Since being introduced to this country from Asia 15 years ago, potbellied pigs, with their easy trainability, alert curiosity and affectionate nature, have won the hearts of people, giving rise to legions of porcinophiles.
They're smarter than the smartest dogs, and just as appreciative of a good belly-scratch. They're quick to house-train, are quite clean and odor-free animals, they don't bark, don't chew and shed very little. Their eyesight is poor but they have a keenly developed sense of smell.
Yet depending on how you train your pet, all that brainpower can make a pig either a cherished companion, or turn him into a four-footed, house-wrecking menace. They are not a maintenance-free pet and they'll figure out how to open cabinet drawers or the refrigerator.
Choosing a pig for a pet should not be done lightly. They can live from 12 to 30 years and grow to up to 150 pounds! They were once considered a trendy exotic pet, but thousands wound up abandoned at shelters when the trend passed and these piglets grew up.
To learn more about these intelligent, affectionate animals, see the story Choosing a Potbellied Pig.