View Full Version : Scared guinea pig

01-04-17, 03:41 pm
I've had my guinea pigs for almost three months now, Ben and Jerry:) We've had Ben for slightly longer than Jerry and he seems to be fine with being picked up and being petted, but Jerry seems to be terrified. Picking him up is a struggle and when I have him he does anything to get away. Both are male guinea pigs and also fight a lot, any advice?

01-04-17, 07:28 pm
Firstly, welcome to the forum, and what cute names!

How big is the cage? One of the biggest reasons that boars fight is lack of space. For two boars you'll want at the very least a 2x4 and you'll likely have more luck in a 2x5.
It can also help to make sure there are two of everything- two food dishes, water bottles, hideys, etc. so they don't ever need to fight over them. Also make sure your hideys have two exits so they can't trap each other.

For Jerry's timidness, try feeding him veggies out of your hand whoever possible. When you pick him up, wait for him to be in a hidey already and use it to scoop him- just avoid chasing him around the cage with your hands, it makes it worse. You can also spend time near the cage just chilling or talking to them so he gets more used to you.

Good luck!

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02-04-17, 04:57 am
I've purchased a bigger cage for the guinea pigs and it consists of two storeys with a wooden ladder connecting the two trays. However, they are still too scared to go up and down it. Do you have any suggestions as to how to teach them to use it? Thanks.

02-04-17, 08:40 am
They can't do ladders.

Guinea pigs really need a big flat surface to run around on, and multi-storied cages often don't work well. And a two-story cage will not help with aggression because the ladder is just another invitation to fight.

You may want to investigate taking it back and getting something more suitable. See the Main page of this site for information on C&C cages, and look through the Photo Galleries for ideas.

02-04-17, 08:07 pm
This is completely normal! My two piggies, Basil and Chip, would run away from me for the first 6 months of getting them! Make sure you feed them by hand, and break the veggies apart so you can feed them in more sections! Don't try to lure them out with veggies and then pet them, because this will make them distrust you. Now it has been a year since I got my piggies, and one still growls at me when I pet it and scurries away when I try to pick him up, but my other piggie, Chip, is super content with me petting him, not even shivering, and happily waiting for me to pick him up! The funny thing is, Chip used to be the scaredy cat of the two!

02-06-17, 12:48 pm
I had a similar situation with one pig okay with being held while the other one was very scared. I felt really bad holding the scared one because I didn't want her to be unhappy, so I didn't hold her too often, maybe a couple times a week. After a year she hadn't really improved so I wanted to try something different. I've been holding her at least twice every day for a month now, always giving her at least a little veggie snack when I do, and it's really making a difference. I'd suggest frequent cuddles with tasty veggie treats, as often as possible, for reasonably short periods (ten minutes or less).