Behavior

 

If you love guinea pigs and want to keep them properly, you have to understand something about their behavior. You should know how they communicate with each other and what individual signals mean.

 

Guinea pigs use body language and vocalizations to let their herd mates know exactly what they want. Their message is easy for us humans to understand.

 

 

Here is a little dictionary of "GUINEA PIG LANGUAGE" :

 

- Freezing

The word describes exactly how guinea pigs behave when they are startled or frightened. They stand perfectly still, as though turned to stone, and all movement is, so to speak, "frozen"

 

 

- Threatening

Before males start to fight, they try to intimidate each other with threat displays, unnecesarry bloodshed will be avoided. This behavior makes sense biologically. The males try to impress each other by presenting their flanks and ruffling up their hair. This display is accompanied by loud tooth chattering and lowering of their testicles. The opponent circles each other while "purring and making long-drawn-out "grrr" sounds. Threatening behavior is rarely observed in females.

 

 

- Treading

This behavior is often displayed along with threatening. When treading, the guinea pig places more weight on his front legs and lifts first one hind leg and then the other. His rump sways back and forth. Treading is observed primarily in subordinate animals

 

 


- Yawning

This is a submissive gesture and means that the loser of a fight would like to concede. It has nothing to do with feeling sleepy

 

 

- Rumba

The male courts the female with these dance-like movements. He approaches the female and struts around her in slowmotion, all the while shifting his body weight from one leg to the other. He announces his intentions with "purring" sound

 

 

- Urine spraying

This is an unusual method of rebuffing a suitor, if the male is too pushy, the females sprays him with urine. She can send a jet of urine a distance of almost 12 inches (30cm)

 

 

- Jumping (Popcorning)

Like high-spirited children, guinea pigs, especially young ones, jumpstraight up into the air from a standing position. Called "popcorning", it is an expression of playful exuberance that other youngsters find catching

 

 

- Squealing

This is a begging sound a long, penetrating whistle that the animal uses to beg for food. Rarely does a "well-trained" guinea pig owner ignore this call for help

 

 

- Screaming

When guinea pigs are afraid or pain, the scream. It sounds like a long-drawn-out shriek

 

 

- Whining

This sound is unmistakeable. It is a long, soft, high-pitched cry and arouses sympathy. Guinea pigs whine when they are alone and unhappy

 

 

- Purring

Males purr during courtship and when threatening. It is a deep sound with trills