• You can find lots of information on how to settle in, understand your new guinea pigs in our New Owners Guide Collection but please ask any questions you have in Wannabe and New Owners' section.

Opening up

CavyCare

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
45
Likes
76
Points
150
Location
Union, New Jersey
#1
I've heard that some guinea pigs open up to their owners in years, but I know I can be a little impatient. My oldest guinea pig, Midnight, is afraid of being picked up. She's good in the cage, and isn't afraid when I approach her, but when I pick her up she goes crazy! She uses a lot of her strength, but never bites. I have to hold her in a position where all four of her feet are flat and it seems unsafe to me and I don't want to risk her jumping out of my hands. Is there any way I can get her to relax being picked up?
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
1,216
Likes
1,276
Points
655
Location
Cambridgeshire
#2
Using something to pick her up in such as a tunnel or snuggle pouch can help and make it safer.
Do bear in mind that guinea pigs are prey animals and not all will enjoy being picked up despite anything you do.
 

CavyCare

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
45
Likes
76
Points
150
Location
Union, New Jersey
#3
Using something to pick her up in such as a tunnel or snuggle pouch can help and make it safer.
Do bear in mind that guinea pigs are prey animals and not all will enjoy being picked up despite anything you do.
Thank you for the help! I'll try picking her up with the suggestions, thank you! D8E694A9-9673-43B8-AB76-EF213BB359CA.jpeg
 

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Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
9,306
Likes
8,489
Points
1,615
Location
Leicester
#4
It is extremely rare that a guinea pig will "enjoy" being picked up. They will run and they will struggle because it cuts so very close to their natural prey instincts. Don't try and placate your piggy by holding them in an unsafe manner. From someone who had one of their first piggies take a leap of faith out my arms and land on the patio with ensuing blood and a broken tooth, learn from those who learnt the hard way.

I use a cosy but some of mine have wised up to the cosy (those who don't generally like laptime) so sometimes I have to be cruel to be kind and just pick them up holding them firmly. One they are nestled against my chest they calm down quickly
 

dannif_piggies

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
687
Likes
995
Points
475
Location
Kent
#6
It's just about getting to know each piggy, as @Lady Kelly said, most piggies don't like the process of being picked up, my Honey doesn't mind it but even since her cysts have removed she's got skittish 🤣 With Willow, I wait until she's in her pigloo and then place my hand in and that seems to scare her less. The same kind of technique is used with Lois and Laine. I just always try to scoop rather than pick if that makes any sense. It can be harder with pigs because they have a strong jump and rather than coming from over the top, I try to come alone and from the side.

Also I sometimes use a piece of spare fleece to just cuddle them in whilst I hold them.

Hope this helps :)
 

Natasha3589

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 4, 2018
Messages
42
Likes
78
Points
150
#7
Try stroking their head first then move down so you are stroking from head to bum then slowly place that hand under their tummy and hold them (not too hard) so they can't jump and with your other hand support there back and pull them up to your body as quickly as possible. Once they are close to you and held comfortably they will relax. X
 
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