Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to scruff your ferret

We have talked about scruffing ferrets quite a few times in our blog, but we have so far failed to explain WHAT scruffing is and to demonstrate HOW TO scruff your ferret.

Scruffing is holding your ferret by the nape or scruff of their neck, much like their mother would. It does not hurt them and can be used to pacify or discipline the ferret. Scruffing causes a ferret to go pretty well limp and allows you to do a variety of things such as clean their ears, check their teeth (they often yawn when they are scruffed), brush their teeth, check them over, clean a wound and so forth. Scruffing can also be used to discipline a ferret, though rather than lifting the ferret up by the scruff, when disciplining, the ferret gets pinned to the ground by its scruff for a few seconds. Again, this does not harm the ferret, but rather imitates the action that their mother would do if they were being a naughty ferret.

1) Get a ferret. This is Cola. She has agreed to be our demo ferret.

2) Using the side of your index finger and thumb,

gently grasp the skin just behind the ferret's ears

When you have a good grasp,

remove the hand that is not scruffing the animal and watch them go limp.

Remember, you are not hurting the ferret. A yawn usually follows, unfortunately the camera lag time missed the yawn, so here is an image of a different ferret yawning. ***

*** If you are scruffing a larger ferret, or a male that is older be sure to keep one hand underneath his back end to support it. These ferrets are often 'bottom heavy' and not supporting their back end can cause unnecessary strain on their backs.