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Taming Chinchillas

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Writing for About.com, Lianne McLeod, DVM, offers these tips on how to tame a chinchilla:

1. Give a new chinchilla time to adjust by keeping maintenance and interaction to a minimum.

2. Move slowly and speak softly around your chinchilla.

3. Limit interaction to the evening, as that is when chinchillas are naturally more active and therefore more receptive.

4. Sit next to the cage to acclimate the chinchilla to your presence.

5. Offer the chinchilla a treat (half a raisin) when it approaches cage bars.

6. Once the chin is taking treats from your hand through the bars of the cage, offer the treat through the open cage door.

7. Once the chin takes treats this way, place the treat on your open hand to entice the chinchilla to step up onto your hand to retrieve treat.

8. Place the treat on your forearm and allow the chinchilla to climb onto your hand.

9. When your chinchilla is comfortable with your hand, lean in toward the cage and allow the chinchilla to climb onto your arms, and keep offering treats.

10. Once the chinchilla is comfortable climbing on you, try gently placing your hand over its back to pet the chinchilla.

11. Avoid chasing or grabbing the chinchilla to get it back into cage; allow it to hop back on its own (entice with a treat) if at all possible.

12. Handle your chinchilla regularly to keep him or her well socialized.

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