This week’s blog and video are all about how to train your ferret for recall. Consistency is key and you’ll soon have your little Jedi master obeying your every command (maybe!).
Imagine a Collie being trained to control sheep. The Collie will learn signs and signals, round up sheep and respond to the instructions given to it.
While I’m not saying ferrets will be rounding up your sheep any time soon, they can be trained for recall when you’re working your ferret for rabbiting or other pursuits. While we don’t work our ferrets, we do have some of them trained for recall. Here’s how.
Using treats for recall training
he best way to start is establishing a sound or a phrase to use for recall. We use a tambourine – it’s loud enough for them to hear it through the house. Our ferrets come when they hear the tambourine and they get a treat when they do so. We like to give our fertles natural treats such as chicken, duck, salmon. We’ll talk about treats later but the main thing is to remember is to find something that has no bone or grain in them.
Webox sticks are a great but always check your treats for grain and for the highest percentage possible of protein. (Cats love them too!)
Another great treat as a positive reinforcement is our very own BFB WD oil. *Shameless Plug Alert!
Use small amounts at a time rather than giving large amounts.
How to train your ferret
Always use positive reinforcement combined with specific instructions. We use ‘up’ for our ferrets to stand on their back legs. Ferrets have a really small attention span so short bursts of training will be best.
If you’re lucky, you could try a rollover. We use ‘roll’ and a circular movement to encourage this. Training can take time and gentle physical encouragement. The right treat is essential too. If you’re using oil, only use a small amount.
Five to ten minutes every day will get results eventually.