Gaining Our New Pups' Trust - Did We Mess It Up?!

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guineabee

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My husband and I are guinea pig parents for the first time! We bought 2 4-month old girls 3 days ago. We got them from Petsmart and they are not used to human contact really at all (from what the employee told us).

The night we bought them we put them in their cage and left them alone all night and most of the morning. Then I took them out the 2nd day and held them close to me and let them roam on the floor (because I read about getting them to get used to human contact.)

BUT now I just read we need to leave them alone for a couple of days to let them get used to their surroundings! We've taken them out only once a day for about an hour for 3 days straight. Now I'm worried they hate us because we pestered them too early.

They're getting less timid and getting used to our presence...but still I'm worried we took them out to early.

Should we keep taking them out once a day every day or take a few days' break?
 

Wiebke

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My husband and I are guinea pig parents for the first time! We bought 2 4-month old girls 3 days ago. We got them from Petsmart and they are not used to human contact really at all (from what the employee told us).

The night we bought them we put them in their cage and left them alone all night and most of the morning. Then I took them out the 2nd day and held them close to me and let them roam on the floor (because I read about getting them to get used to human contact.)

BUT now I just read we need to leave them alone for a couple of days to let them get used to their surroundings! We've taken them out only once a day for about an hour for 3 days straight. Now I'm worried they hate us because we pestered them too early.

They're getting less timid and getting used to our presence...but still I'm worried we took them out to early.

[you]Should we keep taking them out once a day every day or take a few days' break?[/you]
Hi and welcome

Please give your girls a break and use the tips in these links here to settle them in. Avoid appearing as predators and make use of friendly guinea pig behaviours to build up trust slowly. The more you avoid triggering their prey animal instincts, the sooner they will come round. But take it slowly; it is often a one step forward, two steps back affair. If you have pushed too far, step back and re-start at a lower level; it you are doing things right, they should come round more quickly every time.

I prefer to concentrate to get any skittish piggy to eat from my hand and to start trusting me first before I get seriously into handling. But then, I tend to see things from a guinea pig perspective and enjoy them as fascinating animals in their own right than just human-centric pets.
Full marks for the store to not have sold you guinea pigs as animated cuddly toys, as so many shops sadly do and to have warned you that you need to start right at the beginning.

How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
How To Understand Guinea Pig Instincts And Speak Piggy Body Language
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

You can find lots more information on guinea pig behaviours, learning what is normal and what not, how to spot illness; diet and care etc. in our New Owners' bundle for a hopefully smooth start. We have tried to combine the most often asked questions with some important need to know aspects that can help you to avoid major problems later on; especially when it comes to accessing and paying for costly vet care. Illness and emergencies never happen at a convenient time!
New and Wannabe Guinea Pig Owners Corner

Since we have got member from all over the world, we find it helpful if you please added your country, state/province or UK county, so we can tailor any advice to what is available and relevant where you are straight away at all times. Click on your username on the top, then got personal details and scroll down to location. This makes it appear underneath your username in every post you make. Thank you!
 

guineabee

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Hi and welcome

Please give your girls a break and use the tips in these links here to settle them in. Avoid appearing as predators and make use of friendly guinea pig behaviours to build up trust slowly. The more you avoid triggering their prey animal instincts, the sooner they will come round. But take it slowly; it is often a one step forward, two steps back affair. If you have pushed too far, step back and re-start at a lower level; it you are doing things right, they should come round more quickly every time.

I prefer to concentrate to get any skittish piggy to eat from my hand and to start trusting me first before I get seriously into handling. But then, I tend to see things from a guinea pig perspective and enjoy them as fascinating animals in their own right than just human-centric pets.
Full marks for the store to not have sold you guinea pigs as animated cuddly toys, as so many shops sadly do and to have warned you that you need to start right at the beginning.

How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
How To Understand Guinea Pig Instincts And Speak Piggy Body Language
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

You can find lots more information on guinea pig behaviours, learning what is normal and what not, how to spot illness, diet and care in our New Owners' bundle for a hopefully smooth start. We have tried to combine the most often asked questions with some important need to know aspects that can help you to avoid major problems later on; especially when it comes to accessing and paying for costly vet care. Illness and emergencies never happen at a convenient time!
New and Wannabe Guinea Pig Owners Corner

Since we have got member from all over the world, we find it helpful if you please added your country, state/province or UK county, so we can tailor any advice to what is available and relevant where you are straight away at all times. Click on your username on the top, then got personal details and scroll down to location. This makes it appear underneath your username in every post you make. Thank you!
Thank you VERY much, Wiebke!
 

flowerfairy

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Hello and welcome.

I bought two lovely young sows from a local rescue (one that I found thanks to the rescue locator on here). They were very skittish and although I left them alone for a few days I then handled them daily for about fifteen minutes. Neither of them were keen.

Fast forward a few months and I now put a hide on the floor for them to climb into then transfer them into their floor time pen giving the odd stroke first. I have slowed down the pace of handling as they were teeth chattering (Jingle) and squeaking (Mistletoe) to show their displeasure.

You sound like caring guinea pig parents and I am sure that with the great advice from Wiebke and from your observations of your sows you will be fine. Enjoy!
 

Angelah

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I have got two new boy guinea pigs two weeks ago, after the third day i got them out but they were so scared, I'm just handing them food and letting them smell my hand and talking gently to them while sitting at the cage, i think il carry on doing this until they get more comfortable with me, its so hard not to pick them up as they are so tiny but id rather gain there trust first!
 

sport_billy

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Don't worry, you wont have set anything back...

We are like Wiebke and tend to hand feed in the cage first before going into lap times

It is worth offering food to your piggy while she is in her cage and hopefully after time they will take it off you - Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

Lee
 
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