Ferrets make wonderful pets but they are really working animals used to hunting. New ferret owners should be aware that ferrets bite. It is not uncommon for even experienced owners to suffer from ferret bites even when they think they know what they are doing!
These are wild and vicious animals even though they do make good pets. Before you get nervous and decide not to get a pet ferret you should know the reasons why ferrets bite. It is not something to worry about once you know how to train ferrets.
How do you stop ferrets biting? Old tales about blowing smoke in their face or soaping your fingers and other such nonsense is just that, nonsense. I actually saw a very large man dancing round a stable yard with a ferret firmly attached to his finger after trying one of these tricks!
You will need to gain their trust and if you understand why they are biting then you can stop them doing it in the future. We will look into it in this article so that you can get a better relationship with your ferret.
The Youthful Biter
Youthful over-enthusiasm is the primary purpose for ferrets biting. Younger ferrets, particularly if they are siblings, will have a tendency to rough and tumble playfulness with plenty of nipping and biting. This isn’t something to worry about, it is normal.
What does need to be sorted out early on is the need to distinquish you from their playmates so they do not bite you the way they’d bite a fellow ferret.
There are various ways to stop ferrets biting, but the principle thing to ensure, is that you just don’t use any aggression. Patience is what you need. At most, you should drag them calmly across the floor to discourage unwelcome behavior. This is something a mother ferret would do.
However, as they’re just trying to include you in their games you have to teach them some new rules. It’s up to you to let them know that there’s acceptable play and not so acceptable play.
If a ferret is in pain they cannot tell you. So, their natural instinct is to bite their owner. It’s a very direct means of getting your attention. Ifyour ferret isn’t a youngster and they begin biting, you might want to pay close attention to any indicators of ill health.
These type of biting ferrets are different. It may be down to a change of circumstances. For instance the introduction of other ferrets can cause nervousness as can changes to their habitat. It may be that your ferret is attempting to tell you something if they suddenly begin biting out of the blue.
Biting ferrets may be spoilt
If biting the hand that feeds you got you what you wanted, wouldyou make a habit of it? Ferrets do. If biting ferrets are rewarded with treats in the hope of stopping the biting, then the ferret will continue biting. They see biting, followed by reward as the easiest way to get what they want. Over time, they will use this biting as a strategy to master you.
Let this kind of pattern build up and it’s going to be quite a tough to break the cycle, though it is not impossible. So be aware of these three habits and learn how to train a ferret properly to avoid the uneccessary pain I witnessed.
If like the man I told you about, you have experienced ferret bites you will not want to repeat it. When you know what the issues are you can deal with any biting ferrets. Vet Susan A. Brown DVM has written an excellent 25 chapter, 372 page book on the subject of ferret care and how to train a ferret. I suggest you glance through the first few pages, see what subjects it covers and see if it is what you are looking for.