How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Wave
Wave is definitely one of the cutest tricks a guinea pig can learn. It's so adorable to see your guinea pig wave back at you when you wave at them with your finger. In order to teach this trick effectively, your guinea pig should know (at minimum) how to either stand up on their hind legs or go to a platform. If your piggy is hesitant to put their paws up on your hand, they should also learn the paws up trick before starting on wave.
*Wave is sometimes a challenging trick for guinea pigs new to training, so it's a good idea to teach some of the guinea pig tricks listed under the Starting Tricks list (particularly the tricks listed above) before teaching wave.
How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Wave (Video Tutorial)
Version 1 (Wave one paw)
Find a suitable sized platform and teach your guinea pig to get on/off it on cue.
(See: Go To Platform)
(See: Go To Platform)
Hold your hand out in front of the guinea pig, just out of their reach. Reward any time they try to reach or wave their paw towards your hand.
If they won't try to paw at your hand at all, move it a little bit closer until they will, or go back a step and keep practicing.
Practice until the guinea pig is consistently pawing at your hand.
Start building duration by waiting until you get a second or third wave before rewarding.
Version 2 (Stand Up & Wave)
Raise your hand just a little bit higher until it is just barely out of the guinea pig's reach. Reward whenever they try to reach up and paw at your hand.
Reward more when they wave or touch your hand with just one paw instead of both.
Keep practicing until they are waving consistently, then start adding a cue as they are waving.
Additional Tips For Teaching This Trick
- Your guinea pig should be able to stand up fairly well before attempting version 2 of this trick. If your guinea pig isn't too confident with standing up yet, you can teach them to wave from the ground (version 1) instead, and try version 2 once the guinea pig has grown more confident with their balance.
- Encourage the guinea pig to wave more by praising them extensively whenever they put in more effort or wave with more enthusiasm than usual.