I rescued an 8 month old jill this week and she is stunningly gorgeous. Unfortunately, she hasn't had the brightest past but we aren't sure what happened. She has a lovely coat, clear eyes, active, but has severe nipping problems. She will bite my hand, feet, skin, anything and shake it. She's already drew blood on me several times. I'm not sure how to nip train her, because she is also TERRIFIED of being picked up. She will freeze and hold onto me, shaking. She hasn't been spayed yet and I am trying very hard to find the right vet that will spay her asap that will fit in my tight budget.
Since you guys are a lot more experienced, could you recommend any methods I could do to nip train her?
Also, I have a male that is neutered and is just a sweetheart. He just wants to sniff her and play, but she attacks him. I had to separate the two and since my male has been so traumatized, he's at my friend's place with his ferrets to get him back on a happy mood. Do you guys think she will mellow down after she is spayed and get along with him? I am her third home in 8 months (Very sad) and she has been exposed to other male ferrets, but not with ones that have been neutered.
Any help, advice, etc. would greatly be appreciated. I am in desperate help...
Sounds like she's used to having to defend her dignity, poor wee mite. Hobs are not known for their gentle approach at times (my guys are wonderful but if they're in season they're hobnoxious too and a wee jill has to protect her honour). She may have suffered some rough handling, not only at the hands of other ferrets but her owners as well. Chances are she's worked out that if she bites, they will either put her down (they may have thrown her too) or leave her alone. Does she take treats? Even marine fish oil would be good (I use this to befriend my poleys). You don't mention how long she's been with you. It's going to take time for you to earn her trust, she's already had her trust broken, so in her mind why should she trust you. With her I would be using a time out crate for biting issues. First off, discover when is the most likely time she's going to bite you. I found the wee jill I have right now is most likely to bite me when things get noisy and hectic. I can actually feel her start to tense up and vibrate. I make a habit of handling her a lot when things are calm, quiet and when she's first woken up. If things are busy and she asks to get up I will pick her up but if she signals that she's overwhelmed, then I will put her down to play before she bites me. Always end training on a winning note. If she does bite then put her in the crate. Mine is a simple cat travelling crate with nothing (no blankets, water or food) in it. She only goes in there in 3 minute time frames and the lack of water, bedding and other comforts means that if she chooses to tantrum she can do so without damage to herself or the contents of the carrier. Being without blankets and comfies means that she won't just curl up and sleep in a dark space because you've actually done what she wanted in the first place which is leave her alone. Good luck ciao
Heather helped me through this same fear biting with one of ours. Except Willow would latch on, sink her teeth to the bone and then panic. Find an oil she really likes and use that. I'm bad as this is where I do use ferretone. Good luck with your girl!
Ferrets: Contessa Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle, Butterscotch, Frankenfurter. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs
Hi and Welcome to the HFF. Thank you for taking in the poor little girl. Like Heather says, I also think she will have some trust issues. I would try to spend alot of time with her, just getting her used to you. Sit on the floor with her, while she explores, talk to her and maybe wrap her up in a blanket or towel and walk her around, showing her things. I would put her cage, next to my bed and let her know that she is not alone. When you bring your little boy home, I would let her see him, but keep him from getting close to her, just until she is more secure. I do hope that your home will be her forever home, and that she will find happiness and most importantly come to feel safe and secure. Bob Church, the ultimate ferret expert wrote some good articles on helping abused ferrets feel safe. You can google him, The Small Animal Channel on the web has alot of his articles. Good Luck and please keep us posted. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.