I suggest to people that when they get their piglet home to keep it in a baby playpen (pack n play) for a while. Most people don’t realize how fast a little pig can run. It is so much easier to reach down and pick your piglet up, than to reach into a crate or chase it around the room. It won’t take long before your piglet follows you everywhere and comes to it’s name. But until it does go easy on yourself and pick up a used playpen at a yard sale or thrift store. When I set mine up for the babies during the weaning process I put a small blanket (throw) on the floor pad and then I tuck another blanket by its edge on the back side. If you don’t tuck it a little bit they will root it over into their water dish. If you don’t put two blankets (because they love to root and snuggle in blankets) the piglet may sleep in the litter box for security. As you see in my playpen I have a litter box with pine pellets (not shavings), a water dish and the two blankets. I do not put a feed bowl or dish in there. Why? Pigs are very clean animals and they do not pee and poop where they eat. So I sprinkle their food on their blanket to remind them to use the litter box instead. Years ago I started with crates and believe me this is so much easier and cleaner.
You can litter train, leash train and crate trained a teacup pig, which makes them great exotic pets for home living! They are intelligent and can learn basic obedience commands like sit, spin, come and stay. They are also quite cuddly (and obviously a very cute exotic pet!) so perfect for cuddling on the coach! Teacup pigs are also said to be non-allergenic because they do not shed.
Even though the teacup pig is small, like a dog, it needs to spend time outside and exercise. If you have a backyard its great, but if you don’t you have to make sure the park you take your teacup pig to is safe for him! Stay away from big dogs since the little pig has no way of defending himself and keep an eye on your little friend so he doesn’t run off in traffic. It is best to harness train and have your piglet on a harness when out in public as loud noises will cause it to bolt and hide. Finally, the average lifespan of a teacup pig is 15-20 years, so think about that before you decide to adopt one; adopting a pet, any pet, is a lifelong commitment! You wouldn’t give away your kids would you? Think about your piggy the same way…
Pigs are not cats so the litter box training is (really) training but you are the one that will get trained. Cats will go in anything where they can bury there waste that’s natural. Their instinct is to cover it up. I have always laughed when I see ads for kittens that are litter box trained. All they need to know is where the box is.
Pigs on the other hand if given the chance would rather go outside and that is natural for them. So it does require some training. The first thing to know is not to use cat litter. Pigs have a tendency to taste things. Cat litter is clay base and will stop them up. The best thing to use is pure pine pellets. These can be bought at a feed store or some place that sells bedding for horse stalls. If that is not available then pine shavings will work. Don’t use something with a deodorizer in it. That could make your piggy sick. You won’t need it anyway because pig waste does not have as strong of an odor as cat waste.
When you get a piggy from Ms. Joyce, she starts them off in a playpen with a litter box in it. Hopefully when you get yours you will start with a playpen. The next step is a small room like a bath room. A room with no carpet is best in case of an accident. Put it close to the door because they will stand there the most at first so they can see what’s going on in the rest of the house. If the piggy uses it there then move it gradually to a corner out of the way. If you move it and they go where it was at first then put it back for a day or two more(be patience). If the piggy goes some place other than the box then pick up the poop and put it in the box and place the box where the piggy has gone. It also would be a good idea to soak up some urine on a paper towel and put it in the box. You can also rub it on the inside of the box the more scent in the box the better. Pigs have a sensitive nose and the order in the box is important. Unlike cats little pigs will tell you where they want there box. It will usually be in a corner or in the most private place in the room outside they like to go in the bushes. Maybe they are just shy. You may have to move it a few times to get it where they want it. The older they get the less picky they will be. To clean up an accident you have to be sure to remove the odor or they will get confused. Water and white vinegar, or a very little bit of bleach mixed with water works well to get residue from the area. If you have something for pet odors you may use that also.
When you are ready to let your piggy use the whole house you will have to find out where to put the box again. I suggest leaving the box in the room you started in and put another in the room where you and the little piggy will be the most. Because you are starting without any odor in the box, use a little of the soiled litter from the first box. Just like the first time you may have to move the box a time or two (be patience). If your house is really big you may need more than two at first. After a while you will be able to cut back to one. Remember this is training and every piggy is different.
You don’t need to dump the whole thing every time. Just scoop out the soiled and replace with a little fresh litter. Until they are consistent with going in the box put a little of the soiled litter back in the box so the scent stays there when you dump the whole thing.
