View Full Version : Hey my name is Gilbert

09-20-08, 07:46 pm
I am new to this site and found it because I wanted to know more about care.

I am a bit nervous when it comes to handling my guinea pigs, Tiger and Pingu. They always run away from me even if I just sit there, but when it is quiet they come out and are willing to eat vegetables from my hand. The problem occurs when I try to pet them or pick them up, I am a bit hesitant and i get scared when they run so fast.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips to calm oneself down or have the courage to do so. My girlfriend does it fine and talks to them watches tv with them until they get bored and go explore the room.

I'd like to have that experience someday! Any tips will be fine

09-20-08, 07:56 pm
Hello! Welcome to GPC. We love pigtures!
Talking to them softly is a good way to get them used to your voice. But, the fastest way to a guinea pigs heart are veggies. Guinea pigs are prey animals so its on instinct they run. It will take alot of food for them to get over that one! ;)

09-20-08, 09:31 pm
Hello, Gilbert, and welcome to the forum! You can find a wealth of information on these forums. Chances are if you have a question, it's already been asked before. I've spent hours using the search function and going through various threads on specific topics here. I've learned so much thanks to this site. Some things I already knew, others I didn't know (like lining a cage with fleece. Whooda thunk it?)

I think a lot of people go to handle a Guinea Pig and if they've ever owned a hamster they have this terrible flashback to getting sharp teeth in the fingers. Way back in the day when I was a wee little one, my parents bought me a male Teddy Bear hamster from Woolworth's. He bit me once when I tried to pet him and it made me very reluctant to handle small animals for many years.

You may be comforted by the fact that guinea pigs are typically not biters. They nip occasionally if you're holding them in a manner that is uncomfortable for them or makes them feel unsafe or if you hold them an extended period of time and they need to use the bathroom.

This advice may seem redundant, but don't be afraid. I know that's easier said than done. My mother says every time she goes to touch my Abby she envisions the evil rabbit from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - sailing through the air bearing her teeth. Most guinea pigs will run from you. Some, when provoked and chased around their cage, may even chatter their teeth at you. That's the cue to back away. So long as they aren't chattering their teeth at you, they most likely will not bite if you go to handle them.

It's a real rarity for a guinea pig to actually approach the side of the cage for you to pick them up. Most have to be followed around by your hands until you can safely scoop them up. Abby lets me know when she wants to be petted. Since she's very pregnant right now, I cannot pick her up, but I do pet her frequently. If she's in the mood for it, she'll sit there and let me pet her head, behind her ears and stroke her chin. If she's not, she retreats to her Pigloo.

A good way to get your guinea pigs to be familiar with hand equals good and not harm is to just spend a few minutes with your hand in their cage. Just keep it in one spot. If they get curious, let them sniff. If they nip, don't panic. That's not a bite. They are exploring their surroundings. It may be a good idea if you've just handled food to wash your hands before doing this, as they may smell something tasty on your fingers and think it's a treat.

Just try and remain calm. They will almost always jump and run away at first. Don't let this startle you, as it will startle them. They need to know that your hand is not a threat. The hand provides food and loving pets. Eventually they will warm up. Like I said, guinea pigs are not vicious attack animals. If they were going to go out of their way to attack hands they would have done it to your girlfriend by now.

Good luck and enjoy the forums!

09-20-08, 10:19 pm
Thank you for the tips! I will try my best to follow them, without scaring or pressuring too much.

Here are some pictures:


09-20-08, 10:46 pm
You sure do have some beautiful gals there, Gilbert. It was really hard to tell from the photos, but are they in a C&C cage or a store bought cage? If they're in a store bought cage, I would highly recommend checking out the photo galleries here and the cages forum. A larger cage does wonders for a cavy's happiness and disposition.

http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/about-cages/ (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/../about-cages/)

09-21-08, 05:58 am
Yeah, Bennalaya is right-they do seem to be in a store-bought cage. If so, the link above can provide the proper cage space that two guinea pigs require. Anyways, welcome to GPC. Those are some cuties up there, for sure. As for tips...
1. Just remember-they aren't going to hurt you, especially if you have veggies for them. Talk to them quietly and just let them approach you. Usually, they'll sniff curiously at your fingers and sort of make a quiet wheek (mine do) to get their cage-mate to come over.
2. I've been around guinea pigs since I was seven. I haven't really ever been scared of them, but my brother was when he was little, and a couple of my friends younger siblings are as well, as well as the children I babysit. This is what always works for me. Take out one pig (not two-or they'll be far more interested in each other than where they are sitting) and lay down on your back on the floor. Then set your pig on your chest and wait. Slowly, they'll probably investigate and crawl up and down your chest/face/neck area. That always gets the kids more used to the feel of a guinea pig, and the guinea pig gets used to the kid as well.
I hope you can find at least some of this useful, feel free to PM me with any further questions. :)

09-21-08, 08:56 am
Welcome to the site! I hope you find it as amazing as I do!

Like Bennalaya, my hamster bit me once too and man that sucker didn't stop bleeding for a while and once it stopped bleeding and started healing I could see the suckers teeth marks! I was always so scared of picking him up after that. I never really have a fear of my piggies. They are just so much different than hamsters. They're like tiny cats. Like Bennalaya said, they rarely bite. The only time my pig has ever bitten me was when I went to give him his bowl of veggies he ran to grab a piece of lettuce and got my thumb instead. He must have known it wasn't what it was looking for because he didn't draw blood and it didn't hurt. He still sometimes when I feed him will nibble my fingers. IDK if it's his way of teasing me for the time he bit me or if he's kissing me :heart:

Good luck with making your piggies happy. I hope you follow the advice on this site. Your piggies will be so much happier in a C&C cage with veggies and hay.

09-21-08, 11:42 pm
Thank you for your replies! My girlfriend and I first bought a store cage but I had some cubes at home from when I was a kid (the old 9x9 that is safer) and I just expanded from the store cage so they'd have space to explore. I bought a fiddle stick bridge from Dr. Fosters and Smith so that their little feet don't get stuck in between the wires of the cage as they exit. So far only one of the boars exits the other just stays it its cage. The boar who exits seems to be the one that always does lap and popcorns and they always know when its feeding time it's really cute. They have floor time each day and they explore so much, they've pretty much mapped out the whole room!

I'll try letting one pig rest on me while I'm on my back more. I'm always afraid of them clawing me so I've been using a sweater to pick them up, trying to support them with my hands underneath.

09-22-08, 01:37 am
Hi, and welcome.

Your piggies are very cute. Guinea pig nails are not like cats nails, which will scratch you deeply. but more like our fingernails which grow continuously. You will need to clip their nails to prevent them from getting to long and will stop them from feeling sharp. I have never had more than a surface scratch from my boys, definately not deep enough to draw blood.

It is important to clip them or they can curl up into the pad of thier foot. You can use small animal clippers or ordinary fingernail clippers (which is what I prefur). Check out this link for more information.