Wondering how to train a guinea pig?
Yes, it’s actually possible!
Check out our simple guide to training your cavy.
Then, take a look at our favorite tricks to teach, along with tutorials.
You may also like: How to Litter Train a Guinea Pig
How to Train a Guinea Pig
Think training is just for the dogs? Think again! Guinea pigs are pretty intelligent little creatures that take well to training, too!
You can train guinea pigs to do a lot of fancy tricks, but to be successful, you need the right tools.
Check out the video below, then read on for our tips on how to train a guinea pig the right way.
1. Make Your Guinea Pig Comfortable
Giving him a comfortable bed, a safe haven in which he can be happy, cozy and clean will do wonders.
Just make sure you keep the habitat close to you because they love being wherever you are! Welcome him into a home that is FUN!
Aside from their cage, bedding, and high-quality food, they need toys and perhaps even exercise wheels to keep them motivated.
Once your guinea pig is happy and healthy, he’ll be in the proper mindset for training.
2. It’s All About the Treats
Training any animal can be exceedingly less difficult if you find out what motivates them.
For the most part, the answer is food – treats to be exact.
Find out what your guinea pig likes.
We have discovered that for the most part treats of any kind will be enough to keep them engaged.
Wholesome snacks that are unprocessed and not full of harmful additives and flavors are the best.
Human veggies are actually perfect for guinea pig training. Some of the best options include:
- Sweet potato
There are many more options.
Guinea pigs are like their rabbit cousins and enjoy some healthy and fresh vegetables once in a while.
Don’t reprimand your little critter and always resort to positive reinforcement (which are the treats).
3. Create the Right Environment
Since guinea pigs are small pets, it’s easy for them to escape through cracks and crevices, so make sure you’re training them in a safe and enclosed space.
What’s worse is if they get stuck and the space is too small for you to help unstick them.
So before you get down to business, double-check the space.
Make sure there are no distractions and the area is quiet.
They scare easily due to their exceptionally sensitive ears, so this is very important.
4. Be patient
Perhaps the most important step is to gather your patience.
It can take quite a bit of repetition to really teach your piggy new tricks.
Remember, just because they got it today does not mean they will remember it tomorrow.
Consistency and daily practice is key!
Now, let’s check out those tricks!
Tricks to Teach Your Guinea Pig
You can teach them anything including recognizing their own name, coming when called, follow you around, etc.
So, here is the big question, how do you train a guinea pig to do these tricks?
Start by grabbing those treats that we talked about!
No matter which trick you decide to teach, you have to reinforce proper behavior with lots of attention, loving pets, and of course, their favorite snack.
With a little time and practice, your piggy could be just like Ceico below! Let’s start with some basics first, though.
1. Did You Call Me?
Here is where we teach how to train your guinea pig to recognize his name.
Every time you do a bonding activity, feed or pet him, call him by his name.
He will get used to the sound and understand you are referring to him.
After daily repetition, try to call out his name randomly to see if he responds. If he does, hand him a lettuce leaf or two.
2. Come Here!
The next basic command is for the guinea pig to come to you when called.
It would greatly help if you have mastered the first command, but if not, you could probably teach him both simultaneously.
Start by placing your furry buddy a few feet away from you.
Call out his name and offer the treat in your hand if he comes.
It’s quite similar to the first command, the only real difference is they are further away from you.
3. Standing Up
Another basic trick is standing up.
Basically, what you would do differently than teaching them to recognize their name is to hold the treat high above their heads so that the only way they can reach it is to stand on their hind legs.
Once they do it, say the verbal command “stand” or “stand up”.
Over time and with practice, your piggy will associate the word with the action.
Much like canines, guinea pigs can learn a trick or two as well!
Start with the basics and remember that repetition, patience, and practice are key.
Practice on the daily but don’t forget to give your guinea pig (and yourself) a brain break.
Don’t frustrate them with incessant practice and make sure to keep them happy. A happy guinea pig is a healthy one ready to learn!