New “2 in 1 Ferret Book”

A New Ferret Book that Includes Both Getting Started with Pet Ferrets and Ferret Toys – With Updated Information and New Material

New Ferret BookHere’s a brief description:

So you finally got that pet ferret you’ve been wanting. But now what?

Ferrets do make great pets. They are fun, quirky, lovable, playful, mischievous, and entertaining little critters. But they also require a commitment on your part. You will need to invest time, money, and energy to take care of your woozles properly. Reading our 2 in 1 Ferret Book will aid you in preparing and getting outfitted for your ferret journey – especially the ferret-cage and ferret-readiness checklists.

And then there are the toys – most likely lots of them. Just as we do for our human children, we want the best, most-stimulating toys we can afford for our pet ferrets. But how do we wade through the thousands of choices and the many manufacturers. And where is the best place to get ferret toys? And what about homemade toys?

This book contains our two top-selling ferret books with new additional material. 

Our new 2 in 1 Ferret Book will give you the basics of ferret care and the low-down on ferret toys. It’ll also save you some money – always a good thing this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

 

How Would Pet Ferrets Train and Manage Their Humans? Take a Look . . .

Our Humorous Little Ferret Book is Finally Here – A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.

Here’s the description:

So you really think you “own” your pet ferrets and that they live in “your” house? Well, think A Ferret Manualagain – because it just may be otherwise. And that’s exactly why we’ve written this humorous little book, “A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human.” It examines ferret training and ferret care from a ferret’s-eye point of view. Here’s what you’ll get . . .

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Toys – Get What You Really Want

Meal Time – Make ‘em Get It Right

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Real Estate – Location and Size

The Annoyance of “Ferret Proofing”

Conclusion

Ferrets are unique pets and will often, as we demonstrate in this little book, make you see things in a unique way. Enjoy.

Here’s a sample:

So, you’ve finally acquired your very own human, have you? Good for you and congratulations! It sure beats being crowded together with a bunch of total strangers in a tiny cage at the pet store, doesn’t it? But . . . while this is a great accomplishment and a first step toward a happy life in a home of your own, your job is just beginning. You have a lot of work and a long road ahead of you.

First of all, humans aren’t really very teachable. But, then, there are very few animals as inquisitive and as intelligent as ferrets. That means training your human will require, in varying degrees as your unique situation demands, inventiveness, persistence, consistent application, and time.

Okay, let’s get started. 

 

Introduction – An Overview of Human Nature

Following are the four important truths about or principles of human nature that will form the foundation of our guidelines and rules for training and managing your human. Remember these and adapt your training tactics accordingly, and you should see some success in your human-training efforts.

1. Humans are basically lazy creatures.

The thing you need to keep squarely in mind at all times is that adult humans are lazy. They don’t sleep nearly as much as we do, but they are far less active when awake. They seldom run, they don’t hide under the bed, and they never get on top of the dresser and play among the knickknacks. Even human kits (“children,” I think they call them) usually don’t play as vigorously as ferrets, and I’ve never seen one do the ferret “war dance.”

Because they are lazy, then, and slaves to the law of inertia, humans are just downright hard to train. The difficulty lies in getting them to change a behavior. For some bizarre reason, they prefer the familiar and easy to the better course. And never forget that humans just aren’t as smart as ferrets. There’s really nothing you can do about that, though.

For a human, it takes a lot of effort to learn something new and change a thinking pattern and/or a behavior. That’s why they dig in their heels and resist change: because it takes effort. Ironically, though, humans often expend more energy resisting change, owing to their inherent laziness, than they would actually making the change. (But, remember, they’re just not all that bright.) So, one of the keys to successfully training and managing your human will be persistence. You will simply have to work at it assiduously until you’ve achieved the desired results.

Just don’t give up. Success could be right around the corner.

And here’s another sample:

Litter Pans and Cage Configuration – Or the Power of Poop

Never, ever underestimate the power of poop. But keep in mind, too, that with every power there are attendant dangers. Here’s what I mean.

We ferrets have our own peculiar and distinctive pooping preferences – especially when it comes to location. Your human, however, will have a hard time fully understanding this and grasping our uniqueness as pets. And, as a result, they just lump ferrets in with other pets – say, dogs* – and think that, like those other pets, we just stop and poop wherever we are when we get the urge. In addition, since your human really does believe he or she owns you, your human may try to determine for you where you should poop. But don’t fall for either of these poop-related fallacies.

Keeping in mind our four principles of human nature, work toward a cage-and-litter-pan configuration that suits you. For example, if your human does even a little reading, she will know that placing a small piece of your poop in a litter pan is supposed to encourage you to do your business in that pan. Sounds a little disgusting, I know, but just humor your human, and try to do a little pooping in that pan where the piece is. Hopefully, your human will also realize that we like to back into a corner to do our business and, knowing this, will have provided triangular-shaped corner litter pans. This will, of course, make it much easier to play along with your humans pooping plans.

If, however, you just can’t bring yourself to poop in the pan designated by your human, then it’s time to exercise the “power of poop.” Just find the spot in your cage where you’d most like to do your business and then start pooping there. Your human will then either move that pan to or buy another one to place in your preferred spot. Pretty simple, really.

