Parrots love being outdoors and going on adventures. As their guardian, it can seem risky to take the bird outside considering they could fly away. However, this doesn’t have to stop you or the bird from having fun.
In this guide, we elaborate on whether getting a parrot leash is safe, how to choose and use one, and review four of the best ones available!
Are Harnesses and Leashes Good for Parrots?
Yes, taking your parrot out on a leash with a harness on is incredibly beneficial – not just for their safety, but for their health too.
Harness training for parrots is an effective tool to help the bird enjoy playing outdoors and get its fair share of natural sunlight without the added risk of the parrot flying away. Many parrot owners employ it as an alternative to wing-clipping.
When a harness is combined with a leash, the parrot is set to explore and interact with nature. The exercise promotes a healthier life, improves coordination, and nurtures their sight.
Interacting with strangers and animals stimulates their brain power which helps with language development and gives them a boost of self-confidence.
How to Choose the Best Parrot Leash and Harness
Having realized the benefits of using a leash and harness on your parrot, it’s time to choose one. There are a variety of parrot leashes available on the market.
First, to choose the right one for your parrot, here are the factors you need to consider:
Parrot sizes vary widely. For instance, parakeets are smaller than macaws but bigger than budgies. It’s important to find a harness and leash that is sized for your parrot’s proportions. Make sure the fasteners are located right, read about the mechanics, and ask around for a try-on.
Once you’ve picked out the right size, it’s time to direct the focus on getting the right fit on the parrot harness and leash. The general rule of thumb to check if the harness is a snug fit is to ensure there are no gaps or curves when it is worn. It should be tight enough to maintain control of the bird and loose enough to fly.
Birds are free creatures and aren’t biologically designed to carry weight. Make sure the parrot harness and leash you choose is lightweight. This allows the bird to enjoy flying outdoors, helps you harness-train the bird easily, and improves their coordination. The weight will be ideally distributed evenly if it fits right.
When picking out a lightweight parrot harness and leash, make sure it is made of durable material. You don’t want it to break at a mere tug or get tangled on a tree when the parrot is flying. Make sure the fabric is elasticated as it lasts a long time and adjusts according to the contours of the parrot’s body.
The parrot harness and leash should be fairly easy to put on. When you’re busy harness training a bird, the last thing you need is a tangled mess. Make sure the fasteners are easy to access, the leash is strongly connected and the handling is straightforward.
How to Use the Parrot Harness and Leash?
Now that you’ve zeroed in on a parrot harness and leash, here’s a basic rundown of how to use it and make the process smoother for both you and the parrot.
Read the Manual
Learn how the harness works before placing it on the parrot. Understand where the fasteners would go, how the leash would control it, and whether it will be easy to maneuver around. This will help you gain confidence in harness training and focus on comforting the parrot.
Use it Indoors
Before taking your parrot outdoors on a harness, test it indoors. This not only allows the parrot some time to get comfortable with the harness, but it also helps you identify the best way to maintain control on the leash. Whether it’s five minutes or five days, always make sure to start the training indoors.
Tweak the Fitting
Once the harness is on, make sure to double-check for any ripples or gaps in between the fabric and the parrot’s body. Adjust if needed and ensure it’s a snug fit. Not only should it be easy to control, but it should also be comfortable for the parrot to fly and move around in.
Use Positive Reinforcements
With a harness, the first impression is monumental for most parrots. Since this is a unique situation for the bird, it is bound to get anxious. Speak positively, allow it to wear the harness and roam around in the cage, reward the parrot with treats, and simply hold onto the leash as it moves in the cage.
When you sense the parrot is comfortable with the harness and leash on, it’s ready to go outdoors. Start with short distances and gradually travel farther. This allows the parrot to understand its surroundings and exercise it enough that the bird isn’t overwhelmed.
Reviews of Four of the Best Parrot Leashes Available
A popular name among bird trainers, the Aviator harness and leash had been the best in the market for years. It is made of high-quality nylon that is soft to the touch, comfortable to wear in the heat, and flexible enough to adjust to the parrot’s size.
The one-piece design is intelligently made with a single slide on the outside that is not only locked securely while moving outside but it’s also powdered black so the parrot doesn’t play with it and accidentally loosens the harness.
The leash is attached to the harness and cannot be removed. To ensure the bird doesn’t tug and tighten the harness, the leash adjusts automatically so you can maintain the control and safety of the parrot.
The collar is comfortable, hugs the parrot like a second skin, and is set on the shoulder which keeps the bird’s neck free and well-ventilated.
