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Weaning a ferret from biting can be difficult. Ferrets are playful and curious, often trying things hard or biting to get started. Some animals begin to bite in childhood and continue into adulthood. To wean an animal, it is necessary to determine why the ferret bites and what to do to stop this behavior.
Why does the ferret bite
Raising an animal of the Weasel family is a process that requires patience and responsibility. It is necessary to understand the reason prompting the pet to bite and already act, based on the analysis of a specific situation. Ferrets are intelligent and well trained.
Finding out the reasons for the bad behavior of the animal will require the owner to change his own style of communication with the pet. For bites out of fear, a response with a gentle and gradual approach is required, the exclusion of punishment in any form. Bites as an invitation to play are corrected by redirecting attention. A pet that has never bitten but suddenly becomes violent and aggressive may have health problems.
Ferrets' behavior when changing surroundings
Small predators explore the environment with their mouths, as they have rather poor eyesight. It is possible that one ferret bites at the same time for several reasons. The only control method chosen may not work in this case. Ferrets often bite to get attention, to calm down, out of fear, or to start a game. They do not understand that their sharp little teeth give little pleasure to humans.
Ferrets not trained in adolescence, poorly socialized animals, may bite out of fear. The same can happen with mistreated ferrets. Some animals lack confidence and tend to be more likely to snap. Behavior often gets worse if it is suppressed. When ferrets are punished by clicking their noses or shaking their scruffs, it impairs behavior, scares the animals and makes them bite even harder.
They start by hand training the little predator with a treat. The owner uses any food that the pet loves. For fussy ferrets, fish oil or finger-held beaten eggs work wonderfully. The owner encourages calm behavior and gradually gains the pet's trust. Instead of trying to grab an animal, you just need to bring your hand to it and treat it to delicious food.
Workouts like this should be short. Eventually, the owner will be able to touch the ferret and then gently lift it.
Bites to start the game
The pet must understand that the owner's hands and feet are not toys, and if he bites, the game will be stopped. If the animal rushes at the owner to start the game, the person removes his hands and turns away or leaves. If the ferret is chasing the owner, you should not move and respond to the game. Rewarding food and attention follows calm playful behavior. As soon as the bites start over, the game stops. The owner should behave this way until his little friend understands that biting is bad.
Bite to communicate
The ferret bites both in order to attract attention, as well as to be picked up. At first, he may show that he wants attention in other ways:
- Follows the owner on the heels.
- He waits and stubbornly does not take his eyes off the person.
- Sniffs the owner.
If the owner ignores the first request, the small predator will try to bite and thus attract the attention of the person. Gradually, this behavior can take hold.
A pet ferret can also bite to tell its owners that it doesn't like something, so it is best to catch the signals that the animal gives before it resorts to the bite. It is recommended to keep play sessions frequent and short, and avoid "hard play" when teaching the ferret to play in other ways.
Some animals don't like being cornered. Such a game provokes a pet to attack a person. It is necessary to analyze the behavior of the animal in order to identify certain situations in which it rushes into battle. And in the future, avoid such games.
Deaf and blind ferrets
If a previously well-bred ferret suddenly starts biting, you should visit your veterinarian for a checkup. This behavior could be a sign of illness. The newly purchased animal can be deaf or blind. Resting blind or deaf pet, surprised or frightened, may accidentally bite the owner. The animal feels vulnerable, and its owner needs to develop a signal so that the ferret knows and feels the appearance of a person.
Hormones in ferrets
Ferrets begin to bite more actively and more often:
- With hormonal changes during estrus in females.
- With hormonal changes in males during puberty.
- With diseases of the adrenal glands.
If the animal has been in order since childhood, and after growing up problems with bites began, a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.
An animal that is in pain may also start biting: this behavior is the only way the ferret can communicate its discomfort.
Smells or noises
The ferret can bite when the owner smells a certain way. For example, communication with an animal occurs after cooking. And it is possible that the ferret does not like the smell, then it shows redirected aggression. It may also be that a person smells like treats for a ferret, and the animal cannot distinguish between food and owner.
