Teaching a guinea pig tricks
It can be a great thing when you can train up a guinea pig to do tricks. Not all will want to do tricks, but the tamer ones will be more interested and get less stressed. It can be a brilliant and fun exercise to do with guinea pigs, for example getting them to jump over a little bar. How high can you go and how low can you go 🙂
They are smart creatures and will pick up things after repeating the process. Challenging their minds is great for mental stimulation. Just because some do not want to do any tricks, doesn’t mean that they still can’t be challenged, give them some puzzle toys, like some veg in a ball that has to be opened up.
How to teach them tricks?
It takes time and patience to get a guinea pig to do a trick. Giving them their vegetables is great at earning their trust, but also at enticing them to do a trick. That might be going over an object, through and under it. Speak with a positive voice if they complete the challenge, they will recognise and remember this every time. Give them time to get used to the object, so they can sniff and seek out that it isn’t dangerous.
Learning is a step by step process when it comes to training a guinea pig to do a trick. If you attempt to do it all in one go, it won’t work. Its less stressful and a better way of learning for them and more enjoyable for yourself. Do not lose your temper, just calmly try again, if it doesn’t work, then it’s not for them.
Teach from a young age at around 8 months old if you can, teaching them older can be achieved, but it may take longer. Once the guinea pig starts doing the tricks with food treats, replace with a stroke and praise, to avoid them getting overweight with treats. There are many tricks that you can try.
What could they do?
- Jumping through rings
- Jumping over rope
- Going through a little maze
- Finding items
- Getting to the food – Like under plastic cups can be great fun for them
A couple of simple tricks
Slowly hold the food in front of it’s mouth and raise upwards. Once it stands slightly give a little reward and in the end you can give all the treat, when it can stand straight up. Remember to say stand or any positive word, so it fully stands. You can only say that it can do the trick, when it reacts to the word with treat.
Do the anti clockwise turn
Move the food along the floor in a circle, using the word at each step to give encouragement. Finally, give the rest of the treat before it completes the full circle. The key is to only reward, when it completes more of the circle. Once it can do it a few times, try without any treat and just guiding through with your hand.