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Bonding Frantic running when trying to pick them up. What helps?

ShihTzuLover

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So my guys enjoy being held and petted, but I feel like no matter how careful and gentle I try to be, they frantically run from me when I try to pick them up. Then when I'm actually holding them, they're completely fine. What are some ways to help them feel calm when I'm picking them up? When I first brought them home I gently laid a dry rag over their backs and a little over their heads, and it was the most calm they've been, but I haven't done it since.
 

boofp

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You can use a shoe box.... set in cage and herd them into it.
mine do still do this and I have had them a year and a half
 

ShihTzuLover

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So you never actually hold them? Or you mean they don't panic once they're in the shoe box?
 

aeiou

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You can shoo them into the box and then take them out when they are on your lap.

However, guinea pigs are scared by nature, so two giant hands coming to pick them up is pretty freaky at first. For me, I've had my guinea pigs for like 6 months now and they are just beginning to get over it...some of them anyway. Some guinea pigs are just scaredy-cats (one of mine is) and you'll always have to use the shoe box or put up with the frantic running. The long slow process is getting them to eat from your hand, then letting you pet them while they eat from your hand, then slowly progressing towards picking them up calmly. One thing that helps (A LOT-I MEAN IT) is when you're lowering them back into the cage, the second they start squirming, you stop, and hold them above the cage (keep a good grip lol) and wait til they stop squirming, then lower, if they squirm again, stop, and keep repeating until they are standing on the floor of their cage (while you're holding them) and not squirming.
If you do that every time you put them back they pick up on it really well. It really helps calm them in general bc they see that panic and squirming gets them nowhere. Literally :)
 

SheWolfSilver

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I use a little hand towel and I just kind of throw it over them and scoop them up! Hubby has a different approach and he lets them go in the tunnel then puts a hand on either side and lifts it out. They get wise to that sometimes and won't go in so my way is faster. LOL
 

ShihTzuLover

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That's great advice, aeiou! Thanks so much. I'll try that. They do that also, they start trying to run out of my hands when I'm lowering them into the cage, so that will help a lot.
 

aeiou

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Yeah sort of like what [MENTION=26265]SheWolfSilver[/MENTION] said it is sometimes convenient to let them go into a hut and slide a hand under their belly and use the other hand to lift up the hut and sorta lift 'em up and put the hut back.

you're welcome! I'm just glad my experience can help someone
 
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