Training your chinchilla to do tricks can be a very rewarding experience and will bring you and your little chin closer to each other. If you think it is surely impossible to teach a rodent to do tricks, think again! Chinchillas actually are quite smart for a rodent and have good memories.
If you’ve ever gotten mad at your chin and yelled at him, or even accidentally made a loud noise and scared him, then you probably know first hand how long their memories are. If you do something that scares the little guy, he will remain scared of you until you work with him enough to replace that bad memory with good memories of you loving and caring for him.
You should be letting your chinchilla out of his cage every day for a bit, and you may have noticed an annoying habit of his if he runs behind your couch and finds some lamp wires to chew on. God made him like this so he keeps his teeth filed down, but sometimes they chew on the wrong things.
When training your chinchilla not to chew on wires you will want to be very careful because of their long memories. But the good news is once you train it out of them, they will probably never chew on wires again. Here’s how to train him…
When your chinchilla runs over to the wires and intends to chew on them, you should make a sudden, fairly loud noise that will scare him and send him scurrying away. It’s important that you don’t yell at him, because he will start to associate your voice with that scared feeling, and it will make bonding with your chinchilla very difficult.
Instead of using your voice, find a horn, or even a pan you can hit with a wooden spoon that will be loud enough to get his attention and scare him a little bit. Every time he goes for those wires, make the noise one time (he’ll probably run back into his cage). After this be sure to be friendly with him and not let him know that you’re making the noise. If you are consistent and make that noise every time he starts chewing on those wires, he will eventually associate the wires with being scared, and eventually will not even bother going near them.
Keep in mind that this won’t happen overnight, so be prepared to have some patience and spend some time training him. This is one of the most vital tricks that you can train your chinchilla to do, since it may save his life some day. Once you train him not to go near wires, if you forget one day to unplug that lamp, you won’t have to worry about him getting electrocuted. But remember, before you train him to do anything, you better have earned his trust!