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please help me!!! first time ferret owner..

Discussion in 'Ferrets' started by heva&aribell4416, Aug 18, 2009.


  1. heva&aribell4416

    heva&aribell4416 PetForums Newbie

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    i am a first time ferret owner and have only had my kit (Arrisotle) for about five weaks,when we first picked him up from breader (whos parents were both working ferrets) he was lovely and snuggled up to me and feell asleep in my arms,lovely...then a few weaks after he has turned into a monster.

    we have him out alot and is constantly socialised.he gets excited very quickly as all ferrets do :) and pounces at peoples faces and bites and doesnt let go.we have tried everyhting from apple spray to scruff and snuggle meathod to time out and a little flick on the nose...nothing is working,everytime he gets more excited and pounces even more thinking its a game he has lots of toys and is ed enough.

    we have noo idea why he continues to bite..he is a lovelt little ferret untill he gets over excited.everyone in the houses hands are bitten to streads and he bites through skin reguarlly.we have no idea what to do anymore please someone helppp!!!

    he is amazing and i wouldnt change him for the world just wish he would stop pouncing and making my hands drip with blood!!

    thanks
    Heather
    x
     
  2. kelseye

    kelseye Banned

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    hello ive got 4 kits and they are mad as anythink well the boys are worse they never seem to get tired.one of the boy is a lil shite as when he bites he locks on and takes ages to get off and it kills the others just play bite.

    i think its just a naturall hunting instinct thats in his jeans like all ferrets....

    i think by just keep telling him off when he does it it mite sink in but then again it could be just a playing thing that he does naturally......:)
     
  3. Marcia

    Marcia PetForums VIP

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    Kits are always nippy. This is why first time ferret owners are told to buy adult ferrets.

    NEVER flick a ferret on the nose. They have alot of nerve endings there and it's really painful for them.

    When i was taming one of my boys, i scruffed him, said a firm 'NO', and there i dragged on across the carpet on his back for about a metre.
    Also, some people have had success by scruffing the ferret using their own mouths. It sounds bizzare but it's what a mother ferret would do.
     
  4. heva&aribell4416

    heva&aribell4416 PetForums Newbie

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    thank you guys.
    he is lovely just its getting painfull now.sometimes can get him out and he is fine untill he starts to wake up then he gets very nippy,so i take it the scruff and drag is the best method after all?
    when we went to the breader they said a yong ferret was better to get than an adult,on the other hand they could just have wanted to be selling them....
    i hope he does get out the habbit,it might just take time.
    also i have stopped flicking his nose(i only did it twice or so) and it did make the situation worse and fairplay if someone hit me id probally bite back aswell.
    bitin his scruff with my mouth??? i think he would swing round and bite off my face if i tried that one.i shall keep going
    how long does it take userally to get them out the habbit?
    x
    thanks
    heather
     
  5. Marcia

    Marcia PetForums VIP

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    Usually, it doesn't take long. Ferrets will always nip whilst playing. It's simply a case of showing them what you will tolerate :)
    With my boys, it took roughly 1-2 weeks each to nip train them :)
     
  6. heva&aribell4416

    heva&aribell4416 PetForums Newbie

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    its beeen 5 weaks alreadyyy......ohdear i shall keep going :)
    he has a big cage and plently of excersise etc,just trying to think why he hates me so much sometimes lol
    x
     
  7. Pampered pets

    Pampered pets PetForums Senior

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    first this is the classic example of ehy first time owners should have adults and not kits and why kits should always have company of their one kind, i knwo you probably wont feel like another ferret because of his behaviour but is there any way to get him another kit friend?

    NEVER EVER flick a ferrets nose, i knwo you say you have stoped but i hate hearing this, ferrets cant reason and think literally all they associate human hands with then is pain so no wonder they bite.

    This needs sorting quickly, if he is so bad at this age you run the serious risk of him becoming an extremely agressive adult that can do serious damage, many biters become neglected or dumped on rescues although im not saying in any way this is what you will do.

    You need to show him hands mean kindness, pick him up very frequantly but only for a second,as you pick him up feed him a very tasty treat, cooked chicken etc the best is feretone but it is a vitamin so dont overdose, pick him up give him a few licks and then put him down before his attention is lost o he atempts to bite, try not to put him down when he tries to bite as this enforses they get what they want when they bite.

    good luck, sounds like you have a challenge, where abouts are you?
     
