Ferrets are playful creatures but you don’t really need any fancy toys to keep them active and intrested. Best thing ever is a normal plastic bag, one could hide in there or keep it as a food storage.. go figure.. :D
Our ferrets each plays with different things but they do have a couple of things in common. They all love things to chase. For example in these following videoclips you can see Immu and Kiivi playing with their new chase toy.
Kiivi isn’t really interested about squeegee toys (she is more into hiding food than anything else) but Justus loves them (at least that’s what we think). He comes always from hiding to see what’s happening when you use anything squueegy. And then Justus takes the toy and hides it. So can you tell me if he hates or loves the sound???!! Oh and Justus likes to dig. In anything… small hard pasta, rice, snow, gravel… fabric…etc…
Immu likes everything really, he likes squeegee toys and chasing things and wrestling games.. He is easy to amuse. Hardest part is to keep the ferrets awake so that they would sleep the night and not be so active when we are sleeping.
And of course outside is always fun.. for example watch these videoclips of Immu digging in snow…
Also we have used clicker training on Immu to actived his brains (if that’s possible..) and with him we have got some positive results.
Here is step-by-step guide to our fun ferret clicker game
Step 1: Get a clicker. There’s tons of different clickers meant for dog training, just pick one that you like.
Step 2: You first have to “charge” the clicker so it actually has some meaning to your ferrets. Get some treats, we use Nutriplus vitamin gel, I’m sure you guys have something similar, the clicker and the ferret. Make a click and immediately after that reward them with something yummie. This might take a while, even a few sessions, but slowly you’ll notice how they start to stare at the clicker in anticipation of the click and the treat. Now you’ll know they’ve got it figured out. You can do just this for a minute at a time at first and stop immediately when the ferret loses interest. It’s meant to be fun, not a chore.
Step 3: Once you’ve “charged” the clicker you probably never have to do it again if you use it actively. Now the game starts by placing a object that has no meaning to the ferrets (no toys or other stuff they would already be interested in), in this example I use an old tube of body lotion that was lying around. Clothes, remote controls, whatever work just fine. Wait with the clicker and treats for the ferret to investigate what’s going on. She will probably try and get the treat but don’t give any yet. When she even looks at the object make a click and immediately reward it. It’s fun to see how they start working out when they actually get the treat and the dawning of the realisation that ‘hey, when I poke this thing with my nose, I ALWAYS get a treat!’
Step 4: After a few minutes or immediately after they lose interest stop the game by giving some treats and scratches and telling what a great ferret she is. Fun times for all and for a change the ferret actually used her little brain for something else than figuring out what to destroy next ;)
Make sure you reward EVERY click you make, even if it was an accident! It’s important especially in the beginning so they associate the treat and the click with each other.
And if you wait too long between the click and the reward they’ll already forget what they’re being rewarded for. So be fast, it has to happen in seconds!