Handling my guinea pigs and biting.....

Olizie

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So I’ve had my guinea pigs for around two weeks now and they’re both one year old. The previous owner said they’ve never bitten her and she showed me how to pick them up but the one she picked up didn’t seem really happy about it, I don’t know maybe it was just me but it seemed like as soon as she put it down it kind of jumped out of her hands and it didn’t really look happy about it....
So far I’m bonding with my guinea pigs, I’m able to hand feed them and I can sometimes stroke them on their noses but as soon as I gently reach out to stroke their head or back they jerk away... Also I’ve thought about giving them floor time but they don’t really want to come out either, so it would be quite good if I could pick them up as them I could give them floor time and it could help me get their trust. Should I try pick them up now them or should I wait till they’re completely fine with being stroked? Also what’s the best way to handle them? Finally, if I picked my guinea pig up for the first time, would they/how possible is it for them to bite me from being scared and nervous?
Thanks for all advice! 😊
 

Ad&Syom

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You can try to pet them on the the chin and cheeks instead of head and back. And if you're afraid they might bite you, then they made it understandable that they don't want too much contact yet. Though biting a human on purpose is not very likely.

Can you use boxes or pillows as steps so they can go outside of the cage by themselves ?
 

LMPigs

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Due to being prey animals, most guinea pigs will never be happy about being grabbed and picked up. Even though they might be perfectly happy to have a snuggle once you've got them (or they may not, it depends on the character of the pig) the actual grabbing part they do not like!

Accordingly, if you want to move them from place to place (e.g. cage to floor time) it is a good idea to use a bed, carrier, hidey or cosy to pick them up in. You can even train them to come into you particular conveyance if you present it in the same way each time (and bribe with food).

Biting is actually quite rare since it would be a last resort coming from panic/desperation. You can find out more about prey animal instincts and behaviour in this guide: Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips

This guide is part of the very helpful and highly recommend new owners information bundle produced by the forum and available here: Quick Information Bundle For Wannabe Owners
 

Wiebke

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So I’ve had my guinea pigs for around two weeks now and they’re both one year old. The previous owner said they’ve never bitten her and she showed me how to pick them up but the one she picked up didn’t seem really happy about it, I don’t know maybe it was just me but it seemed like as soon as she put it down it kind of jumped out of her hands and it didn’t really look happy about it....
So far I’m bonding with my guinea pigs, I’m able to hand feed them and I can sometimes stroke them on their noses but as soon as I gently reach out to stroke their head or back they jerk away... Also I’ve thought about giving them floor time but they don’t really want to come out either, so it would be quite good if I could pick them up as them I could give them floor time and it could help me get their trust. Should I try pick them up now them or should I wait till they’re completely fine with being stroked? Also what’s the best way to handle them? Finally, if I picked my guinea pig up for the first time, would they/how possible is it for them to bite me from being scared and nervous?
Thanks for all advice! 😊

Hi and welcome

Please take the time to carefully read these guides here; you will find them very helpful!
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
" Biting" And What You Can Do (Biting, Tweaking, Nibbling and Nipping)

These guides are all part of our very useful New Owners guide collection, which has a whole chapter on settling in and interacting with guinea pigs as well as lots of other helpful information on learning to understand behaviour as well as learning what is normal and what not etc.
Here is the link; you may want to bookmark it to use as a helpful resource. The guides format allows us to update our information, unlike a book: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 
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