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Ferrets Fight For Dominance

Should ferrets be left to fight or should people stop any fights?

By Ailigh Vanderbush
Posted: August 5, 2012, 4 a.m. EDT

Q: I have seven ferrets, four boys and three girls. We recently introduced the new boys about a month and a half ago. My original boy has been having issues with dominance fighting. He only goes after one of the new boys who is smaller. They are about six months apart. There is no blood, pee or poop just a lot of scratching and heartache. I have read we're supposed to let them be, but it's so hard. What are we supposed to do about the dominance fighting?

A: As long as none of the ferrets are getting hurt by the behavior, leave them alone to figure it out. There is dispute that dominance theory exists in wolves, and I don't see evidence of it in ferrets, especially because they are not a naturally social species.

The “fighting” behavior is common when a new ferret is introduced and is often intensified if people interfere too often.

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