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Basic Guinea Pig Training

Find out what you can train your guinea pig to do.

By Audrey Pavia

two guinea pigs in exercise pen
Guinea pigs Blossom & Daffodil/Courtesy Joanne Krisky
Most guinea pigs can be trained to do one or more of the following: come when called, beg and use a litter box.

Come When Called
Guinea pigs can be trained to do simple commands using food. You can teach your small pet to come when called by saying his name and then giving a treat. Do this repeatedly until you notice your guinea pig looks at you when you say his name before you give a treat. Next, say his name and hold out the treat from a few inches away and wait for him to come to you. Be sure to give a treat and praise your small pet. Gradually move farther and farther away when you call his name, always offering a treat once he comes to you after you have called his name.

Sit Up And Beg
Guinea pigs can also be taught to sit up and beg. Sitting up is a natural behavior for guinea pigs. Offer your small pet a treat by holding your hand above his head and when he sits up, give him the treat. Add a verbal command once he responds by sitting up consistently, and eventually, your guinea pig will sit up when you tell him to, waiting for a treat.

Litter Box Training
Guinea pigs can also be litter box trained. However, it is not always reliable. Sometimes they will use a litter box and sometimes they won't. Place a litter box in the spot in the cage where he goes to the bathroom most often. Put a handful of hay inside the box, along with a few fecal pellets. When you see your guinea pig use the litter box, give a treat as praise. Ignore mistakes he might make, but reward when your small pet when correctly using the litter box.

Training Tips
When training a guinea pig, always use his favorite treat. Give a reward the moment he performs the behavior you want. Ignore him when he makes a mistake or gets it wrong. Never scold or punish your guinea pig — use only positive reinforcement.

Like this article? Check out the following:
Guinea Pig Litter Trainingclick here>> 
Increasing The Bond Between Guinea Pigs And Owners, click here>>

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Reader Comments
I am currently trying to have a good bond with my piggies. I want to train them, but I am wondering at what age do they start responding well to training?
Vanessa, spokane valley, WA
Posted: 3/13/2015 7:33:17 PM
i have only taught my guinea do squeak for food when she hears a bag.
hailey, smyrna, DE
Posted: 2/8/2015 1:14:14 PM
I had never given much thought to training a guinea pig. It is great to know that it is a possibility.
Heather, Townsend, MA
Posted: 9/9/2013 2:58:05 PM
What a great idea. I love training any animals.
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 3/17/2013 11:43:58 PM
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