Guinea pigs are intelligent creatures that are capable of learning and comprehending a wide range of human words and phrases.
You can teach your pet guinea pigs a variety of orders and tricks if you have patience and perseverance.
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How do guinea pigs recognize sound?
Guinea pigs have excellent listening skills. Their ears have the ability to magnify sounds from a long distance.
It then funnels these magnified sound waves down to the ear canal, providing guinea pigs with exceptional hearing capabilities. Because guinea pigs are prey animals, having a keen sense of hearing is essential for them to survive and thrive.
According to research, guinea pigs are capable of understanding and associating sounds with specific behaviors and responses. Classical conditioning training is what this is referred to as.
Guinea pigs will learn to expect an appropriate response whenever they hear a specific piece of music or tone that is played on a regular basis before performing any action if the piece of music or tone is played on a regular basis before performing any action.
For example, guinea pigs may learn that the opening of the refrigerator indicates the presence of food. The crackling of a hay bag indicates that they are about to receive new hay. Additionally, the sound of the door opening indicates that their owner has returned from their place of employment.
How many words can a guinea pig learn?
Guinea pig owners can teach their pets a variety of commands by keeping them short and simple so that their pets can understand them, according to the ASPCA.
The following are typical words and phrases used to refer to guinea pigs:
- Please come here.
- Towards the top (to make them sit on the sofa or bed)
- Then there’s the fact that (to make them come down of couch or bed)
- It’s all right (comforting them if they are scared)
- Either go to bed or go inside (move back to the cage for sleep)
Guinea pigs will respond to the tone of your voice as well as the volume of your voice. Almost all orders should be delivered in a gentle and soft tone to ensure that your guinea pigs do not become alarmed.
Also read: Do guinea pigs remember things?
Guinea pig hearing range
According to studies, the hearing range of guinea pigs of low sounds is between 54 Hz and high sounds up to 54KHz, which is more than that of the hearing of their human partners.
It indicates that hearing guinea pigs is very sensitive, and the owners should not shout or scream if their guinea pigs behave destructively.
However, you can use a severe or sharper tone around your guinea pigs if they misbehave.
Always attempt to speak these commands in the same way and tone every time to add these in your guinea pig’s memory in the right manner.
Do not say one command the first time in a soft tone and second in a sharp tone. Not maintaining a consistency in tone will make these orders very confusing and misleading, similar to the other speeches of humans.
Gestures can also be used while saying these commands.
For example:- Patting the pillow near you and saying “up!” to convey the guinea pigs that it is fine to sit on bed near you.
You must also maintain consistency in these gestures to prevent your guinea pigs from being confused.
Can guinea pigs respond to names?
As per studies, sometimes guinea pig will not rush towards their owners when their name is called out. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t recognise their names.
Sometimes, it happens because guinea pigs misbehave and do not obey you. For example:- If you call their name and they suddenly turn their backs at you and do not move a single muscle.
Guinea pigs are much more mischievous and naughty than they are assumed. Though guinea pigs do not disobey because they want to upset you, but may be they simply have desires of exploring and relaxing more at that moment.
It has been stated that guinea pigs do respond when they listen to their name-calling. If guinea pigs want to listen to their owners or not is quite a different thing.
If you teach your guinea pigs their name, you must stick to single names to call your guinea pigs.
Few owners might call their guinea pig with different names like snowball, snowy, or snow, and it can turn into confusion for a new guinea pig.
Calling guinea pigs with a particular name is a much better option, considering they already know and understand that it is their name.
How long does it take for a guinea pig to learn its name?
Guinness Book of World Records states that teaching guinea pigs to recognize their names and come to you when called by their names can be a time-consuming and difficult task.
Guinea pigs are not fond of anger and aggression, so displaying patience is a preferable alternative to these emotions.
The first thing you must do is convince your new guinea pigs that you are not a threat to their well being. Guinea pigs are highly alert at all times, so it will take some time for them to become acclimated to their new environment.
This procedure is referred to as socialization, and it is critical for the growth and development of young guinea pigs at every stage of their lives.
Even though guinea pigs have a calm and quiet nature, they are social animals who want to know who they will be living with for the rest of their lives and how they will get along with them.
If your guinea pig is socialized with their human partner from a young age, they will quickly learn to be comfortable around other human beings, even those who are unfamiliar to them.
It may be beneficial for your guinea pigs to be playful and engage in physical activity outside during the times of the day when they are feeling more energetic.
