do piggies need picking up to bond with me?

freyamorrisey

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Hi, I’ve had my two guinea pigs since the end of May. They were about four months old when we got them and hadn’t been handled very much at all. I found it really difficult to catch them to handle them and felt like I was stressing them out more so I stopped trying to pick them up and sit with them instead. They both will feed from my hands and one of them will allow me to stroke her head a majority of the time, where as I cannot touch the other without her running. Will they still bond with me if I don’t pick them up? They both climb onto my lap to get to their food. I'm more than happy to just let them roam around me rather than holding them. I'm just worried they won’t bond with me enough if I don’t handle them.
thank you☺
 

Wiebke

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Hi, I’ve had my two guinea pigs since the end of May. They were about four months old when we got them and hadn’t been handled very much at all. I found it really difficult to catch them to handle them and felt like I was stressing them out more so I stopped trying to pick them up and sit with them instead. They both will feed from my hands and one of them will allow me to stroke her head a majority of the time, where as I cannot touch the other without her running. Will they still bond with me if I don’t pick them up? They both climb onto my lap to get to their food. I'm more than happy to just let them roam around me rather than holding them. I'm just worried they won’t bond with me enough if I don’t handle them.
thank you☺
Hi and welcome!

Your piggies have bonded with you and trust you. You have given them the most precious gift of all to so freely without being trained to become a living human cuddly toy but not much else. Most piggies when they are given the choice don't like being picked (cutting too close to prey animal instincts) and a the majority will actually only tolerate a shortish cuddle on the lap or none at all. You just have to wrap your head around the notion that what you have is so much more valuable than the narrow, human-centric image that prevalent on social media because it is the human concept of what is cute or funny that drives them and not the idea of what guinea pigs consider a happy home!

Most of my piggies only like a short cuddle if they are given the choice; some don't like to have any interaction at all (past the necessary regular health monitoring, weigh in and grooming) while a few will allow me to give them a little pet in the cage.

You may find these guide links here very interesting and helpful!
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

All these guides are part of our much wider practical and helpful New Owners guide collection, which is worth bookmarking and using as a resource. We have a whole section that deals with various aspects of human - cavy interaction fo instance. Unlike books, our guide format allows us to update and extend our information at need. The full, even wider guide collection can be accessed via the guides shortcut on the top bar.

But you are of course always welcome to ask any questions in our various Care sections or have a chat/picture post about your piggies in the Chat section.
 

David Piggie Lover

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Yes they will bond with you.
Sounds like they have started as you having time together.
As for catching them that is a problem and I've had pigs for years. .
Oh this forum are guides to help you in safe and good way to pick up a piggie. . Mine do anything to avoid it.
I'm always worried and it can happen a piggie can be hurt trying to grab one. .
I use a cuddle cup . .like a big fluffy net. . Don't chase them . . Gently encourage them to wobble in. . After a while when they know a love and a treat is coming they get used to it. . . Pls read guides and welcome
They love to sleep in cuddle cups also.
Here two of mine. . 20190718_074655.jpg
 

David Piggie Lover

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Hi and welcome!

Your piggies have bonded with you and trust you. You have given them the most precious gift of all to so freely without being trained to become a living human cuddly toy but not much else. Most piggies when they are given the choice don't like being picked (cutting too close to prey animal instincts) and a the majority will actually only tolerate a shortish cuddle on the lap or none at all. You just have to wrap your head around the notion that what you have is so much more valuable than the narrow, human-centric image that prevalent on social media because it is the human concept of what is cute or funny that drives them and not the idea of what guinea pigs consider a happy home!

Most of my piggies only like a short cuddle if they are given the choice; some don't like to have any interaction at all (past the necessary regular health monitoring, weigh in and grooming) while a few will allow me to give them a little pet in the cage.

You may find these guide links here very interesting and helpful!
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
Enrichment Ideas for Guinea Pigs

All these guides are part of our much wider practical and helpful New Owners guide collection, which is worth bookmarking and using as a resource. We have a whole section that deals with various aspects of human - cavy interaction fo instance. Unlike books, our guide format allows us to update and extend our information at need. The full, even wider guide collection can be accessed via the guides shortcut on the top bar.

But you are of course always welcome to ask any questions in our various Care sections or have a chat/picture post about your piggies in the Chat section.
Beat me too it lass. Xx
 

Wiebke

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However, I would strongly recommend that you conduct a life long once weekly weigh-in and body check. Boars additionally need their bits serviced on a regular basis (how often depends on their messiness).
You can use our pick up and whispering tips to assert your authority in ways that make total sense to your piggies to ensure better cooperation.

Weight - Monitoring and Management
Guinea pig body quirks - What is normal and what not?
Boar Care: Bits, Bums & Baths
More care/grooming tips at the top of the Daily Care section or in the New Owners guide collection.
 
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