Time Out Technique After Pig Discipline
By Nancy Shepherd
If a pig displays a behavior that you do not approve of, you must discipline her immediately. The severity of your reprimand should be commensurate with the severity of the pig’s misbehavior. In other words, if your pig sneaks a bagel that you stupidly left on the low coffee table, a sharp “no”, “bad pig”, or whatever your normal negative words are is suitable. If your pig tries to bite your hand as you are offering a training treat, a much more severe punishment is indicated, like a bold push with your foot on the pig’s shoulder as you loudly shout “Knock It Off”, “Bad Pig”, or “NO”. I recommend this technique because when pig’s fight, they face each other and push at the shoulder. Most pigs are truly socked and surprised to find themselves on the floor. They literally don’t know what hit them and this is good. The quickness and surprise of your physical reprimand is very effective.
After such a scolding, it is important to place the pig in a time out situation. Escort or shoo your pig to her room. Using a mean tone of voice, tell her she was a very bad girl and this is not the kind of behavior you will accept from her. Isolate her from the rest of the family for 15 to 30 minutes. When this time has elapsed, go back to your pig and quietly talk to her. See if she is remorseful. I think no touching is good here as well as no food treats. Just talk quietly and get a feel for if your pig is truly sorry for her bad conduct. If she displays the bad behavior again, repeat the shoulder push and loud verbal reprimand, leave her area, slamming the door and start another time out session. When your pig is back to normal and acting according to the prescribed house rules, let her out of her room to resume her normal activities.
It is good to avoid too many extra food treats and exposure to other people during this type of behavior training. Be consistent with your words and actions so the pig understands what is expected of her.
© Nancy Shepherd 1997