Sunday, February 13, 2011

Training Ferrets

Some people don’t think training ferrets or polecats is even possible, I differ on that opinion, – and they are very willing to please you… Training ferrets is quite similar to training dogs or even training a whale.

The key to training any animal is patience, consistency, and most of all training in a positive manner, no punishments. For example, if you see the ferret using the litter box, praise him or her vocally and give him or her a tasty treat. If you catch the ferret or pole cat backing into a corner to do their duty, pick the ferret up, using a firm no, place the ferret in the litter box. At this point, if the ferret does their duty, use a praise and treat reinforcement.

It is a good idea to start a new ferret and/or baby ferret (kit) out in a confine space with a litter box in a corner. Ferrets will always use a corner or corner of an area to eliminate.

One pet ferret litter training mistake people make is cleaning the litter box completely. If there is no feces or urine odor the ferret will think it isn’t suppose to eliminate in the box. Always save a bit of feces and a small clump of urine soaked litter to place in the clean litter box.

Another reason ferrets don't use their litter box is because some people are to lazy to scoop the box on a daily basis. I wouldn't want to stand and have waste materials squishing between my toes either. Nor, would I want to stand there smelling the awful odor and neither does your ferret. It takes but a minute, keep the litter boxes clean.

Ferrets do have a tendency to forget occasionally. As they get better at using the litter box you can increase the size of the confined area. As their play area increases and you notice a corner they have started to use to eliminate, put in another litter box.

Sometimes they get in a big hurry. They will back up to their litter box, stop short of it and squat with their little behinds up in the air missing the litter box entirely. I bought plastic carpet protectors and placed a good size square under the litter box where a portion sticks out on all sides.

Ferrets nip each other in play, its natural behavior but it is an unwanted behavior when they are playing with their human family. If they nip or bite you do not punish them. Immediately stop playing with them, with a firm no, and walk away. They are such social, intelligent exotic pets; it doesn’t take long at all for them to realize nipping is an unwanted behavior. Hitting a ferret or flicking a ferret on the nose will only cause the ferret to fear you, you are reinforcing a bad behavior and that biting will continue and become worst.

One of the first things you will want to teach your ferret is to come when called. This is for ferret’s safety. At the beginning, if you have multiple ferrets, you are basically teaching all of them to come to you. Read the rest of my article, and series on the pet ferret! Training Ferrets

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