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Aversion or Avoidance Training? 


Why are we aversion training?  
Visit Acer's page 

porcupine  Meet Kate


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Griffonpoint Logo copyright 1989 Shannon Ford
Dedicated to the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Avoidance Training with Porcupines

After having several minor "quillings" and almost having Acer die as a result of run-ins with porcupines, we decided to begin aversion or avoidance training.  

In order to do so, we needed to capture and keep a porcupine.  

Early one morning, we found our Porcupine, now begins the adventure, both in keeping a porcupine, and also in training our Griffons to avoid porcupines. 






Meet Oswald

Oswald copyright Shannon Ford 2000
"Oswald" whom we think was probably about 3 years old here.

© Shannon Ford 2000

Oswald copyright Shannon Ford 2000

In order to make handling our Porcupine easier, I decided 
to tame and train him to accept handling and to respond to basic "requests".  
It took plenty of patience and food to gain his trust
But as you can see, he is now very tame and is a very gentle animal. 

How do you pet a Porcupine?  Carefully!  

Yes, you *can* pet a porcupine, as long as you stroke from 
front to back.  They have long guard hairs and insulating hairs between their 
quills.  The quills on the back are not visible, unless the porcupine is 
upset, then he will tighten the skin on his back, making the quills stand 
up and loosen.  Porcupines cannot throw quills, but they can 
slap their tails with incredible speed and force, driving them 
deep into their attacker. 

Oswald copyright Shannon Ford 2000

The next stage of my aversion training plan is to get Oswald not be so fearful 
of dogs. That way when a dog is brought up to Oswald for aversion training,
he will not be so stressed.  After living with us for 2 months, This is Oswald's first exposure to a dog.  You can see that he is curious and has approached the dog (Sage) to sniff.  Sage is in the settle position, even though Sage is not moving or threatening Oswald, you can see that Oswald is upset, he has tightened the skin on his back and is displaying the quills on his back and tail.

 Oswald, copyright Shannon Ford 2000

As I learn more about Aversion or Avoidance training on Porcupines I will add  information and photographs to this page.

Porcupine facts:

  • Porcupines are one of the largest North American Rodents, a porcupine usually weighs between 10 and 40  lbs 

  • Porcupines are herbavors, eating grasses and vegetation in the summer, and the green cambium under tree bark in the winter. They often girdle and kill trees in their quest for winter nourishment

  • Porcupines have apx 30,000 quills, which are constantly growing as they are lost.  Quills are a specialized hair, and are everywhere on a porcupine except his legs and underbelly.

Oswald's Favourite Links

Oswald's quilled friend "Spike"  

Encarta's Porcupine Page

Encarta Porcupine Music

Encyclopaedia Britannica 

Desert USA Porcupine Page

BC Adventure Porcupine Information page

Oswald's Least Favourite Links

Close to the Land Archives:  Porcupine Sandwich 

Porcupine Meatball Recipe 

Porcupine Skulls and Quills for Sale

Having Problems with Porcupine Control?

Oswald hasn't checked these out yet, but the repellant sounds interesting..... Porcupine Products






Thank you for visiting.

For further information, contact

Griffonpoint Kennel

Katy Steuhm katy@griffonpoint.com
California - USA

Shannon Ford shannon@griffonpoint.com
Alberta/British Columbia, Canada


e-mail info@griffonpoint.com

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © Shannon Ford 1997 - You may copy this page for personal use only, providing it is not changed, and that credit rests with the author, Shannon Ford.. ©Shannon Ford 1997