Teach Your Little Critter Tricks


Even small pets – rabbits, ferrets, guinea pigs, rats, gerbils and hamsters – can learn to do tricks.

In order to teach your pet, you must first gain his trust. Spend time with your pet, get him used to your touch and the sound of your voice. Get to know your pet’s reaction to you and what you do. This can be a big help during training.

Try to incorporate actions that come naturally to your little critter such as jumping, hopping, sitting up, etc.

Speak softly to your pet, he hears very well but loud commands can be frightening. Use words that don’t sound alike for each trick you teach. Sounds that are similar can be confusing. Use only one word commands.

If you have more than one little critter, train each one individually. You might have to keep a record if you train several.

Wherever you choose to train, be consistent and stick to the same place to teach. Make sure the area is safe for your pet. You wouldn’t want your pet to fall off a table used for training.

Any equipment, props you use should be the right size for your particular pet. Check to make sure it is pet-safe.

Most pets are motivated to perform by food. Find your pet’s favorite treat and use it as a reward or to encourage your pet to do a trick.

You might want to start your pet with going through a hoop or pushing something that can have a treat inside. When your pet completes a trick, use a word, one word, to tell him how pleased you are.

Once your pet has learned one trick, you can go on to another one. But practice the old trick every so often so that your pet remembers it.

Every pet is an individual with different abilities. Be patient, never scold your pet. Teaching your little critter tricks should be fun for both of you.

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