But do be careful. If you don’t poop judiciously and strategically, you may find a whole floor of your cage covered with litter pans. And this, of course, would greatly decrease your play and sleep area. Even worse, if you don’t confine you pooping to only one floor of your cage, you may find litter pans cluttering all the floor areas. So . . . have a pooping plan.

*(Note: It’s often the case that humans have other pets, dogs more often than not. And, owing to their innate lack of intelligence and tendency not to observe well, your human will sometimes want you to be friends with a dog way before the dog is ready. So . . . be careful when this happens. Avoid both teeth and crushing paws. If a dog does get too rough with you, don’t bite in self-defense – the dog will likely bite back. Instead, run and hide under the nearest low piece of furniture – and stay there. Your human will see your behavior and be more cautious about introducing other pets after that.)

 A Ferret Manual: How to Train and Manage Your Human – we think it’s a fun little read.

More Ferret Training – Litter-Box Training Your Pet Ferrets

Teaching your pet ferret to use her litter box is essential for her health. It keeps the rest of the cage and play areas clean and feces free. It also goes a long way toward building a good relationship between your ferret the rest of the household.

Litter training pet ferrets begins with getting the right litter pans and the right ferret litter. Ferrets like to back up into a fairly tight space (usually a corner) to do their business. So I suggest using a triangle-shaped corner litter box with two high sides and a lower front side for easy entry. You also need to use a quality dust-free litter. I’ve tried several kinds of cat litter but none of them was really satisfactory. I’ve finally settled on Critter Litter, and I and my ferrets (Rikki and Possum) are very happy with it.

As with any animal or person, it is best to start potty training a pet ferret when he is is young. It can be done at any age, but it just takes a little more work and little more time with older ferrets. When you introduce your ferret to his new home, notice where he poops and place the litter box there. (Ferrets tend to poop several times an hour, so it won’t take long.) Some people find it helpful to put immovable objects in every corner of the cage except the one for the litter box. If possible, place a small piece of poop in the box for a visual and olfactory cue.

As you get to know your ferret, you’ll soon learn the signs that indicate she is about to poop. When you see her backing into a corner, for instance, be ready. Try to get her into her litter pan before she does her business. If she does it in the pan, reward your ferret with a treat for a job well done.

Also, place your ferret in the litter box when he first wakes up because this is a common time for pooping. Also, at the end of playtime, set your ferret on the litter box and wait. If he uses it, offer a treat. If he doesn’t, withhold the treat. (You may need to be careful, though, because some ferrets are good at faking it.) Within a few days, your ferret should get the idea.

It might not seem very pleasant, but get in the habit of examining your ferret’s feces. A change in the color, texture, or frequency may signal a health problem that needs to be addressed. (Getting Started with Pet Ferrets has a helpful section on this.)

My male panda ferret has proven to be quite “stubborn” when it comes to litter training. So, I’ll soon buy another ferret litter pan. That way, there will be one for every corner of the lower level of the cage and one for each of his favorite corners in my room. Sometimes, you justPanda Ferret in Litter Pan have to do what you gotta do.

It may take some time for a ferret to learn to use a litter box, especially if the kit was removed from its mother before she could train it to do so. So just be patient. Never hit your ferret when he makes a mistake. Above all, never rub his nose in an “accident.” (Your ferret could breathe in some of the fecal matter and get sick from it.)

Ferret Training – Harness Training Your Pet Ferret

Just like our human children, our fuzzy kids need fresh air and sunshine to be in their best health. It’s a good idea, then, to get your pet ferret outdoors as often as you can. But keep in mind that ferret SAFETY comes first. And a good way to ensure your ferret’s safety when Panda Ferret Playing in Ferret Toy Tunnelshe’s outdoors is by keeping her on a harness and leash. This will allow her freedom of movement while still keeping her close enough for you to ensure safety.

In the beginning, though, ferrets dislike wearing a harness because it is unfamiliar to them. But, still, that harness is important for them to wear whenever you take them outside. So you need to train them to accept and wear. Here’s how:

  1. Start when your ferret is very young (around 10 weeks old).
  2. Put the harness on your ferret. (Offer a treat if he doesn’t keep still while you put the harness on.)
  3. Let your ferret wear the harness for five minutes or so. Offer a treat and then remove the harness.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 every day until your ferret starts to feel comfortable in the harness. Gradually increase the amount of time he wears the harness.
  5. When your ferret seems to be comfortable with the harness, attach the leash (lead).
  6. Let your ferret run around the house freely with the harness and lead for a few minutes each day (similar to Steps 2-4). Monitor your ferret to be sure the leash does not get caught in furniture, doors, etc.
  7. When your ferret seems comfortable with the lead, hold the lead but let the ferret lead you.
  8. Gradually, start to use the leash to guide your ferret where you want him to go. Offer a treat each time he follows your guidance.
  9. When your ferret seems comfortable with a leash and harness, take him outdoors for short walks. Allow your ferret to explore safely, using the leash to direct him away from dangers. Lengthen your walks and extend your ferret’s range as appropriate.

