There are so many fun and creative tricks you can teach your guinea pig to improve the bond between the two of you and enrich your piggy's life. Some are ideal beginner friendly tricks, such as circle, paws up, or pushing a ball around. There are also some that require a bit more time and practice, but are so much fun to teach, such as basketball, weaving through your legs as you walk, waving their paw, and playing fetch like a dog. The video below shows some examples of what you can teach your guinea pig with a little bit of patience (and lots of veggies!)
All the tutorials shown above can be found on this website (guineapigtricks.com) with detailed step by step instructions and training tips for each trick. The tricks under the Starting Tricks tab are best for beginners, with more trick tutorials like basketball and weave walking also available once your piggy masters the basics. Below is a list of all the tutorials in the video above. Click the links to visit each trick tutorial page and see more information about that particular trick.
Tricks can range from as simple as putting their front paws up on a low object, to more challenging tricks like shooting hoops.
Weaving around poles is a fun and flashy trick for all types of animals. Weave poles are a great addition to an agility course for guinea pigs, or as a stand alone trick. Weaving is usually not the easiest trick to teach though, so it is best to start an agility course simply with some different types of jumps and tunnels before thinking about adding any weave poles or A-frame type of obstacles. Check out the video below for some tricks and tips for teaching the weave poles.
As mentioned above, weaving isn't the quickest or easiest trick to teach, and it does involve patience and repetition to get to the final result. You will likely be working on the weave poles for a couple weeks at least. If you want to make the obstacle a little bit easier, you can teach your guinea pig to go through the poles just once (instead of going down and back) or you can use fewer poles for your finished trick.
It is important that you don't reward the guinea pig at the same pole every time. Sometimes guinea pigs will try to anticipate where they will get a treat, and try to skip other poles so they can get to the "treat pole" faster. If your guinea pig gets certain "sticky spots" where they always try to skip the same pole every time, try to catch them before they run past the pole, and lure and reward at that spot every time until they are better at weaving through that particular spot.
I find that plastic drinking cups work great for this trick (plus, you can stack them for storage when you're done.) I used a set of green jello cups (shown above) in the video, but anything similar works great for this trick.
The video below demonstrates how to teach your guinea pig to run through tunnels in a step by step process. Tunnels can be as basic as a short open tunnel, to longer tunnels that even bend and twist in different directions. Once your piggy has mastered the open tunnels, you can also use a bit of fleece or fabric to make a tunnel that is collapsed on one end, and teach your guinea pig to go through a closed tunnel. Open tunnels (of all shapes and sizes) and closed tunnels both make great additions to an agility course if you choose to teach your piggy agility at some point as well.
Tunnels are one of the most popular agility obstacles for all types of animals. They are often a fun obstacle for people and animals alike, and tunnels are typically pretty easy to teach as well. Along with jumps, tunnels are one of the best beginner obstacles to start with if you're going to be teaching agility to your guinea pig.
Agility courses provide great exercise and mental stimulation for guinea pigs. The first steps to getting started with guinea pig agility is teaching all the obstacles individually. Open and closed tunnels, as well as jumps, are great to use together when you start to set up your guinea pig's very first agility courses.
You can find some great tunnels to use for this trick at pet stores, online at Amazon, or even just by using your creative side and scavenging around your house. Anything that is 5" or bigger in diameter (and safe for the piggies) can be used as a tunnel for guinea pigs. Small boxes with the bottom cut open work great, and they are super cheap and easy to use.
Jumping is a fairly easy trick to teach to guinea pigs, but it's still a fun trick none the less. Jumps are common obstacles in agility courses, so it's a great trick to start with if you want to teach your guinea pig to run agility courses.
Jumps can be made from all different types of materials; from cardboard, to popsicle sticks, or even rolled up newspaper. You can find a tutorial for DIY guinea pig jumps using recycled cardboard material here. You can also find a tutorial for a freestanding agility hoop jump here.
Some guinea pigs enjoy jumping more than others, so don't push your piggy to jump too much if they don't seem to enjoy it. It's a good idea to keep jumps extra low for older or over weight pigs. If you're curious about how high guinea pigs can (or should) jump, check out the How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Jump page and scroll down a bit for some info and tips on the ideal jump height for guinea pigs.
Thanks for reading!
Giving a paw is a relatively simple, but adorable trick that you can teach your guinea pig. This trick is one of the most common dog tricks, and is definitely a cute trick no matter what type of animal learns it.
This trick is typically a good choice to teach a guinea pig new to trick training, as it is usually pretty straightforward to teach. It often takes a bit more repetition than some other tricks though, so be patient when teaching it. It might take several short (3-5 minute) training sessions for a guinea pig to completely master this trick. Some piggies have a tendency to put both paws up on your hand instead of just one, but if you are consistent about rewarding for one paw only, the guinea pig should catch on pretty quickly.
