Aggressive Behavior in Ferrets

Ferrets sometimes play-bite, but when this happens too frequently and your ferret appears annoyed, it could be a sign of aggression.

Ferrets who have lived in places such as pet shops, shelters, even homes where they were abused, teased, ignored or learned to play roughly, can be fearful and use aggressive biting as a form of defense.

Knowing why your ferret is aggressive will help in training to stop this behavior. Of course this isn’t always possible. Never use punishment techniques as this is probably what began the aggression.

There are several methods you can use to retrain your ferret.

Ignore your ferret when s/he bites, stop playtime. After about 20 minutes you can resume play, but stop again if your ferret bites.

Put him/her in isolation in the cage. This is close to ignoring your ferret, but s/he is in a confined space.

When ferrets want to discourage another ferret’s behavior, they make a hissing sound. You can use the sound in place of a “No.” Or you can just use the word No or another word of your choosing.

Some people use a spray of water when their ferret bites, but I would choose this one only after all else fails.

Whichever method you choose, it’s important to be consistent so that your ferret associates with the behavior.

Teaching your ferret not to bite takes time and patience. But don’t be discouraged. With kindness and love your ferret will eventually learn that biting is unacceptable.

Comments

comments