Oscar learned how to kneel down! Oscar rarely kneels down naturally, but it’s really cute when he does. I was looking for a new trick to teach Oscar, and I was intrigued by the challenge of training him to kneel down on command. I knew it would be more difficult than some of the other mini pig training I’ve done with him, but it seemed like a fun challenge. Also, a mini pig kneeling down is an adorable trick to show off to family and friends!
Here is the video on how I taught Oscar to kneel down.
This trick was more challenging for me than it was for Oscar. Since he doesn’t kneel down often, I had to figure out how to purposefully make him kneel down in order to train him to do it on command. I tried everything from attempting to shape him into kneeling down to putting a treat near the ground to see if he would lower himself to get the treat. The first few training sessions were really frustrating because I couldn’t even get him to kneel. Then, one day I took a warm blanket out of the dryer and set it on the floor for Oscar to nap on, and he naturally knelt down on it. I ran and grabbed my clicker and tried the training again. With the warm blanket on the floor, Oscar happily knelt down, so I was able to finally get him to kneel long enough to click the behavior and then he learned the trick quickly from there.
You might have to get a little creative to teach your mini pig to kneel down. If you know of a particular time when your mini pig naturally kneels down, use that to your advantage. Go to where your pig likes to kneel, take your clicker and treats, and do your training there. Once your mini pig kneels down, say “down” and click the clicker to signal to your mini pig that kneeling means down and is rewarded with a click and a treat. If your mini pig is like Oscar and doesn’t kneel often, try using a warm blanket to see if you can get her to kneel. If she does, have your clicker and treats ready. As soon as your mini pig kneels on the blanket, say “down” and then click and give her the treat while she’s kneeling. Eventually, your pig will learn to kneel on command and without the warm blanket, but you might need it at first in order to get your pig to kneel long enough to click and reward the behavior.
This is a more challenging trick, so I don’t recommend this for the first time you train your mini pig. If you are just starting with training your pig, I highly recommend starting with circle and building up to other tricks like sit, shake, and stay. Circle is my favorite starter trick for mini pig training because it’s fairly quick and easy, and it’s really fun for both the mini pig and owner. Once your pig has figured out the training process and understands the clicker, other tricks become easier and less frustrating to train. As always, keep your training sessions short. A few training sessions each day, ideally just a few minutes long, are much more effective than longer, less frequent sessions. If you or your pig starts to get frustrated during training, cut that session short and try again later. Keep the mini pig training fun!
If you want to know more about why I use a clicker for mini pig training or what treats I use to train Oscar, check out my mini pig training basics post and video.