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Handling nightmare

FernEden

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#1
Hi everyone! Sorry if this is the wrong section!
I'm having a proper nightmare handling my piggies at the moment. For some reason, they've taken 20 steps backwards and it's like they're brand new pigs again. They used to toddle into their little tent very nicely and I could transport them to their run for floor time, I used to have to convince Florence to go in a little bit but Lola would just potter in straight away. Something has changed and now they refuse to go near the tent, they hide and run and I can't get ahold of them without feeling like I'm stressing them out, tonight I ended up giving up and they had their veggies as take out rather than in the run restaurant.

They've never been the best piggies to handle, they've always been very scared and even weighing them has been a problem. I've been trying to pick them up and pop them on my knee under a towel but they freak out even under the towel. I feel like they're missing out and I just want them to be happy and not scared and snuggled but they aren't letting it happen at the moment. Does anyone have any tips on getting them more comfortable? I've tried everything in the new guinea pigs pinned posts for the last year to no avail! Maybe they're stubborn little girls? I may try and clicker train them to at least go into a tube or tent, maybe I should swap the tent out for something else because they seem to be petrified of that exact one! Please help, I just want them to know I love them and I want them to be able to have their floor time every day!
 

Betsy

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#2
I think changing the tent maybe a good idea. Maybe something frightened them when they were in/going in/coming out of the tent and now they won't go near it.
 

sport_billy

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#3
Hmmmmmm... Give it a few days and try again with another conveyance. Do you use food at lap times? We find the bribery helps.

How long have you had them?
 

FernEden

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#4
Hmmmmmm... Give it a few days and try again with another conveyance. Do you use food at lap times? We find the bribery helps.

How long have you had them?
I try and use food at lap times but they're so anxious that they won't eat it and just wiggle endlessly. I've had them a year now and we get so far with handling and then they go back 10 steps. They'll eat from my hand, they'll come up to me when they're in the cage and sometimes I can stroke them but as soon as it comes to getting them out, they just freak out
 

sport_billy

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#5
I try and use food at lap times but they're so anxious that they won't eat it and just wiggle endlessly. I've had them a year now and we get so far with handling and then they go back 10 steps. They'll eat from my hand, they'll come up to me when they're in the cage and sometimes I can stroke them but as soon as it comes to getting them out, they just freak out
I do understand, we have had pigs like this. But being able to touch them in cage is a huge step and trust on there part. Our 1 year old piggy would never dream of letting me touch her :))

It sounds like your piggies have got confident enough on lap to tell you they are a little unsure.... Try laptimes for 30 seconds then pop them back.... Offer food then home. After a week then increase it slowly. We found that having the piggies out in there cosies can sometimes help really skittish piggies
 

Hetja

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#6
I know exactly how you feel, I have a girl piggy, which came to my home at the age of 1.5 years and was so scared of humans that she ran into the walls of the hidies and the cage as soon as she heard or saw one of us. Now after nearly nine months it’s possible to pass the cage without scaring her.

A good thing to begin is just to sit next to their cage and talk with them (or read loudly) so they get used to you and your voice. Then you could put in a carrier or their little tent and put in some food ( very small pieces so they can’t take it out and eat somewhere else). So they know this is a good place. When they like to go in there you can start to take them out of the cage for floor time.

Clickertraining is a very good idea. My skittish girl gained a lot of confidence with Clickertraining. I first just clicked to get her used to the sound and than started to click and give her treats. And later I started to teach her some tricks.

For lap time it’s maybe easier for the piggies if they are together.
 

Cadaverous

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#7
A nice tip to increase the bond between humans and small animals is when you have them out place them on your chest, right over your heart. The rhythm of the heartbeat calms them and is similar to what baby animals will do with their mum. Also, with piggies it usually means they are high enough to hide their head under your chin. As piggies are prey animals they like being ‘covered’ and this is a way to provide cover while letting them bond with you.

I’ve used this trick with rodents, piggies, kittens, puppies and hedgehogs and it works a treat. My little Butterscotch is currently enjoying his cuddles, he is still skittish but getting calmer and braver and yesterday he even ate while I held him (2 weeks in).
 

FernEden

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#8
Thanks everyone, I'll give all these a go. Hopefully I can get them out to put the tips into action! I just want to love them haha
 

sport_billy

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#9
A nice tip to increase the bond between humans and small animals is when you have them out place them on your chest, right over your heart. The rhythm of the heartbeat calms them and is similar to what baby animals will do with their mum. Also, with piggies it usually means they are high enough to hide their head under your chin. As piggies are prey animals they like being ‘covered’ and this is a way to provide cover while letting them bond with you.

I’ve used this trick with rodents, piggies, kittens, puppies and hedgehogs and it works a treat. My little Butterscotch is currently enjoying his cuddles, he is still skittish but getting calmer and braver and yesterday he even ate while I held him (2 weeks in).
Good idea on both out for lap time, we did this also we had a piggy each sitting next to each other. Tried two on one lap once but it turned into chaos with Cookie using Treacle as a hat....
 

Cadaverous

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#10
Good idea on both out for lap time, we did this also we had a piggy each sitting next to each other. Tried two on one lap once but it turned into chaos with Cookie using Treacle as a hat....
That’s how my boys end up when both on the same lap too 😅 They love hanging out together but Mousse gets so jealous if I pet Butterscotch that he gives me a nail trim 😂
 
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