For written steps and more training tips for this trick, check out the Give a Paw trick tutorial page.
Following a person around is probably the cutest guinea pig trick out there. Guinea pigs that follow you around are just undeniably adorable. This trick really has a way of making them feel more like a little 2lb puppy dog than a guinea pig.
This trick is fairly straightforward and easy to teach, as long as you take the time to bond with your guinea pig and get them comfortable with you standing and walking around near them.
The video above outlines all of the steps to teaching your guinea pig to follow you around like a dog, or you can find more tips and the full tutorial on the follow me trick tutorial page.
This trick can be a lot of fun to teach to a guinea pig, but it's important to make sure your guinea pig is totally tame and comfortable around you before trying to teach them to follow you. Trust is an important factor for this trick, because people can look quite big and intimidating from a guinea pig's perspective. Make sure you go slow, and understand that guinea pigs may be nervous to be around your feet at first, especially when you start walking around beside them.
Overall, this trick is really great for guinea pigs, and tops all other tricks for its cuteness factor and puppy dog personality. It's definitely near the top of my list of favorite tricks. I especially love how it really shows off the bond that has developed between your piggy and you.
Thanks for reading!
If you're looking for jumps for guinea pigs that are easy and cheap to make yourself, but still sturdy and safe, this tutorial will be perfect. These jumps can be made out of recycled materials (ie. cardboard that would otherwise be garbage) and can be painted nicely to fit in with any colour or theme that you like.
The video above shows the steps involved in assembling these cute little jumps. You can also find more pictures and a written tutorial on on the cardboard guinea pig jump tutorial page. These jumps make a great addition to a guinea pig agility course, or used on their own to teach your guinea pig to jump over them.
Thanks for reading!
Weave walking is one of my all time favourite guinea pig tricks. It tends to be a more advanced trick, and works best with guinea pigs that are more confident and outgoing. It takes a lot of trust on the part of the guinea pig, to be comfortable with you standing above them and walking so close to them. Many guinea pigs are not comfortable with this at all at first, so make sure your steps are slow and deliberate, with no fast, sudden movements. Go at your guinea pig's pace, whatever that may be, and be patient. Even if your guinea pig doesn't master this trick perfectly, it's still a good trick for confidence building and to teach your guinea pig that moving around them isn't such a scary thing.
If you think your guinea pig may need some work on the taming and confidence building part before attempting this trick (or if you're getting stuck while working on this trick) visit the guinea pig Taming and Bonding page for tips on helping your guinea pig learn to trust you more.
Wave is probably one of the cutest tricks you can teach your guinea pig. You can teach your piggy two different versions of this trick (or even both!) Guinea pigs can learn to wave one paw (when they are standing on all 4 feet) or they can learn to stand up on their 2 back legs and wave one or both front paws while they're in the air. If you're going to teach the latter, make sure your guinea pig has excellent balance and has learned the stand up and beg trick very well already.
The first version (waving one paw from the ground) is easier to teach initially when the guinea pig is on a (sturdy and safe!) low platform at first. This way, you can move your hand away to encourage them to reach and wave their paw, rather than just climb onto your hand. :) Once the guinea pig learns the trick, you can practice it without the platform.
Waving tends to be more difficult than some of the easier tricks on this site, but it's still a lot of fun to teach! If you want to make sure your guinea pig learns this trick as quickly and as smoothly as possible, make sure they learn the following tricks first:
Go To a Platform
Stand Up & Beg
Guinea pigs that learn basic tricks first will be able to learn the more challenging (and more interesting) tricks much faster (and with less frustration) than a guinea pig that is just starting out. It is well worth taking the time to teach these types of tricks before moving on to the more advanced behaviours.
This tutorial shows in a step by step process how to make a cute and functional mini skateboard. Sized perfectly for guinea pigs, these little skateboards are great for trick training. Riding/pushing a skateboard is a more advanced trick for guinea pigs, so ideally your guinea pig should learn several tricks under the Starting Tricks list before attempting the skateboard trick.
These skateboards aren't too difficult or expensive to make, and you can customize them by painting them in the color(s) of your choice or painting zigzags, symbols, or other little design features on it. There are so many ways you can make these mini skateboards unique and cool looking. Plus, skateboarding is a pretty fun and adorable trick to teach to guinea pigs as well.
Welcome to the Guinea Pig Tricks blog! Here you will find articles about guinea pig training that may not be on the other pages of the site, and more detailed posts about common questions and problems regarding teaching tricks to your guinea pigs. If you have any suggestions for topics you would like to see me write about on this blog, you are more than welcome to email me through the contact page on this site with your suggestion. Otherwise, feel free to read through the posts and have fun training your piggy! :)