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Ferret World
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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8

Chapter 4

 

Litterbox Training
Litterbox training is one of the first items all the new owners agenda.  If they can't list kept in a confined areaway litterbox was always available, chances are then it at least those leather litterbox is used floor.  The idea of a confined area with a litterbox is a good beginning regardless of the age of the ferret.  Just remember, ferrets are not for the fastidious. 

On the first day until the ferret should be confined to a small area, preferably to its cage, like its used to the sites, sounds and smells of its new surroundings.  The domestic ferrets cleaned affable.  It will relieve itself well away from its source of food and its sleeping area.  Keep a close eye on your new pack if you see it using a litterbox for its intended purpose, lavishly praised it and give it a drop of diluted ferretone / linetone as a reward.  If it begins to relieve itself elsewhere, shout allowed no, they cannot be sure to carry it ballet up to prevent leaving the trail and place it is a litterbox make sure it finishes there, praised it and give it the ferretone / linetone treat. 

After the first day, give it the freedom of a small room.  You may have noticed that the ferret always uses a corner of the litterbox, in the room it will also tend to use corners.  Place litterbox is in strategic corners of the road.  It's also a good idea to place strips of plastic carpet runner under a Java litterbox is to protect carpet from accidents.  It may also be a good idea to place the runner it's in corners where there is no litterbox again repeat the close observations and rewards went uses the litterbox for the shout and carry method when it does not. 

Most ferrets quickly learn that they get a treat when they go to the litterbox.  After a while they may frequently run their entry tend to relieve themselves just to get a reward.  They are clever and sometimes you may wonder who is training whom. 

When the ferret is using the litterbox regularly, you can expand its territory.  Repeat this gradually until it has the run of your home, or at least those areas where you're willing to allow them to roam.  Litterboxes will be required in each room however.  The domestic ferret is very careful about protecting its food and bedding from its waste products.  Outside of those areas, it really doesn't see the reason for the fuss.  If the litterbox is available and they get to a time, they figure, "Great!"  If they can't, "Hey, my food is away over there and my bedding is way down there.  What's the problem?"  You can use this tier benefit by placing the part of its bedding or dish of its food in the corner you dealt wanted to use as a litterbox.  Chances are good that it will use that area as long as the bedding or food dish are present. 

If they extended freedom proves too much for its litter training programs, reduce the area and try again.  Very few ferrets will be 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time.  Must ferret owners would be overjoyed with even 85 percent.  One new owner asked me, "how can I keep my ferret from going to the bathroom on my kitchen linoleum?"  My answer, "take up the linoleum!" 

Accidents do happen, and with the ferret they sometimes seemed to have been frequently.  France often find places to relieve themselves through smell.  If they went their wants, they'll probably continue to use that spot.  You can reduce that likelihood by either giving up in putting a litterbox there or by thoroughly cleansing with a good clean air or a mixture of 1/4 cup white vinegar and three quarter cup club soda.  Don't use a clean air with ammonia.  Urine contains ammonia and the smell of the ammonia in the cleaner will send the wrong message. 

And ferret will not use a litterbox if he considers it to dairy.  Clean litterbox on a regular basis leaving a small bit of waste or a little soiled litter otherwise they may think that you got to the new sand box and will have a great time being unit and throwing the litter everywhere. 

Having said that I usually console myself with these thoughts.  The ferret waste has very little odor and very low moisture content.  The ferret waste is easily picked up after it dries. 

While on the subject of cleaning litterbox a warning on using cleaning is containing phenylphenol, either spray or liquid.  This chemical disinfected, is believed to be very toxic to ferrets.  If you disinfected litterbox with such a cleaner, rinsed and air dry thoroughly before allowing your ferret to use again.  Don't spray it near the ferret or allow the ferret to walk on the floor of the area where it was used until floor has been thoroughly washed and rinsed. 

Biting
           
Puppies bite, kittens bite, children bite.  For some reason many people think that bite by a ferret kit is assigned then it is a wild vicious animal.  In the kit, biting is usually a part of its normal play activities.  If you've ever watched a group of kids playing, you've probably wondered how they can keep from hurting one another.  The answer is an unusually tossed kid.  Ever tried to vaccinate one?  The term shoe leather comes to mind. 

