Girls Behaviour

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Dundee, Scotland.
Hi,

I have 3 male guinea pigs and 2 female, and i am concerned about my little girls behaviour. My male guinea pigs are so outgoing and constantly seek attention. When they are out playing they even follow me about like little dogs, but when it comes to my girls they act the total opposite even though they get the exact same treatment as my boys. They run and hide every time I walk in the room. The shake when picked up. When I let them out to play they just hide in their little huts. I have tried handling them more and bribing them with fresh veg but they are having none of it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can encourage more confident behaviour in my girlies? Thanks,

Jody
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,890
Reaction score
53,603
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
For how long have you had them and what do you know about their background? Have they already been together when you got them?

Perhaps you can help to destress them by reorginising the pick up. I have had good success with skittish rescues by using an upturned pigloo for transport, but a padded shoe box with one small side cut off will do as well. Place the box in their cage/hutch with a little treat in the back. Wait for a couple of days until they are comfy with it and have even had a nap inside before you start moving the box. I always place a treat in the back and say "walkie walkie walkie" when I want a piggy to go in. It can take a bit of time, but most piggies twig it and are pretty cooperative afterwards. if necessary pick up the piggiy and gently place it in the box until it gets it. That way, you cut down on the chasing/handling that cuts so close to their prey animal instincts.


Talk to the girls as soon as you come into the room and try not to loom over them. Be patient and persistent; they will come round - and when they do, it is an ever so precious moment!

When you let them run, try to sprinkle the space with treats and hidey places (cardboards boxes, towels pinned over the top etc.) from which they can explore the space. Bird of prey are one of the main predators and open space means danger at first to many piggies. Give it time, but persist.

Be as encouraging as you can and praise them lavishly. "Good girl" works for guinea pigs, too. Try to express your feelings with your voice. Piggies react less to the words than to the tone and melody.

Here are more tips: http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=36239

All my piggies are rescues. Some of them were very skittish and it has taken me a long time to bring them round, but round they have all come! Admittedly, I am a sucker for skittish piggies...
 
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
983
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
B/Ham
Thanks Wiebke.

My 2 girls are only just coming around after 8 weeks...i have always picked them up in a cuddle cup to avoid the chasing around bit..they would run like little bums on fire...it has worked well.

I give them a run every day for 2/3 hours and lap time for as long as they will stay still..about 3 mins lol. I use a small baby brush to groom them..i know they love it but they still need to settle down a little :)
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
76,890
Reaction score
53,603
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Give them time! It is much easier if you already have a piggy who is used to people and all the pet stuff, but it is also very satisfying bringing piggies round and watching them slwoly discover the joys of pethood. Some piggies will never be big cuddlers. Have you tried both girls together on your lap?
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Dundee, Scotland.
Thank you Wiebke

I have had Moniqua for around a year and a half. She had previous owners who neglected her. When I went round to pick her up she was in a tiny cage and had no hidey holes, hay or nuggets. Poor little thing was terrified. After 6 months I decided to get her a friend to keep her company and maybe encourage her to come out of her shell a little. Instead Maggie began acting the same was as Moniqua (maybe a because she was a baby and looked up to Moniqua?). You have mentioned some good ideas on how to improve this and I will start trying them today when I get home. Thanks again,

Jody
 

Freela

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
5,548
Reaction score
4,402
Points
1,350
Location
Canada
I think your last post probably sums it up... the older pig was neglected and didn't learn to trust people. The little pig is looking at the older pig for behaviour cues. I think the different pickup is something good to try... I also think that spending a whole lot of time with the younger pig to get her comfortable may pay off with both, because they do learn by watching one another. I hope that both come around soon! If it makes you feel any better, my pig Sundae was so shy when we first got her... she was about 12 weeks old and had not been handled much. She was so nervous that we didn't even see for a few days after we brought her home... she hid in the pigloo and only came out at night- if she heard a sound she would bolt back in the pigloo. We've had her about six months now and she is now the biggest mooch you've ever seen... constantly coming over the bars to see us, constantly wheeking for food, and on floor time she will follow me around to see if maybe I am hiding a carrot in my pocket. They can come around with a bit of time and patience!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top