Handling, Dosing and Training of Göttingen Minipigs
When working with any type of animal, a profound understanding of the involved species is paramount. Conducting studies with Göttingen Minipigs in a research environment is no exception. Proper handling and training of the minipig will greatly contribute to the success of the study. In lack of scientific data, it is assumed that the basic ethology of Göttingen Minipigs is no different from other porcine strains, either wild or in captivity. Practical experience backs up this assumption, but relevant research in this field is needed, especially concerning the extent to which selective breeding may have modified the needs and behaviour of Göttingen Minipigs.
People with experience working with dogs can still apply their basic animal interaction skills but should be aware, that dealing with a minipig requires a different approach altogether. As dogs have been bred for human companionship for thousands of years, understanding their behaviour almost comes naturally to us. Pigs have been domesticated for many years as well, but only as a source of food, even though pigs can be excellent companions. Our attitude towards them, and vice versa, is therefore slightly different. Another important difference in respect to the dog is, that pigs are not predators but prey. This means, that we are dealing with a wary and shy animal. It takes some effort to gain its trust, but once established Göttingen Minipigs can be accustomed and trained to actively participate in a study. This creates a situation where humans work with the minipig rather than against it, thus drastically reducing the stress factor for everyone involved.
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