In accordance with the findings of the research, guinea pigs are crepuscular creatures, which means that they are more energetic in the early morning and late evening hours.
Guinea pigs who are allowed to play when they are at their most energetic may be more willing to explore the house and become acquainted with their human caregivers.
Training your guinea pigs
However, it is important to note that human socialization is not something that can be accomplished in a single or two-day period. The use of classical conditioning training, such as the following exercises, can make this procedure significantly easier.
Take a few steps back and lie down on the floor on your stomach so that you are at eye level with your guinea pig.
Hold this position, without moving or saying anything, until your guinea pigs feel safe enough to come close to you again.
Give them a treat like fruit as a thank you for their curiosity, and pat them on the back of the head gently.
If you attempt to grab your guinea pigs in a rough manner or make sudden movements, they will become alarmed and run away.
Repetition of this procedure several times a day is necessary until and unless your guinea pigs begin to approach you without hesitation.
Before you force your guinea pigs to learn something, you must first ensure that they are comfortable in your presence.
Then you can teach your guinea pigs their names and get them to come when you call for them to.
How do you teach your guinea pig its name?
Your guinea pigs may find it easier to learn new commands after going through the exhausting process of convincing them that you are who you say you are (and vice versa).
In a similar way to how you teach them to come closer to you, you can teach your guinea pigs to recognize their own names.
Lie down on your stomach on the surface, keeping a short distance (1 foot would be ideal) between you and your guinea pigs, and then call each one by their name as they come to your attention.
If they are approaching you without the command, they may appear perplexed by this new command; however, continue to give it in a calm and gentle voice.
If your guinea pigs come closer to you, give them a reward.
Continue doing this until your guinea pigs are ready to come to you when they are called by their names willingly.
When your guinea pigs are able to cover this distance with ease, try increasing the range a little and repeating the process.
It may be beneficial to hold a treat in front of the guinea pigs to entice them to follow you.
Come forward to the same distance as you did earlier and repeat the process if you notice that your guinea pigs do not approach you even after smelling the treat.
Continue to try more and more until your guinea pigs learn to come to you when their name is called no matter how far away they are.
As soon as your guinea pigs have learned their names, you can begin teaching them additional commands.
The amount of time it takes your guinea pigs to become proficient in this depends on a variety of factors, including the type of encouragement (or treats) they receive from you and the difficulty level of the commands.
The most important aspect of training guinea pigs is to maintain a consistent and straightforward tone throughout the process.
Guinea pigs are extremely intelligent animals that can be taught new skills.
For example:- You can teach your guinea pigs how to twirl around or roll a small ball in exchange for some treats by teaching them to do so. It is far preferable to keep things simple and consistent when it comes to rewarding positive behavior with treats, petting, or pampering, rather than complicating things.
Do guinea pigs remember their names?
Because of the guinea pigs’ fearful behavior, it can be difficult to determine whether or not the guinea pigs are aware of their own names. This is especially true if they do not always show up when they are summoned.
The amount of training your guinea pig receives will determine whether or not they will remember their own name in the future.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, have excellent long-term memory. According to the findings of the research, guinea pigs can retain specific responses from the beginning of their learning process for an extended period of time.
Furthermore, the researchers discovered that, even when the guinea pigs are not given specific responses between the ages of 6 and 9 months, they can still remember the desired response much more quickly during the process of relearning skills than when they were first taught how to act in response to the said response.
That demonstrates the guinea pigs’ excellent memory capacity, as well as their ability to recall memories from the past unintentionally and without having to think about them too much.
It is expected that your guinea pigs will retain their names, commands, and tricks that they have been taught for a long period of time as a result of all of this.
It does not rule out the possibility of continuing to work on these commands and skills with your guinea pigs in the future. The memory of the guinea pig will be preserved if you practice on a regular basis.
That is also why appropriate encouragement is critical throughout the training process and beyond.
If your guinea pigs come to you when called, they must be taught that they will be rewarded with some sort of fruit treat or grooming session as a result of doing so.
When teaching them some commands and tricks, keep in mind that offering them small slices of fruit or other treats is perfectly acceptable.
Sugary treats, on the other hand, should be eliminated from the diet because they aid in the training of your guinea pigs to better understand commands.
Excess sugar can result in obesity as well as other health complications. Other options for rewarding guinea pigs include petting them, praising them verbally, and providing them with toys that are better for their long-term health, among others.