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Taming Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pig

Knowing how to tame your pet will give you knowledge on gaining their trust and becoming friends. Guinea pigs are shy, skittish, and are easily threatened at first. When trust is gained, they will show their affection and even cuddle you.

It Takes Time

You have to be patient with your guinea pigs; the time it takes to tame them depends on their personality. It may take a day, weeks, maybe even months. Home breed Guinea Pigs can be tamed easily since they would already know how to socialize with humans and other pets.

Don’t act like a predator in front of them, and avoid loud noises at your home. This makes them feel more threatened and may come to never trust you. They won’t even come near you at first but later slowly comes out from their hides to get food from you.

Difficulty Levels in Taming

Baby guinea pigs are quite hard to tame compared to their adults. Adult guinea pigs are mature and don’t rush things. They will be happy to eat beside you and to cuddle with you.

On the other hand, baby guinea pigs are very active and love to run about throughout the day. This makes them quite difficult to tame. However, you control their food so that the baby guinea pig responds to your attempts.

Guinea Pigs Playing

Taming Biting Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs usually never bite and/or fight back. If they feel that something is wrong, they flee. It is in their nature to be relatively cowardly because they are not predators. But sometimes, when you hold them harshly or against their will and they try to escape from you, they may end up biting.

Guinea pigs never stay in one place. They always wonder and love to explore the world around them. If they bite you, it may be a sign of discomfort from how they are being treated.

In this case, don’t try to pet them at first. Let them run around and when they sit somewhere,  go and sit beside them with some food for them. When they are hungry, they will come near you and/or jump to your lap to ask for food.

Remember, they are not aggressive. They are just naughty. Naughty guinea pigs will be more friendly and love to play with you eventually when they learn to trust you.

Tame your Guinea Pig

Never become too physically intimate right after buying a guinea pig. Give them space to get to know you and your house. Visit their enclosure often and chat with them in a quiet tone. Place food and water inside their enclosure.

Few guinea pigs ever get food directly from your hand, and some may never eat at your presence at all. You have to act accordingly. If they get their food from your hand, then that’s great! If not, be more patient.

For about a day or two, keep the food in their enclosure and walk away if they are not eating food from you. But after that, hold their food in your hands so that they can approach you for their food.

They will eventually approach you within a week to obtain food. Continue to hand-feed them. If they are nervous, then you can place the food under your legs and cover your legs along with the food in a blanket. In this way, if they are nervous to eat from you, they can still hide in one end of the blanket.

Guinea Pig Playing

The key is Trust

Repeat this same process until your guinea pig learns to approach you when they see you. Within weeks, your pet will start to believe and trust you.

Always give them treats using your hand and integrate staying when they eat instead of staying away. If you don’t, it will be quite hard for them to get to know you, and they will start to see you as a predator.

After gaining their trust, they will allow you to pet and lift them. Remember that you have to be very gentle when you pet them. Never grab them and pull them up suddenly. This will make them frightened of you and may never approach you again.

Cuddling your Guinea Pigs

Be very careful when you handle guinea pigs. Only lift and play with them once they are comfortable with you. The first few days upon getting them will be spent building their trust, and you can do this by placing some treats on your lap. They enjoy eating, and you being the provider would give them the impression that you aren’t a predator to them. When proper trust is built, you may start to pet them gently.

 The daily repetition of this will make them less scared of you and may eventually make them feel comfortable playing with you.

Never grab them from behind and always handle them using two hands. Your right hand should be on top of your pet’s shoulder, and you’re underneath your pet. Never squeeze them. Provide support to their legs using your fingers. Never hold them vertically, and always place them close to your chest so that they feel secure and refrain from panicking.

Be extremely attentive when placing them back to their enclosure – they may jump off from your hands and injure themselves. If they are uncomfortable with you, they will struggle when you hold them. If this happens, just put them back down gently and try again tomorrow.

Whenever you are handling them, make sure the environment is quiet, and no one else is watching you.

Pet Guinea Pig

Is there a way to bond faster?

Not entirely – this suggestion is roughly the same concept. Keep your guinea pig in a playpen for the first few weeks; they will play and exercise and get hungry. Make sure to provide what they need in a gentle manner.

Is it alright for your friends to cuddle them?

Yes, but only once your guinea pigs are comfortable with you that you may allow your friends to do the same. It is natural your pets won’t be comfortable with that arrangement but follow this process still.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs are not aggressive pets; in fact, they are quite timid. The sudden change in environment is bound to spook them, and they may even bite if you aren’t careful and gentle. Build their trust in you by properly taming them so they grow comfortable with you.