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How To Tame a Chinchilla

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With a little patience (and bribery) you can get your chinchilla comfortable with handling.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: variable

Here's How:

  1. Give a new chinchilla time to adjust by keeping maintenance and interaction to a minimum.
  2. Move slowly and speak softly around your chinchilla.
  3. Limit interaction to the evening as that is when chinchillas are naturally more active and therefore more receptive.
  4. Initially sit next to cage to acclimate chinchilla to your presence.
  5. Offer chinchilla a treat (a small piece of a raisin) when it approaches cage bars.
  6. Once taking treats from your hand through the bars of the cage, offer treat through open cage door.
  7. Once taking treats this way, place treat on open hand to entice chinchilla to step up onto hand to retrieve treat.
  8. Place treat on forearm and allow chinchilla to climb onto hand.
  9. When your chinchilla is comfortable with your hand, lean in toward cage and allow chinchilla to climb onto arms, and keep offering treats.
  10. Once chinchilla is comfortable climbing on you, try gently placing hand over back to pet chinchilla.
  11. Avoid chasing or grabbing chinchilla to get it back into cage: allow it to hop back on its own (entice with a treat) if at all possible.
  12. Handle your chinchilla regularly to keep him or her well socialized.

Tips:

  1. Getting a 3-4 month old chinchilla that has been handled will make taming much easier.
  2. Use lots of treats and work in small steps; make sure your chinchilla is comfortable with each step before proceeding to next.
  3. It is best not to allow your chinchilla freedom in the room until he/she is used to handling.

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