Are you the proud owner of a guinea pig or are you planning to become one? Then you should know that these cute animals are not only fluffy and cute, but also trained.
Guinea pigs can be trained with the right approach - we’ll tell you what you can teach your pet, as well as how to transport a guinea pig in winter and something else.
Training pigs is not very dependent on the breed of the animal and its species, but nevertheless, experts identify some pigs as more trained. In general, they are all amenable to training, so if your beast is a different species, do not be discouraged and just start training!
Types of Guinea Pigs
There are more than two dozen breeds of guinea pigs - from the classic "rosettes", as breeders call them, to luxurious long-haired Peruvian, English, alpacas, etc. The most original in appearance can be called, for example, curly texels or sheltie pigs - their long hair looks as if combed back. Himalayan pigs are very interesting - they are called "Siamese" due to their color, like in Siamese cats. Well, one cannot fail to say about skinny pigs: this is a breed of sphinx pigs, which have practically no hair.
What you need to know
Guinea pig training is based on the use of the animal’s natural behavior as the basis for training. The action that the pet performs is preceded by a sound signal (verbal command, click, whistle), and reinforced with encouragement. The behavior and reactions of each mumps are individual, so before training, you should study the nature of the pet and get to know it better. Give him the opportunity to get used to the owner and his hands. Demonstrate good intentions with calm behavior and periodic refreshments. The optimal dating time is 2-3 weeks from the date of purchase of the animal. After that, you can start training.
Training is carried out in compliance with the following conditions:
- Coordination with the schedule of feeding. The pet is more willing to work for a treat when hungry.
- Calm atmosphere. Exercises will be more successful in the absence of external stimuli - people, animals, TV.
- The animal is on a hard surface - so he feels confident and is less distracted.
- The duration of the lesson is no more than 10 minutes.
As a command, use a word, whistle or clicker. Over time, the pig will get used to associate sound with a certain action.
During training, the pet and the owner should be in a benevolent state and do not show signs of fatigue or irritation. A bad mood will complicate the task for both parties and will not lead to positive results.
Do not constantly take the pig in your hands immediately after purchase. The pet is given time to get used to the new environment and strangers. If the animal is very nervous, the cage is covered with a translucent veil. In this way, the illusion of solitude is created, and the animal relaxes.
After a few days, they begin to carefully pick up the animal. Hold tight enough, but not too much, otherwise the pig will be hurt. The second hand is used to support the pet from below. This will help the animal feel stable and safe.
With a pig you need to talk often, pronounce her name. Use a soft and friendly tone. From time to time the pet is offered treats. All this creates a positive image of the owner in the head of the animal. He will understand that this person is not dangerous. Depending on the nature of the animal, taming takes from 2 weeks.
Train guinea pigs begin after the pet gets used to the owner and begins to trust him. First, they teach simple teams, moving on to complex ones.
One of the first lessons is the ban on damage to objects and furniture. When a pet is outside the usual cage, it, naturally, is drawn to inspect everything and try on the tooth. If the animal shows an increased interest in wires or the same object, a spray or gel with a bitter taste is applied to these things. Such products are sold in pharmacies and are safe for animals.
In addition, a running pig should be kept in sight at all times. It can not only damage something, but also accidentally cause injury to itself. The cage with the pet is placed away from curtains and other objects, to which the animal freely reaches. The cage lock must be reliable and sturdy.
Keeping mumps at home involves frequent litter replacement. The process is simplified if the animal is accustomed to relieve the need for a tray that is easier to wash than a cage tray.
Training takes place according to the following algorithm:
- A tray is placed in the cage in the area where the pet goes to the toilet.
- In the tray put a little filler, soiled sawdust and feces of the pig so that she could smell the purpose of the new item.
- Treat the animal if he has relieved the need for the right place. It may take him some time.
It is worth remembering that some pigs do not like to use the tray. In such cases, training will not help. It all depends on the nature and preferences of the pet. In an extreme case, try to install additional trays in other corners of the cell. If the animal uses the tray as a house - drags the hay and sleeps inside, you need to buy a regular house or change the existing one to a more spacious one.
