Posted: April 13, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My guinea pigs have tons of toys and I get them out every day, but all my guinea pigs do is sit in a hidey-box the whole time. What do I do?
A: Your guinea pigs just need to get to know that your intention is to love them. All those toys are wonderful, but they may not understand their purpose.
Go to your guinea pigs’ cage daily with a small piece of veggie or fruit, whichever is their favorite, to win their trust. Use their names at the same time to teach them their names. Eventually, your guinea pigs will answer to their names without a treat.
Another thing you can do is to take away their home when you spend time with them, but always replace the home as soon as you are no longer interacting with them. Your guinea pigs then learn that you are there to play, and they will have their home back when playtime ends.
After a play session, offer your guinea pigs a food reward to build a pattern of trust.
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