Ferrets are a lot of fun to have as pets. They’re playful, and they love attention. One way to interact with your ferret is by teaching them tricks like coming when you call their name!
This article will discuss if ferrets know their name, how you can teach them to, and more about what makes these little critters so great!
Do your Ferrets Actually Come When They Hear Their Name?
Maybe you have tried teaching your ferrets tricks, such as coming when you call them by their name – but they never seem to do anything you ask?
It is possible your ferrets don’t know their name!
Plus: ferret often has a hard time hearing or recognizing human voices, so it may be difficult for them to understand what we are saying and respond accordingly.
They May Recognize Their Name – But Don´t Care
It is also possible your furry creature may recognize its name but doesn´t care about coming when you call for it. This could be quite disheartening for new ferret owners. So what is the trick here?
Some pet owners believe that this attitude arises from being independent and not needing to rely on humans for anything, while others feel it has more to do with socialization.
I believe that the reason is that they don´t associate hearing their name and coming to you with something “beneficial” for them.
The other thing I´ve noticed is that ferret’s also seemed more responsive if there isn’t a lot of commotion going on around them, not only the sound but just all those extra moving objects like people or animals walking in and out through doors, etc.
Sometimes It Works Sometimes it Doesn´t
I read somewhere, one lady describing that her ferrets only would come when she was calling them from the kitchen space… Treat time!
I found that crinkling a plastic bag (treat!!) makes them run towards the sound
How Do You Teach Your Ferret To Come When You Call it?
Ferrets are generally good at picking up new things, so you can teach them to come when called with many little tricks.
Like crinkling the mentioned plastic bag and giving it treats or playing “follow me” games where they follow your fingers across different surfaces in their cage until finally, one day – voilá-they’ll start understanding what you want.
Your chance for quick success is much better when your ferrets start learning their name at a young age (same as training them to use the litter box).
Start by giving them food when they’re close to you and saying their name before giving it to them. When they start looking to you for food, when you say their name, start moving further and farther away, so they have to come to you.
You can also use a crinkly bag or toy to get their attention, and then when they’ll come when you call them give them their treat and lots of praises.
As your ferret gets better at coming on command (and not just running away!), build up the time before giving him/her treats as an incentive for following directions!
This will trigger the process of them realizing that you are calling their name and them showing up, which results in something good – like their favorite toy/food.
Eventually, you can wear them down to rarely getting treats or just getting cuddles when they come. Don´t expect this to happen within the first week.
This is a long-term project – and will probably take up to two/three months.
The idea is to get them used to the game, and then they’ll know and react to their name because it’s always followed by something good.
The secret is the same as with any training: persistence, repetition, and reward.
Do Ferrets Recognize Their Owners?
This is a question that many ferret owners often ask themselves. Ferrets can learn to recognize their owner and may even show signs of recognizing them in other ways as well.
Such as raising the tail when they’re picked up or laying down on top of their owners for petting sessions with no fear.
Can Your Ferret Actually Hear you?
Sad but true – It is not uncommon for a ferret to be deaf because they have been bred in such a way that the gene can easily come out.
The most widespread reason this happens is when people buy their ferrets at pet stores or breed animals without much knowledge or control of genetics, which again leads to many health problems with these pets as time goes by.
Blaze and Panda Ferrets are prone to deafness. The Waardenburg gene is also linked to ferret deafness.
But deafness isn´t all the catastrophic for a ferret. Sometimes they adapt so well. Their owners only find out much later. Their other senses, such as smell or sight, can compensate for their deafness.
Reasons for Deafness
Mainly genetics, trauma, ear infections, medications, or severe mite infestations can cause deafness in ferrets. If you suspect your ferret of being incapable of hearing, seek a veterinarian.
Can ferrets learn their name? Yes. You can train them to come when you call. It takes persistence, repetition, and reward. Preferabily start when your ferret is still at a young age.