Train Your Guinea Pig To Sit Up
Just being in the presence of a guinea pig is usually enchanting enough. But training your guinea pig to sit up can help not only impress non-guinea pig lovers, but help strengthen the bond between you and your piggy. Not all guinea pigs can sit up, so don't be disappointed if your piggy is one of those.
Is Your Guinea Pig Healthy Enough To Sit Up?
Sitting up takes some strength that not all guinea pigs possess. Senior guinea pigs, those recovering from illness or those who have ever had a leg or back injury will not be well enough to be able to sit up.
Take time every day to observe how your guinea pig normally plays and cleans. Guinea pigs may sit up all by themselves as part of playing with other guinea pigs or for grooming. If the guinea pig doesn't topple over or call out a piercing EEEK!, then you can safely assume your guinea pig is strong enough to be trained to sit up.
Getting Your Piggy's Attention
Guinea pigs are extremely interested in everything at the end of their nose. They have to give a little nibble at anything new in order to determine if the new object is good to eat. Find out what your guinea pig will focus his or her attention on. For some, like the piggy pictured, it's a baby carrot. Others might like a hay cube, Romaine lettuce leaf or a yogurt drop. Other safe foodstuffs are listed here.
Up And Away
Let your piggy see and sniff the treat. Then slowly raise it up, making sure the piggy follows it with his or her head, stretching up for it. Reward then. Then, try again with another tidbit, this time raising it a little higher so that one foreleg comes off of the ground. Reward again.
Guinea pigs are individuals and all learn at different speeds. But soon, maybe even in the first week, you will raise the treat up from Piggy's nose to over the shoulders. Piggy should stand up on his or her hind legs, even ever so briefly, to grab the treat.
Don't praise your guinea pig in a loud voice, like you would a dog. Loud voices tend to scare guinea pigs. Keep your voice soft and "coo-ee". The treat is enough of a reward for most guinea pigs.
Your guinea pig might need to get used to sitting up. Some can sit up for quite a while, over a minute, and some for only a second (if that). You're not looking to break any world record for guinea big hind leg standing. You just want to do some playful and activity with your guinea pig that the both of you will enjoy.