The best thing is to start house breaking your little piggy early. They won’t be able to hold it for very long at a time until they are six months old or older. This will vary with the pig. At first take them out every hour or so. After meals and knaps is a must don’t get impatience they are babies. When you take them outside they will pick a place they like and will want to go there every time. Be sure to use the same term all the time for this feat. I use (go potty). When they are finished make a big deal out of it with a lot of good boy or good girl. You may use treats if you want. But be warned they are very smart and may learn to fake it just to get the treat. If you use the same term all the time then when you go to visit and want to curb them before going inside they will know what you want Bushes, flower beds or some place private is what they will like best. If their head is hidden they think no one can see them. Kind of funny. Remember be responsible and pick up the waste. In other words don’t be a pig be neat.
At night I suggest to put them in a small place or room with a litter box, a bed and a blanket. This takes care of two potential problems .Accidents in the house, and the piggy will learn to sleep through the night. Never give a treat during the night unless you want to get up and give a treat at the same time every night. They don’t need a watch and can tell time in their heads waking you up the same time each night.
Hi, this is Ms. Linda, Rooty’s Mom.
You have probably seen him on this site doing his tricks on the video, if you haven’t then go watch it for a fun time and a quick glimpse of some of the things your piggy can learn..
I hope to help you and your new baby get off on the right foot and hoof.
So now that you got the baby home now what? You’ve heard they are like a dog or a cat …NOT! They are just like a baby pig.
Dogs and cats have been in people’s homes ever since the cave man. Pigs are just now being invited out of the barn yard into our homes. They have not had a lot of time to get used to living inside with people. A lot of the breeder pigs didn’t live inside like a dog or cat so it takes a little different approach to get where you want to be with your piggy.
Also people are not familiar with what it takes to understand how to train little pigs. Almost everyone has a little understanding of what to do with a dog or cat; they have been man’s best friend for so long. And then some people still need help with training them. They have different personalities and act differently to commands. It’s the same with pigs.
Pigs are very smart and will bond with people very quickly. But they need a little help.
Put yourself in their place. Taken from your whole family, sent a long ways in a strange machine that makes a lot of loud noises, and now all these strange new smells and people. . Their first instinct is to run very fast and find Mom. They need time to get used to everything in their new home. And they also have different personalities and will respond differently. They really don’t like for their feet to leave the ground. So they need to really trust the person that is picking them up. They start learning at a really early age so it is important to start out right. I was amazed at how young Rooty started learning tricks. A puppy could not learn much at six weeks old.
The best thing is a play pen in the room where everybody spends a lot of time. The litter box can go right in the pen and they like a blanket to get under when they want to sleep. The first week or so take it slow. Talk to it a lot call it by name and give it a treat when it comes to you So it won’t start nipping at your hands offer the treat low down or put it on the ground in front of it.. Reward it with a lot of good girl or boy. The more you use the name the quicker it will learn.
When it seems pretty comfortable with the family and doesn’t want to back away when you reach down then you can start picking it up. They don’t like their feet to leave the ground so this will take a little patient. When you pick it up, place one hand under the piglets front legs, and your other hand under the back legs. Hold it tight enough so it won’t slip but not real tight. When you are holding the piglet in your lap let it stand with its feet on your legs. Some pigs like this more than others. Everyone wants a piggy they can hold like a dog or cat. This can work. But it might not start out that way. This is for the most part taught and not a bred in behavior. Remember pigs up to now have not been treated like a house pet. I’m sure the very first dogs were not used to being held. I have a lot of people that say their piggy won’t let them pick them up without squealing. That is normal considering that it is a piggy. They are a lot more vocal than a dog. They have more of a vocabulary to communicate with each other. If you are around pigs they make a lot of different noises that all mean something. It is up to you to figure out what these sounds mean. We know if a dog has different barking sounds depending why it’s barking. It growls for different reasons also. It is the same with pigs. A squeal might mean it is afraid or unsure of what is happening. So it is up to you to train it to trust what you are doing. The more you hold it the faster it will know that it’s not a bad thing. Always try to leave this training segment on a good note. Wait until it has calmed down before you put it down. If you put it down while it is squealing then because they are very smart, they will think if they squeal loudly they will get what they want and then you would be training it to squeal. You will see a pic of my Rooty below. He is a Miniature Potbelly pig not a teacup and he weighs 60 lbs.
Check back later for more tips from Ms. Linda.
Welcome to Angel Enterprise Farm home of the fine little swine. Questions will be answered here along with pig training tips and fun things like baby piglet pictures and just about everything. So check back often.
Joyce & Art