Biting from the domestic ferret is relatively rare compared to the dog or can and is often assigned of either an untrained or an abused animal.  Even these older animals will quickly respond to kindness, firmness, consistency and genuine affection. 

There is the ferret play and then there is human play.  The idea is to teach the ferret win each is appropriate.  One of the most important lessons to teach your ferret is that pickup time is not play time.  When you pick up your ferret to hold it, never roughhouse or invite play.  This is the signal of client time, a time for hugs and panic.  Once you pick your ferret up, keep holding it on your terms.  No matter how much it male wanted down, keep holding it until you're ready to put it down.  Once it settles down in your hands, it usually with a big sigh, give it a reward of diluted ferretone / linetone.  It will get the idea. 

If you decide to ferret play, choose your terms.  If it's going to be very rough and tumble play, I suggest you use a thick puppet, stuffed animal or something similar that your ferret can readily chomp at without fear of hurting you.  It's going to be more subdued play or human play don't get to rough and confused the ferret.  Stick to tummy tickles and a little fur roughing or tug-of-war.  They are smart and will quickly learn the difference. 

Should it nip a little too hard, a loud "No" will let it to know that it has done wrong.  This is especially effective when it is accompanied by scruffing.  This is done by holding the ferret out by the loose get on the back in the neck and giving it a firm but not violent shake.  Don't make the mistake of punishing and putting it in the cage right away.  This may only teach the ferret that pickup means being hurt and caged.  Instead, continue to hold it and talk soothingly.  If it behaves, a taste of ferretone / linetone will help reinforce its good behavior. 

One of the most common behavioral problems we see is the result of the former owner putting the ferret on the floor as soon as it nips.  The ferret very quickly get the idea, "oh, so this is how I'm supposed to ask to be set down?"  So if it doesn't get down after the first nip, it will let you know a little more firmly the next time.  It is recommended to use this rough, shake and hold technique until it learns that a nip is not the way to ask to be set down.  In fact it is advisable to hold the ferret until it goes docile and gives a big sigh of resignation.  In the absolute worst-case scenario when you have been unsuccessful in training the ferret not to bite using all of the previously mentioned techniques, bite the ferret on its back applying jaw pressure till it yelps.  In order for the ferret to understand this must be done immediately after it bites you.  In most cases you only need to do that once.  The ferret should get the message clearly and quickly after that.  This method should only be used as a last resort. 

Some people claim to have had good results in training ferrets not to nip by flicking them on the bridge of the nose with their finger.  I have seen this cause significant problems with some ferrets.  Generally if the ferret responds to the flick of the nose with aggression, stop that form of punishment immediately.  It'll only result in a relationship based on hatred between the two of you and that is exactly what you don't want.  You as the last physical form of coercion such as scruffing. 

If this roughing approach fails one good anti-niping training aid is bitter apple, which is available in most pet stores.  This product is usually used to keep animals from licking a cat or sore.  Sprayer hands and fingers, then offer it to the ferret to taste.  They think that this is the worst tasting stuff ever!  Sprayer hands before you pick it up or in the tied the situation where the dipping usually occurs.  It doesn't take long for the ferret to learn that you don't taste good. 

Whatever training approach to use, remember to hold it and love it after the punishment.  Reward good behavior is always preferable to punishing bad behavior and teaching at that you love it is, after all, the most important lesson. 

Digging
           
Ferrets love to dig.  Potted plants make great ferret fun-digs, not to mention salad out of your plants.  You might try putting your plant out of reach.  If you do this it's important to remember that ferrets are good climbers.  Putting medium-sized (3-6 inch) rocks on top of the dirt.  Cutting linoleum or chicken wire to fit around the stand and inside the pot and covering that with stones or you could just simply give up and by plastic plants.  Be careful because ferrets will even dig into the pot of the plastic plant.

 

Picture 11

 

            Your ferret will quickly discover that there are things to see and to do behind every closed-door and will try its best to get in there.  If you have carpet under the door they will try tunneling under the door.  Of course this requires going through the carpet first.  Plastic runners are available in carpet stores and some building supply stores work well.  Cut these to length and place under the door.  I recommend attacking it in place so that it can't be crawled under and become a place to start a trouble.  And other more formal approaches to use of thresholds cut and nailed firmly into place.  These look good and are too hard for the ferret to dig through.

 

 

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