How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Do Tricks

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Condition your guinea pig to the clicker or verbal marker.,
Once your guinea pig is well conditioned to the clicker or verbal marker, begin to slowly ease them into performing basic commands.,
Begin teaching your guinea pig.

To do this, put your guinea pig in a safe area-such as its cage-and click the clicker (or say the verbal marker). A second or so after clicking the clicker, give your guinea pig a treat. Repeat this several times until you think your guinea pig understands what the click, or marker, means.

Occasionally, this will take a long time. To see if your guinea pig is properly conditioned to the clicker or verbal marker, act normal for several minutes, talking and playing with the guinea pig, and then, suddenly click the clicker or say the marker clearly and firmly. If your guinea pig looks at you, expecting a treat, they have been properly conditioned and you can move on with training. If they keep about their business, they do not yet understand what the marker means and need to be worked with on conditioning a bit more. Don’t be discouraged if your guinea pig does this.

, Skittish, hyper, stubborn, or impatient guinea pigs will be more difficult to train. It takes a lot of patience to get your guinea pig to learn a trick, and often times they will respond to a hand motion rather than a word-for example, if you were teaching your guinea pig to stand up, it would be easier for them to grasp if you held your finger over their head as an indication to do the trick in contrast to just saying “stand up!”.

Many people, before beginning to train their guinea pigs, work on targeting. Teaching targeting to a guinea pig is quite simple-to do so, hold a finger or some kind of long stick somewhere a few inches away from your guinea pig and wait. As soon as they get near the finger or stick and touch it, click or say the marker and treat. Do this about twenty or thirty times, or until your guinea pig touches it efficiently several times in a row. This may make training much easier.

, There are several different methods, and some are easier than others. Try to get your guinea pig out for at least one 5-10 minute session each day. If either you or the pig become frustrated, treat and put them back in their cage for a little while.

Keep in mind that guinea pigs’ brains work differently than a cat’s or dog’s, so they may not process information as quickly as a larger animal. Patience is key.

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