Many pigs themselves understand the principle of operation of a mounted drinking bowl, they do not need special training for this. As soon as they touch the ball, moisture comes out, and they lick it. This movement activates the drinker again. But some pets are afraid to touch an unfamiliar object. In such cases, the help of the owner will be required. You need to touch the ball yourself and make the water come out. Then bring the animal closer so that he senses moisture and tastes it.
If the mumps does not use the drinker for some time, it probably has enough moisture obtained from the succulent feed included in its diet. She will drink when she wants.
They begin to train a guinea pig after the pet gets used to the owner and begins to trust him. In conditions of tension and stress, training will not bring results. Teams give a calm voice, even if the pet does not understand or stubbornly for a long time.
Training is carried out on a solid surface. The pet is shown a treat and raised above his head so that the animal had to stand on its hind legs. In this case, the command is pronounced: “stand” (or use the words “up”, “serve”). As soon as the animal straightened up, they give him a treat and praise.
A pig is planted nearby, shown a treat and pronounced her name (or the command “to me”). It can be accompanied by a movement of the hand - patting the foot, as is the case with dogs. When the animal runs up, they will surely be treated to it. Gradually, the distance between the owner and the animal is increased to several meters.
To practice this command, the treats are held just above the pig’s head, then they slowly make a circular motion so that the pet, following its hand, turns around its axis. If the exercise is difficult for the animal, it is encouraged for partial execution - for example, for turning 90 degrees, then 180 and so on.
The owner clamps a treat or a little hay between the lips, then leans toward the mumps. She smells the food and reaches for it. Over time, the animal will do this movement reflexively, even if the owner does not have any treats.
A trick is learned with both hands. One holds a treat in front of the pet, slightly above its head, the second is located palm up in front of the beast's eyes. The owner says: "give a paw," and shows a treat in such a way that the pig can take it only by rising on its hind legs. In this case, she will put the front on the palm, which is located directly in front of her and prevents her from getting food.
Jump through the ring
The ring is placed in front of the pet's face. On the other hand, it is a treat. To get food, the pig will have to go through the hoop. As a team use the words: "in the ring." Gently push the animal if it is afraid to perform the trick. To do this, you need the help of a second person.
The ring is taken large, at least 15 cm in diameter. At first, keep it low so that it touches the floor. Over time, they raise, but not higher than three cm. You can use purchased or home-made - from wire or thick cardboard. The edges of the product should be smooth.
Trained guinea pigs memorize many tricks. It is enough for the owner to show imagination and he will teach the pet to jump over obstacles, bring pencils and other objects, and run on command to its place. It is important to train patiently and not scold the mumps for slow progress. The animal may not be in the mood or dislike the vigorous activity to which the owner is pushing him. No need to get nervous and break down on the animal, this will aggravate the training process.
It is worth remembering that each pet has an individual level of ability. It takes some weeks for some to remember a simple trick, others only take a few days.
During practicing tricks, goodies are used that are usually not offered to the pet, so as not to reduce its motivation. Over time, they begin to treat him with one piece of food for every few teams. Pieces are used small so that the animal does not quickly become saturated and does not lose interest in the classes.
Better to learn one trick at a time. The abundance of new information will confuse the pet. It is necessary to repeat the walk every day at least once so that the animal does not lose the acquired reflexes.
Using voice commands looks impressive, but the pigs do not care what kind of signals they receive. It is acceptable to use a whistle, a click of the fingers or any other sound or gesture. The main thing is that it is unique and does not repeat in several exercises.
Guinea pigs are savvy animals. In addition to the entertainment side in training, there is also a useful one: a trained pet makes many movements, so he does not face obesity. Continuous training stimulates brain activity. In addition, you can teach your pet such convenient skills as using the tray and running for a call. In everyday life, these skills will benefit both the owner and the pig.
Come to the call
So, we found out that you can train a guinea pig. But how to teach her to come to your call? In this case, everything is done in the same way as with many other pets. As a motivator, treats are used. In the process, often call the name of the animal, refer to it by name.
