Training Tips for Pigs

How to train a pot belly pig


So you’re thinking about getting a pet pig…

If you don’t already have a pig for a pet, you will have a few things to research and learn.  If you already have your pet pig, and don’t know what to do with it, or how to manage it, you really have jumped the gun, haven’t you?

While pigs are still somewhat a novelty pet, they are also extremely intelligent.  A pig, whether it is a half ton (market hog) or a so-called miniature variety, (usually weighing anywhere from 50 to 200 pounds at maturity) you may be surprised at their agility and intelligence.  Some people who may lack real experience with pet pigs may think that pigs are stubborn.  They are actually very interesting animals, that once they are bonded with their human, they seek your attention, and try very hard to please you. With sufficient attention, and socialization a pig usually becomes very attached to their human family, as well as the other animals in the household.

Pigs are naturally herd animals, as well as prey animals. If they become frightened, they will instinctively run, as fast and as far as they can from whatever frightened them.  Pigs can cover a lot of ground in a very short period of time when they feel they are about to be attacked, or otherwise injured. This is just one reason to never take your pig to any unenclosed area without their harness and leash attached to yourself.  There are few animals more difficult to catch than a terrified pig.

There, now that you have a little up front fill-in information, lets get down to the business of teaching your pet pig some tricks they can very easily and very willingly learn.




photo by Keith Roper
Step 1
Litter train your pig:


This will in all probability be the very easiest thing for your pet pig to learn.  If a very young pig is given a small room with a litter box containing a pig-safe litter, it will almost certainly automatically head to the litter box whenever it needs to relieve itself.  You may help the the little pig in learning where their litter box is at first, but once they know where their litter box is, they are very inclined to use that spot.

Be sure not to feed you pig anywhere near their litter area. An older pig, that is not accustomed to using a litter box, may take a little while to make the change, but they will almost certainly appreciate a clean litter box even more than does a cat.

Pigs are naturally very clean animals, and don’t like to be unclean. They will naturally eat and drink in completely different areas of their enclosure, away from where they urinate and from the area they choose to defecate.

photo by Chris
Step 2
Training to sit:


While you pig is still small enough to move around with your hands, start teaching him to sit:

Begin by getting some very small bits of his favorite treats, and while telling him to sit, hold his treat above his head, moving your hand containing the treat back toward his shoulders, thereby encouraging him to back up a bit, starting to sit down.  As soon as your pig begins the sit motion, immediately say, “good,” and give him a tid-bit of the treat, petting or patting him a bit.  Do this several times, until he catches on.

Once he seems to understand, he will start to sit on his own. You may not even have to use hand pressure if you move your hand with his treat back in such a way that he naturally begins the sitting process.

Now that your pig understands what it is that you want him to do, he will be listening and looking for his treat so he will be eager to please you to get another treat. Just practice a few times a day, every day and he will get in the mode of really looking forward to doing as you ask.

While pigs don’t ordinarily get bored as quickly as a dog, you still don’t want to keep asking for the same things every time you are with your pig. After all, you and he still need some real bonding.  He needs and wants you to pay attention to him.



photo by
Step 3
Teaching your pig to dance:


Teaching your pet pig to dance is relatively easy once you have taught it to sit.

Now, it’s just a matter of having it sit, and then using it’s favorite treat to lead it’s snout back and forth, while you say, “dance.”

Practice this several times, and praise your pet, patting him, and demonstrate your approval, praising your pig over and over.

You may decide that you would have your pet pig dance while he is on all fours instead of sitting.  This too is rather simple to teach, just bypass the sit command, and use the same technique of leading his snout in the direction you want him to dance. He should catch on quickly. Again, once he get the idea, he will willingly dance on command, waiting for his treat, which should be given as soon as he performs.

Always keep your actions and communication open between your pig and yourself, as this will develop a permanent bonding between you both.


Step 4
Continued training:

For continued training, it is strongly suggested that you have  a good connection with someone who has experience with pigs as pets. They will be an excellent source of information and help in times you may get frustrated by some very natural pig behaviors, such as eating the roots of your precious roses, or young fruit trees.

