How to Introduce Guinea pig to Dog , step by step ?
Do you have a dog and you want to introduce your piggy to him ? Yes it’s possible, you can introduce a guinea pig to a dog , but this will be done gradually and with a lot of precautions.
Why is it difficult to make a guinea pig and a dog live together ?
Of course they can become friends but never forget their respective instincts, the dog is a born hunter and the guinea pig is a prey that instinctively flees from any animal that has fangs, especially dogs, so how to make your dog and your guinea pig live together, under the same roof and become friends, without your dog to eat your guinea pig as soon as he is hungry !!! it would be terrible no oh my gods, let’s see how to avoid that ….
Precautions to take when you have a dog and a guinea pig
The first precaution to take in order not to risk the head of your guinea pig is to never leave him alone with your dog, never trust your doggie, in any case the first weeks …
The first step in training your dog not to attack your guinea pig and not to consider him as a threat or food is to teach him not to go near the guinea pig’s cage or he will stress and create fear and severe anxiety or a bad feeling in the guinea pig with the result that your guinea pig will not trust your dog if he harasses him even once when he is in his crate.
Secondly, make sure that your dog stays away from you when you take your guinea pig out of the cage and hold it in your arms or play with it. Do this from the first days, the dog will of course notice the guinea pig, it will be curious but never let it get close to you until you learn to control it and control its attitude towards the guinea pig.
Will my dog get along with my guinea pig ?
Older dogs are generally the calmest and are easy to train to respect your guinea pig’s fearful nature and not cause panic in your guinea pig.
You will also have an easy task if you have a rather passive dog, who doesn’t like to get tired and generally prefers to take it easy on the Sofa, while a puppy or a dynamic dog with a playful, curious, lively temperament and runs around the house, this kind of dog will be really difficult to make cohabitate with a guinea pig, this fragile animal that could lose its life just by receiving a paw from your dog.
So be doubly attentive if your dog is the lively type, make sure that he is really calm, sitting or lying down or even held on a leash by someone else before showing him your guinea pig even from far away and talk to him gently so that he doesn’t approach him or take him for a toy or a plush toy, which would be really dramatic and fatal for your guinea pig.
Your dog’s past can predict his reaction to your guinea pig
When you want to introduce your guinea pig to your dog and you are afraid of your dog’s reaction, think about how your dog would react when he saw a cat, a squirrel for example, is he their backyard ? Is he used to chase cats from alleyways when he meets them outside ? …
If the answer is yes, know that you will have a hard time getting your dog to accept your guinea pig because it is difficult to make him forget this habit of chasing and attacking small animals, especially those that cannot defend themselves like the guinea pig.
Understand that I am not saying impossible in this case but just difficult for such a dog to stay quiet and watch your guinea pig walk without chasing him, it will take a lot of training and behavioral change on the part of your dog to overcome his desire to attack small animals, including your guinea pig.
The Process of Introducing a Guinea Pig to a Dog
We will assume that your dog is calm, is not a hunting dog and that you can control him, so he is ready to be introduced and introduced to your guinea pig, here is how to proceed to make friends.
You should know that you can only introduce your dog to your guinea pig if the guinea pig is fully acclimatized and adapted to you, your family, your home and is used to getting out of his cage and feeling comfortable in your presence and that he trusts you completely.
If your guinea pig doesn’t trust you yet, here’s how to get him to like you and work and wait until he does, because it is you who will make him accept little by little that the dog is not a threat and that he is his friend.
The first step in the process of introducing the dog and the guinea pig:
In this first step, leave your guinea pig in its cage, keep your dog on a leash, go for a walk to tire it out, give it its food, your dog must be calm and totally obedient.
Hold him on a leash, or hold him by his collar, it’s even better and go put yourself 3 meters away from the cage of your guinea pig and ask your dog to sit down.
That’s what you will do the first day and not one step more !! the dog must be at the level of the door and make visual contact between the two animals, the guinea pig will surely hide in his shelter but don’t worry, he will quickly change his mind when he sees that the dog is not chasing him and above all do not look at him with a hungry and predatory look.
You will actually rely on the guinea pig’s natural curiosity, because it is this curiosity that will give him courage when you repeat this exercise the next day, and your guinea pig will come out of his hiding place to contemplate the dog, just out of curiosity, make sure that the dog remains quiet and under control when he sees your guinea pig pacing around in his crate.
The second step of the introduction of the dog and the guinea pig
Repeat the first step until the dog learns to stay still when he sees the guinea pig, use treats to achieve this result.
Make sure that the guinea pig has become accustomed to the presence of the dog in the same room, and finally comes out of hiding and quietly eats its hay and vegetables, a sign that it no longer considers the dog a direct threat.
In this second step, you will bring your dog closer and closer to the guinea pig’s crate while trying to keep the dog calm and make sure that the guinea pig does not run away from his side to hide in his shelter.
You will proceed very slowly, this second step may take several days, and the final result should be that the dog can sit right next to the guinea pig cage, looking at it without much enthusiasm, while the guinea pig should be completely relaxed and indifferent to the presence of the dog next to his cage, and if he is interested in him, make sure that it is just out of curiosity and not out of fear, so this would be the desired result of this second step, take your time and be patient until you get this result.
What should you do if your guinea pig remains hidden when you approach the dog in the crate?
You can encourage the guinea pig to come out of its shelter when you approach the dog by giving him pieces of his favorite fruit, small pieces of sweet apple give good results and encourage the pig, even when the guinea pig has come out with the dog lying next to its crate.
Third step of the introduction dog and guinea pig
During this step, someone must help you to keep the dog on a leash while you take the guinea pig out of its cage in the presence of the dog, hold it in your arms and make a few rounds around the room or the house , you with the guinea pig by reassuring it and your partner will bring the dog back and keep it quiet, remember that most of the work is done on the dog and you must reward it if it remains quiet in the presence of your guinea pig.
What you must avoid at all costs during this third step is that your dog jumps on you while you are holding your guinea pig in your arms, this must not happen because the guinea pig will get a shock and you will never make them accept each other afterwards.
So quickly put the guinea pig back in its crate if you see that your dog starts to get excited and shows signs of nervousness or aggression.
Repeat the exercise later in this case, when the dog becomes calmer, after a walk for example and just after his meal.
Fourth step when introducing guinea pigs to dog
In this last step, I guess your dog has finally learned to be quiet when you hold your guinea pig in your arms.
You will then work on the behaviour of the dog and make sure that your dog is trained to remain sitting or lying down even without being lazy and this in the presence of this fragile animal, he will finally understand because dogs are very intelligent.
Once you have obtained this result you will finally be able to work more on the guinea pig by placing it the first few times just between your legs in the presence of the dog sitting next to you and give it more and more freedom over time.
After a few months, you will be able to release your guinea pig in the presence of your dog without you having to fear that he will attack it, but you must never leave them alone, you never know with dogs, their hunting instinct could at any time take over !
As an ultimate result, it is not uncommon to see guinea pigs, especially when you have more than one , take the initiative and approach the dog themselves to satisfy their curiosity.
This is the ultimate result that every dog and guinea pig owner hopes to have one day, the dog and guinea pigs playing together, completely relaxed.