Learn The Trick To Teaching Your Ferret Tricks
By Lee Dobbins

"But daddy, I want a ferret". My daughter has a lovely
personality and is not one to complain or nag, yet over the
course of several days; she continued, "daddy, I want a
ferret". I never really had a choice as she looked at me with
those baby blues; we were headed to the pet store to buy a
baby ferret (called a kit).

For the most part I'm a dog person, having had many "man's
best friends" during the course of my life, loving each one
deeply. As we walked into the pet store I was thinking... "This
could never be true with a ferret". I was wrong and my
daughter grew to love "Casper", the name she chose for her
white albino ferret, and he became part of our family.

What amazed me over time was their intelligence and
personality, and of course boundless energy and curiosity.
Ferrets, just like dogs, can be taught tricks; it simply takes
time and patience. Casper has learned to come when we
squeak a certain toy, but I've heard many ferrets can learn to...

Sit up
Turn around
Roll over
Sit on your shoulder
And even walk on a leash (that one I'd like to see).

The difference between dogs and ferrets, we discovered after
much frustration was getting and maintaining their attention.
Most pets have short attention spans, but ferrets always have
a sense of urgency... "I have to explore... I have to explore".
Knowing that, NEVER attempt teaching your ferret tricks in an
unexplored area, you'll be banging your head in frustration.

FERRET FACT: Ferrets have highly developed hearing,
especially in determining the direction and distance of a
particular sound. The area between their ears and brain
sends more information than the human equivalent.

While not exactly a trick, teaching your ferret to come on
command, is important and should they get lost, crucial to
their survival. It's not difficult; just takes time and
experimentation. Find, buy or borrow fun objects like squeaky
toys, finding ones that create different noises. As you spend
time with your ferret friend, squeeze one particular toy, wait
awhile, then squeeze another. Eventually you'll find one that
peaks their interest. Once this is determined, half the battle is

Next, whenever you call his name.... "Casper" (in our
instance), squeak the toy several times till he comes (if that
doesn't work, back to the drawing board). Gradually, (if
desired) you can stop using your ferret's name, simply
squeezing the toy (making the noise) till they prance into the
room. IMPORTANT: Be certain to give them a reward when
they fulfill a task. Unlike dogs, ferrets don't perform simply for
your enjoyment.

The key to teaching your ferret any trick is patience and
consistency. Training a baby ferret (called a kit) is probably
an impracticable task; they are brimming with energy and their
attention span very limited. Still, begin early and continue,
never giving into your own frustration and always rewarding
good behavior with a treat. Do this with diligence and patience
and no matter which ferret trick you've chosen, it will be within

Lee Dobbins writes for
http://ferrets.pet-breeds.com/ where
you can learn more about pet ferrets and find out more about
teaching your ferret tricks.

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