Certain sounds can irritate a fluffy baby and you should try to avoid them. You can give the little predator a toy to endure bites as an expression of his condition on her.
Ferrets' behavior when changing surroundings
Ferrets are irritable when exploring the world. Often their behavior is unintentionally deteriorated when something new appears in life. When the animal has a new owner, a new family member, guests have arrived, there has been a move to another apartment, it may start biting. It takes time and patience to wean the animal from such behavior. The juvenile can be trained for several weeks, but the older generation often takes months to recover.
Home training methods
The owner can train the ferret with treats by treating it gently.
You can also calm your pet by lightly pressing it to a surface, for example, on the floor: this is how adult ferrets raise young animals.
You can use a spray bottle with water: this is a simple method for the animal to immediately release its hand.
If the ferret has bitten and cannot open its teeth, it is necessary to rub its back and carefully put a finger in its mouth so that the animal will release its owner.
If your pet loves to fight, whenever it bites, it is best to redirect its attention to the toy and remove its hands. The ferret needs to know the difference between hands and toys. It is advisable to use toys during vigorous activity. Using items in an energetic game will help protect the owner from animal bites.
A few tips on how to stop a ferret from biting
If an animal bites and becomes dangerous to humans, the easiest way to switch it is to send it to a cage for a few minutes. For transfer, the animal is taken by the scruff of the neck (folds of skin in the back of the neck). This is how the mother ferret moves her children. Both the animal and the hands of the owner will not be hurt. This method of limiting freedom when lifting by the withers is not recommended as a punishment.
The pet can "time out" anywhere. The main thing is that it should be a boring and isolated place, for example, a transport cage. Ideally, it is better that this is not a permanent cage, since the animal can transfer such a restriction to other situations. You can have a special cage with a drinker and tray. In weasel animals, attention quickly dissipates, so the duration of punishment is from 3 to 5 minutes: this is the time when the animal will remember why it was isolated. When the ferret is released, it can bite the owner in revenge. It must be returned immediately for a few more minutes.
Punishment by clicking the nose, splashing water at the ferret, beating or throwing the animal will not teach the ferret appropriate alternative behaviors and will aggravate biting. Physical punishment tends to exacerbate inappropriate behavior in the long run and shows the pet that aggression is appropriate.
Training video, which clearly presents the psyche of predators.
At what age to start
Hori begin to train literally from infancy. It is better to immediately form the correct behavior than to wean an adult animal for a long time. The more flexible the ferret's psyche, the more malleable it is for the trainer. The kid will quickly remember the commands, get used to the tray.
Ferret training requires patience, time, and consistent technique. Punishment should be avoided by using rewards for calm behavior. It will take a ferret about 3 weeks (longer in some cases) to learn to stop biting its owner.
What to do if the animal bites on the legs
The most important thing in such a situation is not to harm the animal by involuntarily jumping or swinging a leg. If your ferret has a tendency to bite on its feet, heavy socks or slippers should be worn. After each bite, the animal is carefully unhooked and placed in isolation for 3 to 5 minutes.
What to do if a ferret is bitten to bloody
With a strong bite, the ferret is placed in isolation until it bleeds, and then the wound should be taken care of. The ferret bite in the photo is similar to punctures with an awl - deep and thin. It is necessary to remove the blood, disinfect the bite site. If the punctures are deep, you can attach a gauze pad and fix it with an adhesive plaster or bandage. Usually, the punctures bleed quite a lot, which is good, since the risk of suppuration and inflammation is reduced. If this does happen, you should see a doctor.
It is important to remember that the ferret most often does not understand what he has done, and it is physically meaningless and cruel to punish him. Do not yell at your pet or click on the nose (for ferrets this is painful and dangerous). An isolating break for a few minutes helps to calm down both the furry friend and the owner.
Any caring owner can wean a ferret from biting. The owner should pay close attention to his pet, notice signs of aggressive behavior and understand the reasons for the bites: whether it is fear or a need for attention, fear, discomfort, etc. It is necessary to react quickly to the first signals that signal the needs of the beast. The vivid expression of the reaction to the bite should be controlled: it is enough to get rid of the animal, switch it over. The key is to encourage calm and caring communication.