Posted: April 1, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My 12-week-old, male ferret, Jones, is really into biting. I tried using bitter spray to prevent his biting, but he got used to it. When I scruff him, he just goes berserk and attacks as soon as I put him down. I tried distracting him with a toy, and he just finds my hand. I push my finger into his mouth, and he just starts chewing more. I don’t know what else to try. Help!
A: At 12 weeks of age, this is normal ferret behavior. Animals, like children, teethe and explore the world in any way they can. Think about toddlers putting everything in their mouths; ferrets are not too different, except the biting hurts us.
I wouldn’t punish your ferret, because it may alter your relationship for the worse as he learns not to trust you. If he starts to bite, simply leave him alone. No biting means human playtime, biting means humans go away (only for a short period). If he goes for your fingers, try to keep fingers away from his mouth; the same goes for ankles, etc.
Be patient with your ferret. As he grows up, this behavior will stop.
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