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Thread: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Unhappy I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    I got two very cute male guinea pigs for Christmas. I've had them for about a month now. I got Alfie from a breeder and picked up Padfoot on a whim from a pet store so they could be friends. Alfie was 2 months when I got him and Padfoot appeared to be a little younger, but not by much. Alfie had not been handled at ALL and he is still very hard to get your hands on. Padfoot seems to have been handled some, and he's the one I have made the most progress with.

    Alfie refuses to be held or pet. I have to chase him around the cage just to pick him up- and I am picking him up properly! If you try to touch him, he runs. He will come to me to eat treats out of my hand, but he tries to take them away from me and hide. I have to hold the veggie tightly and then he'll eat. Not being able to hold him is problematic as well, as he's Peruvian and needs to be groomed. He had mats under his belly when I got him and I don't want that happening again but he acts like I'm killing him if I try to brush his hair.

    Padfoot I was making progress with. He has started wheeking when he's hungry and he will come up to my fingers if I stick them through the cage but he will only let me rub his nose for a second and he runs off. He doesn't like to be picked up either, but I can scratch him with one finger and he won't run. Usually he will let me hold him without acting crazy like Alfie does, but recently he has started biting! I just got him out and he bit my arm. He nibbles, so I thought maybe that's what he was doing until he bit harder and pulled.

    They have a big cage. They are given everything their little piggy hearts could desire. I try to do lap time but they hate it. I try to do floor time but they just hide. It's just frustrating because I want them to cuddle with me and love me but they just don't. I know it takes time, but I don't like to hold them for very long because they act up so much and I don't want to stress them out. I guess I just thought that after a month, they might like me a little. Does anyone have any advice for me?

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave surlypiggy's Avatar
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    Mine didn't seem to like me much either. I couldn't touch them or feed them in their cage, and during floor time, they wouldn't come near me. It took me forever to catch them to put them in their cage. I would hold them everyday, one at a time, wrapped in a blanket. I pet them, talk to them, and set a folded towel next to me on the couch with their bed on it. They'd lay on their bed and relax. I still couldn't feed them though. But gradually Snarf would pancake out and they both purred and chatted.

    I think it might be easier to "tame" them outside the cage if you're not making much progress. They may not want to be disturbed in their home. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    Just give it time .I've got 2 that I still have to Chase if I want to pick up.and its been 2years.what I can do now is pet them in the cage what did is let them come to me I just stuck me knuckle (so they didn't nip my finger) and let them just sniff me and get used to me .slowely I was able to pet thier noses and eventually pet them and rub thier chins now. They still don't like to be picked up bot once I get them they settle quickly now.so just give it time and when they do finally warm up to you it will be a great feeling .

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    Like the others said it takes time which can be very frustrating but they do eventually get better. I don't know if any guinea pig really enjoys being caught and picked up so i wouldn't worry too much about that. Other ways for them to warm up to u that I have found worked with my 2 new boys is that I sit next to their cage and talk to them so that they can get used to my presence. Also I spot clean their cage out every morning and I put my hands on the cage floor near them and let them come up to me and have a sniff like @mdodge also said. After a while of doing this I try to give them a pat while I am cleaning out their cage which they will run away from at the start but each day they get more used to it. They take a lot of time and effort to be okay with people and even my other 2 boys which I have had for nearly 4 years occasionally fall back into old habits and do a runner at the slightest movement. But you are doing all the right things so just keep at it. I hope this helps.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    The least social and most skittish guinea pigs I've had took about a year to come around. If you want them to trust you, you need to give them a reason to. Best way to do that is hold each of them as much as you can and hand feed them while they're on your lap. They'll eventually equate you with food rewards and will want to come out to be held.

    Try not to cast a shadow on them when you go to pick them up. Talk quietly to them when you approach their cage and use a soothing voice when you hold them. Not all guinea pigs were held a lot as pups so they view us as big predators.

    The other thing to consider is that guinea pigs come with different personalities, just like people do. There are shy one as well and very outgoing ones. Right now, I have both ends of the spectrum with my 5. I have one that darts around because she's really nervous but is now stretching her body towards me to nibble off vegetables while another one is a big blob that doesn't even move when I reach in to grab her because she wants to come out. She loves people.

  6. #6
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    Put yourself in the position of the pig. He is a prey animal, his instinct is bigger things want to eat him. My oldest pig is 6, she still doesn't like to be caught and picked up. She will eat anything from my hand, but the second I go to pick her up it's "Run away!". Since they're not like a dog, cat or horse and taming isn't a necessity for care I actually let them be. My theory is if I was her, I wouldn't want to be held either. I pick her up to check her health and nail trims. That's it.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    If my piggies see my hands looking like I will pick them up, they run, I've had them 2 years. They will come eat from me and to get a nose scratch, the hand reaching in to grab still scares them and its part of them, I'm fine with that. Once I have them, they all snuggle. The two older ones I adopted were nibblers/biters and that has calmed down too. Watch how you react to that, I did train one to bite me when he wanted to be put away by putting him away every time he bit me.

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    Cavy Slave miniver's Avatar
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunarminx View Post
    Watch how you react to that, I did train one to bite me when he wanted to be put away by putting him away every time he bit me.
    Ha, ha. Same process, different results. My piggies have trained me to recognize the "I want a treat" nibble and the "I want down" nibble. I respond well to both!

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    Cavy Slave PeanutnCookie's Avatar
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    I'm working on the same problem. Both pigs run when you enter the room and when you reach into the cage (veggies or not). I can pet one and pick up pretty easily, but I have to corer her to do it. The other is very hard to catch, pet, and pick up. You just need to practice with them A LOT. If they don't like being picked up, you could try a Piggy Elevator AKA a box with a hole in it so you can catch them easier. First though, I would work calmness around veggies. I have to hold the veggies really hard too, but after a few days, they found out they can't pull it from my hands, so they just sat there eating. Once you get past that stage, try peting them a little on their nose. If they run thats ok. Just wait with the veggies in your hand until they come back and try again. They should start to learn that petting means treats. It may take a while though. I hope I helped!

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    They are prey animals. They just can't get over the instinct to run. It's in their nature, part of being a guinea pig.

    It's best to catch them quickly and firmly. The less you have to chase them around the better. Corner one or trap it in a house or box or something, then quickly put it against you. The guinea pig wants to feel secure.

  11. "Thank you, foggycreekcavy, for this useful post," says:


  12. #11
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: I'm convinced my piggies hate me and I don't know what else to try.

    Thanks for the advice. I guess I just haven't given it enough time yet! I had a guinea pig years ago during middle school and she was friendly and always came to me so I guess I just assumed it would be like that too. That was nearly 13 years ago, however, so maybe I just don't remember the taming process!

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