Ferrets have a notorious reputation for nipping at their owners, escaping through tiny spaces and digging madly in potplants, water bowls and carpet. Fortunately, the techniques for discouraging each of these behaviours are quite similar:
Feed your ferret teething rusks and hard dog biscuits
Giving your ferret something hard to chew on will distract him or her from biting you. It can also distract your ferret when he or she is in the mood for digging.
Make a loud, high-pitched sound
Loud noises will alert your ferret that their behavior is unwanted. Hissing or saying “no” in a firm voice can also be effective. It’s important you do this whenever the behaviour is displayed, so the message is clear and consistent.
Spray bitter apple scent
Ferrets can’t stand the smell of bitter apple. Spraying it selectively can be a great way to mark “no-go” zones in the house or to alert your ferret to negative behaviours, such as biting, digging or inappropriate urination. If you do not have bitter apple scent, alcohol and white vinegar work in the same way.
Reward, persevere, reward again!
All animals, including ferrets, respond to positive reinforcement. Whenever your ferret does something good, praise him or her with treats and cuddles. Continue to persist with the training for as long as it takes, always providing praise where it is warranted.