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My Guinea Pigs won't let me pick them up

KaylaT4403

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So I've had my piggy wiggies for about a month now c: (Penelope and Luna) And I've attempted to pick them up and they kinda just scoot away and run away. I wanna pick up Penelope because she's been popcorning and constantly mounting so I want to make sure she is okay and completely check if she is a she and not a he. I also just wanna pick them up and cuddle them. It' so hard to resist picking them up I love them so much. I usually let them go in their beds then pick up the bed and put it on my lap. They end up just jumping down. I know it depends on the guinea pig but any tips on what I can do?
 

PerceptorII

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First thing is that it's important that guinea pigs are bottom-of-the-food-chain prey animals. This means that they are instinctively nervous about being gobbled up by a predator at any moment. Picking one up activates this instinct, because whenever your piggie's wild ancestors were picked up it likely meant they were about to be eaten by a canine, feline or bird of prey. This doesn't mean don't ever pick them up. This just means that running away is an instinctive reflex and not a reflection on you being a bad caretaker. Even after a year of having my two boys, they will tend to run away if I try to pick them up even though they've learned to enjoy cuddle time.

For more advice, I highly recommend checking out this article, which has lots of tips of making handling much less stressful for both you and your piggies:

Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
 

sport_billy

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We start off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.
As for picking up you can use a method like below takes the stress out for them and you
 

Allie0078

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I agree with @PerceptorII. They will always have an instinct to run and hide. Mine are about 3 years old (adopted from a rescue last May) and they still run when I go to pick them up.

However, they are very relaxed once they are out of the cage. At vegetable time they seem to forget all about the pray instinct and practically climb out of the cage to get to me! During the daily cage clean they scuttle into a hidey one minute - and then start climbing all over the dustpan and brush mid cage-sweep the next (quite annoying to be fair).

I’d love my two piggies to run up to me like little dogs. But one is far too paranoid and the other is far too bossy to follow commands! Wouldn’t swap them though. Don’t be offended - just accept it as part of who they are and work with it x
 
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