Can you train a ferret?
Do you want to know if and how to train a ferret?
In this post, I will share with you information about ferret training. I will answer questions like can ferrets be trained, can you potty train a ferret, how to get a ferret to stop biting, and many other topics. When you reach the end of this post you will see that with a little bit of effort and patience you can have a well-trained ferret in your home.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Can You Train A Ferret?
Ferrets are pretty smart animals and you can train them to do various things. The most important information for you as a ferret owner is that you can litter train your ferret and you can train your ferret to stop biting (or at least bite gently).
Besides useful ferret litter and bite training, you can also train your ferret to do tricks, to come when called, etc. Later in the article, I will share with your each and every training in detail so continue reading this ferret training post!
What Do You Need For Ferret Training?
You can’t train a ferret without giving him something in return. The most important thing you need for ferret training is, of course, a ferret. Besides a ferret, you will need a reward, in a form of a treat, oil, paste, etc. You can also use a ferret clicker, although it is not necessary.
For best results, I recommend finding a treat/oil/paste your ferret loves. If your ferret absolutely adores the treat, he will do everything to get it. You will catch his attention easier and you can even use a box filled with treats to call your ferret. With that in mind, you don’t have to train your ferret to come when called, you can simply shake the box and your ferret will come.
How To Train A Ferret?
Just like other animals, the best way to train a ferret is with rewards and continuity. You have to keep in mind that you can’t train a ferret in a couple of hours. Every training will take time, some less than a day, others a couple of months. The length of ferret training depends on the thing you want to train your ferret for. Ferret litter training and ferret bite training last longer than teaching your ferret some simple tricks like standing up.
Start With A Simple Task
If you have a young ferret, then you know how playful a ferret can be. So, to start the training I recommend starting with something very simple. That way your ferret will connect the treat with the task and the fact that he can do something and get a treat in return. Make sure the ferret knows the treat is in your hand, that is a great way to get his attention.
Cut Treats Into Smaller Pieces
Ferrets are small so we can’t give them a lot of treats for the sake of training. So, a good idea is to cut a treat into smaller pieces. That way you can train your ferret numerous times without giving him too many treats. Depending on the size of the treat, you can make up to 8 pieces out of one treat.
Keep Training Short
Ferrets have an attention span of around 3 minutes so keep the training session short. First, show your ferret what you want from him. You can do that by guiding your ferret with the treat or showing him what to do, then give him a treat.
Repetition is the mother of learning. So, make sure you have patience before you start training your ferret. That doesn’t mean they won’t figure out what you want from them. It means that your ferret can easily be distracted, especially kits, and you will have to repeat what you want for a few days even months to reach perfection. Also, you have to reward their behavior, with treats or cuddles.
What Can You Train A Ferret To Do?
You can train a ferret to do various things and tricks. You can train your ferret to use the litter, to stop biting, to behave with other animals and humans, and do various tricks just for fun. Let’s see each situation I’ve listed! I will start with the most useful ones then I will continue with entertaining ones like different tricks.
Ferret Litter Training
You can train our ferret to use a litter box just like cats do it. Most of the time this is not too complicated because ferrets do their business in chosen spots, but it is always a good idea to motivate your ferret to do it in the litter box. During this training session you will have to teach your ferret what is a litter box, why should he use it and how can he use it.
There are a few options you can try with your ferret for him to poop and pee in the litter box. None of the options is too complicated. They only require you to keep an eye on the ferret. If you want to know what are those options, read my detailed Ferret Potty Training Guide.
How To Get A Ferret To Stop Biting?
Ferrets bite and that is a fact. They do it as a form of communication and it is your job to teach your ferret that biting is bad. You have to show him that nipping is allowed, but anything stronger is forbidden. This is probably the most complicated training you will have with your ferret and it can last up to a couple of months.
But, don’t despair. Remember that they aren’t biting you to hurt you, they are communicating. You simply have to show them another way to communicate. There are a few tips you can use to keep your ferret’s teeth out of you and you can find them in my post about Ferret Bite Training.
Interaction With Other Pets
This training session is connected to the ferret bite training option I mentioned above. Also, you have to properly introduce a ferret to other animals before you let them hang out without your supervision. There are rules you have to follow when you are introducing a ferret to a cat or dog. If you have a cat and you want to introduce him to your new ferret, read my post about cats and ferrets.
On the other hand, if you have a dog and you want to introduce your ferret to a dog, consider reading this post about dogs and ferrets before you do that. Keep in mind that you can let your ferret hang out with cats or dogs, but don’t let him hang out with small animals, ferrets could kill them because they consider them prey. Read more about that situation in my post about ferrets and other pets.
Train Your Ferret To Come When Called
This is a particularly hard task to achieve. You can get your ferret to look at you when you are calling him, but only a few ferrets will actually come when you do that. They are very similar to cats when it comes to their names. They know it, they simply don’t care. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t come on command. You simply have to spice things up. You can do that with a box of his favorite treats or using his favorite toy. If you shake the box of treats, you can be sure your ferret will be next to you in a few seconds. The same story is with his favorite toy. Shake the toy (if it produces sound) and wait for your ferret to come.
There is one thing you could try in this situation. You can call your ferret the same moment you shake the box or toy. Repeat that for a couple of months and then, try calling your ferret without shaking the box (or toy). There is a chance your ferret will come to you, but only a chance. I have achieved that with my ferret Yoda, but I haven’t with Frida, she only came when I used a box of treats. Every ferret is different.
Teach Your Ferret Tricks
When you have a treat in your hand, you can do wonders with your ferret. Tricks are only for entertainment, but they are a good way for you to bond with your ferret even more. You can teach your ferret to give you paw, to do the rollover, to stand up, even to lie down when you pretend to shoot him. There are numerous options and ideas for ferret trick training and they all have one thing in common – a delicious treat.
I have taught my ferrets to roll over, to give paw, and to pretend to shoot them. It was a task that lasted for days and months, depending on the trick but it is possible. It is important to practice every day with your ferret and to teach one trick at a time with breaks between the tricks. If you want to teach your ferret one trick in a day, subscribe to my newsletter here and you will get the Friendly Ferret training guide!
Is It Hard To Train A Ferret?
You can easily train your ferret, but you have to keep the training short. Ferrets, especially kits, have a short attention span so you can’t train them for more than 3 minutes straight.
Can Ferrets Learn Their Name?
Ferrets can learn their name, but most of them won’t come when you are calling them. They will look at you and then continue doing what they did. But, you can do other things to get call your ferret and you can read all about that in my post above!
You can train your ferret to do various things, from useful litter training to funny rollover tricks, all you need is a good treat. Training is another way for you to build a bond with your ferret so it is something I would definitely recommend to all ferret owners, new and experienced ones. What are your opinions on ferret training? Do you teach your ferret tricks or did you only use training for litter and biting issues? Share your thoughts with us and subscribe to our newsletter!