- Before practicing the execution of commands, remove the rodent from the cage, place it at a distance of about 1 m from you. Give the animal a treat and call him by name.
- The rodent will smell the goodies. This will be an additional incentive to run up to you. When the animal completes the command, give the treat as a reward. Repeat this command once a day and more often. Over time, the animal itself will begin to come to you at the call.
Continuing to understand how to train guinea pigs, we will tell you how to train the Serve team. This trick can be taught to the rodent using a treat. How to do it? Keep the treat above the head of the animal so that it needs to reach for it. Then say the command “Serve”. As soon as the pig is on its hind legs, immediately give her a treat.
Repeating exercises is daily, once a day. After a while, the guinea pig itself will stand on its hind limbs on command, even without a treat.
Continuing to talk about how to train a guinea pig at home, we describe the methodology for training an animal in a circular turn. This skill can be taught both in the cell and in the open.
- Initially, take a treat, let the animal come closer to you.
- When the pig appears in front of you, outline with your hand, in which the treat is a circle, at the same time say the command “U-Turn”.
- The rodent should repeat a circular motion. Training is carried out every day until the animal starts to perform a U-turn by command without additional stimulation by the treat.
We have already figured out how to train a guinea pig, teach it simple tricks. Now is the time to move on to the next step. Now we will tell you how to teach a pig to roll a ball. First you need to prepare a little. Need to find not too heavy and not too big ball. For example, it may be tennis. With such a ball, a guinea pig will cope without difficulty. In addition, a flat and long treat is required. For these purposes, a strip of carrots is suitable.
So, now we pass directly to training. Put a strip of carrots on the floor, then put a ball on it. After that, encourage the rodent to push the ball away so that it can reach the treat. Say the “Push Ball” command at the same time. Repeat these steps regularly. Over time, it will be possible to remove a treat from the learning process. A rodent will be able to roll the ball without it.
Team “In the Ring”
Now we will talk about how to teach your pet how to jump through the ring. But first you need a ring. You can buy the finished one. Its diameter should be about twenty centimeters. You can also make this element yourself from wire. Make sure that there are no sharp edges, notches. Otherwise, during the jump, the animal can catch and inadvertently damage its foot.
So, teaching a rodent such a team, proceed according to this plan:
- First position the ring so that it touches the floor.
- Treat on one side of the ring. You can ask someone to hold the ring.
- Next, call the guinea pig by name and make it so that there is something delicious behind the ring. Next, issue the command "In the ring." If the animal itself does not think of the need to jump into the ring, carefully push it. After a while, the guinea pig will be motivated enough and jump on its own to get a treat.
- When the pet executes the specified command, give him a treat. Repeat the trick every day until the guinea pig performs it without the stimulus as a treat.
The following command will be very useful, because many accustom their pets to toilet trays. So how to train a guinea pig in this case? How can she explain that she needs to go to the tray? First install the latter in the corner of the cage. Put some hay and a couple of peas in the tray. As soon as you see that the pet goes to the toilet in the tray, immediately praise him, giving a treat. Over time, he will understand how to use this element of the cell, and without goodies.
In the care, all the pigs are almost the same - they need to regularly change pallets with sawdust or other filler, tasty feed and comb out. The longer the pig’s hair, the more difficult it is to care for: you need to comb, wash and cut. Especially long-haired or show pigs need professional grooming: they are washed with hair conditioner, carefully combed and trimmed. Pork luxury!
We call the trust of the animals
So, we’re getting started on the fun part: we’re starting to learn, how to train a guinea pig at home . First of all, you need to raise the trust of the animal so that it is not afraid of you. So the pig will be more willing and learn much faster.
Of course, if a furry friend has been with you for a long time, then he is already used to you, but if you just got a pet, you will have to spend some time taming it. The most friendly are the classic guinea pigs, but in fact all the breeds make contact quite easily and communicate with the owners with pleasure.
