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*Please note, some guinea pigs do not like being on their backs. Never force them.*

Taming of the Guinea Pig: 101

First off we have all been there and will probably be there again. You have your new guinea pig but wait why is it always hiding? Why doesn't it like you? Well like has nothing to do with it.

What you have to understand first is Guinea Pigs are a prey animal, meaning they are food for other animals.Though we know we wont hurt them, they don't know that. There is hope, with time and a lot of patience your guinea pig will see that your not a foe but a friend.

Step One: Getting your guinea pig out of its cage
So your going to get your guinea pig out, but because its not sure of you it runs. First to its pigloo, but you lift that. Oh no now shes running to the other side of her cage. Is there an easy way to get her out with out all this stress?

YES! Even having my own guinea pigs for years, they still play shy when its time to get them out. Here is my tip for getting them out.

Place your arm across the cage. Slowly usher (move) your guinea pig with your arm to block her from running to the other side. Once your get her to the end of the cage she will have no where to run. Keep your arm there and place your other hand on her softly holding her in place so you can bring your other hand up to pick her up.

This has worked for me many many times. It does take practice but once you got it down you'll never had a hard time getting her again.

Step Two: Holding your guinea pig

The number one thing that will make your guinea pig feel safe is holding him or her properly. Being held wrong can scare your guinea pig and could result in death. Sadly I had a guinea pig a few years back that would startle at the smallest of things. One day I was holding her and walking into the kitchen when she startled and jumped out of my arms. She sadly passed away shortly after from the injuries. This is the reason I wanted to make sure you all learn how to hold a guinea pig properly.

Here is a drawn image to show you how to hold a guinea pig from CavyMadness's site:

To read more on how to hold your guinea pig properly go to:

Step Three: The taming

Taming in my opinion and experience consist of two things.

1. Time: You must be able to spend 30 or more minutes a day with your guinea pig to help tame and bond. Do this on your lap.

2. Treats: Lettuce, Carrots, Apples, Parsley, Cilantro. All of these make great treats for when you have your lap time. He/She may not eat from you right away.

If your guinea pig wont take the treat at first, just place it in front of him. Once he has a little more trust for you, he will start to eat it from your hand. Do this for at least two weeks.

Once your guinea pig takes the treats on your lap you can start offering treats by hand in his cage. Continue doing your lap time as well as offering treats in the cage for another week to two weeks.

By now your guinea pig should trust you more and know that you bring good things not bad. Now the ultimate test. Offer your guinea pig a treat in his cage and try to pet him. If he lets you, do this for a week. By the end of that week bump it up and try to pick him up when you give him a treat.

This has worked for all of my guinea pigs. If you have any ideas or other suggestions or if this works for you please let us know.