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Thread: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

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    Cavy Slave faculae.angel's Avatar
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    Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    I just got a baby guinea pig two days ago and I?m aware that it could take weeks or months to get them used to you, but my guinea pig got used to me after like 30 minutes of bringing him home. He was letting me feed him out of my hand and he was sniffing me. When I moved him into his temporary cage he seemed excited and kept running to my hand when I put it into the cage and sniffing me. He was fine for like an hour until I put a hidey house into the cage. I showed him it and put him near it and he went in, then instantly he just didn?t want to leave and acted frightened of me and everyone else, who just seconds ago he seemed completely fine with. I?m sure I?ll just have to give him time to warm up but I?m feeling kinda frustrated because he spends most of his time outside of the house when he?s eating and drinking but as soon as I stand up or he hears me move he dashes into the house. I barely even get to see him since I can?t see into his temporary cage without standing up or moving. He?s happy though? He kept making the chutting sounds and he?s eating and drinking fine and I?m keeping his cage clean but now he doesn?t want to eat out of my hand and he freaks out now when I try to clean the cage or get near him. Did I do something wrong or do I just need to give him more time? Thank you!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    Your cavy's behavior sounds absolutely normal. First and foremost, guinea pigs are prey animals and they are hard-wired to run......especially from giant creatures who swoop down and pluck them from their cage. Your cavy may always run when being picked up, but once comfortably settled in your arms or on your lap, it's a different story.

    Just like humans, every piggy is an individual with its own personality. That personality will change as it grows up.....and hopefully for the better. Some are comfortable right away and others can take an inordinate amount of time. Now is the time to help this baby grow into a loving, happy and secure little creature. Above all else, cavies seem to like consistency so try to interact with him in the same calm way every time.

    The two of you will grow together and you will see his personality reveal itself over time. Some cavies are incredibly interactive and you will learn what his vocalizations mean and also his signals that he needs to return to the cage for toilet needs. Sometimes he may not have toilet needs but simply is tired of lap time and wants to go home. Honor that request and you just may have a piggy who becomes semi-toilet trained. And then, he may not. You can't really toilet train a guinea pig, but you can encourage good behavior by taking him home and putting him in the litter box.

    You really answered your own question.........he just needs more time. Cavies are not like puppies or kittens and do remember that he is a baby and will grow and change rapidly over the first year. Above all else, enjoy this wonderful little creature!

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    Cavy Slave faculae.angel's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Your cavy's behavior sounds absolutely normal. First and foremost, guinea pigs are prey animals and they are hard-wired to run......especially from giant creatures who swoop down and pluck them from their cage. Your cavy may always run when being picked up, but once comfortably settled in your arms or on your lap, it's a different story.

    Just like humans, every piggy is an individual with its own personality. That personality will change as it grows up.....and hopefully for the better. Some are comfortable right away and others can take an inordinate amount of time. Now is the time to help this baby grow into a loving, happy and secure little creature. Above all else, cavies seem to like consistency so try to interact with him in the same calm way every time.

    The two of you will grow together and you will see his personality reveal itself over time. Some cavies are incredibly interactive and you will learn what his vocalizations mean and also his signals that he needs to return to the cage for toilet needs. Sometimes he may not have toilet needs but simply is tired of lap time and wants to go home. Honor that request and you just may have a piggy who becomes semi-toilet trained. And then, he may not. You can't really toilet train a guinea pig, but you can encourage good behavior by taking him home and putting him in the litter box.

    You really answered your own question.........he just needs more time. Cavies are not like puppies or kittens and do remember that he is a baby and will grow and change rapidly over the first year. Above all else, enjoy this wonderful little creature!
    Thank you so much! That is another thing I was wondering, should I be putting him in my lap or should I wait? I put him in my lap and he was calm on the first day, but I put him back into his cage a few minutes later because I didn’t want to stress him out too much. I figured I should give him a week to get settled in and used to me before picking him up. Should I put him in my lap even though he’s scared of me and hiding and will that help him get used to me or should I wait?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!


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    Cavy Slave faculae.angel's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Thank you!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    Quote Originally Posted by faculae.angel View Post
    Should I put him in my lap even though he?s scared of me and hiding and will that help him get used to me or should I wait?
    Others would probably give you different advice, but I'm a big proponent of handling them.....and frequently. I pick up a frightened piggy and naturally cuddle it to my chest to soothe and comfort it. But, they start to depend on that. My boys just turned 2 yrs. old and that's still their "safe place" even though one of them is over 3 lbs.

    Decide what you are going to use for lap time such as a fleece pad or old towels and use that every time. The towels in our house get recycled into piggy towels and the boys know that they may pee and poop on them. I can put them on the sofa on a thick towel and they won't move off the towel. It becomes familiar and comforting for them.

    I know that your boy is new to you and you to him, but start to read his signals. Also, remember that he is very young (?) and probably alone for the first time in his life. He will do well with a friend as they really need one of their own kind to bond with. Yes, he will still bond with you but won't be needy and lonely when he's by himself.

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    Cavy Slave Peanut_Butter2's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Others would probably give you different advice, but I'm a big proponent of handling them.....and frequently. I pick up a frightened piggy and naturally cuddle it to my chest to soothe and comfort it. But, they start to depend on that. My boys just turned 2 yrs. old and that's still their "safe place" even though one of them is over 3 lbs.

    Decide what you are going to use for lap time such as a fleece pad or old towels and use that every time. The towels in our house get recycled into piggy towels and the boys know that they may pee and poop on them. I can put them on the sofa on a thick towel and they won't move off the towel. It becomes familiar and comforting for them.

    I know that your boy is new to you and you to him, but start to read his signals. Also, remember that he is very young (?) and probably alone for the first time in his life. He will do well with a friend as they really need one of their own kind to bond with. Yes, he will still bond with you but won't be needy and lonely when he's by himself.
    Speaking of floortime I think my set up would be really good for a scared piggy like mine were when I first got them.


    At first I put them on the floor but they would hide under every nook and cranny and it clearly wasn't working and it just was wasn't enjoyable for either of us

    What I ended up doing was getting to guinea pig Gates and then I had a blanket that was perfect size for them so I hooked the gates together with the blanket underneath and I set up Heidi's all over and I also set up blankets in like the corners for them to hide under

    At the beginning all they really did hiding there hideys and occasionally Chase each other around.


    Eventually as I got more used to me and more used to the setup they began to have some fun with it and popcorn and just act like normal guinea pigs

    Here is the link to the gate I have: https://m.ebay.com/itm/Small-Animal-...ws-btf--parent
    (Get two)

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

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    Cavy Slave faculae.angel's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig won?t stop hiding!

    Thank you everyone who offered advice. I took the advice of holding him and also putting him in my lap. The second time I had him in my lap he still seemed very frightened but at the time my mom was also in the room watching. I picked him up today and had him in my lap but it was just me. It was like I had a completely different piggy! He wasn?t hiding underneath the towel I had in my lap and he was making chutting sounds the entire time and was trying to crawl up my arm and stomach. He was also sniffing me and nibbling on my fingers and it felt like a huge step forward with him. I wanted to hold him longer but he really wanted to get down and run around on the floor. I gave him some floor time the first time I got him but not very much because I didn?t really have my room set up for him. Tomorrow morning I plan to lay down some towels and have my room ready and sit with him and let him run around. After I put him in his cage today he didn?t run back into his hut like he normally does and he actually went over to his food bowl after I filled it as I was putting it back in. I?m very greatful for all the input and help!!

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