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This page is to assist persons with trust issues with their chinchilla.  Some chinchilla's will adjust to new surroundings more easily than others.  This page is the result of assistance requested by one of our former clients who took in a chin from a really bad situation.  Poor little Gem was so terrified that she would panic at every little noise or movement, even when her owner would   turn over in bed!  Gem is now calm and trusting thanks to a LOT of patience on her owner's part and a few suggestions from us!


The key to gaining the trust of your chin is to be patient...very patient.  Start by just sitting by the cage, opening the door and placing your hands just inside the opening.  Have a raisin close at hand, to offer your chin if he should come over to investigate you.   It really depends on the chin as to how quickly this may happen.  Some chins are very outgoing, some are quite introverted and shy.  Once your chins comes over to you, talk softly to him (doesn't matter what you say), and offer him the raisin.   Don't try to pet or take him from the cage...let him get used to you, and his new surroundings.

After he comes to the door of the cage with your hands there, then put your hands a bit further into the cage, together and flat, palm side up (so he would have a place to climb onto).  Put a raisin up on your wrist or forearm, so that he has to touch you and/or climb onto your hands to get the raisin (you may have to show him the raisin and then put it there, so he knows you have a treat).  Again, don't try to grab him at this point (you're building trust) or remove him from the cage.  Just let him climb aboard and get his treat (you may want to repeat this several times, using a small pinch of raisin, rather than a whole one...don't forget, too many treats is not a good thing, even if it's for training purposes!).

Once he's coming to you regularly, then hold your hands outside the cage the same way and then gently lift him from the doorway once he has "climbed aboard".  Then hold him for a minute and tell him how much you love him or whatever, and give him a treat and either take him to his play area to play or pet him for a minute and put him back in the cage.  You want him to understand that coming out of the cage is a pleasant thing and not to be afraid.   I would recommend only giving dust baths when he comes out of the cage, so that is something he looks forward to.

In the meantime, to get him out for playtime, you can put his dust bath by the doorway (outside the cage) and when he climbs into it, move the dustbath (chin and all) to the play area and put it down.  That way, you're not the "evil thing" taking him from his safe haven...his cage.