Guinea Pig Bite Training With 5 Basic Steps

Many people feel excited when they buy guinea pigs for the first time. But did you know that these docile, friendly, and cite piggies can bite? Well, they don’t unnecessarily do that, but only when provoked.

If you are a pet owner, you should know how to handle your guinea pig. And if possible, train them not to bite. They are intelligent animals that can learn if well trained.

Continue reading as we explore reasons for guinea pig bites. We will also provide tips on preventing your guinea pigs from biting you.

Do Guinea Pigs Bite?

Yes. Guinea pigs can bite if they want to defend themselves. However, their bites are rare. They will only do that if provoked and cannot flee to hide. These friendly pets can also bite you if they mistake your hands for food. You need to be careful when feeding or handling them.

Guinea pigs will advance to biting if they are in a helpless situation. Usually, they do so if threatened, bullied, mishandled, or ill. If they are in pain or your hands hold too strong, they may retaliate by biting.

A guinea pig bite is painful enough because of its well-developed teeth. Fortunately, their bites are harmless. Apart from the mild physical pain, there is nothing more to worry about.

But how do you avoid those bites from your guinea pigs? Form a strong bond and remain friendly. So, if your pet is prone to biting your fingers, you should find a solution. Read on for more information on how to do it.

Guinea Pig Bite Training With 5 Basic Steps

It is easy to train your guinea pigs not to bite you. You only need to understand their language and handle them appropriately. If the guinea pig trusts you and becomes friends, you will not have to experience the horror bites ever again.

Gaining the Trust of Your Guinea Pigs

This is very important if you are getting guinea pigs for the first time. You and the pet are unknown to each other. You may be eager to start playing with your little, cute piggy, but it is not playing time just yet. You have to win its trust, and that is the key.

Become familiar and friendly to the guinea pig by hanging out without trying to engage your pig at first. Just sit peacefully next to the cage for the pig to know that you mean no harm. After some time, start talking to the guinea pig, but do it calmly.

Treat your new guinea pig as a human guest in your family. We don’t usually rush to get visitors playing or making stories to us, do we? Take your time to know your piggy and give it the chance to trust you first.

Make Physical Contact for Short Periods

You can feel like petting your guinea pig but make contacts for a short time. Don’t get absorbed into playing with it for a long time.

Guinea pigs, like many other pets, know people with their smells. The little time you spend next to its cage and making contact should make them know who you are next time to check on them. Ensure this step is successfully completed before moving to the next one.

Understand a Guinea Pig’s Reasons for Biting

You can now spend longer hours petting your guinea pigs and talking to them openly. However, there may be surprises, which you should be ready for. Your pets can surprisingly bite you, and that is when you know something is not in its place.

Guinea pigs don’t just bite. If you have that experience, the following can be the reason:

  • Your guinea pig is stressed out
  • Your guinea pig needs to be released if you were holding it
  • Your guinea pig is in pain
  • Your guinea pig feels threatened
  • Your guinea pig has a skin condition
  • Your guinea pig mistakes your finger for food

Take your time to know why the guinea pig still bites you despite the efforts of getting it to trust you. You can plan your next move based on that reason. Try to understand if the bite was a mistake or intended, as is the case if you cause pain or mishandle the pet.

You should also further study the behavior of your guinea pigs. Do they feel anxious or threatened? Observe their movements and reactions and ensure they are calm.

Handle Guinea Pigs Properly

Your guinea pig will only become friends with you when you handle them appropriately. They can become threatened if you inflict any pain on them. That can also make them scared and afraid of you. The worst thing you can do is scare off your pet that is supposed to be your best friend.

If the handling is gentle, guinea pigs will stay quiet and calm. But if you are not handling your guinea pigs appropriately, you can see the following signs:

  • Flinching
  • Squealing or screaming
  • Grinding teeth
  • Posture changes
  • Quick breathing
  • Grumpiness

Don’t Reward Bite Behavior, Give Treats to Reinforce Good Behavior

Like all other pet training, we reward guinea pigs when they achieve a positive result. There should be no treat for them if they bite. That is the only way to make them know that biting is discouraged. Never reward a vice!

4 Tips to Avoid Guinea Pig Bite

Apart from training your guinea pigs not to bite, you can avoid it by not provoking the act. If you make them learn how to bite before anything else, it will be a challenging task for you to train them to unlearn it. Use the following tips to avoid guinea pig bites:

Don’t Stick Your Fingers Through the Hutch or Cage

Putting your fingers in the cage is like invading their privacy or territory. Some breeds can be so territorial that they don’t allow any strange objects in their cages.

Don’t just stick your hands in the guinea pig cage to provoke them. Keep off the guinea pig cage if you are not doing any routine practice.

Never Be Rough and Always Handle Your Guinea Pig With Care

How you handle your guinea pigs determines their attitude towards you. Hitting them will make you an enemy, and they will fight with their teeth as the last weapon. Always be gentle when carrying guinea pigs in your hands.

Offer your palm for the guinea pig to sit on and use the other hand to hold it near the ram. That way, they will feel more secure and never worry about falling. Have a solid grip, but don’t make it too strong to hurt it.

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Give Them Plenty of Space and Toys

Most guinea pig breeds are playful. They need space in the cage and toys to play with to break boredom and anxiety. You can also consider buying guinea pigs in pairs so that they give each other company. But hanging toys in the cage should just suffice.  

Wash Your Hands and Make Sure There Is No Smell of Food

Guinea pigs can bite your fingers if they mistake them for food. The only way to avoid that is to wash your hand clean with hand washing detergents to remove any smell from the food previously touched. Just don’t give them a reason to bite you.


How do you teach a guinea pig to bite?

Guinea pigs will bite if they feel threatened, in pain, or mistake your fingers for food. You don’t have to train them to bite because it is an inborn behavior.

However, you can make them not bite by rewarding good behavior with a treat. Also, don’t provoke them by not sticking your hands in their cage and washing your hands before touching them.

How bad does a guinea pig bite hurt?

Guinea bites are rare, and even the few ones are not painful. However, if they are annoyed and need to express that, their bites are painful. Their teeth can go through the skin to create deep wounds. You don’t want to get there. So, just handle the little piggy gently and know when it is enough.

Why does my guinea pig bite me when I pick him up?

Your guinea pigs will not just bite you for no reason. However, they like mouthing their owners to taste if it is food. These are usually mild bites that don’t cause any pain. If you are bitten for real, your guinea pigs feel threatened or are just afraid of you.

In Short

Guinea pigs are docile and friendly pets that don’t just bite people. They only do it as the last defense option to protect themselves if they feel threatened, stressed, or mistake you for food. You can train them not to bite by not rewarding such bad habits.

Thank you for your time at the Petsive. We also have many posts about caring and handling guinea pigs that you may be interested in reading. Kindly explore the website and share the content with fellow pet lovers. 

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