Like any other pet, you make part of your family, teacup pigs will require training to behave as you want. The good news is that because miniature pigs are more intelligent than many other pets, they are typically easier to train…when you know what you’re doing, that is.
With edible rewards and dedication to your pet, you can easily train your micro pig to do most any trick and learn more basic habits such as litter training and harness training. While the process may be challenging at first, you’ll quickly see how easy it is to improve your pig’s behaviour.
Litter Training: One of the First Steps
One of the first steps individuals take with any new pet is litter training. After all, your pet needs to learn that messes in the house are unacceptable and to use the yard or a litter box when they need to relieve them self.
Using treats is a great way to reward good behaviour, especially because negative reinforcements (i.e. yelling) don’t work as well for micro pigs. Pigs will quickly learn to use the same spot to relieve themselves so you should keep the litter box in the same location. There are a couple of other helpful hints you can follow to make litter training simple as well:
- Accessibility – The litter box must be easy to get in and out of to be useful. You can use a dog litter box because the low height makes it easy for a pig to step in and out of it. Cat litter boxes don’t work as well because they’re higher.
- Litter – Pigs prefer non-cedar wood chips, pine litter pellets, or large pine shavings. Some individuals line the litter box with puppy pads, which also work well.
Harness Training: What You Need to Know
Harness training is often more difficult than litter training. As such, it’s best to begin the process as quickly as you can because otherwise, it will only get more difficult over time.
The first step is to purchase a harness that suits your pig. Often, owners will purchase a dog harness but the problem is that pigs don’t have a clearly defined neck like dogs do. As such, it’s important that you find a well-fitting harness that your pig is comfortable and secure in. Then, you should put the harness on your miniature pig around the house so they can get used to how it feels. Doing so will make the process easier when you add the leash.
When you feel like your pig is comfortable, you can add a leash and walk your pig around the house. To direct your pig on the leash, use treats as positive reinforcement. Then, you can transition to an outdoor area, like your backyard, and eventually take your pig on normal walks when you both feel comfortable and confident.
Pigs often get upset or distressed during harness training. Typically, the most distress occurs when putting on the harness. If you find that your teacup pig is getting upset, it’s important to stop and try again later. Pushing too hard will form a negative association that can be hard to break. Likewise, you want to put your pig on a leash for short periods of time to acclimate them to how it feels. This will also help reinforce that the harness and leash are positive objects that aren’t to be feared.
Other Training Options: Tricks and More!
Like we mentioned above, pigs are incredibly intelligent. As such, you’ll be able to teach them to sit, roll over, and perform other tricks over time. While the two forms of training above can be considered more “essential,” there are endless possibilities of what you can do with your pig.
Get Your Pig Off on the Right Foot With Proper Training!
The best time to train your pig is when you first get him or her.
By following the advice above, you can easily ensure that your home is kept clean, your pig is happy, and you build a positive relationship that will last for decades to come!