Guinea Pigs sure are one of the cutest pets and very playful animals, no denying. Interestingly, they are also intelligent and trainable. But, always remember that a strong bond with them is an important foundation for training.
“Guinea pig training isn’t so much about having an obedient pet, but about bonding with them and providing valuable mental stimulation.”– Veterinarian Pippa Elliott MRCVS
So here are some basic tricks and their respective commands that you could teach them:
With a little practice, they can learn to come to you when called. For training, guinea pig food can be a great motivation! Remember to use your pet’s name when you begin its training, especially when you feed and offer treats.
- Take your guinea out of their cage and make them sit a few feet away from you.
- Next, call them by name (most important) and hold out the treat. See if they come to you when called.
- You can also try putting a trail of small food items between you and your guinea, with the last one in your hand. Wait for your guinea to follow the trail. If they do so, reward is a must! Reward your guinea with food or treat you have in your hand, as guinea pigs love to munch!
Practise this at least once a day and over the time they’ll learn to come to you when called.
Hence, command one of Guinea Pig Training, Check!
- Hold a treat above the head of your guinea.
- Say the command ‘STAND UP’ while you wait for them to reach out for the treat. While you’re doing so, allow them to have the treat once they’re standing. Repeat this command once or twice a day.
Keep practising and be patient. While a guinea pig treat works wonder for their training, the teaching will be complete when they follow the command without the treat.
Hence, command two of Guinea Pig Training, Check!
This command can be practised even if your guinea pig is inside the cage.
- Hold a treat in your hand and wait for your guinea to approach you.
- When they do, say the command ‘CIRCLE’ and move your hand in a circular motion slowly. Repeat the command while you do and wait for them to follow. Offer them the treat when they do.
Repeat this once a day. Since learning this command is a gradual process, be patient with them and establish an appropriate schedule.
Hence, command three of Guinea Pig Training, Check!
- Use a light weighted and an average sized ball, so that your guinea pig is able to manoeuvre it easily. You will also require a long and flat treat, a carrot stick for instance.
- Place the treat horizontally on the ground and then put the ball on top of it. Say the command ‘PUSH’ to encourage your guinea to push the ball off the treat.
Continue training every day for at least a week. After that time span, check if they push the ball without the treat.
Hence, command four of Guinea Pig Training, Check!
You will need a hoop, preferably one which is about 6-10 inches in diameter. As a substitute, a tennis racket without the strings would work as well. Ensure that there are no sharp edges on the hoop as your guinea can get hurt.
- Hold the hoop in a way that it is in contact with the bottom of your guinea’s cage.
- Hold the treat on the other side of the hoop. You can also have someone help you in holding the treat while you hold the loop.
- Call your guinea’s name and make sure they can see the treat on the other side of the hoop.
- Say the command ‘JUMP’. Additionally, you can give your guinea a gentle nudge in order to convince them to jump through the hoop.
Pat them and offer them a treat when they succeed in doing so.
Hence command five of Guinea Pig Training, Check!
Next, let us get you introduced with litter box training
Training your guinea to use the litter box can be a time-consuming process and will require constant patience from your end until you achieve the desired results.
- Recognise the spot in your guinea’s cage where they tend to excrete more often. Place a litter box there.
- Now put some faecal pellets in that along with a handful of hay inside the box.
Even though this is not a command based activity, this is an important part of training and will need your constant observation and patience. No matter how slow or fast they learn, constant appreciation is always required.
Hence, the last aspect of Guinea Pig Training, Check!
Remember, guinea pig training depends on how patient you are with their learning pace, it is a part of good guinea pig care. With the right technique and adequate guinea pig treats, we are sure that you’ll achieve the right results, being good and active learners that guinea pigs are.