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How do you get your Guinea Pigs to like you?

(30 Posts)
LauraMarling Tue 07-Mar-17 16:16:01

Just that really?
Got 2 females a week ago.
Done all the suggested things.
Took our time. I am very patient.
But no improvement in our relationship...

What can I do?
Feel like the more time I spend with them the more they dislike me.

EastMidsGPs Tue 07-Mar-17 17:25:03

Very early days in your relationship.
Talk to them all you can, and daily cuddles - if they are young and skittish you may want to wrap them carefully in a small towel or fleece. They'll get warm and snuggly.
But most of all a bag of parsley is your friend .. never known a piggie not like parsley .. simply hand feed them .. soon you'll have friends for life 🐹🐹

LauraMarling Tue 07-Mar-17 18:17:39

They never approach to be hand fed though!!
I've spent most of today being patient trying to hand feed and speak to them?!
They just want to be away from me

WhiskyChick Tue 07-Mar-17 18:28:59

Parsley or coriander. I can't abide coriander but it's worth it for happy piggies. A week is early days. Keep doing the same thing every time you feed them, try not to loom too much over them.

EastMidsGPs Tue 07-Mar-17 18:46:18

I don't think they are bright enough to dislike smile
They are still getting used to their new routine. They'll soon be reacting to you, and wheeking loudly when they hear you or the rustle of a bag

LauraMarling Tue 07-Mar-17 19:43:08

Thanks for the reassurances !!
Will keep at it.
They are too cute not too grin

FernieB Tue 07-Mar-17 20:29:05

About 6 weeks ago we adopted a sow (Madampig) to go with our 2 year old bereaved boar (Gingerpig). She was exceedingly nervy when she arrived with us and despite spending her days with the excessively bold and confident Ginger - who comes running to meet me every time I go near - she still retreats to an igloo if I approach the cage. Just in the last couple of days she's started putting her head out to look at me and take some food from my hand, but her body stays firmly in the igloo.

So don't worry about it. It's only been a week and it takes time for them to settle and get used to you and your routine with them. Some pigs are more nervy than others and will always be a bit skittish, but it doesn't mean they don't like you. They're prey animals and instinct tells them to hide when something larger than them approaches. They love their food and that's the way to their hearts.

Hiddeninplainsight Wed 08-Mar-17 09:20:39

We got two piggies a week ago too smile One is 18 months (neutered boy), the other 9 weeks (girl). The boy is very confident, but both are a bit jumpy if we go and talk to them in their cage. The girl spends a lot of time in their hidey box, but comes out if caramel (boy) comes out to eat. What I have found is that neither are very up for being stroked in the cage. We tried them on DD's lap on a chair but they were super wriggly together and chocolate gets upset if caramel isn't with her. So, we have been using the big box the cage came in as a sit-in guinea pig run. My children sit in it, and tempt the piggies up for cuddles with parsley and broccoli (which chocolate would do anything for). They use their tunnel as a slope which chocolate likes. The system works really well because both piggies are getting lots of cuddles and are happy and gaining confidence. If you don't happen to have a giant box spare, maybe try to create a secure little space and do the same thing. Caramel is definitely much happier with lap cuddles now, but I would imagine that his mature years and confidence in humans helps. OP if your guinea pigs are babies, and particularly if they happen to be pet shop babies, they will not have that familiarity, so are probably just going to be much slower to win round. Don't give up. smile they will love you soon.

fortifiedwithtea Wed 08-Mar-17 09:37:43

Use their names when you talk to them and especially when offering food. Some guinea pigs learn to respond to their names, some don't. Shai lived to 5+ years and never answered to her name but I think she knew it. Millie usually responds with a heads up or wheek despite this not being her original name. She came to us from a rescue aged 2.5 and she is now 6+ years.

Also Millie only accepts head strokes in her hutch whilst she is eating. If no food she runs away from any hand entering her hutch. She hates being picked up and is quite restless sitting on laps.

FernieB Wed 08-Mar-17 11:28:52

I bought a cheap plastic cat litter tray which, with an old towel in the bottom, makes a great lap tray. My DDs quite often cart our pigs off to their bedrooms in the tray. The pigs will sit in it for ages and much nicer than they do on knees. And it doesn't matter if they wee in it!

EastMidsGPs Wed 08-Mar-17 13:39:00

My DH sings to ours blush

But then he's very strange hmm

Sewingbeatshousework Wed 08-Mar-17 13:48:19

I've got 7 and only 2 like me, I lost one last week and he liked me also to be fair. I got the first lot 18 months ago, and most recent last autumn. It takes a long time to gain their trust so think long term. Mine are all rescues so that could make them wary, and although I spend time with them I don't handle them unless I have to. Most will take food from me, some after a couple of weeks, other a couple of months.

Here's a photo of one of my boys with his trio of girls - the girls aren't keen on me, maybe they are just jealous 😁😂

EastMidsGPs Wed 08-Mar-17 14:22:01

Our Sadie doesn't like me much, but she adores DH. Chats to him, wheeks for him and tells him all the terrible things I do to her. She ignores her name also, but responds to Sweetheart when DH calls her that.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 08-Mar-17 14:23:01

This thread has moved me.

dietcokeandwine Wed 08-Mar-17 18:58:27

Lovely pigs, Sewing.

