Use clicker-training to teach tricks to pocket-size pets - Dr. Marty Becker

Use clicker-training to teach tricks to pocket-size pets

Monday, Jan 27th, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

Can your ferret play basketball? Your rabbit race through weave poles? Your pot-bellied pig complete an obedience routine? Well, why not? These animals, as well as guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils and more, can all learn to amaze your friends and family by performing tricks and other behaviors on cue. Think it can’t be done? So do most people, until they try it, says behavioral biologist and learning authority Karen Pryor of Watertown, Mass.

Using a clicker, you can teach “pocket pets” to raise a paw, go through hoops, stand up on their hind legs and put their paws on a box, put a pingpong ball in a miniature basket and play basketball, and pull on a string to turn a light on and off, Pryor says.

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