California Mini Pigs near Chico, CA
Training your piglet will happen everytime you have an interaction with your pig. It should always end on a good note!
Before you bring your piglet home you need to have some basic things ready. You should have a small area that is designated as your piglets area. A 5x5 area is nice to start with. This area is great for teaching boundaries, potty training and establishing your pigs area in your house. You never want to have your pig free roaming twenty four hours a day, unless you want your pig to establish that your entire house is its territory and he/she can do what they want at all times. This area is great for continuing litter box training. Your piglet from CMP (California Mini Pigs) will come trained to use the litter box but there is almost always some transition accidents. Having a small area will help! Pigs don't like to potty where they eat or sleep, so if this area has a bed, an eating area and a litter box, it does't leave your piglet many choices. Also think of your piglet as a toddler, you wouldn't put a human child inside a 4 walled room without enrichment/toys. What is enrichment? According to Lara Joseph at www.theanimalbehaviorcenter.com enrichment is only enrichment if your pig things it is. So basically if you toss in a few stuffed animals, it only works if your pig things so (BTW they are much smarter than that LOL) . Enrichment doesn't need to be expensive and it needs to be rotated, pigs will get bored. Think coffee cans to push around with holes to slowly disperse treats. Or 2 litter soda bottles to do the same thing. A kong toy filled with treats then frozen, toys that rattle, crinkle or squeak are preferred over toys that do nothing.
You can teach your pigs many tricks, you need to teach your pigs boundaries and the consequences for leaving those boundaries. By boundaries I don't mean areas on your property, but boundaries in your relationship.
I don't recommend that your pig sleeps in your bed, they become territorial and at some point you will move in the middle of the night and by instinct your pig will react and bite you.
Lara Joseph recommends feeding your pigs in a different area of the house each time. Outside, inside, laundry room, hall, anywhere that is different each time to avoid making a pig a routine that they soon demand. It keeps your pig from establishing a territory to dominant and keeps it interesting. Also think about your social life, if you feed your pig at 8 pm every night, what happens if you are at a family social and its 8, your pig is home along stressing about not eating, change that up too.
I strongly believe that a pig needs outdoor time and don't sell to people in apartments because these guys get much enjoyment from the great outdoors, not to mention much needed minerals from soil and vitamin D from the sun. They love a good wallow, kiddy pools and room to run, they are active. It also helps keep their weight in check. You don't see fat pigs in the wild they are quite lean because they root, scavenge and basically walk all day long except those super hot afternoon hours.
Pigs are very food motivated, a few things to keep in mind, excessive sweets will cause food aggressive behavior, they will bite, snip, push to demand more. I prefer their pellets or their favorite veggies as treats, they really work just as well. If I do give occassional sweets, its usually in a bowl or something simple like whole grain treats made for toddlers. My pigs love Gerber Graduates apple cinnamon bites.
When you pass by a yard sale with toys, stop in and see what they have your pig might like to interact with. Childrens pianos, basketball hoops (toddler height), balls, ball pits or other toys. Wash them up and rotate them, keep life interesting to keep your piglet happy.
I do highly suggest that you go the The Animal Behavior Site above and get involved with Lara. She has sessions on how to train your pig to stand for vet appointments and hoof training, training for tricks and obstacle courses, etc... you can take your pig in any direction you wish!
Training your piglet will start the second you pick up your piglet from our place or from the airport.
Some proven facts:
Pigs are one of the most intelligent animals on earth.
Pigs react to positive reinforcement much quicker than harsh negative reinforcement (yelling, swatting and shoving)
Pigs intelligence increases when they stay with their mothers longer. Want a well behaved, quick learning pig, buy from an ethical breeder and pass up those bottle fed babies.