Message Number: YG4771 | New FHL Archives Search
Date: 2001-06-22 15:11:00 UTC
Subject: biting ferret

I am a fairly new ferret owner. I bought two 3-4 month old female
ferrets. They are now about 9 months old. I also got a 8 week old baby
boy ferret who is now 3 months old. Everyone seems to get along great
so far. The problem is my female Chong, she likes to nip. When I first
brought her home she bite me quit badly several times and I couldn't
get her off my leg. Being new to ferrets I was upset. I thought she
didn't like me or was mean. Since then I have done alot of research
through the internet, books, magazines, pet store and my vet. I
realized ferrets only bite for a reason. The first time she bite, I
was squeaking a toy. Which I know now she absolutely hates. She has
gotten alot better. She now is learning to give kisses. She usually
kisses and then nibbles or nips. She has also learned to ask to be
picked up and ask for treats. Which she does constantly. She is always
following me around and staring at me intently. I have trouble
sometimes trying to figure out what she wants. What am I doing wrong?
How can I stop her from nipping? I have tried bitter apple, positive
reinforcement, scruffing, hissing, time outs and I always say " No
Bite" firmly if she looks like she wants to chomp or does a chomp. I
never let her down or give her what she wants if she does bite. I
don't want her to think that's how to ask for things. I try to have
one on one play time for at least 3 hours every day if not more. They
have a large cage, 30 by 36 by 60 tall, full of toys, tunnels and
hammocks. They are in the cage when they are not supervised. I have
tried to ferret-proof my room but I still am scared to leave them out
when I'm not home. I would really like to have my ferrets be part of
our family, but everyone is scared of Chong. My mom was starting to
warm up to them, but sooner or later Chong nips her. My mom says Chong
is mean, but I know that she isn't. There must be somthing I am doing
wrong. Please if anyone has any suggestions or stories to help us I
would really appreciate it.
Thank you,
Suzi and Cheech, Chong and Goose