Miniature pigs are incredibly intelligent, but you already knew that. This means you likely already knew that there are several commands and tricks they can learn, and rather quickly as well. However, you may not be sure what those commands are and the limits of what a pig can learn.
Truth be told, you can teach your pig to do most anything, especially if you’re using food as motivation. Something as simple as non-salted, non-buttered popcorn, cheerios, apples, or grapes are all healthy choices you can use to incentivise your pig without causing excess weight gain. Likewise, you should teach your pig the commands and tricks consistently and when your pig is healthy and calm for the best results.
Teaching your pig to come when you call it is one of the first commands you should master. While holding a treat or preparing to feed your pig, say the word “come.” Do so consistently and from increasing distances until your pig understands that when you say the word, you expect them to come (whether they have food or not).
Like “come,” “sit” is another basic (and useful) command. This may take more time than “come” but is also relatively simple.
To teach this command, take a treat in front of your pig and slowly raise it above their head. Say “sit” and continue to raise the treat until your pig gradually sits as they raise their head. Once your pig does sit, offer praise and the treat to reinforce good behaviour.
“No” is perhaps one of the most important commands because it is essential in disciplining your pig. It’s important to contrast “No” with positive reinforcement like “good pig” and treats so your pig learns the difference between the two. By stating “No” loudly and firmly and perhaps with a finger point, your pig will quickly learn that they have done something wrong. Over time, you may only need the finger point to reinforce the behaviour.
“Stay” is challenging, especially compared to more simple commands like “come,” “sit,” and “no.” However, it’s still possible and is important if your pig begins to display aggressive behaviour.
To teach “stay,” keep your reward hidden and have your pig sit. Then, continue to say “stay” as you move backwards from the pig while pointing at the pig at the same time. Only take one or two steps back and work your way up to more over time. Then, when you allow the pig to come, give them a treat to reinforce the command.
Using Command Words
While this is a more general topic, it’s still important.
You should use command words such as “bed” and “potty” to tell your pig what each area is. Over time, you can then say “potty” and your pig will go outside or to their litter box or even put themselves to sleep in their bed at night.
Training Your Pig is Simple With the Right Tactics
With treats in hand and consistent effort, you can teach your miniature teacup pig these commands and more! In fact, many pig owners teach their pigs tricks such as spinning, dancing, or waving!
Remember: You should keep the training period positive and only work with your pet when he or she is in a good mood. Doing so will make training easier and more enjoyable for both you and your pet.