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. Before teaching this trick, it's a good idea to teach your guinea pig how to stand up on their hind legs or go to a platform. If your piggy is hesitant to put their paws up on your hand, it may also help to teach them the paws up trick before starting on 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 page)
I like to use a platform for this version of the wave trick because it's easier to teach the guinea pig to reach their paw out rather than be tempted to climb on your hand instead.
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)
Teach your guinea pig to put their paws up on your hand.
You can start teaching this by luring the guinea pig onto your hand with a treat. Keep practicing until they are becoming more confident about putting their paws on your hand. Once they start getting the hang of that, start gradually raising your hand higher and begin to fade out the food lure.
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 is lacking confidence with standing on two legs, 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.