Scientifically known as mustela putorius furo, the ferret is a domesticated mammal from the Mustelidae, or weasel, family. They are considered a very intelligent and highly trainable animal, and many owners have several tips for training ferrets. Before beginning any type of training, it is important to establish trust between owner and animal. An owner should also work with his pet every day in short training sessions, using rewards as a sort of reinforcement. Repetition and certain sounds may also be helpful when training a ferret.
One of the first things that a person should do before attempting ferret training is to gain the trust of his pets. To do this, he should allow them to get used to him slowly. This often involves speaking to ferrets every day and offering small treats. Eventually, a ferret will come to the cage door and show its owner more and more attention.
To ensure that ferret training is successful, an owner should interact with his pet every day. This should often include playful, gentle handling, in addition to simple training sessions. This will help ensure that the pet does not forget the training it has learned.
Training sessions, however, should not last too long. Since ferrets are a rather active species and easily distracted, this will prevent them from losing interest. Most experts, for example, recommend training sessions that last no longer than ten minutes. These sessions should also be packed with fun and playful activities.
Negative reinforcement is often discouraged as a ferret training technique. This includes yelling at or striking the animal. Not only will this make a ferret mistrustful, but it will also make it less likely to learn. To teach an animal of this sort certain behaviors or tricks, experts often recommend positive reinforcement. This involves giving the animal a reward whenever it does something that is desired.
Positive reinforcement often involves tasty food rewards. Several treats are available on the market for ferret training. Other ferret treats can include meats, eggs, and nuts. It is important, though, to only offer these treats in small amounts as rewards.
It has also been recognized that certain sounds may also help when attempting ferret training. Certain tricks, for instance, may require repetition. Constantly repeating a certain command and rewarding desirable behavior can make the pet learn more quickly. Some individuals may also find that certain sounds, like bells or clicks, may also help a ferret recognize when he is supposed to perform a trick.