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Old 07-24-2019, 04:01 PM United States
BlastingFonda BlastingFonda is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 4
Default Teaching your Chinchilla "No?"

I posted this in the general forum and it received 0 replies, but it probably makes more sense in the behavior section anyway.

My 1 1/2 yr old chin named Gandalf is a playful little dude - and maybe even a bit too playful. When I open his cage to refill his food bowl, give him chin rubs, etc., he tries to jump on my shoulder. I normally would be fine with this, as I let him jump on my shoulder (and head, arms & everything else) during our play sessions in a safe environment while I'm sitting on the floor. But when he attempts to do it when I open his cage door and standing, I am worried he'll slip, fall, and seriously injure himself. He also may dart off and escape into areas not safe for him, but I'm less worried about this than him falling.

Each time he attempts this, I'll do the following:

1. Say "No" firmly but loudly.
2. Blow on him, as I read this is a a safe way of disciplining your chin. #2 I do after #1 fails to make an impact.
3. Both of the above numerous times

He does seem at least temporarily dissuaded, especially with the blowing (which doesn't seem harmful to him outside of giving him a whiff of my stinky breath). But the next time I open his door, he'll try again, so it doesn't seem as if any lessons are being learned.

Any other training ideas? Maybe giving him a small treat if he lurches a bit like he wants to jump on my shoulder, I tell him "No" and he backs off? Does this type of reinforcement even work?
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:23 AM United States
cboyer cboyer is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 17

I am having a similar problem with our chin. Everytime we open his cage, to give him attention, clean up after him, etc he tries to escape. He will try to work around us, jump on us or over us, etc. He is getting plently of playtime, but he always wants more it seems. I too worry about him falling. One thing I am attempting is when he miss behaves like that he goes right back in his cage and the door gets shut. But when he behaves then he gets lots of positive attention. Its the same during playtime, if he misbehaves during playtime then he goes right back in his cage and playtime gets cut short. He is behaving a lot better during playtime once he figured out he gets to stay out longer if he doesn't try to eat the cabinet.
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Old 08-03-2019, 07:26 PM
channeltool channeltool is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 39
Chinchillas: 4

My chinchilla knows the word NO. When I open his cage he jumps up on the frame and then tries to jump out. I say "No" firmly and he turns around. My chins know a few words and phrases. But they respond better to sounds. When I want them to come to me I tap the floor in front of me. I have another when I gently clap my hands he goes into his cage from the play area. I have another who doesn't care what I say or what I
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:51 AM United States
ptamom ptamom is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 35

I believe my chin also prefers sounds. When I want her in the cage, I snap my fingers and say "in your cage." Usually, she listens and responds.

When she is digging at her playpen (which is see-thru plastic) I say "no" and make a sound like "aaaaak" and she usually stops.
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:15 PM United States
BlastingFonda BlastingFonda is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 4

Thanks for the feedback. I'll try sound effects in addition to "No" if I feel he's not listening to me. Gandalf has seemed better behaved lately thankfully and seems to try for my shoulder less and less when I open his cage door. The good news is he remains incredibly happy, bouncy, hyper & friendly, as the last thing I'd want is for him to be timid because of my discouragement!
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