Teaching Your Pig To Paint!
Training Series – Blog 12
Teach Your Pig To Paint
Brought to you by Snout Art™
The mini pig artists at Snout Art™ are here to teach us how to paint with our own pigs! Olivia and Petunia mini pigs started Snout Art to help raise funds for mini pigs in need. In January 2016, DaVinci joined the Snout Art family! Olivia, Petunia, and DaVinci are AMPA Registered Mini Pigs. They continue to do volunteer work and donate to causes and fundraisers throughout the community, including the AMPA’s 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to rescued mini pigs, American Mini Pig Rescue. Snout Art is a trademarked brand name, but you can choose another term to reference your own painting pigs!
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting in Hawaii, stop by Amy-Lauren’s Gallery on Kauai to check out the Snout Art on display in this fine art gallery. The gallery is owned by fellow pig parents Amy-Lauren and Corey Lum Won. The love of their life is Princess Mango, a rescued Polynesean Wild Pig. Corey and Amy-Lauren have dedicated themselves to rescuing local pigs. If you’re looking to adopt a pig from Hawaii, please contact Princess Mango on her Facebook page.
If you’re looking to purchase a custom Snout Art by these famous artists, you can ORDER HERE!
Gather Your Materials
To create your own piggy paintings, you need to start with pig safe paint. This paint needs to be waterbased and non toxic. Check the labels!! Most pig parents start out with kids finger paint or another paint that is meant for little kids who, like our pigs, might accidently eat a little bit of the paint. You can paint on anything, a cloth, a piece of paper, an art canvas, or any other material. Get creative!
Teaching a pig to paint is done through “target training”. This is a perfect opportunity to practice the clicker training method so you can “mark” the position you want your pig to repeat. Read the clicker training blog here. You’ll also want to make sure you are setting up your training session for success by following the tips in this blog.
Ready, Set, PAINT!
Once you’re ready to paint, you might want to do “dry runs” to practice the painting motions without the wet, cold sensation that the paint brings. First, get your paper (or other material) ready. Ask the pig to “paint”. Keep the paper close to their face so they’re bound to accidently bump it. As soon as their snout touches the paper click your training clicker, tell them “good girl!” and offer a reward. Repeat this again and again, the same way you would teach a pig to give a kiss. Quickly your pig will realize they need to touch the paper with their snout to earn a treat. That’s all they have to do! The rest is up to their artistic inspiration. Some will gently bump the canvas and others will impatiently swipe and rub their nose around. They use the same motions as when you are in the kitchen preparing that delicious salad, they want some and they bump or rub their snout on your leg to say “Hey Mom! I’m right here, just drop a little piece for me, I won’t tell!”. This same nudging response will create beautiful works of art.
The last step is the paint. You can either dab a little paint on their snout and then ask them to paint it onto the paper, or you can dab paint on the paper and ask them to smear it around.
The mini pigs at Snout Art™ also like to add their very own special touch, as they refer to a Snout Signature™!
Snout Art videos from their Facebook page:
When the Snout Art family fostered a displaced pig, they taught her to paint! Elphie took her first painting home to her adoptive mom. Watch the video here.
Sometimes there’s fun games on the Snout Art Facebook page, like this Snout Art Bingo! Look how much Petunia LOVES to paint! Watch here.
Petunia tells mom she isn’t done painting. Check it out, here!
Olivia is having a tail wagging good time. She loves earning special snacks. Watch Olivia in action, here.
One more of Petunia. She really gets into it. Sometimes she even throws in some hoof action! Watch the video here.
What have you taught your pig? Tell us about it! We’d love to feature you and your mini pig on the American Mini Pig Association Facebook page. Send your photos and videos to our Facebook page or email us at [email protected]
What can you teach a pig?
- Bow or Curtsy
- 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
- 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!
The American Mini Pig Association has a wealth of educational articles including training and enrichment activities:
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!
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