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Whenever we see pets performing some tricks on the Tv shows we often wonder, are they that smart? As a guinea pig owner, I have also wondered; are guinea pigs smart? And if yes, how smart are they? I decided to do some research and talk to a few people, and here is what I found out.Guinea pigs are relatively smart animals. Studies prove that they have a sharp memory that they used to remember their path in the wild. As pets guinea pigs are known for their capability to recognize their owners, respond on the call of command, and even perform some amazing tricks. We can harness their intelligence with some proper training and rewards.If you have seen guinea pigs in the past, then you might not have wondered are these animals really smart?All they do throughout the day is eat, sleep, poop & repeat. That’s not what an intelligent animal would do.Then what makes them smart in the first place? And how smart are they? Most guinea pig owners don’t realize the potential of their pets. However, today I shall help you uncover some hidden aspects of your guinea pigs.

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How smart are guinea pigs?

Guinea pigs are intelligent enough to recognize the voice of their owner. They do seem to recall their confinement fairly well.

Guinea pigs are capable of learning a few tricks relatively quickly if they are properly trained. They are even capable of responding to some basic verbal commands.

During their floor time, you can try a few different things to see how well they remember things. Alternatively, you could hide some of their favorite treats around the house and see if they can locate them using their senses.

You can even use some of their favorite treats to lure them into a maze and see if they can figure out how to get out on their own afterward. I am confident that you will be surprised by the outcome.

Not only are they able to locate their food in the maze, but they can also recall their steps and pathways for up to several months.

How good is guinea pig’s memory?

It has been demonstrated in studies that guinea pigs have a sharp memory and that they use it for a great deal of work that we are not aware of. Take a look at some of the characteristics that indicate how good their memory is:

  • Can recall the paths they took and retrace their steps back.
  • Guinea pigs are aware of their owners’ presence.
  • Learn to respond to them by their first and last names.
  • Learn and retain tricks for a long period of time.

Can remember the pathways and retrace their way back

Experiments and research have demonstrated that guinea pigs are capable of remembering their paths and retracing their steps to return to their homes.

Initially, the researchers hypothesized that guinea pigs use their keen sense of smell to navigate their way back to their cage.

The researchers discovered that guinea pigs use their kinesthetic memory to find their way back home after conducting extensive research and learning more about the animals’ behavior.

In the past, guinea pigs would wander far from home in search of food and water, which was essential for their survival. Even in such adverse weather conditions, they were able to return to their homes as soon as they became aware of a potential threat nearby.

Guinea pigs do recognize their owners

Guinea pigs are extremely intelligent animals, and if you spend enough time with them on a regular basis, they will almost certainly recognize you.

My guinea pigs seem to be able to recognize the sound of my footsteps, as they begin squeaking and wheeking for food as soon as I approach them. In addition, when I am in the vicinity, they will rush towards the cage’s door.

Guinea pigs also become accustomed to the smell and feel of your hands, and they will happily play and eat from your hands if you are present.

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Before you continue reading, here are some supplies for your guinea pigs that have been hand-picked and that you should add to your wish list right away.

Learn to respond to their names

Guinea pigs are capable of remembering their names, and they do respond when their names are called out to them.

However, they can recognize their own voice and tone in the voice and respond appropriately, even if they don’t understand the meaning of the word being spoken.

If you discover that your guinea pigs have taken to hiding, try calling their names to them and you will be surprised at how quickly they will come running towards you.

Learn and remember tricks for a long time

Guinea pigs are capable of learning new tricks relatively quickly if they are properly trained.

When they do things correctly, simply reward them with their favorite treat. As a result of this positive reinforcement, they will quickly associate the actions they must perform in order to reach their food and will learn some commands very quickly.

A few simple tricks, such as calling them out for food by saying a specific command, teaching them to stand up or go through a tunnel, pushing a ball, or even going around in a circle around the cage, can be taught relatively easily.

The best part is that they have a good memory and can recall the trick for a long time after it is taught to them.

So, by now, we’ve established that guinea pigs are intelligent, but how intelligent are they exactly? How does their intelligence compare to that of other animals? Let’s take a look and see!

Example of a few quick tricks guinea pigs can learn easily

6 Tricks Any Guinea Pig Can Learn | Guinea Pig Tricks

Step up:

Show them how to take a step forward with your hand.

  • Place one hand flat on the ground and the other with their favorite treat in your other hand.
  • Using the treat, draw them towards your hand, which is placed on the ground.
  • Place the treat at a height where they will be unable to reach it without stepping up.
  • Once they attempt to step up, issue a command such as step-up and immediately reward them with a treat.
  • Repeat the procedure for a few days, and your guinea pigs will learn to take the initiative even when there are no treats available.

