How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Give a Paw
Give a paw is a super cute guinea pig trick, and a great addition to your piggy's repertoire of tricks. This is a pretty standard (and cute!) trick in the dog world, and it's one of the few dog tricks that are also suitable for guinea pigs to learn. This trick is generally not too difficult to teach, but it does often require a bit of extra repetition and practice.
How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Give a Paw (Video Tutorial)
For this trick, you will need....
Choose which hand and paw you're going to work with for this trick. Try to be consistent about using the same hand, and asking for the same paw every time.
Hold one hand flat, close to the floor, in front of the guinea pig. Holding a piece of food in your other hand, lure the guinea pig up just a little so one paw lands on your hand.
If both paws land on your hand, gently shift your hand to one side so one paw slips off, or take your hand away and try again. Practice this several times, until the guinea pig is following the lure confidently and putting their paw up on your hand easily.
Also encourage the guinea pig to keep their paw on your hand a little longer each time. To do this, keep offering more food before the guinea pig has a chance to take their paw off your hand. This step will likely need plenty of repetition over a few sessions before your piggy is ready to move on to the next one.
Try holding your hand out in front of the guinea pig to see if they will give you their paw without any prompting. Be ready to reward quickly, as soon as their paw touches your hand. Give them lots of treats and praise when they put one paw on your hand.
If they try to step up with both paws, take your hand away and use a lure again to get just one paw. If needed, go back to the previous step and keep practicing. Test it again later when you think they can do it on their own.
Practice until the guinea pig will consistently put one paw on your hand without a lure.
Additional Tips For Teaching This Trick
- Remember to keep your hand very close to the floor, as lifting it too high is uncomfortable for the guinea pig when they only have one paw on your hand
- This trick requires plenty of repetition and muscle memory on the part of the guinea pig, so be patient and consistent when working through this trick with your piggy.