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Ferrets/Aggressive Ferret

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Question
Hello i need tips on stopping my EXTREMELY aggressive ferret from biting. I have just bought her from a family that had previously kept her in a cage from birth (8 straight months no out of cage time) because she had bit them once. Now because no one had trained her, she bites extremely hard that i have not had a time where she bites and i haven't bled. I have tried scruffing, bitter apple, scruff and drag, hissing back, time outs (if i can even get her out of the cage without bleeding), shouting no and in pain but everything just makes her bite on harder. She will absolutely not let go once she has her teeth in it. I have bled numerous times and have tried every single time to stop her from biting me.
I know that she probably thinks that she is the dominate one but how do i stop this. I don't want to give her up because i know all ferrets in the end can be loved but how do i even get her to stop if i can't pick her up or touch her without being bit and bleeding.
(She claws at me from behind her cage door before i even open it and if i put my finger near the lock to open it she will lunge at my finger and if she gets it won't let go. HELP! She is desexed and her vaccinations are up to point. Her cage now is extremely big and has 4 levels.

Answer
I imagine she has learned that biting makes people go away and leave her alone.  She will take patience and there isn't an "easy" button.  Initially I would wear gloves so that you aren't reacting to the bite and you aren't getting hurt in the meantime. I would also avoid picking her up until you build a bond and she trusts you.  But, if she bites, she should bite the gloves and not you.  This will teach her that she can't reply on biting to make you go away but that you won't push her either.

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Ailigh Vanderbush

Expertise

I am a certified pet behaviorist and own a consultation business. I can answer questions about all aspects of ferret care, especially behavior problems. I am not a vet, but can direct you to exotic vets if needed. Feel free to check out my web site www.animalia.us

Experience

I have had ferrets for a number of years, have raised kits and have spoken at ferret conferences. I am a certified pet behaviorist and own a consultation business, Animalia.

Organizations
IAABC, Circle City Ferret Club

Publications
Ferrets USA

Education/Credentials
CABT

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