Come to you on command:

Educate them on how to respond when you command them to come to you.

  • Lay down on the ground with some treats and your guineas, who will be safe in their own room because they aren’t allowed to roam.
  • You can call your guinea pigs by tapping your legs and shouting commands at them.
  • You can use a treat to entice them to come to your location.
  • Once they begin to come to you on their own initiative or at your command, give them the treat. It should be repeated for a few days.
  • Your guinea pigs will quickly learn to come to you when called, even if they are not given a treat.

How intelligent is a guinea pig? (Compared to other pets)

Although it is impossible to link the intelligence of guinea pigs to numbers or grades, previous research has shed some light on the subject.

In addition to being quick learners, guinea pigs can associate words with actions and are excellent at remembering information, which places them in the category of intelligent animals.

But how do they fare when compared to the other animals that are commonly kept as household pets? Is it true that they are more intelligent than humans? Let’s take a look at it!

Source: Number of neurons in the brain.

Are guinea pigs smarter than hamsters?

According to research, hamsters have a lower number of neurons in their brain than humans. i.e., they have the smallest amount of grey matter of any of the rodents.

In addition, hamsters are more difficult to train than guinea pigs because they have a short working memory span. As a result, we can conclude that guinea pigs are indeed more intelligent than hamsters.

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Are guinea pigs smarter than rats?

Rats and hamsters have a similar number of neurons to one another. While some rats have more neurons in their brains than hamsters, they are still unable to compete with guinea pigs in terms of intelligence.

Overall, guinea pigs have a faster rate of learning and can pick up tricks much more quickly than rats, making them smarter than the latter.

Are guinea pigs smarter than rabbits?

Rabbits have more neurons in their brains than guinea pigs, which is a significant difference. This should have improved their intelligence and made them more intelligent than guinea pigs. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are able to compete with them head to head.

In comparison to rabbits, which have a short-term memory that last only a few minutes, guinea pigs’ long-term memory lasts for an extremely long period of time.

Rabbits, on the other hand, can be taught more complex tricks than guinea pigs, which allows them to remain in the competition. You can draw the conclusion that rabbits are more intelligent than guinea pigs, but only to a certain extent.

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Are guinea pigs smarter than cats?

No, guinea pigs are not more intelligent than cats in any way. Cats have more grey matter in their brains than guinea pigs, which means they are more intelligent. They are also more recallable than guinea pigs, indicating that they are definitely more intelligent than the latter.
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Are guinea pigs as smart as dogs?

No, guinea pigs are not nearly as intelligent as dogs. Yes, guinea pigs recognize their owners in the same way that dogs do, but this does not imply that they are as good as dogs. Dogs can be trained to do a variety of tasks that guinea pigs are unable to perform, leading us to believe that dogs are smarter than guinea pigs.
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Are guinea pigs smarter than humans?

Guinea pigs are not smarter than humans, and this is obvious to anyone who has spent any time in the animal kingdom. While some animals, such as the African grey elephant, have more grey matter than humans, humans are by far the most intelligent of all living things.

Guinea pig IQ test

Guinea pigs are intelligent animals, but just as every human has a different IQ level, so too do guinea pigs have a range of IQ levels as well. You can, however, conduct a few small IQ tests to determine which guinea pig in your herd is the most intelligent.

Test 1: Finding the way out

  • Use playpen walls, bricks, cardboard, or anything else you can think of to create a maze for your child.
  • Draw your guinea pigs in one by one with a treat and force them to walk all the way to the other end of the cage.
  • Place a few small pieces of candy on the way back to the starting point.
  • It’s important to note how long it takes for them to return to the starting point. Take note of how long each of them takes and place them in a ranking order based on their time.

Test 2: Knocking the right bowl

  • Take three pieces of transparent glass and a small piece of carrot and mix them together (or any other treat)
  • Allow your guinea pigs to knock over the piece of carrot (or any other treat) placed under the plastic glass and then lick it to find the treat.
  • See how long it takes your guinea pigs to come up with the same solution.
  • You can repeat the process a few times by switching the location of the treat each time.
  • Sort your guinea pigs into groups based on their performance. (This is purely for entertainment purposes.)

There are a plethora of other methods for determining the intelligence of your guinea pig. I believe you’ve gotten the gist of what I’m trying to say. Consequently, experiment with your guinea pigs to see how it goes.

Sources: A water-maze test of learning ability for guinea-pigs, Brain and body growth of guinea-pigs