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Training Your Pet Ferret

Aug 17, 2007
Although they have become more popular over the years, ferrets are not your typical pet and many people think these exotic creatures are more like wild animals than companion pets. While they may look like they belong in the woods instead of in your living room, the ferrets you buy in the pet store are really quite domesticated and can be trained to do many things.

Even though ferrets are strong willed they are also very intelligent and can be easy to train. As long as you use patience and consistency, you can train any ferret. Just like with any pet, you need to adapt your training techniques to the specific personality of the ferret, but there are some basic ferret training tips to follow.

The best way to train a ferret is to use positive reinforcement. This form of training allows you to shape the behavior that you desire by giving them a positive reward when they perform a specific behavior. At first, you should reward them for behavior that is close to the desired behavior and then gradually work to exact behavior. The most effective reward for this training is food and treats are good as long as they are giving in small amounts. Positive reinforcement is much better for training than punishment since you will teach them what you want them to do rather than something you don't want them to do.

If the ferret does something you don't want them to do then the best thing to do is take your attention away from them. This way the ferret doesn't get attention for doing some sort of bad behavior. The reason for this is that for some animals any attention is good attention even if you are angry with them. Therefore, if you must punish your ferret for bad behavior then a time out may be the best option. Never hit or yell at your ferret for doing something bad.

These ferret training tips can work for the large issues such as litter box training and training your ferret not to nip while playing. However, at the same time these training tips can be used for smaller things such as simple tricks and how to walk on a leash. Regardless of what you are, training your ferret to do always remember that persistence, patient and consistency is the key.

Your pet ferret can be trained to do the necessities like using a litter box and walking on a leash, but he can also be trained to do tricks if you want to take the time. You can train him to stand up and even to stay on your shoulder without trying to run down every time he sees something that catches his interest.

When starting a training program for your ferret, it's probably best to start with the simple things like litter box training and you can eventually move on to bigger and better tricks - use your imagination and you will have a great time bonding with your pet.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.ferrets.pet-breeds.com where you can learn more about caring for your pet ferret and training him to do tricks.
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