How long did it take your piggie to be your friend?

Zoedarl

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I know patience is the key.. But I just want my piggies to love me now! 😂
They've only been with me a couple of weeks, and they are still only babies really, so it's completely understandable that they a still shy around me and hide away. I know everyone is different but I was just wondering how long your piggies took to trust you?
 

Wiebke

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I know patience is the key.. But I just want my piggies to love me now! 😂
They've only been with me a couple of weeks, and they are still only babies really, so it's completely understandable that they a still shy around me and hide away. I know everyone is different but I was just wondering how long your piggies took to trust you?
Hi!

Trust is a tender plant that needs to make deep roots before it can grow. If you allow it to make these roots, it will grow faster and higher later on, but can be a matter of weeks or rather months and not one of days.

Please take the time to read these guides here. They discuss how arrival of pet shop piggies looks from the cavy perspective, how guinea pig prey animal instincts function and lists ways how you can best avoid triggering them.
We have also included a course of piggy whispering - using their own body language and interactive social behaviours to make them welcome, invite them into the group you are leading (which takes you out of the 'predator' group) and telling them that you love them in ways they they understand immediately rather than waiting for them figure out 'human'.
All of this will help to speed up the 'trust roots' growing process - the more you understand where your piggies come from and how they see the world, the more you can make them feel at home and help them to learn to understand humans. And that is the soil the roots of trust grow in. ;)
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Who is the boss - your guinea pig or you?

A firm daily routine with a special call/melody for every action helps them to come to grips with their initially frightening new world faster and to learn to anticipate regular actions like feeding, cleaning, picking up, putting back, grooming etc. Guinea pigs listen more to the melody and the emotion in your voice. Lots of encouragment or showing disappointment in your voice (but NEVER anger!) can also help to give your piggies cues.

But please accept that guinea pigs are NOT naturally born animated cuddly toys; that is sadly a wide-spread and perpetuated misconception by all those people showing off their cuddly piggies online while the majority of piggies who aren't won't feature much; so you do not get a fair representation of reality - which is a common problem with social media.
By far not all piggies like being handled or cuddled although most will come to tolerate it and be relaxed with it - and trust you fully when they are ill.
Guinea Pig Facts - An Overview

Please make sure that you double-check the gender of any newly arrived piggies and be on the lookout for the usual problems that can come with pet shop piggies; the link below also includes information on your customer rights.
Mis-sexing is sadly not at all uncommon and can happen at all levels from the commercial mass breeder to transport to mis-sexing at the shop. This also means that there is a risk that any sow you buy could be potentially pregnant if she has been in the presence of a boar over 3 weeks old when she has been in season from 4 weeks onwards.
I would also strongly urge you to save up for a vet fund right from the start as part of their weekly maintenance. You do not want to have to argue about vet visits for days and see your piggies die from easily treatable illnesses. :(
What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)

All these guide links are part of our new owners guide collection, which makes a very useful resouce to bookmark as we specifically address all the issues we get the most questions, concerns and calls for help for - and also tackle especially those practical details that most books just gloss over. We also have a number of threads that help you to learn what is normal and what not.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Rivervixen

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Had my two boys for 7 months and they run from me when I enter the room but will follow me across the room in their cage when they know it’s food time. They climb on me for treats when we do floor time (they don’t play unless I’m sat with them) x
 

Piggies&buns

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I’ve had my two for 18 months.
Dexter is happy to see me, will eat out my hand, let me give him chin rubs and happy to chat with me. This took about six months to achieve.
Popcorn on the other hand, is not confident, wont let me touch him while he is in the cage (I can pick him up (and once he even seemed to enjoy it) but only if I’ve herded into a pet carrier first), runs off when I enter their shed and won’t voluntarily take food from me (he has done it once, but I don’t think he realised my hand was attached to the food as it was slightly hidden around a hidey!)
 

