Bigger rodents like guinea pigs are easy to care for and by learning how to train a guinea pig, you will have yourself a fun and adorable pet at home. Guinea pigs are vegetarians and they eat mainly dry food pellets and hay. You can also feed them fresh vegetables and fruits but only in small amount. They are extremely friendly by nature. Due to their fragile body, you need to handle them with care and learn the proper way of picking up a guinea pig. With appropriate training, guinea pigs can bring even more fun to the family.
Things you'll need:
- Guinea pig treats
- Litter box
- Use treats. Whether you want to train a guinea pig to respond to its name or to do certain tricks, always use treats to entice and reward your pet. For example, you can hold the treat at one end of the room with the guinea pig at the other end. Call out your pet's name while it comes forward to snatch the food. Soon the guinea pig will learn to associate its name with the food and will respond to you whenever you call out.
- Training a guinea pig to sit up. Sitting up is a natural posture for guinea pigs and you can easily train them to do so with their favorite food. Do not push down your guinea pig with force. Dangle the treat at the top of its head, so if your pet wants the food it will need to sit down. While you train a guinea pig to do this trick, use a verbal command so that the animal will learn to associate the command with the action.
- Litter box training. It is not always possible to train a guinea pig to use a litter box. You may place the litter box at a corner where your guinea usually releases itself. Put bedding stained with urine and a few feces pellets in the litter box so your guinea pig will be drawn to the smell. Reward your pet when it defecates in the litter box.
- No punishment. The best way to train a guinea pig is to use positive reinforcement instead of punishment. Reward your pet whenever he does what you want, but never punish him when he does something wrong.
- You cannot train a guinea pig without first bonding with it. Spend plenty of time feeding and patting your pet to establish a good relationship.
- Keep your guinea pig healthy by changing the pine bedding daily. Do not use cedar as it will irritate your pet's respiratory system.
- Learning how to train a guinea pig will at teach you how to be patient.