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Thread: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

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    Cavy Slave
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    I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    As you can see I'm new here and am new to owning guinea pigs. I've had my two (Peanut and Gizmo) for three weeks now and I feel like they are either afraid of me or don't like me. They're 1.5 years and 2 years old, so I don't think age is a problem? Whenever I try to pick them up they run away from me in the cage. They also sometimes get nervous and hide when I walk up to the cage. When I am able to pick them up they seem pretty content, but try to jump out of my hands and back into the cage when I put them back. I don't know if it's me doing something wrong or them being nervous or shy. Gizmo is also more outgoing than Peanut, but not by much. I haven't held Peanut in a long time because she runs and hides in their hut.
    Please help?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    There might be a situation that stresses him out. For me, my guinea pig began like me because he began to recognize me as the "hand that feeds him." I feed him twice a day and as I do, I try to pet him (first on the head so he recognizes me and then I stroke his whole body). After a while, he came to acknowledge me as the person who feeds and takes care of him. He still doesn't like being picked up (yet) but he's no longer afraid of me and wheeks at me when he wants food.

    Like a baby, guinea pigs will recognize you as a source of food, care, and love. Initially though, it's food. Pigs love food. The key to their heart, is food. Fruits, veges, and HAY!

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    Cavy Caged
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    Guinea pigs are prey animals, so they will naturally run no matter what.. unless they REALLY trust you.. which could take a long time.

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    Cavy Slave Molly75's Avatar
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    Mine still do this too (all the things you wrote) and I even read on one of the main pages here that it has nothing to do with liking you, it's just their natural instinct. The one we've had since September is better than she was though, and I contribute it to being really patient with her. We'd sort of corner her in the cage, but then pet her softly until she relaxed a little. Then pick her up no problem. And now she doesn't try to do a flying leap into the cage if we are holding her while standing next to it. Our younger one we've only had for about 5 or 6 weeks and she's still in training She runs from us like crazy and tries to do a flying leap into the air if we're holding her next to the cage. But she'll get better. And with both of them, I have to remove their hidey houses to get them out, otherwise they will run in there and hide from me. But they both LOVE being out with us, so go figure!

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    Alaina, your pigs are behaving perfectly natural. It's nothing personal. Most of the pigs that go through my rescue are exactly like that.

    A few tips--

    Take the houses out during the time you are at home with the pigs. Let them get used to seeing and hearing you. You can put the houses back in while you're gone and at night.

    For a week or so, every time you go into the room, take a treat (by treat, I mean a veggie leaf or small piece of fruit or carrot) with you. Pretty soon the pigs will be happy to see you (although they will still run when you try to pet them or pick them up).

    When you put them back into their cage, put them in backwards, so they are facing you. This will help to keep them from leaping out of your hands and possibly injuring themselves.

    Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    One of my guinea pigs is a 'fraidy cat. I barely ever see him because he likes to run and hide. Its just the way he is. He wheeks at me all the time for food but usually from the comfort of his tube or hidey house. When I pick him up and pet him though he is perfectly content. He's just a really shy pig. Although he is only shy around humans since he loves my rabbit and chihuhua . My newest guinea pig on the other hand is much more outgoing and started coming to me almost instantly. All pigs have different personalities and some are just really shy, especially since by nature they are all afraid of being picked up.

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    Cavy Slave twilightwheek's Avatar
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    I have to remove Tabytha Sue's hidey as well. She goes thru phases where she will come up and beg for me to take her out, and sit very still until I grab her. Sometimes she zoomies around like a slippery fish (I think its a game, really) until I outsmart her and grab her! And then other times she gets pissy with me and will nip my fingers and squirm until I put her back.

    It took a while (and lots of food) to get her to trust me, and even after she trusted me completely we had to start all over again when I moved across the country with her. She's settled now, and even will sleep out of her hidey on occasion and with her eyes shut.

    It just takes time and patience. I wouldn't recommend NOT holding and interacting with them because they are scared. They'll never trust you then!

    Good luck!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I don't think my guinea pigs like me

    Thanks so much for the responses! The corning them, petting them, and picking them up works really well! They don't freak out at all. I think they're still a little nervous, but it's understandable. Also, whenever I pet Gizmo or take him out of the change it feels like he's trembling (he made the couch vibrate today). Is that something really odd?
    Two more questions! Should I get a feeder for their food because they keep getting poop in it (as I have a bowl right now) and I sometimes have to throw out almost whole bowls of food. Should I get a similar thing for their hay so it's not sitting in their poop and pee?
    Thanks again!

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