OP, I'd agree with the others: it will take time, patience and food grin Personality will inevitably play a part too, some pigs will just naturally be calmer than others. Of our current four, three are very happily to sit on a lap and snuggle; the fourth sees no point in a cuddle unless food is being offered, and never really relaxes when being held; he's just a restless, antsy kind of guinea pig by nature.

Our most recent arrival came to us as a baby (about 8 weeks) just over a month ago and is only now beginning to show signs of becoming more confident: she will remain sitting in the main part of the hutch when I approach it, rather than scuttling instantly away to hide. She's not yet coming to take food from the hutch bars, although I think she will soon. In contrast, one of our other girls, who came to us at about a year old from a rescue, was taking food from our hands by day two...

I don't know if any of mine recognise their names, but they definitely know my voice. They tolerate other family members, but my arrival is usually greeted with enthusiasm. If they hear me talking they'll squeak wildly in the hope of being offered food and are usually successful, they are spoiled rotten

Keep at it OP, they are fabulous little creatures once they are settled in.

LauraMarling Thu 09-Mar-17 06:54:19

Thank you all sooo much !

I was beginning to feel like I had Piggie PND!

Going to get a lap tray and a pen today and a few more wooden toys!

I think also my confidence with them is shaky. I'm not ready to take them out without DP around. Will need to work on it.

EastMidsGPs Thu 09-Mar-17 08:40:05

Don't loom over them to pick them up they'll think you are an eagle trying to eat them !
try and get them from the side ..

In a few weeks they'll be very different piggies, it is so cute when they sit waiting for you 😃

carefreeeee Thu 09-Mar-17 12:45:41

2 weeks is soon. Don't pick them up, just offer food to begin with and gradually they will come closer till you can hand feed them and tickle them on the nose.

Mine are very tame but still hate being picked up - I don't think it's natural for them to have cuddles with their owners so don't be surprised if they never really get to like it (some individuals may of course)

LatinForTelly Thu 09-Mar-17 12:59:06

It's taken a year to get our two new ones tame-ish. As in, when I go into their room now, they come out squeaking, and if I have no greens, will come right up to my hands to sniff at them. They will then let me tickle under their chins.

They'll still run away if I move suddenly though, or try to catch them. But I do get a nice welcome. They were bought for the children who are not that interested in them (grrr) so they don't get that much human contact except a chat once or twice a day with me!

I'm sure with more contact, they could have been tamer more quickly. Good luck, a week is very soon.

damnedgrubble Thu 09-Mar-17 12:59:26

Grapes! Our pigs will do anything for a grape.
We have an old man, a toddler and a baby, they all have their own space where they go when they don't want to be touched so we leave them be then. With the baby we have a blanket for him to snuggle in or he goes down our t shirts.

FernieB Thu 09-Mar-17 13:37:47

Be firm and decisive when you pick them up, so they don't get chance to wriggle away. We've found the worst wriggle time is when returning them to their cage. They see the cage and wriggle to get into it. We now make sure we return them backwards (rear end first) so they don't notice where they're going and don't wriggle.

TimeIhadaNameChange Thu 09-Mar-17 14:58:57

Food. They'll soon learn to come to you if you have food (and even if you haven't, on the offchance that you do, and the assumption you'll go and get them some as they are STARVING!!!!!)

Out of the three boys I had, one loved cuddles and would insist on climbing on my lap if I was on the floor with them and curling up for a sleep. He'd get jealous if I had one of the others up there. One of them really wasn't keen at all and only climbed up of his own accord once in his life. The other was fairly disabled from a young age so couldn't climb up anyway, but when he was on his own after his brothers died soon learnt to love snuggles. (I'd have got another one to befriend him but he didn't behaviour as a GP should due to his troubles so getting another would have been unfair on him and the other one.)

My girls love me, except when I clean their cage, and are not happy that I only feed them twice a day (twice an hour is more like it in their opinion), though when they tried to convince the vet I starve them he pointed out their squidgy bellies belied them! Neither of them like being picked up and cuddled at all (though, interesting, the one who shivers on my lap loves being stroked in her cage, whilst the other won't let me stroke her but is fairly calm if out).

HecateAntaia Thu 09-Mar-17 15:01:00

food.
piggies are the labradors of the rodent world ime.
ive never had one that wasnt a relentless eating machine.

i love piggies so much

DaffodilTime Thu 09-Mar-17 15:25:54

I would sit near them quietly or chattily as long as possible every day- this worked for us as we gradually built up a strong bond. If you've got any work or stuff to do just do it where they are!

MeadowHay Thu 09-Mar-17 15:30:23

2 weeks is absolutely nothing for guinea pigs. I've had my two for three years and their behaviour is still changing now. I think it took about a year for the most skittish to start actually enjoying having a cuddle. Mine were rescues though and one of them is very skittish by nature. It can take many weeks to get them to eat from your hand if they're very skittish, it's totally normal, you just have to be patient and keep at it. It's difficult because you need to get the balance between encouraging positive interactions (i.e. with food for them lol) and giving them enough space and free time so you're not always in their face. I used to sit by the cage and read aloud so they got used to my voice.

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