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Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Hats Off To The Princess!

By Leah McNeil
Leah loves guinea pigs more than chocolate. Share in her adventures of guinea pig ownership.

Click images to enlarge
Princess Snowflake with a tiara
Photo Courtesy of Leah McNeil
Princess Snowflake strikes a royal pose with her princess tiara.
Brownie Bear and Butterscotch with fun hats
Photo Courtesy of Leah McNeil
Brownie Bear and Butterscotch pose for a piggie pigture.

I'm sure that you all have seen pigtures on the Internet of guinea pigs and other little critters with cute hats on and other props. And you've probably wondered, “How in the world do you get a guinea pig to sit still with a hat on?”

Well, it really depends on the pig as to whether or not a pig will tolerate something on its head. But, you should definitely not force a guinea pig, or any animal for that matter, to wear a hat.

A calm,laid-back piggie that is used to being handled could possibly be a good candidate for a hat – but not always. So, I would not encourage hat-wearing for all guinea pigs, especially if you have small children, as you could easily stress out your pig. And whee wouldn't want that.

With that said, I used to think that a guinea pig would need to have hat training as a baby because of my experience with my beloved Brownie Bear (that passed away back in 2007). I handled Brownie Bear a lot as a baby and got her into wearing hats really young – and she didn't mind one bit. Well, mainly because she knew that she was going to get a very special treat afterward. I have to admit that she was very well-behaved in piggie photo shoots. My beloved Butterscotch (that also passed away in 2007) came to live with us as an adult. I thought that he would be impossible to train to wear hats because he was an older pig. But, I was wrong. He did whatever Brownie Bear did, so he was very easy to train. Whew!

And now there is Princess Snowflake. Oh goodness, this pig is in a class all to herself.

She is wild, just like her hair! I have never met a piggie so high-strung, I must say. I doubted she would put up with any type of object on her head, which was a shame because she's got a sort of fluffy Afro that would be the purrrfect landing spot for a hat. Well, as you can tell from the pigture, the Princess is hat-trainable. But, because she is so silly and loves to play games with me, piggie shoots take exceptionally long with her.

Essentially, this is how a photo shoot goes down: I get everything ready. If there are props, I put them in place and practice taking pigtures of them without the Princess. I get the camera ready with the proper zoom settings, and then I put the Princess in her spot. I put her hat on and slowly back away. Then, she gives me the cutest, little look as she patiently waits for me to take her pigture, I pick up the camera and get into place and then, right before I take the pigture she tosses the hat off of her head and laughs at me! Then, the real fun begins. She runs away and plays “Catch me if you can.” 

Oh my goodness, this pig is a riot. And it's really funny because I can tell she knows exactly what she's doing. So, I play along and eventually, when she's ready, she sits still and lets me get some great shots. Afterward, of course, it's treat time for Princess Snowflake. Yum! Yum!

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Hats Off To The Princess!

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Reader Comments
Our lives sound very familiar. My husband and I have 2 males and 1 very spoiled female GP. One of her nick-names is pretty pretty princess. And she is such a daddy's girl. She only tolerates me because I make sure her cage is clean and I'm the one who feeds her. Do you hear a hint of jealousy in my tone? (LOL). I wouldn't trade any of them for anything!!!
Tara, Palm City, FL
Posted: 5/1/2008 5:33:46 PM
nice pigs.
MLM, HAMPTON, VA
Posted: 5/1/2008 1:16:48 PM
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