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
Tricks, Life Skills, and Communication
With Your Mini Pig
Dancing Pigs – Teach A Pig To Spin Circles
Training Series: Blog 6
Pigs LOVE learning. These social intelligent creatures genuinely thrive with challenges, interactions, and rewards. The more you work with your pig, the better the two of you will be able to communicate with each other. To read more of the benefits of training your pig, read previous blog “Introduction to Training: Why Teach a Pig a Trick?”
Start with the basics. The easiest trick or command to learn seems to be “spin” or “circle” where they literally spin or twirl in a 360 degree circle. The finish of that spin is priceless when they gaze up to make eye contact with a proud smile expecting a morsel of a reward. This is especially precious with young piglets and quite impressive with larger pigs.
Choose your command words carefully, you’ll be using it lots and lots! Spin, twirl, dance, circle, or get dizzy are all common. You really can’t imagine how adorable this is until you see that proud snout pop back up.
To get started, hold the treat where your pig can see it. She will focus on that treat like it’s about to burst into flames. Lower it just out of reach and lead her snout around in a circle while giving your chosen command word. Go as fast or slow as you need to keep her focus, keep her moving, without her lunging at your hand. She needs to be paying attention to the movement she is performing in order to get the reward.
Have your treat ready. The moment she comes full circle and looks back up at you, her task is complete. This is where a training clicker comes in handy. Click your clicker the moment she faced back to you. Now, be her biggest fan, her head cheerleader!! “Good girl!!!” Hand her the treat by lowering a flat hand below her head. This eliminates the need for her to reach up and grab at fingers holding treats. With an excited cheery voice, blabber at her. The words don’t matter, but the excitement does. Pet or scratch her in her favorite places and tell her how proud you are.
Then, do it again. Again. Again. Every time you ask her to do this action, every time she complies, and every time you reward her, she loves and respects you more and more. She feels confident and you feel proud.
She will quickly get the hang of it. Try slowly to wean her off the hand motions. Then twirl your finger while giving the command and see if she does it?? If not, no worry. Just start over with leading her for as long as she needs. Go at her pace and don’t press her forward. Give her as much help as she needs. She will surprised you the next time you are making a bowl of cereal and she starts spinning like a ballerina in the kitchen hoping to earn herself a nibble. At that moment you will realize how intelligent they are (and how duped you were)!!
It is a beautiful thing when the doors of communication are opened between human and porcine pal. Such a simple trick brings a huge impact. Go ahead. Spin that pig!
What can you teach a pig?
- Back up
- Walk on a harness
- Relax for hoof trims
- Come to their name
- Out or leave it
- Shake hands
- Push a ball
- Pick up objects
- Solve Puzzles
- Honk a bike horn
- Play a piano
- Play guitar
- Obstacle course
- Ride a skateboard
- Unroll the red carpet
Visit our website to learn more about mini pigs, become a member of the AMPA, and register your mini pig as a pet in the official AMPA Registery!