Be sure to keep up the training of your pig. It’s an ongoing, really unending process.  He will be very happy making you happy with him, and even happier with the tiny morsels he receives as his reward for performing.

As your pig grows and matures, likely he won’t be as active as he was as a very young pig, but if properly cared for and if he is not neglected, or hit, he will continue to do his very best to please you in any way he can. He knows he will gain a yummy reward, too.


Dr. Harry meets Poppy the pig

Training Tips by Dr. Harry

Miniature Pig Hoof Trimming Part 2


Chick HERE to see part 2 of the video

To see part one, Click Here

Miniature Pig Hoof Trimming


Click HERE To see the video



Litter Box Training:

Pig Trick Video’s

Diving pig sets world record

Diving pig sets new world record

July 23 2005 at 11:06am

Australia’s famous flying pig secured a place in the Guinness Book of World Records this week with a 3,3m, 10 ft, 10 inches  leap from a 5m, diving pig diving pig 2 platform into a pool of water at the Royal Darwin Show in the Northern Territory.

Miss Piggy was assured of setting a record because she was the only challenger in the new category.

“It was a brilliant dive, it really was,” Tom Vandeleur, owner of the five-month-old sow, told Australia’s AAP news agency.

“She just launched herself off the ramp and it was a beautiful motion. Her front legs were tucked in and her back legs were spread out.”

Vandeleur, a former pig farmer who broke into the entertainment industry with his polished

porkers 10 years ago, said Miss Piggy’s achievement was all the more impressive because she can leap more than three times her body length.

Vandeleur became a showman because he knew pigs liked performing.

“Having bred pigs and seen their antics, I just knew this was something they would be able to do,” he said. “Pigs are water animals. They love the water. They’ve got no fear of it. It’s just the height problem they have to overcome.”

He was adamant that Miss Piggy didn’t need any inducements to race along the ramp and become airborne.

“She does everything herself, she’s not pushed or anything,” msaid. “She goes up the 5m ramp herself, she dives herself. We’ve been diving pigs for six years.” – Sapa-dpa

The Color of Pigs

Colourful pigs evolved through farming, not nature

Pigs evolved bright coat colours rapidly after domestication thanks to the human a penchant for novelty, a new gene analysis suggests.

Farmers selected and bred the brightly coloured pigs to distinguish them from their brown and black wild cousins and probably also because they preferred the unusual colours.

At the other extreme, the gene analysis shows that wild pigs today are evolving through natural selection to maintain camouflage colours to escape detection by predators.

“Every time a gene mutation arose in the wild causing coat colour to change, it was eliminated immediately,” says Greger Larson of Durham University, UK, and joint leader of the analysis with Leif Andersson of Uppsala University in Sweden. “So if a black piglet showed up, that was the one picked off by a predator.”

Pig a colour

Domestication overrode natural selection with artificial selection from around 10,000 years ago, when humans began to domesticate pigs and other animals such as dogs, favouring animals with mutations resulting in brightly coloured coats. “What it comes down to is the real human penchant for novelty,” says Larson.

To establish how colours might have arisen in pigs, the researchers analysed DNA from 68 domestic pigs of 51 breeds, and 15 wild boar. All samples were from animals in Europe and Asia.

In each sample, they examined variations in the gene melanocortin receptor-1(MC1R) in melanocyte skin cells, which orchestrates the manufacture ofmelanin pigments. In each species, the gene governs coat colour by dictating the balance between production of dark coloured eumelanin and red-yellow coloured pheomelanin.

They found about 10 mutations in the domestic and wild pigs. But the mutations in the wild pigs were all “silent”, insofar as they had no physical effect on the protein produced and therefore on the colour of the animal’s coat. This shows that in the wild, colour change was selected against to avoid losing camouflage. “When you mess with the gene, you get over-expression of dark or light melanins, which alters the colour,” Larson explains.

Tickled pink

By contrast, all the mutations in the domestic pigs altered coat colour. Black pigs overproduce eumelanin, for example, and pink pigs stop making melanin altogether, resulting in a “default” pink colour.

