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Thread: Gain guinea pigs trust?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Gain guinea pigs trust?

    so i currently have one female guinea pig and ive had her since the beggining of july. a few weeks have passed and she still is a little shy, and she still wont let me pick her up with out making a struggle. i was wondering how long does it take for your guinea pig to get used to you? her cage is in my room so i spend a lot of time with her, i take her out every day for floor time and ill feed her some veggies but she always tries to run away or will struggle to get free when im trying to get her out of her cage. just yesterday i thought i made some progress with her, so when i went to get her out she got a little skiddish and jumped out of my hands (she didnt get hurt or anything). ive left her alone since then because i knew she was getting a little bothered since she started making like a weird noise as if shes chewing on something hard but there isnt any food in her mouth. its been a day since that has happened and she has been in her igloo since then. so im wondering what is it that i can do to gain her trust?

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    Cavy Slave Greenbean's Avatar
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    Bean is still a little jumpy around me. Just spend a lot of time with her, petting her and giving her treats and such. At first I just waited for her to come to me, and then I pet her head and gave her a treat. Now it still is a struggle to pick her up, but not every piggie is willing to be picked up. They will put up a fight if they can! As for the chewing thing, I was worried at first, so I looked online, they told me she was just keeping her teeth filed down. Rubbing her top teeth and her bottom teeth together sometimes to keep them down. She was doing that earlier today, but she stopped when I gave her a new wood chew. Make sure you have a lot of things she can chew on in her cage, as that will also help her keep her teeth down.

  3. "Thank you, Greenbean, for this useful post," says:

    CaliMoo (07-27-12)

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    Cavy Slave PiBee's Avatar
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    Not all piggies like to be picked up. My old pig, who adored lap time, was the worst scrambler as soon as my hand went in the cage. Just keep doing what you're doing

  5. "Thank you, PiBee, for this useful post," says:

    CaliMoo (07-27-12)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    she has tons of wood toys in her cage i made sure to have that available for her at all times, and also her hay. thank you for your advice ill continue to do everything as i am doing now, i hope cali warms up to me soon!

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    Most cavies will run as soon as you try to pick them up, their most basic instincts see you as a big hawk trying to scoop them up.
    Pigs are prey animals, meaning their natural behavior is to run at the smallest threat. Some pigs take months or years to gain trust, some never do as it's their natural instinct not to, younger pigs are naturally more skittish. My pigs needed 9 months to become "fully" comfortable with me, the relaxed one trusting me the most is the one who will put up the largest fight when picking her up.

    My skittish pig is always on guard, I don't expect her to change much more now & I accept her as she is, don't have any expectations. She does let me pick her up though without much of a struggle, mostly because of her heart disease.

    Instead of using your hands when picking pigs up, use a cardboard box with a cut out entrance & shoo your pig inside with some yummy little herb treat, like a piggy elevator. This will reduce the stress connected with being lifted & caught. (well, until they learn not to enter the box at all.)

  8. "Thank you, HannibalLecter, for this useful post," says:

    CaliMoo (07-27-12)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalLecter View Post
    Most cavies will run as soon as you try to pick them up, their most basic instincts see you as a big hawk trying to scoop them up.
    Pigs are prey animals, meaning their natural behavior is to run at the smallest threat. Some pigs take months or years to gain trust, some never do as it's their natural instinct not to, younger pigs are naturally more skittish. My pigs needed 9 months to become "fully" comfortable with me, the relaxed one trusting me the most is the one who will put up the largest fight when picking her up.

    My skittish pig is always on guard, I don't expect her to change much more now & I accept her as she is, don't have any expectations. She does let me pick her up though without much of a struggle, mostly because of her heart disease.

    Instead of using your hands when picking pigs up, use a cardboard box with a cut out entrance & shoo your pig inside with some yummy little herb treat, like a piggy elevator. This will reduce the stress connected with being lifted & caught. (well, until they learn not to enter the box at all.)
    aww im sorry to hear about your guinea having a heart disease thank you for your suggestion about the cardboard box, ive actually been doing that except with a cardboard tunnel i had made for her, she would run in there to hide so i would block both ends with my hands and take the tunnel out with her in it and she was happy afterwards when she got out to see that she was out having floor time im hoping she will become more relaxed but if not im willing to make the extra effort to help her

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    I've started using tunnels myself, the pigs learned not to walk into any box with me hovering above them. ;)

    Once/if you have a large enough cage, adopting a mate for her will enrich her life & make her more calm & happy, meaning easier to bond with. Remember that guinea pigs are herd animals, where the company of their own kind never can be replaced with human contact unless absolutely necessary(Rare, aggressive loner pigs.)

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    And no matter if you end up with the most relaxed pig ever, or a skittish sweet gentle girl like mine, you will see many subtle changes & signs of trust over the following weeks & months. Don't worry about it, you are the source of food - and you earn a pig's love through their tummy. ;)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Gain guinea pigs trust?

    "Don't worry about it, you are the source of food - and you earn a pig's love through their tummy. " that i definitely know since my cali is always hungry! she eats eats eats . i do hope to get her a buddy but at the moment im not able to since im in college and live at home, but once i move out i do plan on getting her a buddy and maybe more thank you for your advice its helped me a lot

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