Ferrets are very curious animals with a large learning capacity. Knowing How to Train a Ferret is necessary so you can be well informed before adopting or buying one. Here you will get all the ways about how to train your ferret.
Training Ferrets – How To Train A Ferret?
Like every other domesticated animal, a ferret needs to be trained as well. Ferrets may not be able to learn to do tricks quite like a dog would. However, basic training is possible and makes life easier for your ferret, as well as you. A ferret may require a nudge in the right direction every now and again. They will need to be taught how to respect boundaries. The younger they are when training begins, the better. It is much harder to train an adult ferret as they have their habits developed over the years.
Ferrets can be trained to use a litter box. They also learn to keep themselves clean by washing their faces if there is a bowl of water near them. In addition to this, ferrets can also be taught some tricks. With some training and persistence, a ferret can be taught how to sit, shake hands, roll on the floor and even how to jump through hoops. Some of these tricks, like teaching a ferret to jump through hoops, require a lot of training. At first, you won’t see any response from your ferret as the poor little won’t quite understand what is happening. Don’t be discouraged by this. A patient approach, calm attitude, and consistent training will soon start showing results.
IS YOUR FERRET A BITER?
Ferrets have a habit of biting or ‘nipping’. They bite each other too. The skin of a ferret is much stronger than a human’s, though. They don’t understand that it isn’t enjoyable for us humans and hurts us. A ferret may bite their owner several times while playing. There are several ways to stop a ferret from biting.
Sometimes simply not allowing them to bite you and saying “No!” firmly does the trick. In most cases, however, proper training is required.
Harsh punishments almost never work. Tapping the nose of a ferret, spraying him with water, throwing him away and hitting will only make your ferret angry or scared of you. This will produce the opposite of the desired result. Instead of teaching your ferret to stop biting, you will force your pet to bite out of fear. Gentle ways of training are much more effective.
Young ferrets (kits) are easier to train compared to adults. They don’t have a habit of biting yet. They are quick to catch on and will stop biting after just a couple of weeks of training. Adult ferrets with a habit of nipping are harder to stop and train. They bite because of lack of proper training they received when they were young. Another reason they may bite because of the fear of humans that may be caused by mistreatment. You need to win the trust of your ferret in these cases before you can start training them, which takes significantly longer.
Time-out is a very effective and mild form of punishment to train your ferret to stop nipping. Basically, you need to put your ferret in a cage for a short time everyone time he nips you. The time-out cage should not be the cage where your ferret sleeps. In that case, he will not realize he is being punished. Also, time-out should be only for a small time period of 3-5 minutes. Anything longer than 5 minutes will not be perceived as punishment. Your ferret will think it’s nap time and go to sleep.
Time-out cage should not be very big. It should have a bowl of water and a litter box for your ferret in case it needs to “go” during a time-out.
Young ferrets should be fed before you pick them up or play with them. They will nip you if they are hungry and want to be fed. These nips are harder than the mild play nips and hurt a lot. You can make it seem like it doesn’t bother you by not reacting at all. Any sort of reaction will make your ferret think it is a game. This will make him think it is acceptable to nip and it will become a common occurrence. Try not to react at the nip and do a time-out.
HOW TO POTTY TRAIN A FERRET?
Training a ferret to use the litter box is very important if you want your home to be clean and free of smell. It is a long process and needs a lot of attention and persistence from ferret owners. A litter box should be placed in your ferret’s cage. It should be near the playing area of your ferret. You need to pay close attention and understand how to read the signs. In just a couple of days, you’ll get a general idea of when you ferret is looking to urinate or defecate. If he does not go to his litter box, quickly pick him up and place him there before he starts to “go”. Regular praise and treats as a reward will encourage your ferret to always use the litter box.
Being the clever animals that they are, ferrets sometimes pretend and go to the litter box just to be rewarded with a treat. Before rewarding him with a treat, check if he really went to the bathroom. Still, your ferret might not always use the litter box. If you see that he is about to “go” somewhere else, elevate your voice, and firmly say, “No”. Then immediately put him in the litter box.
Another way to prevent your ferret from defecating in undesired places is to use apple bitter. If your ferret has a preferred location for urinating and defecating, put some apple bitter there. Your ferret will never go to that place after that. Apple bitter can be easily obtained from pet stores.
Once your ferret learns to use the litter box properly, place a second litter box in the room where your ferret usually plays. Train him to use that litter box while playing. This will be easier than training him to the use a litter box in the first place. Repeat this process again and again until you have trained your ferret to use multiple litter boxes completely. This makes life much easier as a litter box is close by no matter where in the house your ferret is.
