How smart are guinea pigs? The fact is that guinea pigs are intelligent rodents; they can perceive some gestures and even respond when their names are called.
Moreover, just like dogs, these fluffy pets can identify different sounds and can be trained to learn tricks!
Let me tell you how happy I am when my pet guinea pig, Ginger, came running towards me when I called his name! It was rewarding. (please read here how to introduce Guinea pig)
Interesting, isn’t it? If you want to learn more, then please read on.
Facts About Your Cavies
Did you know?
· Guinea pigs were already considered as pets in the 16th century
· 3 hours is the maximum time for guinea pigs to run after being born
· Guinea pigs give birth to a fully developed offspring. Meaning, it already has hair, and their eyes are fully open
· Their tails are not visible
· These creatures communicate vocally. Wherein they “purr” when they feel happy and “chirp” when they are stressed
· Since guinea pigs are social beings, they can become depressed when they are kept alone; a dominant male leads their wild ancestors as they live in groups.
A small companion perfect for you to keep at home, this is how I imagined owning a guinea pig, and I was not wrong!
Your cavies don’t take up too much space inside your home, convenient for those who have a small space living in.
However, they are anxious, especially to larger animals. So you’d want to keep your dog away from your guinea pig if it’s still new to your environment.
Moreover, these little and fluffy beings are very active, day and night! Like my guinea pigs, Ginger and Ken, they play a lot. I get worried sometimes because I thought they would get exhausted and weak, but they don’t! (please read here what do Guinea pig like to play with)
Anyways, going back to our topic, how smart are guinea pigs?
They are not just cute and small, but they’re also intelligent!
Let me help you know more, so shall I continue? Read on!
Are Guinea Pigs Smart?
Again, yes, they are smart!
At times I have doubts when I see Ginger just sitting there with his food looking like “not smart” at all.
But let me tell you the reasons as to why they are clever.
#1. They have a good memory! remembers everything
Do you have a good memory?
Well, I don’t. I quickly forget simple tasks, making me compare myself to Dory from “Finding Nemo.” You know, that fish with short term memory.
Regardless, guinea pigs can:
· Retrace their step
· Remember gestures
· Identify your voice (especially when you call their name)
· Remember certain sounds and voice
Are they retracing their steps? So they can still find their way back home?
Technically, they can as long as they are no prey on by other animals.
This ability is prominent for their wild relatives where they can remember the track they walked on before, which is a useful attribute for them when looking for food.
However, this trait can still be seen for the domestic ones or your pet when they can identify rooms if you let them roam around your house.
But if you want them to roam outside, please look after your pet, or else you will find no trace of it outside your yard once left unattended.
#2. Your voice? Don’t worry; they won’t forget that.
It’s what they want to hear the most, especially if you’re calling your guinea pig to eat. I mean, I like the sound of that.
Whenever I call Ken and Ginger, they rush their way towards me as if they are on a race, and I am their finish line.
But when I’m angry, it’s as if I have no pets around because of their hiding! (please read here how to catch Guinea pig)
Yes, they can even identify your tone of voice, so if you want them to behave accordingly, you better change your tone.
#3. You can teach them tricks! a fun and exciting activity
Unlike other pet rodents, guinea pigs can easily catch on when taught new tricks.
After all, they are social creatures, and your pets would love it when you spend more time with them!
Please take it as your quality time for your pets. (Please read here how to entertain Guinea pig)
But I suggest you teach them one-on-one since they are social creatures and get easily distracted when their friends are around.
Well, I’m like that too when I’m studying, so how much more with our guinea pigs, right?
Going back to our topic, here are some easy tricks you can teach your pet:
- Standing upright
- Passing a ball (I recommend you purchase a play ball for guinea pigs)
- Walking/jumping through a hoop
When training them to do such things, better offer them treats, the same as how we train dogs.
I mean, who will say no to treats? Not me.
Regardless, guinea pigs are better trained when they are older; 6-9 moths would be the best age for your cavies to learn commands. (Please read here how to tell a Guinea pig age)
Despite being a fast- learner, please use the right technique when teaching them any tricks and please be patient.
It takes time; my Ginger learned to stand after a month! I was jumping out of happiness! It was one of the proud moments I experienced.
After hearing such facts, you might be wondering if they are any smarter than other rodents. Well, let’s find out.
Are They Smarter Than Any Other Rodents?
According to some studies, guinea pigs are smarter! Why?
Research done by a German studies team said that as they observed guinea pigs, the animals showed a favorable response to their experiments despite having a smaller brain compared to most rodents.
Through the rewarding method, the experiment consisted of the rodents to follow specific instructions in exchange for a prize.
After this, it was concluded that guinea pigs are more intelligent.
How did they compare the rodents? You may ask.
As the research took place, they also discovered various guinea pigs’ traits, which made them outstanding from other rodents.
They are calm and cautious, as to how the study from the journal of Animal Cognition mentioned.
Here’s how it went:
Strange objects were placed in the rodents’ area. The researchers have seen that guinea pigs were cautious during the experiment.
They took longer to approach as they were still trying to figure out if it was safe to go near it, unlike other rodents who rushed towards the object without a doubt.
The researchers believed that it was part of their survival skills, showing a keen and careful trait; these animals use their brains to survive in the wild.
Notable, isn’t it? How these small and cute creatures are intelligent when left alone as they are.
Adding to your amazement is their behavior towards other rodents; since they are social creatures, guinea pigs were calm to other guinea pigs even if they don’t know them.
While other rodents became aggressive towards similar rodents.
Meaning, guinea pigs can quickly adapt to a new environment and take more time to identify the environment they are in, although they get bored too. (please read here how to make Guinea pig happy)
Now that you are informed of how smart are guinea pigs, I hope you’d appreciate your pets more!
After knowing my pets’ abilities, I started to research how to teach them tricks and follow my commands. And believe me that it was a fun process!
Now, my Ginger and Ken are closer more than ever!
Nevertheless, guinea pigs are very comfortable with the owners and don’t get grumpy or scared if you carry them or pet them, unlike most rodents.
So, if you’re planning to own a pet, then I suggest you raise a guinea pig!