Rivervixen

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The hideys work wonders for me too, sometimes I feed them while they’re chilling in there and are too comfy to come out lol
 

Merab's Slave

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None of mine like being picked up or held on my lap.
The girls all like being stroked while in the cage but Phoebe took about 6 months before she stopped diving for cover.
Now that he is fully well and no longer a pathetic scared little scrap Micah refuses to be picked up and doesn’t like being held. He still doesn’t accept stroking in the cage but is ok if he’s got a bowl of veggies to concentrate on.

We need to let them all be the individual piggies they are.
 

alexr

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I am very fortunate in that all my boys love being stroked and cuddled - even the new baby pig. I think because they all live close together, they observe others enjoying being stroked so they know I’m no threat. I’m surprised by the speed with which little Henrik has accepted fuss but I suppose it reassured him when he sees me stroking Herbie first.

@Wiebke has written an excellent guide on pig whispering that she’s included above. I find the stroking just behind the eyes trick to be the one they all love!

Good luck!
 

Wiebke

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I am very fortunate in that all my boys love being stroked and cuddled - even the new baby pig. I think because they all live close together, they observe others enjoying being stroked so they know I’m no threat. I’m surprised by the speed with which little Henrik has accepted fuss but I suppose it reassured him when he sees me stroking Herbie first.

@Wiebke has written an excellent guide on pig whispering that she’s included above. I find the stroking just behind the eyes trick to be the one they all love!

Good luck!
Same here - it is piggy language for 'I love you'!

New boar Alan on the block falling for it...
1575852600083.png
 

Ritika

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2 of my older piggies let me cuddle them and are very innocent but the 2 baby piggies......... I move my leg on bed and they are just gone with 1200 mile per hour speed
 
D

DM06020

two of mine were neglected. i got them at 3 months old and they’re 6 months old now. one lets me pick him up for cuddles but the other is still very timid. :)
 

Sarahangel

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I know patience is the key.. But I just want my piggies to love me now! 😂
They've only been with me a couple of weeks, and they are still only babies really, so it's completely understandable that they a still shy around me and hide away. I know everyone is different but I was just wondering how long your piggies took to trust you?
I feel just the same! I've had Dougal 4 weeks and he is such a character, eats from my had, investigates my hand while I'm cleaning up, come to the bars when I call and talk to him.....BUT picking him up is such a drama it's putting me off. He is sooo fast and i don't want to scare him and undo the good work, but also need to get him used to being handled. It's quite a tough one?
 

aleeza

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its such a relief to know that its not only my piggies that don't like being held or picked up! I've had them for about 4 months now, and they get close to me, eat out my hand, and climb on me when I bring food, but if I try to pick them up, they seem to think I'm trying to attack them! This was really helpful and makes me feel a little less guilty😊
 

Siikibam

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They are prey animals so will more than likely never get used to being picked up.

Be sure to check the date when replying to posts. This is from December last year 😊
 

Sweet Potato

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spud is my best friend and has been from about 3 months in. he loves lap time but still runs away when I try to pick him up. Gundham pretends to love me for food but really doesn't like me at all.
 

Fantasimo

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I’ve had my current boys for about fifteen months now, and I found that daily cuddles (even if only for five minutes) or just sitting with them when they were out for floor time helped a lot. My boy Oggie has been jumping into my hand to be picked up (or sometimes launching at me expecting to be caught) for about nine months, but his brother Finn has only recently started to stand still when I need to pick him up.

They're all so different. Plus they change as they get older. So originally, Finn was the more cuddly pig. Now it’s definitely Oggie. So young pigs aren’t just getting to know you, they’re also getting to know themselves. I am an advocate of scooping them out (which can be a huge drama, I know) then tickling and giving them treats. The old carrot and stick but in reverse 😂

Also, I have always put my boys back in for dinner after their exercise time, so they actively want me to pick them up because they know dinner is waiting at home!

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now and summarise with, we’ve all been there. Just give them lots of love and encouragement (and time) and hopefully they will be won over ☺
 
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