How to properly accustom a pig to yourself: you need to give the animal a little time to adapt, and then start to pick it up. 1-2 days will be enough for the pig to relax in a new place. Take the animal in your hands confidently, but do not squeeze it too hard, otherwise it will start to break out and may fall. Pigs are not cats, they cannot fall on four legs, and falls for them are fraught with injuries, so be careful. Gradually increase the contact time with the guinea pig, and soon she will begin to sit in your arms with pleasure and stop being afraid.
Pigs can respond to a name. To make the animal respond to its nickname, do this: put food in a certain place at a certain time and at the same time call a pig by name. She will come to the smell of food and gradually get used to the sound of her nickname. In just a few days, you can enjoy the result: even if there is no food, the pig will reflexively move to the usual sound. This trick works not only with a name, but also with a whistle, clicks and other sounds - try it!
Миф о том, что свинки умеют только пищать, жевать и спать – действительно миф. Свинки весьма талантливы, особенно когда доверяют дрессировщику – они умеют исполнять трюки не хуже других!
Этот трюк требует многократных повторений: возьмите кусочек чего-нибудь вкусненького и сделайте круговое движение рукой. The pig will reach for a treat and repeat the turn after the hand - perhaps not the first time, so be prepared! Accompany the movement with a voice command “circle” or “turn” so that the pig is accustomed to the sound of the word. Gradually, a conditioned reflex develops, and the mumps will turn already without refreshments. But the reflex is not eternal and may fade away: occasionally reinforce the result with repeated training, and at the initial stages do not forget about the treat, otherwise nothing will work.
One of the famous tricks, the author of which is considered to be Durov himself. To teach a pig to “kiss,” that is, reach for your lips with your face, you need to do the following: just squeeze a piece of food between your lips. This may be a special treat that your animal loves: he will reach for him first to eat, and then just on a reflex. Even without food, a curious pig will continue to make a familiar movement, and it is called “kiss” by trainers.
One of the most difficult teams for pigs, because it is difficult to provoke a paw movement - their piglets are mainly used for walking. You need to put the pig on the sofa, and sit on the floor yourself and reach out for the pig with his hand palm up. Take a piece of refreshment in the other hand, a little distant. It turns out that in order to get to the tasty, the pig needs to step a paw on your hand. As soon as the animal makes the treasured step - say "give a paw" or just "paw" and, of course, do not spare the goodies! It may take from two weeks to a month to train this trick - it depends on how smart and trusting your pig is.
An interesting trick, the basis of which is literally laid in pig nature. Mumps often use head movement to remove any obstruction. Before training, do not feed the pig about 10 hours - it will have time to get hungry, but will not be too hungry. After that, put the pig in the aviary, put a ball in front of it, and treat yourself under the ball. It can be a dandelion leaf or parsley. You can show the pig that there is food under the ball. The animal will either guess to remove the ball with his head, or he will do it by chance, and then he will eat food. Repeating such a training trick time after time, you will teach the pig to look for something edible under the ball, and then it will always push the ball in the hope of refreshment.
Jump in the ring
A relatively simple trick, but it takes time: take a ring with a diameter of 15-25 cm and place it so that it touches the floor. Bait the pig with something tasty on the back of the ring - it will definitely step over the edge of the ring. Gradually raise the ring slightly so that the pig has to jump over it. The maximum height of the ring is three centimeters; above the pig, it simply “will not fly up”. If the pig still can not figure out what needs to be done - just push it slightly in the direction of the ring, sooner or later it will guess what you want from it.
How to transport a guinea pig in winter
Carry Guinea pigs are not so simple: for shy piglets, traveling is always a lot of stress. Be sure to warm the carrier: put a scarf or blanket, add a large amount of hay. It is important that the carrying is spacious enough, especially for long trips. Do not forget about food - pigs can not starve, so stock up on treats. Even if it’s cold outside, do not place the carrier near heating appliances! Better just throw more hay over the pig and wrap it in a scarf.
Piglets are quite willing to learn different tricks and in general they can do a lot of things, you just have to work out a little with them. Do not overwork the mumps: 10-15 minutes a day is enough for training. A little patience, and your furry friend will please you with his success!