Videos

Mini Pig Training: How to Train a Mini Pig to Kneel Down

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.

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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.

Mini Pig Oscar is Excited about the Super Bowl

Today is the Super Bowl, and Oscar couldn’t be more excited! He has his football hat on and is ready to cheer on the players. More importantly, he has his juice box cooled in his referee koozie and his snacks prepared. Although Oscar is thrilled today is the big game,  I have a hunch he’s more excited about the snacks than anything on television.

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Oscar is excited about the Super Bowl today!

Watch as Oscar eats his Super Bowl snack of popcorn, grapes, and Cheerios while wearing his fun football hat. 

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Mini Pig Oscar Loves the Bean Bag Chair

Right after my husband and I were married, we went on the hunt for some furniture that was inexpensive and easy to move. We knew we would move a few times before buying a house together and really settling in, but we also needed somewhere to sit in the meantime. We especially needed chairs so, after researching and reading reviews, we decided to buy an oversized bean bag chair.

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Oscar resting in his oversized bean bag chair.

The bean bag chair seemed even to us like an odd purchase for two married professionals in their late twenties, but it was fun and really practical at the time. It was great for lounging in front of the television, reading a book, or even working on my laptop. My husband’s computer and the TV were in different rooms so, depending on which room he was in for the evening, I could grab my book and the bean bag chair and hang out in the same room as him. When we had guests over, the bean bag chair provided extra seating since we could move it into any room in the house.

I really liked the bean bag chair and was happy with our purchase overall, but it did have some drawbacks. When it first arrived, it had a slight scent to it. It wasn’t an overwhelming smell, but I’m weird about smells and it took some time to air out. Also, I prefer chairs with a back most of the time, so the bean bag chair was comfortable but not always my first pick if the sofa was available. Last year, we finally bought a house and had some more comfortable furniture to sit in, so we stopped using the bean bag chair as often.

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Then, last May, we brought Oscar home. On our first full day with Oscar, we realized we needed a place where we could sit with him and cuddle without worrying about him jumping off and hurting himself. He was really young and scared with extremely abrupt movements, so we never knew if he was going to stay still, run, or jump. Even to this day, Oscar will be napping and then will wake up and immediately leap up and run off, so having him up high on a bed or couch is dangerous. Mini pigs are top heavy with short, little legs, and they can easily injure themselves by jumping down from a chair, sofa, or bed. On top of that, it’s difficult finding a mini pig veterinarian who can help in case of an injury. We looked around the house for a chair that was comfortable but also lower to the ground than the sofa, and we realized the bean bag chair was a perfect option.  We dragged the bean bag chair out and gave it a try for Oscar’s cuddle time.

Oscar loved the bean bag chair! In fact, since we’ve brought Oscar home, we have used the bean bag chair daily. Oscar and I cuddle almost every night in the bean bag, and I can spend time with him while still reading or working on my laptop. If he hears the fridge or something that makes him jump up and off the chair abruptly, he is still low enough to the ground that he can climb down and then back up safely.

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This is where Oscar and I spend almost every night. He loves cuddle time in the bean bag chair!

When we can’t cuddle with Oscar in the bean bag chair, he will climb up on his own and nap in the evenings. We leave his blanket and a pillow on the bean bag, and he likes to root around until his blanket and pillow are in the right place. Once he’s settled, he can rest there happily for hours. I liked the bean bag chair before we got Oscar, but now I love it because it’s safer for him and it allows us to get tons of cuddle time in with him.

Watch as Oscar climbs into his bean bag chair for a nap.

Below is the brand of chair that we bought and really like. Since we bought it about five years ago, I’m not positive this is the exact version, but it’s the same brand, color, and twill material. As I mentioned above, it did have a scent to it initially that has completely worn off now but took some time to air out. It isn’t likely to be the most comfortable chair you’ll ever own, but it’s awesome if you’re looking for a chair to sit in and cuddle with your mini pig. Since we bought our bean bag chair, we have dragged it from room to room frequently over the past five years, moved houses with it twice, and now have hooves prancing all over it, and the fabric has held up perfectly with no tears or even much sign of wear and tear.

If you’re interested in buying a bean bag chair for your mini pig, I recommend measuring and doing some research to find one that you like best. One thing to consider is your fabric choice, especially if you have a young mini pig. We’ve been really lucky in that Oscar has never peed on any of our furniture, so we trust him on the bean bag chair. That being said, it would be a disaster if he did ever pee on it. Although the outside fabric is advertised as being washable, I don’t think there is a lining holding the insides of the bean bag chair in, essentially making it not washable. If you’re concerned about your pig peeing on the bean bag chair, really do your research on the fabric type and how washable the chair is. Another option is to cover it with a trash bag or other type of similar material as a backup until you completely trust your pig on the chair.

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Oscar rooting around in his blankets to get comfortable.

If you’re looking for a place to sit and cuddle with your mini pig, I highly recommend a bean bag chair. Not only are they convenient and easier to move from room to room than most chairs, they sit lower to the ground and are much safer for your pig to climb on and off of. If you have a bean bag chair or other type of comfortable, safe chair you like to sit in with your mini pig, please feel free to share in the comments.

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Oscar happily sleeping in his bean bag chair.

Note: Although I personally recommend the item discussed in this post, the link above is an affiliate link. LifeWithaMiniPig.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Mini Pig Oscar Eats His First Orange

Oscar recently turned nine months old, so we celebrated by letting him try a fun, new food. Oscar loves fruit, especially apples and bananas, so I suspected he would also love the flavor and juiciness of oranges. I was really excited to see him try his first orange!

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I cut the orange first and then pulled apart some slices for him. If given the opportunity, Oscar will attempt to eat an entire piece of fruit in one bite, so I always cut or slice his food into pieces that I’m comfortable with him gobbling down. This is especially true of new foods because he gets so excited and eats them as quickly as possible.

Here is the video of Oscar eating his first orange to celebrate turning 9 months old. If his smacking noises are any indication, I think he loved it. Happy 9 months, Oscar!

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Happy 9 months, Oscar!
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Oscar curiously sniffing at the orange before I sliced it for him.
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He still has a little orange on his face, but Oscar is a happy boy after trying his first orange.


Merry Christmas from Mini Pig Oscar!

Oscar’s first Christmas is finally here! After starting out on the naughty list, Oscar worked really hard to get onto Santa’s nice list with his good behavior and creative efforts.  All of his work paid off because Santa even stopped by a little early to drop off Oscar’s Christmas presents!

Watch a video recap of Oscar’s first Christmas and see him try to figure out what to do with his presents.

Although Oscar was very excited about his first Christmas, he was confused about what to do with his presents once they arrived. He sniffed at the wrapping paper but seemed unsure about how to open them. He never quite figured it out, but he finally got his presents anyway.

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Merry Christmas from Oscar and family! We are so grateful for all of our blog friends and supporters! It has been such a fun year with Oscar, and we love having people to share both our amazing and more challenging moments with. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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