Some of the domesticated pigs had as many as three mutations in their MC1R, each new mutation adding something that couldn’t have arisen without the previous ones. For example, in pigs which are pink with black spots, for example, three mutations are needed, and the mutation causing the black spots had to have come last, following on from mutations which gave the pink background colour.

This provided the clinching evidence that the coat colours were selected for after domestication, says Larson, because pink pigs wouldn’t have survived long enough in the wild to have allowed the third mutation to arise. “It shows there was a big difference in the selection regimes practiced by Mother Nature and by humans,” says Larson.

The analysis also revealed that black pigs in Europe owe their blackness to different mutations from the black pigs in Asia. “It proves independent domestication of pigs on two continents,” says Larson.

David Fisher, who studies melanocytes as director of the melanoma programme at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says the study was sound. “It’s not difficult to imagine the potential advantages during animal domestication of being able to have an easily recognisable body feature, such as coat colour,” he says.

Journal reference: PLoS Genetics, DOI: 0.1371/journal.pgen.1000341

Top 5 famous Pigs

Top 5 Famous Pigs

Jul 27, 2009 | category: Animals

Pigs have been portrayed throughout history as dirty, dumb, and lazy, but did you know that pigs are actually clean, bright, energetic animals? Pigs can be house-trained and leash-trained more easily than dogs, and one Vietnamese pot-bellied pig risked her own life to save her owner. The 150-pound Lulu squeezed out through a doggie door and led a passing motorist to the room where her owner was having a heart attack. So, it’s only natural to celebrate these awesome oinkers by listing the five most famous TV and movie pigs.

Here are five of the world’s most well-known and beloved pigs:

1. Porky Pig

“Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!” With his famous tagline Porky Pig stuttered his way into the hearts of cartoon lovers around the world. Appearing on the big screen in 1936, Porky Pig soon became Warner Brothers foremost cartoon character, but when their Looney Tuners Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck burst on the scene, Porky soon evolved into more of a sidekick. His legacy lives on, however, in the guise of Hamton Pig of TinyToons fame.

2. Arnold Ziffel

One of the quainter features of country life in the 1960s TV sitcom Green Acres was pig Arnold Ziffle. Arnold, a very svelte porker, lived with Fred and Doris Ziffle in their Hooterville home. Arnold lived as the Ziffels’ son, doing all the things children do—watching TV (and changing the channels), taking his lunchbox (in his mouth) to school, and painting pictures (one of which was banned due to its suggestive content). As Arnold grew older, he fell in love with a dog, was named the heir to a fortune, was the winner of several contests, and was even drafted into the Army.

3. Miss Piggy

Frank Oz’ porcine diva Miss Piggy sashayed her way through the ‘70s and ‘80s Muppet Show and several feature films, trying to catch the attention of her “Kermie” the Frog. The blue-eyed blond bombshell is by turns sweet and girlish and rough and ready to karate chop anyone in her way as she fights her way to super-stardom. Miss Piggy has shared the stage with Dolly Parton and Juice Newton, and in recent years, she has sung her “swine songs” with the Jonas Brothers, Ashley Tisdale, and the Cheetah Girls.

4. Babe

Never discouraged by the fact that he wasn’t a sheep dog, Babe (1996) trained himself to herd sheep. No one believed he would succeed, but, determined to be a contributing member of the farm family (and anxious to avoid being made into ham) Babe persevered. When he finally learned the secret language of sheep, his success as a sheep pig was secured. In 1998 Babe returned to the big screen, going to the city with the farmer’s wife in an attempt to save the farm. After he was separated from his human companion, Babe soon faced—and overcame—a host of big city perils.

5. Wilbur

Readers of E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web, as well as viewers of the 1976 animated movie and the more recent 2006 live action remake, know Wilbur as “some pig”. Saved from slaughter by young Fern, Wilbur grows from the runt of the litter to a prize-winning porker. Though, as one of the characters in the book remarks, Charlotte the spider is the more amazing, Wilbur is the most loveable and children easily identify with his wide-eyed wonder and worry about the world around him.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

in conclusion…

After reading through this list of five famous pigs, will knowing all about how funny, touching, entertaining, loyal, and mischievous they are make you think twice about adding bacon to your cheeseburger order at the drive-through window?


Author unknown