  8. Marcia

    Marcia PetForums VIP

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    Another way that i remember is to try putting some ferretone on your skin and allow him to lick it off. Or your own saliva works too :)
    I'm not 100% sure why this works, it just does lol :D
     
  9. Pampered pets

    Pampered pets PetForums Senior

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    ferretone is amazing, often referred to as crack for ferrets lol im never without a bottle, you can also disguise meds in it or use it as a distraction for injections or nail clipping, a quick and easy way to clip nails even for biters is to turn the ferret on its back on your knee, pour a bit of ferretone on the belly and while the ferret is licking you can clip the nails, they dont even know or wriggle and squirm :)
     
  10. Marcia

    Marcia PetForums VIP

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    I second that :D

    I always have a bottle around too. I did their nails last night and ferretone is amazing. I'd struggle to trim their nails without it lol
     
  11. Pampered pets

    Pampered pets PetForums Senior

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    I wont even bother to attempt it without tone, plus the ferrets know now so when they get turned on their backs they start licking their lips lol
     
  12. sueshusband

    sueshusband PetForums Newbie

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    Do you ever take your ferrit out for a walk on a body harness & do you feed him raw meat i have 2 ferrets i hold every day they play with my cats & i only feed them cooked meat as the tast of blood could turn them
     
  13. FourFerrets

    FourFerrets PetForums Member

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    It's a myth that feeding them raw will make them vicious/bite. Young ferrets (or even ferrets not handled a lot) are more likely to bite because they haven't learned otherwise. You can train them not to bite.
    Feeding cooked meat is ok, feeding raw meat is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE, even encouraged, as raw bones can help clean teeth amongst other things. Never feed cooked bones (same with dog and cat) as cooked bones can splinter and cause internal problems.
     
  14. 2rabbit&2ferrets

    2rabbit&2ferrets PetForums Junior

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    Just sounds like you have a playful kit on your hands there. This is why I often suggest older ferrets to someone looking to buy their first ferret. At that young age they are at a playful and nippy. Kittens and puppies are just the same. They have to be taught right from wrong. You must take the place of their mother and show them what is exceptable for you. It just takes time and patience to get them out of the habit. Just happens that ferrets can bite a lot harder. Watching my two play with each other I feel very fragile in comparison.

    The leaping you described sounds like a playful ferret doing his war-dance. Not meaning he is a war with you, but he's happy! My boy Laurel is a nutter (he is like Peter Pan, he never grew up!) constantly wanting to play and war-dancing around bouncing off things leaping on his brother and me. He used to bite quite hard as a kit, but I would scruff say a firm "NO!" (not shouting though) and as has already been suggested drag him along the carpet for a second or two. His brother has mellowed with age (they are 18 months old now) Laurel is still as playful and bouncy, pouncy as he ever was! However, I set the groundrules at play time. When I am playing with them, I usually use a dangly toy, or their favourite waving a piece of tissue paper around they love the sound! If I play with my hands, Paws are the only arsenal of their's that is allowed. Biting is NOT exceptable. It won't work if you say it is ok in one circumstance but not another. Especially, with a young kit. Laurel learned quickly that he can open his mouth and even pull my fingers into it, but he won't close his mouth and make a "bite".

    Nowdays, when they are biting each other in play, if they decide to include me they treat me like I'm so fragile! It amuses me. The only issue I have is with Hardy. He can't resist toes or eyebrows and will take a hold. He is worse with other people than he is with me (might be more of a combination that I am expecting it more and he will get scruffed and dragged, where as with other people he tends to get away with it. By the time I find out he has scarpered!) usually he bites softly at first and then increases the pressure if he doesn't get a reaction. You have to catch him quick and reprimand immediately afterwards. There is no point in my running after him after he has grabbed someone's toes and then run away and scruff and drag him because he won't associate it with the toe-biting, for example.

    As for the comment feeding raw will make them vicious that is complete stuff and nonsense! An old wife's tale, nothing more. Ferret's teeth are designed to slice and tear at raw flesh rather than crunch up biscuits. Mine get their ferret complete mix ad lib but also have various raw food sources as well. Rabbit, chicks, mice, as whole and pieces of chicken including bones (but only when raw. Cooked bones can splinter and cause serious problems), beef mince (a favourite), raw egg, pretty much everything except pork. Only because that is fatty meat. They much prefer the raw food to the ferret biscuits! The tendons and bones are also great for flossing ferret teeth and keeping them in tip-top condition.

    As for Ferretone that stuff is a god send! I couldn't be without it! A squirt on the belly and nail-clipping is a breeze! I look back and have no idea how I managed to clip nails without the stuff! It's definitely up there in my ferret-owning arsenal! Also great for getting them to do the things up want! There re-call is pretty good and very handy when they are playing hide and seek with me! I know they will come when they are called for some ferretone!

