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Thread: My girls don't like floor time anymore (long)

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    Cavy Slave Alikat73's Avatar
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    Question My girls don't like floor time anymore (long)

    I can't get my 4 girls to play outside of their cage anymore. We have a large den that I use for their floor time. I fence off the kitchen and living room entances, and then let my piggies have full access to the (pig proofed) den - where their cage is.

    My one year old (Squeakers), was quite the little explorer, and loved to run laps in the den, but the three younger girls have always been a bit leary of the large open space, and would rarely wander far from the cage.

    We recently took in our neighbors dog, because they weren't feeding her. So my girls had to stay in there cage for a while until we determined if Isabelle (the dog) could be trusted with them or not.

    The dog is well behaved enough that if she approaches the fences, all I have to do is say her name, she will turn around and come back.

    The problem is, now my girls won't come out of their cage to play, even when the dog is nowhere around. The cage is on the floor, so I just open the door, and let them have access to the room, and cage at the same time.

    I have tried to put all 4 of them out of the cage, and closed the cage door, but they all 4 sit around the cage, trying to figure out how to get back in, and chewing on the grids. I also tried to lure them out with some veggies. They came out long enough to grab them, then took the veggies back into the cage to eat them.

    I guess it is good that they like their home, but I know that they need their exercise too.

    I work from home, so I can leave the cage open practically all day. They just don't seem to want to come out, and when I force them to come out, they chew on the cage trying to get back in.

    Is there anything else I should try to get them to like playing outside of the cage again?

    Allison

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    Cavy Champion ScottandDebbie's Avatar
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    Re: My girls don't like floor time anymore (long)

    Hi Allison,

    Your little piggers are not coming out because they are feeling unsecured.

    And the puppy/ dog encounter didn't help.

    Firstly... we have two well trained service dogs. ( Dogs for the disabled.)
    Each dog was certified after a 2 year training program. In their training they are taught *not* to chase, or even bark at cats, or any other animal. This is a very extensive portion of the training because if they don't learn this... they cannot be certified.

    Even with our well trained dogs... I would not fully trust them with our gp's. We go to great lengths to make certain that the dogs cannot get into the same room as the gp's.

    There has been some horror stories, even on this site, about very gentle loving dogs killing gp's. We have learned from other's unfortunate happenings so that this doesn't happen to our's.

    The dog's inbred animal behavior is stronger than a learned behavior. Even a service dog.

    That aside...
    1) The play area should be in an area where they can feel safe.
    2) Not a lot of foot traffic, or loud sounds.
    3) Places for them to hide and feel cozy should be provided throughout the play area.
    4) I use shoe boxes, tiny cut up boxes with three or four doors.
    5) Scattering yummy vegs throughout the play area.
    6) And the Best for Last....
    Covering the distant most area of the play area with a lightweight blanket, sheet, (like a tent) will help give them that secure feeling.


    This is a least a start for you Allison.
    Hope they come out to play.

    Debbie

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    Cavy Slave newpiggiemommy's Avatar
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    Re: My girls don't like floor time anymore (long)

    I agree with ScottandDebbie! I have three dogs and I don't let any of them have access to the guinea pigs, not even the dog that raised two litters of orphaned kittens!

    It is too scary for the guinea pigs to have any other animals around. They are prey animals after all!

    As far as play time goes, if your dog is allowed in that room while the guinea pigs are in there cage, then they will smell the dog on the floor and not want to go out in fear of their life!

    Maybe try cleaning the floor really good and leave the doorway gates up so the dog never has access to that room!

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    Cavy Slave Alikat73's Avatar
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    Re: My girls don't like floor time anymore (long)

    Thank you both!! I will try keeping the dog out of that room, and cleaning the carpets to see if that will help.

    I will also add more areas were they can hide - I've been meaning to get to a hardware store to buy them some plumbing elbows and things of that nature anyway. I've also made them some little tee-pee's out of the smaller size grids, and covered them with hankerchiefs so they can hide in them. I'll have to make up some more of those to put in the room when I let them out.

    Hopefully they will feel safer, and start coming out to play again.

    Allison

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