Guinea Pig Intelligence
Are Guinea Pigs Intelligent?
You may suddenly think one day, is a guinea pig intelligent? In my opinion yes I think they are, but I can’t make a guarantee on how clever they are. You might think that they just eat, drink and go to the toilet all day long, which they do, but there is more to them than just that.
Guinea pigs are very affectionate and inquisitive of their overall surroundings. They will recognise their names after a certain period of time, whatever snassy one that is. They will start to realise when they are being fed and when they’re being taken out of their cages.
I come down early in the mornings and they know that their nuggets are coming. When back into the hutches from the playpen, they will bite the bars for their water bottles, as I place them back again. I take them out into the playpen in the mornings, using a hidey made out of a fabric material, which is a little house for guinea pigs. So I get them to run into it, I used to have to actually use my hands to get them to go all the way and now it doesn’t take as much effort. That is why you can teach them to do tricks, as they do learn things very well, it’s all about processes and repetition.
There has been a study conducted in the past, where guinea pigs are tested against their wild ancestors the cavy. Its a test to see how quick they can grasp getting the food by knocking over plastic containers. Guinea pigs were found to be quicker, even with a smaller brain from being domesticated.
Communication is an important part, as the eyesight is very poor. They will use their own sounds to let other guinea pigs and human owners know what it is they want or feel.
Intelligence is there, I give another example that even with limited vision, one of my guinea pigs jumped over the other as it was drinking and straight through the doorway inside the upstairs of the hutch. To be honest I was amazed the first time, as I didn’t think they could jump as high as that and especially right through the entrance.
It goes to show how remarkable creatures are and what they are actually capable of. Maybe it’s of no surprise with guinea pigs, as their hearing is out of this world and sense of movement is very good. The whiskers help them to move around and figure out if there is anything in their way or the route they have to take.
It may be argued whether they are of higher intelligence than some other pets like rats. I can’t say this, but give them some credit, that there is some intelligence there and are not just dopey creatures. You can try some simple tricks with them, like placing food under a plastic bowl, to see if they manage to get under.There are puzzle toys you can buy, to hide food in holes, that are covered over by a movable cover.
Have a look around and see if you can test out your guinea pig. Even making mazes up and placing treats at different stages, will keep them entertained, as well as seeing the talent from them. Its interesting as you observe their daily habits and behaviours, just how clever they can be.
Thank you for reading this article and feel free to leave a comment below. I will reply back as soon as possible.