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Is your new ferret a little nippy? Are you not sure how to get him to stop? Keep reading to learn how to train your ferret to stop biting.
There are a few reasons why your ferret might be trying to bite you, but the primary reasons are attributed to play. Ferret's have high energy levels, and can get easily excited. When they play with each other, they play rough, so they often won't realize that biting hurts you.
They might also bite because of fear. If your ferret is scared, or being introduced to a new home, they might bite in self-defense. While you shouldn't let them get away with doing this, be sure that you don't hit them or hurt them in any way as it might make the problem worse.
Finally, they might bite because they're feeling depressed or bored. Ferret's are intelligent animals with lots of energy. For this reason, they need at least 2 hours of playtime outside of their cage each day. If they aren't getting the stimulation they need, you might see a change in their personality.
Use these 4 methods to train your ferret not to bite.
1. Verbal Warning
One good way to teach your ferret not to bite is to let him know that he's actually hurting you. Do this by emitting a loud "no!" or "ow!" when it bites, and pull away. Don't give the ferret any attention for a moment, and it might be able to realize that what it did is wrong. Whatever you do, don't hurt it or punish it physically. You'll send the wrong message.
2. Time Out
"Time out" is another way to let your ferret know he's doing something wrong without physically punishing him. This time, if he bites you, immediately place him in his cage or inside a carrier. Leave him there, and don't give him any attention until he starts to calm down and exhibits better behavior. Once the ferret realizes that biting means "playtime's over", he should stop.
3. Ignore Them
The final method involves no punishment at all. Simply wear gloves when you handle the ferret, so you won't get hurt if it bites you. When handling your ferret with these gloves, simply ignore the biting and continually pet the ferret. It lets them know that biting gets absolutely no reaction from you. Furthermore, they'll begin to associate your hands with good things. Once the biting stops, remove one glove and handle the ferret with your bare hand. Pet them, give them treats, and rub their feet, but be careful of nipping.
4. Reward Them
While you're in the process of training, be sure to reward your ferret for any good behavior. Reward with a treat, praise, and play time.
Once your ferret is done biting, you'll be able to snuggle and play with it without a worry. Reward your ferret for any good behavior, and be sure not to hit him or physically punish him when he bites you.