewing it I can reward him with Millet Spray when he stops
 

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So you've never noticed him chewing anything obsessively while out of cage?

Gregory's faves are:
Bobby pins
Q tips (he likes to throw them)
Tweezers
My iPad cover (it's made of suede)
Any jewellery
The tops of soda cans

I wouldn't really consider these 'toys' because I wouldn't leave him with them unattended because of health hazards, but there's probably something your bird would love to play with that's usually not available, just investigate more.
 
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