Your pet chinchilla can actually learn and do tricks? Yes, they can. As cute as they can be, you can overlook the fact that they are still rodents and are more than just adorable pets to watch in a cage. They are capable of doing several tricks with a little understanding of their ways and with some patience.
Keep in mind that your pet can actually remember a lot of things. If someone or something scares them the first time, they will remember and continue to fear them till they can trust them again. Such a memory is very important in training any pet. As with most domesticated animals, treats to reward tricks you would like them to do is important. Another effective thing you can do is to raise your voice whenever you want your pet chinchilla to stop in doing something naughty. It scares them. This is very helpful especially if electrical wires are something they like to chew. Just be careful if your pet’s personality is timid or still uncomfortable with you. Take time for it to trust you. Better to use something that makes a loud noise whenever your pet gets near those wires. A clap, a whistle, or a horn can help them stay away.
The chinchilla trick you should start your training from is making it eat from your hand. Put a treat on the middle of your open palm, making sure that it gets on your hand to reach for it. This will take some time and can test your patience. Try keeping your hand still at first even when it doesn’t go for the treat. You don’t have to move your hand towards your pet. Chinchillas in the wild are usually preyed upon, so to chase them while in captivity will only scare them away. If you are successful trying to feed it from your palm, you can attempt placing the treat farther on your forearm. This eventually starts training your pet to go up your arm to get food.
Training also includes making your pet get used to being handled. Instead of suddenly picking up the chinchilla, give it time to adjust while being picked up. It’s better to let them learn climbing up your arm before lifting them up with your hand. Start by letting them get used to getting on your arm for a treat. Also, a good maneuver is to try sitting on the floor with the cage open before you. Your pet is innately a climber, so being in front of an open cage makes it easily possible for them to get to you and climb on. Being constantly in view will help in getting them used to your presence as well, trusting that you’re not out to hurt them. This goes without saying, don’t chase after your pet or pick it up by taking hold of its tail. This will only cause them to remember you in fear or as an annoyance.
Unfortunately, chinchillas can’t sit like dogs when ordered to do so. They can be trained though to leap over things or scamper. You can also train them to give you a peck on the cheek before they get a treat.
Having chinchillas as pets is a most amusing experience, involving a lot of enjoyable moments to witness and interact with. With a little bit of persistence and an amount of treats, amusing yourself with your pet chinchilla gets even more pleasurable with you teaching it some tricks.