Tips for Training Your Pet Ferret

ferret care dallas As your veterinarian will tell you, training a pet ferret is not only possible but also necessary. Ferrets are intelligent and inquisitive, and training them will make both them and their owners happier. Just as with other animals, training a ferret requires patience and persistence, but if you stick with it, your ferret will be following your instructions in no time. Succeed with your training efforts with these tips.

Focus on Biting First
Ferrets are notorious for having a few bad biting habits, so it’s important to deal with nipping behaviors during training first. Once you train your ferret that nipping is not acceptable, it will be easier to focus on other activities. To convince your ferret to stop nipping, consider using a time out cage. This cage should be different than the one that your ferret goes to for sleep. If your ferret nips, simply put him or her in the cage for up to five minutes, before bringing him or her back out. Don’t exceed five minutes of punishment, or your ferret may forget what happened. Never spank, spray with water, or tap on the nose to punish your ferret for biting. Doing so is likely to make him or her bite harder.

Use Treats
Ferrets respond to positive reinforcement, so using treats to convince your ferret to follow your training efforts is helpful. For instance, if you want to teach your ferret to shake hands, start by putting a treat about an inch from your hand when you are sitting in front of your ferret. When he or she steps on your hand to try to reach the treat, shake his or her paw and reward your pet with the treat.

Feed Your Ferret Before Training
Your ferret will be much more likely to go along with your training efforts if he or she is not hungry. Try to work on training right after your ferret eats. You will keep his or her attention for longer and are less likely to experience biting and bad behavior.

Ferrets also need regular veterinarian care to ensure they stay healthy enough to keep learning. Chastain Veterinary Medical Group provides exotic animal care at both of our veterinary hospitals in Dallas and McKinney for ferrets, snakes, and other less common animals. Make an appointment today by calling (972) 239-1309 for Preston Road Animal Hospital in Dallas or by calling (972) 529-5033 for Meadow Brook Animal Hospital in the McKinney/Frisco area.

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