How to House Break/Potty Train a Micro Mini Pig
A micro mini piglet easily captures the hearts of those they encounter. This specialized breed is only a couple pounds when born and will become no larger than thirty pounds when fully grown. Generally they get to be the size of a cocker spaniel dog. The life span of this breed is from fifteen to eighteen years so please don’t take owning one lightly. They don’t trust quickly (it takes a couple weeks) but once they do they will trust forever. Micro mini pigs come in many colors: white/pink, red/brown (chocolate), black, spotted, brindle, and tuxedo or a mix of a few. Pigs are within the top ten smartest animals in the world. Some say they are smarter than cats and dogs. This fact will aide in training a new piggy quickly.
With most other animals that are not kept in a cage, after bringing the charming little baby home, the first order of business is finding a way to get it to potty where you approve them to, whether that be outside or in a litter box. House-breaking a piglet, in my experience, has been enormously easier than training a dog to go outside to relieve itself. However, it takes a little more effort than rubbing a kitten’s paws in a litter box. Surprisingly, piglets can be trained to use a litter box. I do not have personal experience with this method but with a strict routine, it can be done.
This particular article will explain how to house break a micro mini pig by taking them outdoors. Using this method, it can take a pig up to a month to be fully house trained with no indoor accidents. Please be patient! For anyone who adopts a pet, ideally, they would have a securely fenced in back yard with a door that opens straight out to a large grassy patch where the piggy can walk around by itself. Unfortunately, not everyone has this and therefore below are additional steps to accommodate the disadvantage of not having a door abutting a fenced in grass area.
Step 1: Bells. Hang bells on the door knob of the entryway door the pig will primarily be using to go outside. When choosing the entry for the pig, make it one that can be easily accessed by the pig, where the bells can be heard by the person taking it out, and leads quickly and easily to a grassy area. It is possible to purchase bells that are already attached to a post, string, or something of the like. The picture below is a disassembled Christmas wreath where the sleigh bells have been strung on thick wire. Keep in mind the bells need to be low enough so the pig can bump it with its snout. If hung on wire, wrap the bottom of the wire in electrical tape so the piggy will not scrape its snout on the sharp cut wire ends. Be sure there are enough bells hung on the door so that it is going to be effectively heard (loud enough) when bumped.
Step 2: Timing. When first teaching the pig to go outside, take it out once every hour for the first day, every two hours during the second day, and every three hours the third day. After that, they start to somewhat understand what the bells mean. Every time the pig goes out, take it to the door, give the bells a generous ring, then open the door and take it directly to the place it is to relieve itself. Depending on the individual situation, taking the piglet directly to the potty place may be by picking it up and placing it in the spot or by walking it out on a leash. If taking it out on the leash, a harness will need to be put on the piglet. Be sure the harness fits snuggly because micro mini piglets can easily slip out of a collar and harness by the way their necks and heads are shaped.
Step 3: Location. Designate the potty area at first in a fenced area so the pig can run around without human interaction. Remember, the pig needs time to trust so give it space. Temporary fencing can be purchased from any local hardware or pet specific store. Do not stray far from this fenced area while outside with your pig. Once the pig has done its business, it will root around and if you have temporary fencing it may try to lift the fencing and slip out underneath. Also, once the pig has done its business, take it directly back inside, this way it will learn that outside is for relieving itself. Pigs love to graze (eat grass and anything else they can find); it will figure out that outside not only means potty but also food.
Step 4: Reward. Once inside, immediately reward the precious piglet for doing well by going potty outside where it was supposed to. A reward could be major praise, a good scratching, or food but a mix of the three is best. Examples of food rewards are two raisins, two grapes, one end of a cucumber, one apple core, or a couple slivers of apple peel. Don’t give too much food as a reward. It’s a special treat for going outside, not an extra meal. A strict diet is extremely important with micro mini pigs. They should never be allowed to eat too much because they will eat until they are sick. These small breed pigs should only gain one pound per month so go very light on the rewards. When rewarding the piggy, get down on its level. Sit or kneel on the floor, put the food flat in the palm of the hand very low so it can reach, then vigorously scratch its side or head (if it lets you, remember trust), and in a gentle voice give it mighty praise for its good work.
Step 5: Accidents. It happens, probably a lot at first too. If you stumble upon your piggy in the process of leaving you an unpleasant gift, flick its snout and say “no” in a stern voice. Then immediate take it outside to its potty spot. If you come across an accident, find the pig, take it back to where it had the accident, point or put its head down to it, say “no” in a stern voice, and again take it directly outside to its designated potty spot. Do not give it a reward when you come back inside. Be sure to clean indoor potty accidents thoroughly. Pigs have a very keen sense of smell and can sniff out old accidents and repeat an accident there.
The bottom line to house breaking any pet is patience, trust, and a heavy carpet cleaner. Give your pig plenty of space. It will come to you when it’s ready. Training my own piggy was a learning process for the pig and our entire household. We live in Southern Maryland and our county is known for tobacco and farms, however, I had never even seen a pig outside of our county fair. House breaking our piggy was a major trial and error process with a couple road bumps too. I hope this guide lends a helping hand in the beginnings of a prosperous relationship with your micro mini pig.