Bonding Advice please?

CMaz13

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Hi All

I have had my two boars for about 4months now. They are happy and content but I would really like to be a little more bonded with them.
I see videos and photos online and I would love them to be like that with me! Am I not spending enough time with them - or is it just a case that they are who they are and I have to accept them for who they are?

Tyrion enjoys strokes but doesn't like to be held for too long. He just wants to explore! He would rarely just sit and chill with me but he is very confident.
Jon Snow is still very shy - he lets me stroke him when hes eating and he doesn't mind being held but I wonder if it's more out of fear.

Am I not spending enough time with them? I talk to them throughout the day (because I am working from home) I've started to let them run about the living room so they are getting exercise most days now. I tend to hold them about 2/3days a week because they don't like it that much - I used to do this daily but then got discouraged. One positive - when I have family around and they hold them - they came running to me and wanted to be near me/as close to be as possible and didn't mind me holding them then but really I want them to be like that with me all the time and not when we have scary strangers over! Also plenty of popcorning/excitement when they are in the cage and I am talking to them/giving them attention.

Realistically and honestly - How much quality time do you spend with your piggies? What does your weekly routine look like? Should I be spending more time on them.....to get them to really trust me/can just chill with me/enjoy my company more. Or is that unlikely to every happen based on their personalities?

Any tips or advice would be appreciated! :) :)
 

Piggies&buns

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What you see on videos online is not a true representation of life with piggies. Most don’t like being held or touched, they’re happier to be sat and watched and talked to. The odd stroke under the chin and handfeeding is the most a lot of piggies will tolerate.
The only time I hold my two is for health checks. They don’t like being held so it makes it stressful for them and me. Dexter doesn’t mind being touched but he only allows a quick chin rub on his terms. They will both will take food from my hand (although it took Popcorn almost two years before he did it consistently), they will both come to the front of the cage when I approach, are interested in me when I sit with them etc. This is as much as it is ever going to be. They don’t want more than that but they don’t run away when I approach, they do take food from me and they are interested in me - this means they have trust and we have a good bond.
 
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Wiebke

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Hi All

I have had my two boars for about 4months now. They are happy and content but I would really like to be a little more bonded with them.
I see videos and photos online and I would love them to be like that with me! Am I not spending enough time with them - or is it just a case that they are who they are and I have to accept them for who they are?

Tyrion enjoys strokes but doesn't like to be held for too long. He just wants to explore! He would rarely just sit and chill with me but he is very confident.
Jon Snow is still very shy - he lets me stroke him when hes eating and he doesn't mind being held but I wonder if it's more out of fear.

Am I not spending enough time with them? I talk to them throughout the day (because I am working from home) I've started to let them run about the living room so they are getting exercise most days now. I tend to hold them about 2/3days a week because they don't like it that much - I used to do this daily but then got discouraged. One positive - when I have family around and they hold them - they came running to me and wanted to be near me/as close to be as possible and didn't mind me holding them then but really I want them to be like that with me all the time and not when we have scary strangers over! Also plenty of popcorning/excitement when they are in the cage and I am talking to them/giving them attention.

Realistically and honestly - How much quality time do you spend with your piggies? What does your weekly routine look like? Should I be spending more time on them.....to get them to really trust me/can just chill with me/enjoy my company more. Or is that unlikely to every happen based on their personalities?

Any tips or advice would be appreciated! :) :)
Hi!

Please read the very helpful tips and information in the guides below. We cannot repeat them all in every post when it takes us days to write a guide!

Unfortunately, online videos give you a completely misleading image of guinea pigs. You have to keep in mind that the demand and distribution is driven entirely by human selection on what they want to see and think is cute. It is by no means a representation of reality. Who wants to watch videos of squirming and finger tweaking piggies that are anything but happy sitting with a human and being pawed all over for any length of time?

Please also accept that guinea pigs are prey animals, first and foremost. They are not naturally born animated cuddly toys but a species with species specific needs and personalities in their own right, not just an extension of human needs and desires.

Please consider that interaction is soooo much more than the very narrow and - for guinea pigs - often stressful and/or boring laptime if you concentrate on piggy (and not human) centred activities that you can share and both have fun with. This creates a much happier bond for both sides and allows mutual trust and love to grow.

Here are our guides:
Settling In And Making Friends With Guinea Pigs - A Guide
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs
 

Wiebke

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Thank you! You are so right :)
Take the time to read up on guinea pig instincts and a spot of piggy whispering - it is much easier for piggies if you make sense to them rather than expecting them to figure out humans first; as well as plenty of ideas how you can interact with your piggies.
 
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