Even still, sometimes accidents are bound to happen, especially in the early stages of training. Never be harsh to your ferret in these situations. Keep training consistently and soon your ferret will catch on.
The urine of a ferret really does smell. Nobody wants their home to be reeking of ferret pee. Whenever your ferret is playing, keep your carpets rolled up. Keep doing this until your ferret is fully trained to use the litter box. Diluted vinegar should be used to clean up any mess. Cleaning solutions with ammonia should never be used. Ammonia will have a reaction with the urine of a ferret. Check the ingredients before using any kind of cleaning solutions other than diluted vinegar.
FERRET BITE TREATMENT
Ferrets almost never bite humans. They mostly ‘nip’ to indicate they want to play. They might also nip their owner when they want to be fed. Nips are nothing to be worried about and can be stopped by training your ferret well. However, ferrets sometimes bite their owners when they are carrying some sort of injury. These bites are much harder and painful. A ferret may also bite if he is sick.
In addition to being sick or injured, another reason a ferret would bite is if he is afraid of or dislikes his owner. Ferrets need affection from their owner. Any sort of mistreatment will result n them developing a dislike for you. Older ferrets may be afraid of humans because of ill-treatment by their previous owners. This makes them scared of all humans and will bite if they are picked up or touched. Training them to not bite is a long process compared to young ferrets.
Ferrets bites are known to cause rabies. If your ferret has bitten you, make sure if he is completely healthy.
If there are no signs of infection or illness, confine your ferret for 10 days. If he becomes sick in this period, it’s best to have both him and you checked up. If your ferret has been confined for 10 days and shows no signs of sickness or infection, there is no risk of catching rabies from him. Still, consulting a vet is recommended. The confinement period is only a precaution to ensure that your ferret, that does not show any signs of illness, is not carrying a virus that will show symptoms a few days later.
Rabies is almost never a possibility with pet ferrets as they are indoors almost all the time and don’t come in contact with rabid animals. Regular vaccinations make sure that your ferret will not transmit rabies to you.
The chances of getting a bacterial infection are much more than getting rabies from a ferret’s bite. Bacteria like Pasteurella and Corynebacterium are usually present in the mouth of a ferret. A ferret causing a bacterial infection is also very rare but they are more common than rabies. Antibiotics are a simple solution to bacterial infection from a ferret’s bite.
IS A FERRET RIGHT FOR ME?
Ferrets really are fun and make for great pets. But, there are many things that need to be considered before adopting or buying one. Ferrets need a lot of time from their owners. Daily play-time with your ferret is necessary. The time and money spent in ferret-proofing your home is a lot as well. If you have very young children in your home, a ferret may not be the ideal pet. Medical expenses and food cost also need to be considered.
The time that goes into ferret-proofing is a lot. The process will have to be repeated in case you move. Make sure you have enough time before you get yourself a ferret. You need to spend time playing with your ferret as well. Unlike ferret-proofing, you will have to play with your pet on a daily basis. This will easily take up 3 to 4 hours of your day. Be sure you can commit to it.
During the first few weeks, a lot of time will also be required to train your ferret. On top of that, the energy spent on training is also a lot. For someone, that comes home really tired from work, a ferret might not be the ideal pet.
Regular cleaning of the cage, litter box and of your ferret, in general, is also extremely important. Only get one if you are willing to spend the time, energy and resources to take care of your ferret. Bathing should not be done on a regular basis, however. Only bathe your ferret once or twice a week. Regular bathing will surely reduce the smell for a day. However, it will remove the natural oils that the skin of the ferret produces. To counter this, your ferret’s skin will produce even more oils making it smellier than before.
Ferrets can get very smelly. Many people can’t tolerate the smell. Depending on the size of your home, the smell can become intolerable. In a small house, the smell tends to become overbearing.
The total cost of taking care of a ferret is a major factor for most people. Usually, the cost of getting a ferret ranges from $75 to $250. The cost will be on the lower side if you adopt your ferret from a shelter rather than buying from a pet store.
After getting a ferret, there are many significant one-time expenses. The cost of buying a cage, ferret-proofing, neutering, etc. can be a burden. But, these aren’t the expenses that will make a lot of difference as they aren’t recurring. Ferrets live for 6-14 years. So, medical costs and food costs are what needs to be kept in mind as you will need to meet these expenses for many years.
A ferret can uplift a person even when they are in the worst of moods. If you do not face any of these problems, a ferret will be a great pet and you will definitely enjoy being in the company of one.
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