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Taming of The Nach-rew

Hello furfriends.

Whee asked you all for posts you’d like to see and the one request that caught our interest came from Isabelleh

How can you get scared or stubborn piggies to get to know you even after months?

I’m going to let you in on a little secret here guys . . . I’m a very nervous piggy.

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Loud noises, loud hoomans, thunder, fireworks, spoons clinking against the side of a mug, jangling keys and a whole host of other things scare me into hiding or panicking. There was no reason for me to feel this way in hooman terms. I hadn’t been hit or hurt or suffered in any way before. I had a very fortunate upbringing with lots of love and care from day 1 up until the day I came to Mummy and beyond.

The thing is, for us piggies, fear is a natural response to hoomans. We don’t know you, you’re huge compared to us and whee are prey animals. All our instincts scream at us to hide and avoid you.

Taming me was possibly the most difficult according to Mummy but also the most rewarding. It took a long while but below are the steps she followed to gain my trust.

– First, whenever she was on the phone, she sat next to the cage for conversations to get me used to the sound of her voice in a situation where I wasn’t the focus of the attention.

IMG_3186– When whee were brave enough to peek out at her (This took nearly 10 days for me) she changed so she was talking to us softly and had her hand on the edge of the cage holding a piece of spinach or parsley. Parsley got my attention more but it’s all about what is your piggies favourite. After twice daily attempts over four days, I dared to dart out and grabbed a mouthful.

– Over the next few days Mummy worked with gaining my trust by offering me food and wouldn’t let anyone try to pick me up. To clean us out she guided us calmly into a box and did it quickly and put us straight back.

– Then she began to use the hand not offering the veggie or treat to stroke us. For the first three days I ran away each time but on the fourth I flinched but didn’t run.

wpid-img_20141015_221814.jpg-After that, even when I was a little skitty she got me out every day to handle and snuggle. As I was only little, she cuddled me in an old beanie hat. She would reach in and pick me up quickly and securely using the hat and both hands. Not giving me time to run or panic or get stressed. If she ever missed and didn’t manage to get me first time she would close the cage for a few minutes and talk softly to me and then try again.

Whenever I was out I was fed a little herb treat or piece of veg to build my confidence.

Now when I see the beanie or a cosy I know there is a positive experience or treat on the way so I stress far less. In fact, when I’m out, I have been known to fall asleep.

But getting to this stage has taken months and I still get frightened and hide a lot. The most important thing to understand is; all piggies are different. A piggy will get scared or nervous at first. It’s a natural response for us. Some piggies, like me, will never totally relax or feel want to be handled often. Buddy will positively leap into your arms for a snuggle. Basil has been known to let himself out of his cage for one and Noah, well Noah will have hugs but only on his terms!

The key thing is patience. Time and patience are all you need!

Me demonstrating my relaxed pose for when the fireworks don't bother me!

Whee hope you find this information helpful. What tips would you give hoomans for taming pets?

Have a great Tuesday efurryone

Nacho

xxxx

How To Tame Guinea Pigs?

This is something Mummy is asked a lot and has seen asked on a forum she visits so she decided it was time to do a post on it. How you can tame your piggies. This is the method she uses, it won’t work for everyone and you do need to adapt it depending on how your piggy reacts and behaves at different stages but whee hope this helps and gives you ideas.

Over to you Mummy!

Thanks piggies. Firstly, I have to tell you, my taming method is a slow process. It’s all about positive reinforcement and gaining their trust. Some piggies will never fully settle or be fully tame, it’s a matter of pigsonality. This is the step by step guide of what I did when I brought Nacho home and when Noah joined him.

– First, whenever I was on the phone, I sat next to the cage for my conversations to get them used to the sound of my voice in a situation where when they weren’t the focus of my attention.

– After three or four days of this, I did the same but with the cage open.

– Then when they were brave enough to peek out at me (I think this took two days) I changed so I was talking to them softly and had my hand on the edge of the cage holding a piece of spinach or parsley. Parsley got their attention more but it’s all about what is your piggies favourite. After four attempts over four days, they came and grabbed a mouthful.

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– Slowly I worked with letting them eat from me and then putting my other hand in the cage next to them. (over two days)

– Then I used the hand not holding the veggie to stroke them gently. (again over two days)

– Then, even when they were a little skitty I got them out every day to handle and snuggle them. As they were little, I cuddled them in an old beanie hat. For bigger piggies a blanket, or fleecy jumper will work well. You can buy or make your own cosies too. When you have them out, feed them a little herb treat or piece of veg to build their confidence. Now when they see the beanie they know there is a positive experience or treat on the way so don’t seem to mind coming out. In fact they really enjoy it!

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I hope this helps some people learn how to tame their piggies!

Happy Sunday

~ Amy

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