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Thread: Getting pigs used to being held

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    Getting pigs used to being held

    Ihave Guinea pigs for about 10 years now. Until this past January my pigswere adopted in their older years so they were already trained for handling andholding. This past January I got two Teddy Bear Guinea’s about a monthold. My vet told me to just keep handling them and they would get used toit and calm down. This has not happen. They do not enjoy myhandling them. However, one of them (Fozzie) will a stay put in the cageand allow me to pet him for about 5 minutes. The other one (Teddie) willonly come an nose bump the knuckle of my finger. How can I get them toenjoy my handling. When I do hold them the usually eek! Loudly andconstantly move around on me to try to find their escape the whole time.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pigs used to being held

    It can be a real challenge to get young cavies to actually enjoy being handled. I recently acquired two young boars and they really try my patience, but I know that we have to go through this period to get to where I want them to be.

    You have to be very consistent and very patient with them.........and handle them a lot. Mine don't like being out of their cage until evening, or so it seems. We take them out around 8-9pm when we finish the rest of our day and are ready to watch a bit of tv. It takes them at least 30minutes to settle down to the point that they will actually stay in one place. They often are more interested in each other than in us. And, when both are in my lap, I'll get one settled down and the other one will feel the need to play or explore. I find that taking them out one at a time works better right now. That way they don't feel the need to compete for a particular spot on my lap or chest and once settled down, the other isn't there to instigate more activity.

    Also, young cavies don't enjoy sitting that long. Sometimes they need to return to the cage for a bathroom break, and other times they just want to go home because they are tired of lap time. There is no secret to taming them........you just have to handle them a lot.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pigs used to being held

    Guinea pigs are like people. There are shy ones and outgoing ones. Some will become very social with a lot of handling. Others will be skittish no matter what you do. I have four right now. Two are very social and outgoing and two are skittish. One of the skittish ones screams when I pick her up but calms down while I hold her in my lap. The other one squirms and scratches to keep me from picking her up. I can't let go of her for a second while she's on my lap because she'll run. I treat them all the same way so it probably has a lot to do with genetics or early life experiences.

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    Re: Getting pigs used to being held

    We have 2 piggies right now. We think they're youngish (4-6 months). Peanut is very outgoing. From the day we got her, we sat with her on the bed, and she just wanted to explore and be on a blanket. She's still like this, she just want to explore. Sometimes, she will stay still and just be held, but never for long, maybe 20 minutes max.

    Olive on the other hand is very skittish. When I go to pick her up, she will yell. But, once she is on your chest/in your lap, she stays, but she doesn't even look around. She will occasionally walk to try to get in your sweatshirt or to get the pepper, but other than that she will stay still for an hour.

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    Cavy Slave Rywen's Avatar
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    Re: Getting pigs used to being held

    Mine both prefer to have lap time in a snuggle sack, so I do both snuggle sack and no snuggle sack lap time. That said, if they will eat veggies during lap time that helps them learn it's a good thing where they get a "treat". For my shy piggie I start her out in a snuggle sack and make her come out on her own if she wants the veggie or small piece of fruit (she always does, ).

  6. "Thank you, Rywen, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Getting pigs used to being held

    I have 7 pigs and only a couple of them actually enjoy being held. The others will tolerate it but you can tell they are uncomfortable. We rarely hold our our pigs. I usually will just spend time by their cage, talking to them and petting them and they love that. Their cage is in my dining/main living area so they are around us all the time. They love people. When we have family over they are always at the side of the cage wanting everyone to talk to them and pet them and of course, give them some veggies! Hahaha But they don't want to be picked up and held. I think if you spend quality time with them and give them love and great care, they dont have to be held all the time. At least...that's my opinion and my experience with my pigs.

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