Mini Pig Training-Stairs and Ramps
Yes, mini pigs can manage stairs, although in older pigs it may be challenging. It is best and easiest to start this young. It’s actually very important to take the opportunity to train stairs and ramps even if you are living in a home without stairs.
Once again food is going to be our motivator here. If you have mastered the Step Up command you can use that to your advantage. If not, then grab those cheerios or unsalted popcorn and make a trail up the steps. Place the first rewards about mid step and then further back on the step as you rise. This will require the pig actually stepping up instead of stretching that snout to get the reward without moving forward. Use the command to Come or Step Up and verbal praise with each step achieved. “Good Pig!!”
It is best to achieve a couple steps and then urge the pig to turn by holding the treat in front and luring back down the steps. Praise and repeat.
Ramps will require a similar method with the treat being the motivator. It is important to remember that pigs slip easily. Any slip could cause a setback in progress and pigs do not forget easily. Make sure your ramp has a non-slip surface and minimal incline to start. As training progress, the incline can increase.
Use a trail of your pig’s favorite treat up the ramp. Encourage words with every step and lots of praise at the top. Same procedure for coming back down. Slow going with lots of positive reinforcement for a job well done. Practicing these skills as often as possible will build your pigs confidence. You will now have a pig that can go anywhere without limitations. Stairs and ramps may not be part of the daily, weekly, or even monthly needs, but a pig who is introduced to this training will remember it and be less apprehensive when it’s needed.