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Your Guinea Pig Hates You | How To Make Friends With Your Guinea Pig

Updated on March 9, 2010

We get guinea pigs because we love how cute and cuddly they seem to be. But unfortunately, many people who buy guinea pigs soon find that they spend all their time running away in terror and if you want cuddles you have to chase them about a bit before you pick them up, at which point they simply freeze in terror, allowing you to pet them, but hardly bonding with you in any real way.

The best way to befriend a guinea pig is when it is a baby. As soon as a guinea pig is ready to leave its mother, and ideally, beforehand if the person breeding the guinea pigs has any sense, guinea pigs should be gently handled and kept in close proximity to humans. Guinea pigs that grow up seeing humans appear once or twice a day to throw food at them are very rarely tame.

If you have already gotten your guinea pig at 6 months of age or more and find him or her to be scared of you, it is not the end of the world, but you have a harder row to hoe, as the farmers say.

The first thing to realize, is that guinea pigs don't like to be stood over. Most guinea pig hutches are located on the ground, which means even children tower above them. The first step to making your guinea pigs feel comfortable is getting on their level. That can involve raising the cage, or simply getting down on the ground at their level.

The second thing to do is to get your guinea pigs to associate you with food. I've found that guinea pigs love grass. I mean LOVE grass. More than carrots, more than apples, more than any of the tasty vegetables they are supposed to be fed. You can use this to your advantage by holding out some grass for your guinea pigs. They will then have to approach you to get the food. Let them sneak up cautiously and then scurry away with their spoils. Do this enough times and they will soon learn that you are not an enemy to be feared, but a bringer of good treats.

Be aware that most guinea pigs are going to run if you try to pick them up. It is simply the way their brains are wired. However, some guinea pigs may mellow with age and become quite docile. If you treat your guinea pigs gently and take time to make friends with them slowly, and bribe them with lovely foods you may find that they will run out to greet you, squeaking with excitement when they see you.


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