GUINEA PIG BEHAVIOUR
Understanding guinea pig behaviours
Guinea pigs are small and gentle-natured, but lively too. They love being handled and rarely bite or scratch. Guinea pigs are curious and can be very vocal!
Guinea pigs like to play, so make sure there are plenty of toys for them. Play makes them exercise, which is good for their physical health, and keeps them contented, which is good for keeping them happy and healthy.
Guinea pigs are natural foragers, so hide some food and your pets will enjoy looking for it. For example, try hiding some Excel Nature Snacks around their hutch or in Excel Feeding Hay. In addition to providing nutrition, foraging mimics their natural behaviour, keeps them occupied and prevents boredom.
As guinea pigs are naturally prey animals, they need constant access to hiding places where they can go and be alone if they feel scared.
Training your guinea pigs
It may take longer to train your guinea pig to jump through a hoop then it would to train a dog the same trick. But have fun, take your time and bring treats! Teach your guinea pigs one trick at a time. Once they have mastered one – move onto the next.
Repetition is the key. Try to show the guinea pig the same way each time. Try to hold you hands and your face the same each time you teach the same trick. You may have to show your pet 3 times or 10 times or 20 times, but when the light bulb goes off in that little head, it will remember the task and repeat it each time you ask.
Don’t loose your patience, just relax and enjoy the fun time spent with your pet.
Coming when it’s name is called
This is an easy trick to teach. Teach your guinea pigs to come the same way you would teach a dog or cat. Say their name when you feed them, when you pick them up out of their housing and when you move them from person to person. You will be very surprised how fast your guinea pig will learn it’s name. Just remember, to them “Name = Fun or Pleasure or Treat”.
Teaching your guinea pig to ‘Talk to Me’
Be very sure you want to train this trick. Guinea Pigs are vocal so you may be creating a loud pet. And one that will get louder and louder if not given a treat.
Can guinea pigs be aggressive?
Guinea pigs are generally very gentle animals, but their behaviour can change if they feel scared or stressed. Signs of this can be aggression, hiding away or biting. Keep an eye for any signs of possible aggression.
Did you know?
Guinea pigs like to live in small groups and will love to spend time grooming each other.
DO YOU NEED MORE ADVICE?
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If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.