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Thread: Very nervous piggies not great pets would I be terrible to change one for a baby?

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    Cavy Newbie
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    Very nervous piggies not great pets would I be terrible to change one for a baby?

    Very difficult to get over in title without sounding terrible so full details below
    I adopted 2 piggies 3 months ago from a local breeder they were 5 and 6 months old and came from a group i.e. not a bonded pair. I wanted pets that would be friendly and easy to handle for my son who absolutely loves animals.
    I specifically asked that as they were a bit older were they friendly and well handed and was assured that they were.
    When we got them as the weather was bad we initially had them indoors we paid them loads of attention but they were incredibly nervous and hid everytime they saw you. They also didn't seem to get on that well. I contacted the breeder who said just to persist and they were friendly when she had them. They have improved as in they don't hide instantly but they are still very hard to catch and stroke. One is calm and will sit on your lap once caught the other tries to get away. I would say that they tolerate each other.
    They are now outside as its summer as well as their hutch with run I get them out give them a cuddle and put them into a big pen if its dry and my son sits in there with them. I would like to handle them more but they are still very difficult to catch. I also have a indoor playpen.
    Anyway I recently took them to a lady to get their nails clipped, we got talking and discovered that she currently had 80 GPs from the same breeder who had been evicted and had to find homes for them all. She said they were all totally wild and had not been handled at all. Which had been my suspicion.
    She offered to take one of my GPs and let me have a baby. I said no as I felt bad and that I would persist. A month on and we really haven't got anywhere. As I said they tolerate each other I don't believe they are bonded. Whenever I look in their hutch they are sat on opposite sides. They never eat together and they do sometimes squabble over food. however if I take one out and then put them back together they do go to each other.

    I feel really sad for my son as they just aren't ever going to be the pets that we hoped. Would I be really terrible to take this lady up on her offer? The new baby would be handled lots from the outset. I absolutely love animals and want them to have the best life but also for my son to have a pet he can truly interact with

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave 4boipigs's Avatar
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    Re: Very nervous piggies not great pets would I be terrible to change one for a baby?

    First off, you can't get guinea pigs and expect them to be friendly and enjoy human company like a cat or dog would. That isn't how they work (at least my guinea pigs). They are prey animals, so it is natural that they will be nervous and run and so on. You have to give them time and get them used to handling and being with you. They do this on their time, not yours. A baby is probably going to be worse. It will not be cuddly and it won't want to be with you. A baby is going to be more nervous and less tame. You should give the pigs more time to come around. They may or may not. I have 4 boars (have had 5 total) and it has taken 6 months to a year for them to be okay with people. None of them enjoy being handled. If you aren't able to still enjoy the pigs if they remain 'unfriendly', they may not be the pet for you. I call my boys 'look but don't touch' pets as they rather keep to themselves.

    Not trying to be rude, but some pigs just don't tolerate people and that can happen and it's normal. If it's not for you, then maybe a more traditional, friendly animal like a dog is up your alley.

    Just remember you have to be committed to their full lifespan and future vet costs.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Very nervous piggies not great pets would I be terrible to change one for a baby?

    I agree with 4boipigs. Baby guinea pigs are usually ALOT more skittish than adult guinea pigs. To tame a guinea pig it takes TIME, for me personally, my two girls took about 2 years to really come out of their shells. After two years of daily handling, my two girls will run up to me, take treats from my hand, and they love to be held. So it really does take time.

    It also depends on the guinea pig. I’ve fostered pigs who were terrified and didn’t like human contact and I’ve fostered pigs who would cuddle up on my lap and take a little snooze!

    Also, from what I’ve seen, *most* guinea pigs will never be fully confident. They will always be a bit skittish around grabbing hands, loud noises, and sudden movements. But with the correct handling I’m sure your guinea pigs can become cuddly little fluff balls!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Very nervous piggies not great pets would I be terrible to change one for a baby?

    You don't need another guinea pig. They're not like kittens and puppies -- they'll never want to be snuggled and cuddled the way some other pets do. Do the guinea pigs a favor and get your son some other kind of pet. And next time, investigate the needs and personalities of the pets before you get one, so you'll know whether or not that pet will meet your needs.

  5. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave Smileandnod's Avatar
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    Re: Very nervous piggies not great pets would I be terrible to change one for a baby?

    As everyone else has said, guinea pigs are not like cats and dogs who come when called and hop in your lap... that's not a guinea pig.

    Guinea pigs generally get more calm and easier to handle the older they get, so getting a baby will not meet your expectations.

    I am concerned about you having the guinea pigs outside, especially now that it is summer. Guinea pigs are susceptible to heat stroke and death in summer temperatures, so you want the temperature to be under 75 degrees. The healthiest place for guinea pigs is indoors away from predators and temperature fluctuations.

    If they really aren't for you and your son, please consider rehoming them to a responsible owner (so they don't become snake food) or surrendering them to a shelter/rescue rather than a breeder.

    They deserve a forever home who appreciates their personalities and can meet their needs.

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