Clicker Training “How To” For Mini Pigs



 The AMPA’s official Mini Pig Training Handbook: Tricks, Life Skills, and Communication With Your Mini Pig is the first training book of it’s kind! An impressive 130 pages full of training instruction, behavior, communication, problem solving, aggression, tricks, manners, and FULL COLOR or B & W photos to help you visualize the wonderful companion that is within your reach.


One of the keys to a long and successful relationship with your mini pig is training and enrichment. Pigs are incredibly intelligent animals. Highly trainable and they thrive when their minds are stimulated and challenged. A well trained pig is a happy pig. Every time you train with your mini pig, you are improving your communication and strengthening your bond. Training teaches your mini pig the skills she needs to be a well behaved member of the family. Training also gives her the tools she needs to communicate with you.


Basic Life Skills ♦ Harness and Leash ♦ Potty Training ♦ Fun Tricks  Obstacle Course ♦ Teaching Respect ♦ Enrichment Activities

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Mini Pig Training Handbook

Tricks, Life Skills, and Communication 

With Your Mini Pig 



Clicker Training Mini Pigs 

Training Series – Blog 8











What is clicker training? 


Clicker training is a scientifically proven training method using a small object that makes a distinct “click” sound. This click is used to mark the precise moment the mini pig has performed the desired behavior. The scientific name clicker training is “operant conditioning”. This method of training instills awareness in your mini pig, encouraging more learning. Clicker training has been used for many years by top trainers and animal behaviorists around the world. This method of positive reinforcement training has been used on dolphins, birds, dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and pigs! Any species of pet at any age with or without previous training will benefit from clicker training.  


Training clickers are easy to acquire. They are very reasonably priced in pet stores, on, and also given as contest prizes on the American Mini Pig Association Facebook page. It may be helpful to use a training clicker with a wrist strap for easy handling while training. 


How to start clicker training 


First, set up your training session for success. Read the blog “The Key to Success – Start Off On The Right Hoof” to find a quiet area to start your training session. When you are ready to start training, decide on a very simple behavior you want to target. You can start with your mini pig coming to his name called, sit, spin, touching your hand, or touching your foot. If your mini pig already knows a command, that’s a perfect place to start! 


With a treat ready, or in your treat pouch, get your training clicker in hand. Ask your mini pig to do something simple. For example, we will start with spin. You can use your hand or a treat to lure your mini pig into a circle. Timing the click is crucial!! As soon as the mini pig comes back to face you, click your training clicker. This click marks the behavior that was asked of them.  Don’t wait until the pig has COMPLETED the behavior, the key is to “click” while they are performing the behavior. 


As with other methods of training, consistent short bursts of training are best. Training for 5 minutes, three times a day is far more effective than setting aside an hour per week. 











While working on new tricks, you can “click” for accidental movements towards your goal. For example, if you are teaching your pig to kiss, if they are searching for the treat and accidently bump into your face with their snout, it’s time to “click”! Be consistent and mark the behavior you want, whether they intended it or not. They will quickly recognize the behavior or movement that is being “clicked” and will consciously start working toward that behavior. The pig will start thinking about what you are asking and figuring out how she can accomplish that. 


A fun part of clicker training is marking a routine behavior and turning it into a command based trick. For example, you can carry the training clicker around while going about your day. When your pig does something you want to turn into a trick or command, give it a click! I have stairs for DaVinci to get on my bed. When he starts climbing the stairs, I “click” and give him the associated phrase “use your stairs”. He quickly connects the action and command. Now I can tell him “use your stairs” anytime, anywhere, and he will look for the stairs! This is particularly useful in visiting public places where stairs may be intimidating in a new environment or using stairs to get in/out of vehicles. 


Once you get down the basics of clicker training, and the timing of the click, you will see a marked difference in the communication and comprehension of your mini pig while training. It’s a very simple concept with very precise timing, but master this first step and you will have unlimited training and learning possibilities at your fingertips!    


What have you taught your pig using clicker training? Tell us about it! We’d love to feature you and your mini pig on the American Mini Pig Association Facebook page. 


What can you teach a pig?  


  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Spin 
  • Crawl
  • Back up
  • Walk on a harness 
  • Relax for hoof trims
  • Come to their name
  • N
  • Out or leave it 
  • Shake hands 
  • Wave 
  • Push a ball
  • Pick up objects
  • Paint 
  • Solve 
  • Puzzles 
  • Honk a bike horn 
  • Play a piano
  • Play guitar
  • Kiss 
  • Obstacle course
  • Swim 
  • Ride a skateboard
  • Unroll the red carpet 
  • Step up (onto an object) 
  • Jump through a hula hoop 
  • Use Stairs
  • Use a doggy door
  • Run through a tunnel 
  • Roll out a red carpet 
  • Walk up a ramp 
  • Understand sign language 
  • Distinguish colors
  • Distinguish shapes
  • Walk on teeter totter
  • Weave through poles
  • Figure 8 through legs
  • Ring a bell to go potty outside
  • & Lots more!





Where can I find more training resources? 


The American Mini Pig Association has a wealth of educational articles including training and enrichment activities: 




Basic Skills and Tricks 

Teach your Pig to Move, MTP

Potty Training Your Pig 

Enrichment Activities For Bored Pigs 

More Training Blogs










Visit our website to learn more about mini pigs, become a member of the AMPA, and register your pet pig in the official AMPA Registry!

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