- High-quality nylon construction
- Elastic safety leash attached
- Shirt-like collar
- Powder-coated steel slide
- Lightweight: 4 ounces
- Welded edges
- 45-minute training video included
- The seams are welded so parrots can’t gnaw themselves free of the harness
- Durable, resistant to wear and tear as well as tangles
- Size runs small
A great pick for professional harness trainers, the Seapanhe harness and leash is made from durable materials and styled like a vest so your parrot is sure to impress everyone at the park.
The vest harness is easy to place on and tightens using a single slide, which makes the process almost effortless. To tweak the fitting, the slide can be adjusted until there are no gaps or spaces in between.
Once the harness is on, buckle in the leash and unravel the long rope. The harness-leash connector can rotate 360° which allows the parrot to roam freely on land and above without getting tugged.
The Seapanhe leash has a thick yellow handle at the end to securely hold onto the vest and gently tug to train the bird. Since the belt and buckle are in front of the vest, it may take a few attempts to understand how it works but once you get the hang of it, this harness and leash will last you a long time.
- Vest-like harness
- Self-adjusting leash
- Adjustable slide harness closure
- 360° rotatable leash connector
- Lightweight: 1.4 ounces
- The ergonomic leash handle does not hurt the palm on long walks
- Size fits most birds, from small parakeets to large cockatiels
- Takes time for a parrot to get used to the vest
The perfect choice for baby parrots, the Barn Eleven harness and leash is built to be a flight suit and a diaper – all in one. It works as a great starting point for young birds to get used to a harness and a leash by roaming around while you get to enjoy a poop-free home.
The shoulder straps are elasticated so they stretch to fit perfectly and essentially “break in” as the parrot grows. This also reduces irritation on its sensitive skin like blisters and rashes.
The stylish diaper harness is easy to place on the parrot and has a velcro system on the back to close securely. This saves you from fumbling around to close buckles and latches.
A loop on the end of the harness attaches to a given two-meter training leash. It is long enough to prevent tugging but durable enough to maintain control of the bird while it’s flying.
- Diaper harness
- Elastic shoulder straps
- Velcroed back
- Removable training rope
- 2-meter flying leash
- Lightweight: 0.1 ounces
- Incredibly comfortable, does not take long for a baby parrot to get used to it.
- Washable, easy to reuse for a long time.
- Does not fit large parrots like macaws.
Designed for medium-sized and large parrots, the Premier harness and leash is a great find if you’re looking for a long-lasting solution to going on adventures with your winged friend.
The harness is constructed in a figure-8 style of nylon straps and outfitted with many lobster-clasp closures which makes it easy to adjust the fitting. Place the harness on one strap at a time, this strategy will help settle the anxieties of the large parrot.
Once it’s snug against the skin, attach the leash and hold on tight. Make sure to loop the extra length around the palm to gently tug the parrot back to the land. Since it’s attached to the back of the harness, the leash doesn’t interfere with the parrot’s movement.
- Durable nylon straps
- Lobster clasp closures
- Figure-8 style placement
- Huge color variety
- Weight: 8 ounces
- 1.2-meter leash given
- Long leash – great to control strong birds when they’re flying in the sky.
- Adjustable clasps, perfect to size it right on a large parrot.
- It is easily chewed on by macaws.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are parrot leashes safe?
Yes, parrot leashes are safe to use on the bird. It does take a bit of practice to get the parrot comfortable wearing the harness and leash but the result is worth the wait. Parrot leashes allow birds to roam outdoors and have fun without the owner worrying that they’ll fly away.
How long does it take to harness-train a parrot?
It depends on how well-trained you are to handle the parrot with a harness and how anxious the bird is. Generally, professionals and expert harness trainers can get a parrot trained within a week – even if it’s difficult. For beginners at harness training, it can take 10 to 15 days.
At what age should you start harness-training a parrot?
Generally, a parrot can be trained to wear a harness as soon as the wings open or before they are ready to go on their first flight. For some species, that’s as early as three weeks old.
How do you get a parrot to trust you?
The key to gaining trust with the parrot is to start slow and steady. Keep a light tone while speaking to it, caress them gently, reward them with treats, and most importantly, be patient. Understand the body language of your parrot, do not rush the process because that can overwhelm or startle the bird.
A parrot leash and harness is a great toolkit to allow your winged friend to enjoy its natural habitat and fly outdoors. It’s safe to use, eliminates the risk of flying away, and improves their health. Choose any one of the above with the factors in mind and enjoy harness-training your parrot!