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How Can I Build Their Confidence?

KaitlinH

Junior Guinea Pig
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We got some new piggies a while ago and they're still very shy and nervous. They are in a quiet environment with a big pen. They are two male piggies who get along well but can argue over veggies from time to time. They can also be handled by people but freeze and don't move because of nerves. When we bought them from pets at home, the lady said to leave them for 24-48 hours before handling or petting them which we did. She also said to train them to be handled and to therefore handle them on a daily basis. We have been doing this. Is there anything we can do to build their confidence and are we doing anything wrong?
Thanks :)
 

TheLottiediarys

Teenage Guinea Pig
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It sounds like your usually Piggie shyness
Rememeber they are prey animals and therefore are shy by nature to protect themselves.

A good way to get them used to you is to spend a lot of time with them
Sit by their cage and chat to them so they get used to your voice,

Give them veggies by hand, this can take a while but when you get them used to it they will happily take food by hand.

Handling daily WILL get them used to you and used to being handled but some people don't like to force them to be held which is fine as well,

But at the same time, it's a quick way to get them used to being handled which can help for trimming nails and doing weekly health checks so that's a good point :)

When I first got my Guinea Pigs I would sit and read by their cage so they got used to me hanging about pretty soon :)
 

KaitlinH

Junior Guinea Pig
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It sounds like your usually Piggie shyness
Rememeber they are prey animals and therefore are shy by nature to protect themselves.

A good way to get them used to you is to spend a lot of time with them
Sit by their cage and chat to them so they get used to your voice,

Give them veggies by hand, this can take a while but when you get them used to it they will happily take food by hand.

Handling daily WILL get them used to you and used to being handled but some people don't like to force them to be held which is fine as well,

But at the same time, it's a quick way to get them used to being handled which can help for trimming nails and doing weekly health checks so that's a good point :)

When I first got my Guinea Pigs I would sit and read by their cage so they got used to me hanging about pretty soon :)
Thank you so much!
I have tried handling them but they get really scared and go stiff. When I try and reach in and get them, they run inside the small plastic house in their pen where they know I can't reach them. Do I remove this when trying to get them? I don't mind handling them but I feel bad moving their house as it is removing their comfort.
 

TheLottiediarys

Teenage Guinea Pig
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It's up to you really

When I need to grab hold of my skittish girls I flip the huts over so they can't run into them
Or herd them into a tunnel and cover the ends to lift them out
But I prefer to back them into a corner and grab hold with two hands because it's quicker for them then chasing them over the cage, sometimes it takes a little chasing! But you can't help it sometimes :)
 

Wiebke

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We got some new piggies a while ago and they're still very shy and nervous. They are in a quiet environment with a big pen. They are two male piggies who get along well but can argue over veggies from time to time. They can also be handled by people but freeze and don't move because of nerves. When we bought them from pets at home, the lady said to leave them for 24-48 hours before handling or petting them which we did. She also said to train them to be handled and to therefore handle them on a daily basis. We have been doing this. Is there anything we can do to build their confidence and are we doing anything wrong?
Thanks :)
Hi and welcome!

Please take the time to read our various guides for settling in and making friends with guinea pigs. You will find the guides helpful as they list all the tips how you can avoid triggering prey animal instincts and avoid predator behaviours, as well as using some "piggy whispering" tricks to make friends in terms they will understand instinctively. it takes time to settle in guinea pigs that have never had much or anything in the way of human interaction.

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

Lots more really helpful guides for new owners via this link here: New Owners' Online Starter " Booklet" For Really Helpful Advice
 
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