Nervous New Piggies

CharlieMJM

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Hi,

I have two new guinea pigs about 9 weeks old and have never had them as a pet before. I've had them for 8 days now and they're slowly getting more adventurous. I started handling them on the fourth day and have had them out of their enclosure once a day since then - I've just been sitting them on my lap and gently stroking them.

But since I've been doing this they've got more nervous and are hiding from me more. Before I handled them they were happy to continue with what they were doing after they'd noticed me, but now they run away (just like they did at the start).

It feels like we've gone backwards a little bit, and now I'm not sure what to do. Obviously I know it's important to get them used to being handled but should I continue with what I'm doing if it's making them scared?

Any help / advice would be wonderful! Thanks in advance!
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new furbabies :)

It's really difficult when you've got young piggies and often feels like you're taking a step backwards but you'll get there! Maybe handle them every other day?

Piggies will naturally run away at the thought of being grabbed (my Bella being an exception!) but if you can bribe them with treats and make your presence worth while :)
 

sport_billy

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Hello, welcome to the forum!

You haven't gone backwards - just early days, we start taming by trying to hand feed a few veggy treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you.
Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started 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.

Also using this method to pick them up may help take stress out for them and you

Welcome to the forum, Could you add your location to your profile as it helps us tailor any advice if ever needed to your geographical location

Welcome again
Lee
 

GuineaPigGeek

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Don't worry! You haven't gone backwards, guinea pigs are natural prey animals so this is natural. They will slowly learn to trust you and they wont think of you as a predator anymore. Good luck! Keep us posted! :)
 

Freela

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Pigs who are stressed will either freeze or flee... you likely haven't gone backwards, as freezing as a survival strategy can look like docility to humans. Running is just the opposite strategy. You're doing fine... guinea pigs are definitely very cautious. They seem to know they are prey animals and react to everything accordingly (unlike hamsters, who are equally low on the food chain but seem to think they are tigers who can take on the human! LOL!) Once you put the time in and they realize you are not a predator, the relationship you form will be more than worth it.
 
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