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
Written by This Little Piggy
Pigs are naturally a flight animal and that is extremely important to remember when you are harness training your piglet. When attempting to harness train your piglet the first step it to purchase a harness that is pig safe. Harnesses that have two buckles (one on the neck and one on the girth) work best. If you have to pick up your piglet to put their feet through a ‘step-in’ harness you may find it more challenging as your piglet would prefer to keep their feet on the ground.
The second step is to introduce the harness to your piglet in a location in the home that is quiet and the piglet is comfortable in. Place yourself on the floor with some of your piglet’s favorite treats (cut up grapes and their pellets work great). Place the harness on the ground in front of you and place some of the treats beside it. Show the piglet where the treats are and allow him to eat them. If the piglet is showing no hesitation with eating beside the harness place treats on top of the harness and allow your piglet to eat them. Once your piglet has demonstrated no hesitation with this step, pick up the harness and hold it STILL in front of the piglet. Offer a treat to the piglet at this time. The goal is to make the harness positive on and off the piglet.
Once the piglet has shown no hesitation to the harness being in the air you may at this time place a few treats on the ground in a pile and while the piglet is having a snack move the harness towards the back of the piglet. Usually at this step you will see them watching your hand and maybe take a step or two to the opposite side of your hand. If they do, hold your hand still until the piglet settles. Do not move the harness back as this motion would encourage the behaviour. It is okay to offer more treats if the piglet is still not settled with the harness being at his side.
Once your piglet becomes comfortable with the movement of the harness towards his side continue the movement to placing the harness on his back. There are three important things to remember at this step.
- Offer lots of treats are he will step away when the harness touches him.
- Do not let go of the harness. You want to prevent the harness from falling on the floor and scaring him.
- Remember you are not trying to fit the harness to the piglet at this time, just placing it on his back.
You may need to work at this step for a few days to get your piglet comfortable with the feeling of the harness on their back.
Once your piglet has become comfortable with all the above steps you can now work with doing up the buckles. This will also be done in small steps and over a period of time if your piglet requires it. Place treats in a pile on the floor and while your piglet is eating place the harness on his back and slowly clip the neck buckle together. Add more treats to the pile and clip the girth buckle. Add more treats to the pile and let your piglet continue to eat his treats while wearing his harness. *It is important for the harness to not be too tight on the piglet through the first couple times you are repeating this last step. You also do not want it so loose the piglet can step their leg through it. You would want it loose but not falling off.
Repeat this step a few times a day while allowing your piglet to wear his harness around the house for a bit at a time. To take the harness off offer some treats in a pile and unclip both buckles. As you can see training your mini pig overall is about reading their body language. It’s important to know what it is they are comfortable with and how far you can go with each training session.
Remember, things do not happen overnight. Go slow and allow your piglet to become comfortabe with each step before moving along to the next one.
Mini Pig harness made by