Animal Behavior Network

Error-Free Guinea Pig Raising

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS/P

Invest minutes a day learning how to raise the guinea pig of your dreams and a best friend for life!

Need Help? 

Call 1-800-372-3706
to speak to a Veterinary Behavior Technician

Paws To Speak!

Member Main Menu

Help is at your fingertips by library, email and phone.


All Pets   |  All Guinea Pigs  |  Media Center  |    Print

Aggression Unraveled

Aggression can be defined as a bite or any threat of a bite. Do not be fooled into thinking a guinea pig will not bite if threatened or scared. "He never bites," means, "so far."

What types of aggression are common in guinea pigs?

Fear Aggression

A frightened guinea pig may act aggressive towards a perceived threat, especially if there is no opportunity for escape.

If your guinea pig is showing fear aggression towards you or anyone else, stop trying to handle your guinea pig, instead start over by offering treats and petting your guinea pig softly. Work up to handling your guinea pig after petting is enthusiastically accepted. Be sure you are securely holding your guinea pig when you pick her up and keep sessions short.

Avoid scenarios which can cause your guinea pig to regress due to fright. (Example, do not attempt to handle your guinea pig during a bad thunderstorm or when you have children running through the house which could cause loud noises.)

Territorial Aggression

You place your hand into your guinea pigs home to pick up a food dish or refill the water and you are rewarded with an angry guinea pig and a bite on the hand. What is this all about? If your guinea pig is only threatening and aggressive when you are near their home your guinea pig may be showing territorial aggression by showing displeasure about the invasion.

To stop your guinea pig from acting aggressive towards intruders, begin by sitting next to the pen and reading a book out loud. Toss in a treat for good measure every once in a while and remember to provide positive experiences only. Slowly approach the pen and offer another goodie until you can easily place your hand in the pen without being chomped on. Treats provide a distraction but also show them you are a friend who provides good things when around and not someone to be driven away.

For the short term, a good pair of gloves may be needed to avoid injury when feeding or removing items from the pen. Take your time in helping your Pet learn that you are not a threat to their territory and always remember, physical punishment is NEVER warranted.

Gentle Pet Training Methods

Using positive reinforcement methods will help your Pet learn to trust and accept you. In addition to learning trust and acceptance, your guinea pig will gain self-confidence as they learn you are the source of all good things. A confident guinea pig will be better able to adjust to new people and new situations.

Helping All Pets become Happy, Lifetime Learners.

MyABN         Library         Contact ABN         Privacy Policy

Copyright 2001-Present All Rights Reserved Dr. Rolan and Susan Tripp | Animal Behavior Network & Affiliates