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Bonding My guinea pigs won't let me touch them

Vland

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
1
Hi! So I've had my two guineas since June and they just won't let me touch them. They'll eat from my hand and play around while I clean their cage but I can't touch them at all. And I get that they're prey and are used to running away but all the tips I see to get them used to you are to pick them up but I physically can't do that. I can't even catch them. I used a fleece pouch for a little bit to kind of snag them in but they've caught on and will only go in as far as they have to to get the treat.ive even left the pouch in there with them for days so they don't just associate it with me picking them up.

Anyways I'm kind of getting frustrated at this point and would like any tips on how to get them to feel more comfortable with me I guess.
 
When I first brought my guinea pigs home, they were terrified of my hand too. So what I did was leave my hand in their cage until they got more comfortable. You can just lay your hand in their cage and let them sniff it and maybe climb over your hand. It always helps to talk to them in a cheerful voice.

Another thing that you can try is picking them up daily. It’s good to get guinea pigs used to being held so holding them for brief periods of time gets them used to it. You can hold them until they stop struggling and get almost bored of being in your hands. Give them treats while holding them to show that being picked up only leads to good things.

I know that I love watching tv with a Guinea pig on my lap. Maybe you could try that. Just make sure to put a towel over your lap as guinea pigs are prone to pee and poo on you! :) After daily handling they learn that being held is nothing to fear and they’ll stop running away.

if you really need to catch them, like for nail trims, cage cleaning etc. First show them your hands. Sudden hands grabbing at them can send guinea pigs on panic mode, as it feels like a hawk grabbing them. With your right (or left if your left handed) make a c shape and place this right behind the guinea pigs ears and in front of their shoulder blades so that they can’t move forward. Hold them firm, but don’t choke them. Then with my left hand, I scoop up their behind. Make sure to hold the guinea pig close to you so that they feel safe. I’ve fostered the most terrified guinea pigs and picking them up this way has always worked. I find to be less stressful for them.

I know you already mentioned that guinea pigs are prey animals but I just wanted to let you know that *most* guinea pigs will be fully “tame”. I’ve fostered many guinea pigs and even the most cuddly ones bolted at sudden movements. All guinea pigs will get on edge when there are loud noises or hands reaching down on them. It’s just in their instincts to bolt at danger. With that all being said, guinea pigs can become very cuddly pets. My guinea pigs now, don’t mind if I pick them up and my guinea pig, Lily will fall asleep on your lap!
 
My daughter told me there is a Tik Toker and it took her a year of hand feeding to get her piggies to be more friendly. Don't lose hope and don't assume you are dong a bad job.:cheerful:
 
My daughter told me there is a Tik Toker and it took her a year of hand feeding to get her piggies to be more friendly. Don't lose hope and don't assume you are dong a bad job.:cheerful:

I don’t know if this is just my piggies, but for me it took about two years of daily handling for my guinea pigs to get where they are now. At first they were TERRIFIED! They would never come out of their hidey houses and were hesitant to eat from my hand. Now, whenever I pass their cage, they come running out and start squeaking with joy, they rarely run from me and they are super easy to catch. So yes, I think that it depends on the guinea pigs.
 
I'm so relieved with my girls. I've had them less than two weeks, and they will take food from my hands (quite eagerly) and I take them out of there enclosure for quality time a few times a day. I do have to get them, they're sometimes a little squeamish at first and then settle right in.
 
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