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Behavior 3rd owner issues....

Cherrish09

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 20, 2012
Messages
33
Okay so here's the deal... I just adopted 2 female guinea pigs from a couple who got THEM from ANOTHER owner. Chloie, the multi-colored one, seemed to warm up just fine...only a couple quirks here and there but Zoie, the all black one, is a frantic mess. She runs in fear if u even look at her...which means picking her up, hand feeding her, moving her to clean her cage, and of course clipping her nails is outta the question. I have tried everything from just not bothering her to sweet talking her before i try to touch her to tempting her with treats... and still nothing. The only time she will come near is when she nips me :weepy:...i am at a loss and am wondering if with me being their 3rd owner has given them a fear of humans...im not sure what to do next...any advice is welcome!
 
It can take a long time for them to warm up to you. My two girls came from a hoarding home and had little to no human interaction. I do not know how much previous owner interaction will affect how they will adapt to you but don't give up yet. I have had Tinker and Bella for a month, Tuesday, and actually for the first time yesterday did I see Bella (the super skittish one) popcorn. Scared me to death! It takes patience!

The way I started out was when they were getting settled in, I sat across the room from them while they ate their veggies and I just started talking. At first they would scurry away at the sound of my voice but now Bella uses it as a sign its about time to eat! I've read that making sure they get used to your hands in their cage is important. I always make sure when I'm spot cleaning their cage they have a nice safe view of me from their hidey.

This is something I'm not quite sure about but maybe someone else will be able to chime in about this. I don't think you want to keep putting off clipping their nails. While it might not be the most pleasant experience for the both of you, it is still some sort of interaction. Make sure you provide them with a treat when you do it :)

How old are they and how long have you had them? Does she actually run up to you just to nip you or is it only when you are holding her?

The best advice I can give right now is patience.
 
You just need to pick her up, whether it scares her or not. She'll not learn that being held can be gentle if you don't do it. Most pigs are scared of being picked up to they run from you, but once in your lap usually learn to settle down for petting and treats.
 
Some guinea pigs will never be as social as others but the more calm and consistent interaction you have with her will make her see that you're safe. Hand feed her veggies while you hold her. Don't hover or cast a shadow over her when you go to pick her up. Talk to her in a soothing voice. I've adopted two really timid adult females guinea pigs and one settled down after about 9 months and the other only allowed me to pet her with my pointer finger on her head. Otherwise, she'd run. I have one now that's nervous but I can usually catch her to pick her up but her heart races a mile a minute when I hold her.
 
It can take a long time for them to warm up to you. My two girls came from a hoarding home and had little to no human interaction. I do not know how much previous owner interaction will affect how they will adapt to you but don't give up yet. I have had Tinker and Bella for a month, Tuesday, and actually for the first time yesterday did I see Bella (the super skittish one) popcorn. Scared me to death! It takes patience!

The way I started out was when they were getting settled in, I sat across the room from them while they ate their veggies and I just started talking. At first they would scurry away at the sound of my voice but now Bella uses it as a sign its about time to eat! I've read that making sure they get used to your hands in their cage is important. I always make sure when I'm spot cleaning their cage they have a nice safe view of me from their hidey.

This is something I'm not quite sure about but maybe someone else will be able to chime in about this. I don't think you want to keep putting off clipping their nails. While it might not be the most pleasant experience for the both of you, it is still some sort of interaction. Make sure you provide them with a treat when you do it :)

How old are they and how long have you had them? Does she actually run up to you just to nip you or is it only when you are holding her?

The best advice I can give right now is patience.

they are 2 from what I was told and i have had them a little over a month now. Yes she runs out from her hideaway nips me then runs back... and i have clipped Chloies nails and zoies are not bad at all but i know sooner or later ill either have to take them to get clipped or figure out how to get her to let me.
 
Thank you everyone for the advice, I am doing all the things you mentioned so I will keep pushing on... hopefully zoie will see that chloie is safe and realize im not some monster!
 
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