    Basically, it is just going to take time and patience on your part. It might be a good idea to get him a ferret friend around the same age (even from the same litter if possible) so that he has someone he can rough and tumble with! It will make him a lot calmer when being handled by yourself as he will have been keeping himself amused with a friend when you weren't there and won't rely solely upon you for interaction. Of course, I would advise getting another hob to avoid pregnancy, and you will have to get them both neutered to avoid fighting when they reach sexual maturity. My pair started to get rough with each other at about a year old coming into the "breeding season". Once they were neutered however calmness (ok not the right choice of word when speaking of ferrets! But, they were friends again) was restored.
     
    #14 2rabbit&2ferrets, Jan 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  15. Blackrose_immortal

    Blackrose_immortal PetForums Newbie

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    I have just recently got a kit and he is also my first ferret :D

    I havent had too much trouble with him nipping, at first he was pretty bad but he seems to have settled well after taking the advice of the chap i got him from. He told me one of the best ways to train them was to scruff them, tell them no and then gently squeeze the cheeks into there mouths (if you can imagine squeezing your own cheeks while your mouth is open to make you look like a fish :confused: :blush: lol best way i could think to describe)

    It worked a treat and after a week or two of persisting and not letting him get away with biting it worked!

    Hope this helps, Hannah!
     
  16. ferretaddict

    ferretaddict PetForums Junior

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    Hi,
    How old is your kit? He may be reaching maturity!! Basic rules of kits is consintency at all times. Agree a method and stick to it, make sure everyone who handles him knows the 'bite' routine. Our routine works for us:
    1. Time out box, not the carrier you use to take him out in to vets etc as he will associate that with being naughty and you will create another problem. My husband made a 'ferret jail' small wooden box with a grille on the front.

    2. What is a bite? Establish what is acceptable for you. e.g. 'mouthing'. We do not accept mouthing as our ferrets are PR ferrets and are handled by the general public. However the choice is yours.

    3. Scruff and say 'NO', if they hiss then hiss back and immediately put in time out box.

    4. Length of time in box. We usually have around 1 minute or so. Too long and they forget why they are there. When bringing them out of the box, if they attempt to bite then back they go.

    5. We have 7 ferrrets in our resident group and by offering 'the free' ferrets a treat whilst having a 'prisoner' and giving lots of attention definately helps.

    As others have said ferreTone is fab, you can buy online at Companions Choice. Be wary of accidental bites from having ferreTone on your hands. Good luck. Word of caution!!!! Ferret Maths is addictable with no known cure :smile5:
     
    #16 ferretaddict, Jan 31, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  17. ferretaddict

    ferretaddict PetForums Junior

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    Keep him from being hungry...Think of him as a hulking moody kid, if they are full they are less likely to bit. A time out box after the scruff and drag works wonders (not a pet carrier as they will feel they are being punished if they have to being taken out somewhere like the vet) only give time out for a couple of minutes or he will just go to sleep.

    Search for a local ferret rescue near you, they will give you all kinds of support and advice. A kit is a no no for first time owners, we run a rescue and get so many kits in due to people becoming scared of them cos' of the biting. An adult ferret from a rescue is the way to go.

    Wish you loads of luck and try to persevere through the pain (ouch!!)
     
  18. confusedone

    confusedone PetForums Junior

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    Been having the same problem with one of my young jills, I got 2 sisters 3 mths ago and 1 is an absolute dream but the other althogh treated exactly the same shows no signs of stopping nipping.

    Will try some of the advice in this thread so thank you!
     
  19. emzybabe

    emzybabe PetForums VIP

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    I completely agree with consistency, with any pet ive had a firm No has always worked wonders and so has a sharp clap or 2.
     
  20. ravensreturn

    ravensreturn PetForums Newbie

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    Again I completely agree with consistency.

    Your Kit sounds like my 2 brothers when I got them back in November and I found them a complete handful and that was after only having adults.

    Newbies to ferrets are better off going to a rescue and getting a pair of adults IMO:thumbup:

    1st you should have 2 this little guy needs to play and have fun, my boys love to wrestle each other and this little guy is missing out on the fun.

    Never flick noses

    I am not a fan of scruffing, one of the brothers Loki would bite hard and jump at you. We spent ages just simply saying a big NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO at him and put him on the floor. We did it 50 times plus during a play session and after time he stopped. He is still a little so and so every now and then but we keep it up!
     
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