Note: Always bring water and treats with you when going outside with your ferret. Make sure all your ferret’s vaccines are up to date, and do not take your ferret outside in temperatures below 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) or above 78 degrees F (26 degrees C). Most ferrets enjoy playing in snow, but if you let them do so, be sure you can rescue them from deep drifts.

Training Pet Ferrets

Here is an excerpt from our book on ferret care titled Getting Started with Pet Ferrets.

Playtime is fun, of course, but it can also be educational. You can use playtime to teach your ferret many useful skills. Start by teaching it to come when called. It’s really easy, especially if you make the effort to say the ferret’s name often when you’re playing together: (“Hi Fuzzball!” “You like that, Fuzzball?” “What are you doing there, Fuzzball?”)

Soon, you’ll be able to call its name while offering a treat. (“Hey Fuzzball! Look what IFerret Care and Ferret Training Book have for you!”) Of course, give the treat when it comes promptly. Keep repeating this game until it has learned to associate its name with a treat. Start to withhold the treat if it seems to ignore you. Your ferret will soon get the idea that it’s better to come quickly.

Teaching your ferret to come when called makes it easier to stop bad behavior.  Say its name and a firm “No!” when it nips or bites or starts to dig somewhere it shouldn’t.

Once your pet responds its name, you can start teaching it to walk on a leash.  (See below.)

These are just some of the basic skills ferrets can learn. You’re sure to develop your own games and ferret skills over time so you’ll enjoy your pet even more.

For the more important behaviors (using the litter box, bite prevention, leash training), it’s best to start as soon as possible. Habits (both bad and good ones) start at a young age and are more easily learned or broken early.

No matter what you are trying to train your ferret to do, remember to be patient. You had to learn to crawl before you could walk. Your ferret will likewise have to learn step by step.

You also need to be consistent. Remember Pavlov’s dogs from your high-school psychology class (the ones who eventually learned to salivate at the ringing of a bell)? Your ferrets can also be conditioned to do certain things at specific times of the day. They can also be conditioned away from bad behaviors (for example, associating biting with an inevitable firm slap on the backside and a loud “NO!”), as long as they receive the same consequences EVERY time the bad behavior happens.

Consistency also helps in understanding your ferret’s personality. For instance, litter training works best when you know your ferret’s toileting pattern. Likewise, if your ferret tends to nip when you are playing a certain way, you’ll know to be watchful for it and take steps to prevent it.

Be kind also. In your rush to make your ferret the most talented animal on the block, it’s easy to be impatient. Unfortunately, your ferret will sense that impatience by your harsh tones and behavior, which will make it less willing to learn. As the saying goes, you’ll collect more flies with honey than with vinegar.

It’s also kinder to ease up on training if your ferret seems tired or sick. If it seems to be acting unusually, check to see if it has been injured or is ill. If not, then consider whether there has been any major changes in your ferret’s life lately (new member of the family, new home, missing family member).There’s no sense in putting a ferret through its paces if it is not up to it. Tomorrow is another day, after all.

Make it fun – for both of you. Remember when you were in school? Which teachers did you like best? They were probably the ones who made learning a game. Your ferret is no different. Make the learning process fun for your ferret by offering treats and by taking time out for play time together. You’re likely to find you are having more fun teaching your ferret.

If you are having trouble with any aspect of training, don’t go it alone. Look for expert help wherever you can find it. There are plenty of ferret websites that offer great tips. Your veterinarian will also have many resources, as will ferret organizations, pet stores, and animal-rescue groups. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

We hope it’s obvious that you should never resort to abusing your ferret when you are training it. It’s never right to give more than a firm-but-very-gentle swat on the behind. It’s never right to withhold food, water, or medicines or to confine your ferret to a cage for lengthy periods as punishment.

Leash Training
Taking your ferret for a walk is fun. Your ferret will have fun exploring the great outdoors, and you’ll get a chance to meet new people who are curious about your fuzzy. First, though, you’ll need to get your ferret used to wearing a harness.

To do so, have your ferret come to you and sit on your lap while you get the harness on. Harnesses and leashes are available at most pet-supply stores. You may need to try several styles to find the right one for your ferret, but generally leather collars and H-style harnesses work the best for ferrets. Plastic ones can be chewed through too easily, and stretchy ones can quickly become misshapen and useless.

At first, the ferret may balk at wearing such an ungainly contraption, but if you offer a favorite toy or treat when it’s wearing the harness, it will soon become second nature.

Once the ferret seems accustomed to the harness, you can attach the leash. Hold on to the leash and walk a few steps forward. Offer the treat and let the ferret come to you.  Walk a few more steps and offer another treat. Keep this up, and your ferret will soon be very eager for a daily walk (or run).

Never leave your ferret harnessed, leashed, or tied to a pole untended. It will try to escape and could be an easy mark for predators.

Don’t let the leash get tangled in tall grass, shrubs, or other obstacles.

If your ferret gets away from you, do your best to find it quickly. Ferrets have been domesticated for so long they could not survive long in the wild on their own.

Getting Started with Pet Ferrets is a book designed to aid new ferret owners with the basics of ferret care and ferret training.