Few farm animals manage to capture our hearts quite as well as sheep.
Sheep often have a sense of innocence matched with a fluffy exterior making young baby lambs a commonly loved animal.
As cute as they are, you may be asking yourself if a sheep is able to be house-trained as an indoor pet.
Sheep are intelligent animals who learn quickly and, as a result, can easily house train to be indoor pets. However, they are not as trainable as other common pets and will take longer to train with more accidents. If you are not afraid of the effort, sheep can make great indoor pets!
If you are interested in raising a lamb as a pet along with your family, this article will cover the basics and some training tips to make the most out of your fluffy friend.
Keep reading to better understand what house-training a young or adult sheep involves.
Pros And Cons Of House Training A Sheep
Like any pet, there are pros and cons involved with owning them.
Having a lamb as a house pet is a lot like having a puppy, but it also comes with its own set of challenges for you as an owner.
- Sweet and often show affection to their owners
- Smart, making them good at learning tricks and good behavior
- Natural lawnmower
- A unique pet many people will not have seen house-trained before
- Learns from other animals well- a dog or a cat might teach good habits to a sheep
- Time spent outdoors and plenty of outdoor space are essential to the health and well-being of your sheep
- Herd animals who almost always need to be kept with at least one other sheep
- May not be allowed in certain areas due to residential regulations
- They are prey animals that may trigger a natural aggressive behavior from dogs or cats
- May not be potty trained as well as other animals, making diapers necessary
While this list only briefly covers some pros and cons to keeping sheep as pets for some time indoors, it should get you thinking and asking yourself the critical question.
Questions like “what am I looking for from a pet sheep” and “do I have the right resources to keep this sheep happy and healthy” are also crucial before making a decision.
How To House Train A Sheep
An essential factor in determining if a sheep is able to be trained is the age of the animal.
Young lambs are much more receptive to new behaviors, and the younger the lamb, the easier it will be to train it.
A young lamb still feeding on milk is a good age to start because bottle feeding your lamb is an excellent way to form a bond early and make the sheep more accepted into your “herd.”
The bottle feeding process is not only a great way to form a bond with a sheep but also one of the best perks of owning a sheep.
Sheep are social animals, and baby sheep are primarily reliant on picking up behavioral cues from their owner and other pets and animals around them.
For behaviors such as using the bathroom, if a male or female lamb sees a puppy using a puppy pad to pee, the sheep will likely follow the behavior.
Training a lamb to be in the house is a lot like training a puppy with treats and positive reinforcement going a long way.
Treats can include apples, carrots, sunflower seeds, and many other fruits and veggies; just be sure to check if they are suitable for sheep.
When potty training a lamb, puppy pads or diapers will be your best option.
Puppy pads are great because as the lamb gets older, it will be easier to train them to only go to the bathroom outside.
The best way to teach a lamb to use puppy pads is to keep an eye on them, and if they begin to go to the bathroom, quickly move them to a puppy pad.
It will not take long before they begin to pick up on this and consistently use the puppy pad.
Outdoor Aspects of House Training
Transition to outdoor use involves taking the lamb to a puppy pad placed for some outdoor time and slowly covering it with dirt as the sheep get used to it until it is covered in dirt and then taking the pad away.
If you are not planning on keeping the sheep as a house pet forever, disposable diapers are a great temporary solution to keeping your home mess-free.
Baby diapers or adult diapers are good to use, depending on the animal’s size.
Limiting them to only select areas of the house, especially on hardwood floors, is a great way to limit the amount of mess they make.
Baby gates are excellent for blocking off certain areas to prevent the lamb from getting into certain rooms.
How To Keep Your House Lamb Happy
Taking good care of your male and female sheep is another crucial step in training them and making them better pets.
The first thing to consider is adopting not one but two or three lambs instead!
This is important because they are herd animals who will be better off by introducing at least one other animal of their own species to interact with.
Having a large outdoor space of 250′ square feet or more with a covered shelter will also go a long way toward keeping sheep happy and healthy.
Being outdoors is essential for exercise, playing, and browsing the grass and weeds for things to eat.
Choosing an appropriate diet and constantly providing fresh, clean water will keep your sheep healthy and happy for a long time.
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