Chinchillas are highly intelligent animals and can easily be trained to do certain tricks. They are quite independent and wilful though, so do be prepared to persevere with your training for a while to get a positive outcome! Chinchillas are more difficult to train than other small pets such as rats. They are just as intelligent but will normally only do whatever they want rather than what you want!
Here are some simple first tricks you can try with your chinchilla. Use positive reinforcement (we suggest praise and raisins!). If you are going to use raisins as treats you can’t feed too many as it will cause an upset tummy so use some scissors and chop them into tiny bits before you start to make them stretch further.
Use a litter tray
This is an incredibly useful trick as it will make your cage cleaning much easier. Simply replace some of the chinchilla’s wet substrate into the litter tray when the cage is cleaned. Chinchillas are fastidiously clean and will quickly learn to use this specific designated place to do their business with no raisin treats required!
Come to recall
You will need raisins for this trick! Call your chinchilla’s name and wait. Keep calling and eventually they will come to you. When they do, give a raisin and praise. Repeat multiple times over the course of several days and your chinchilla will quickly learn to come when called.
When your chinchilla is free ranging or playing out of the cage it can be useful to have a command for ‘go home’ to get the chinchillas back in their cages rather than having to run around trying to catch them. In much the same way as the come to recall trick, the key to this one is raisins. Give your ‘go home’ command and have some raisins ready at the door of the cage. Once your chinnie decides it is home time give them a raisin and shut the door behind them.
Once you have mastered the basics of training you can try more complicated tricks.
Have you had any luck training your chinchilla to do exciting tricks? Let us know via the Little Pet Warehouse Facebook page.