05 November 2010

Bringing home the bacon

Last year I wrote about the micro pig being the latest pet craze in Britain.

It seems that the craze had also taken in Australia, with Chrystal's Mini Pigs being a main breeder-supplier.

The Age (Carolyn Webb) reported about a pet pig named Leroy attending canine obedience classes. Excerpt
Watching 10-week-old Leroy at a Heidelberg park yesterday, it was clear that the dog club's gamble to admit Leroy as its first pig student has succeeded. In a month of private lessons, Ms Behan has taught Leroy to sit, come when called, and push a soccer ball.

She's moving on to tricks such as carrying a bag in his mouth - a challenge because it's not a natural action for a pig.

Despite a short attention span and his poor eyesight, Leroy has nailed some tasks faster than canine students and has a non-aggressive nature.
Katarina Behan, the trainer also wrote in her blog, doglifetraining.com
A number of months ago I was approached to train a pet piglet, named Leroy. I saw this as an amazing opportunity to ‘test’ the method of training I use on dogs, on another species. I had heard that pigs are very intelligent and that they can be trained to perform many different behaviours.

To begin, I wanted to teach Leroy to push a soccer ball around with his nose. In order to do this, I knew I had to use a training tool called a ‘clicker’. Clickers are small hand held tools, with a button or stiff strip of metal that once pushed, it makes a distinct ‘click’ sound. You may have received one as a child in a party bag.
See video

Unlike the British micro pigs, these appear to be slightly bigger. More meat on a spit. Only joking.

Pigs are as intelligent as dogs, if not more so. Pig owners are probably unlikely to keep eating pork. If only ham and bacon weren't so tasty.

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