Many times certain pets run cheerfully towards their owners when their name is called. However, it can be tough to understand the behavior of pets like guinea pigs. Some guinea pigs hardly respond to their names, which makes their owners wonder if their guinea pigs know their names.
Pet guinea pigs do understand their names. Guinea pigs are capable of linking sounds with related orders. So, there is a possibility that your guinea pig learns to respond to their name. Offering treats, petting, and other positive encouragement will help guinea pigs to keep these orders in their memory.
By carrying patience, you can teach your pet guinea pigs different sorts of orders and tricks.
How do guinea pigs recognize sound?
Guinea pigs are good at listening. Their ears can magnify sounds that are far away.
It can then funnels these magnified sound waves down to the ear canal, which gives guinea pigs an excellent hearing capacity. As guinea pigs are prey creatures, this strong sense of hearing is essential for their living.
As per studies, guinea pigs will understand and relate sounds from particular behaviors and responses. That is called classical conditioning training.
Playing a piece of specific music or tone regularly before performing any action will make guinea pigs learn to expect an appropriate response whenever they hear the conveyed sound or tone.
For example: Guinea pigs may learn that the opening of the fridge means food. Crackling sounds of a bag means they are going to get fresh hay. Also, the sound of opening the door means that their owner has come back from their work.
How many words can a guinea pig learn?
Owners can teach their guinea pigs different kinds of commands by keeping them short and simple for their pets to understand.
Usual words and phrases for guinea pigs are as follows:
- Come here
- Up (to make them sit on the sofa or bed)
- Down (to make them come down of couch or bed)
- It’s okay (comforting them if they are scared)
- Bed or go inside (move back to the cage for sleep)
Guinea pigs will also give response to your voice tone. Nearly all orders should be conveyed in a gentle and soft tone, so your guinea pigs do not get scared.
Also read: Do guinea pigs remember things?
Guinea pig hearing range
According to studies, the hearing range of guinea pigs of low sounds is between 54 Hz and high sounds up to 54KHz, which is more than that of the hearing of their human partners.
It indicates that hearing guinea pigs is very sensitive, and the owners should not shout or scream if their guinea pigs behave destructively.
However, you can use a severe or sharper tone around your guinea pigs if they misbehave.
Always attempt to speak these commands in the same way and tone every time to add these in your guinea pig’s memory in the right manner.
Do not say one command the first time in a soft tone and second in a sharp tone. Not maintaining a consistency in tone will make these orders very confusing and misleading, similar to the other speeches of humans.
Gestures can also be used while saying these commands.
For example: Patting the pillow near you and saying “up!” to convey the guinea pigs that it is fine to sit on bed near you.
You must also maintain consistency in these gestures to prevent your guinea pigs from being confused.
Can guinea pigs respond to names?
As per studies, sometimes guinea pig will not rush towards their owners when their name is called out. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t recognise their names.
Sometimes, it happens because guinea pigs misbehave and do not obey you. For example: If you call their name and they suddenly turn their backs at you and do not move a single muscle.
Guinea pigs are much more mischievous and naughty than they are assumed. Though guinea pigs do not disobey because they want to upset you, but may be they simply have desires of exploring and relaxing more at that moment.
It has been stated that guinea pigs do respond when they listen to their name-calling. If guinea pigs want to listen to their owners or not is quite a different thing.
If you teach your guinea pigs their name, you must stick to single names to call your guinea pigs.
Few owners might call their guinea pig with different names like snowball, snowy, or snow, and it can turn into confusion for a new guinea pig.
Calling guinea pigs with a particular name is a much better option, considering they already know and understand that it is their name.
How long does it take for a guinea pig to learn its name?
Making guinea pigs learn their name and come to you when called by this name can be a time-consuming and challenging task.
Guinea pigs do not like anger and aggression, so showing some patience is a better alternative.
The first thing you need to do is make your new guinea pigs feel that you are not a danger. Guinea pigs are alert at all times, so they will take a while to get accustomed to the new place.
This procedure is called socialization, and it is essential for the growth and development of young guinea pigs.
Even with guinea pig’s calm and quiet nature, they tend to be social animals and wish to know about with whom they are going to live for the rest of their lives.
If your guinea pig is socialised at the younger age with their human partner then they will learn quickly to be comfortable with other human beings who are not even known to them.
It might help your guinea pigs to be playful and do exercise outdoors at the times of the day when they feel more energetic.
According to the research, guinea pigs are crepuscular creatures, which means that they are more energised at the time of early mornings and sunsets.
Guinea pigs who are permitted to play when they feel energetic at their best may be willing to explore the house and to get familiar with you.
Training your guinea pigs
Yet, it is essential to note that human socialization is not something you can do in one or two days. To make this procedure easier, it is an excellent option to try classical conditioning training like:
- Get down on the floor on your stomach so that you are in level with your guinea pig’s eyes.
- Hold on this position without moving and being quiet until your guinea pigs feel much safer to come near.
- Reward them for being curious with a treat like fruit and offer a gentle pat on their head.
- Do not attempt to grab your guinea pigs roughly or make sudden movements else it will scare them out.
Repeat this several times in a day until and unless your guinea pigs start coming near you without a doubt.
Your guinea pigs must be sufficiently relaxed around you before you make them learn something.
And from there, you can teach your guinea pigs their name and come when called.
How do you teach your guinea pig its name?
After the tiring procedure of making your guinea pigs believe you, you may notice that it is easier to teach your guinea pigs some new commands.
You can make your guinea pigs learn their name similar to how you teach them to come closer to you.
- Get or rest down on your stomach on the surface, maintaining a short distance (1 foot would be excellent) with your guinea pigs and then call them by their name.
- They might appear confused at this new command if they are coming near you without it, but keep doing it with a gentle voice.
- Reward your guinea pigs if they come closer to you.
- Keep this continuing until your guinea pigs get ready to come to you when called by name willingly.
When your guinea pigs find it simple to cover this distance, try increasing range slightly and restart this process.
It may help by holding a treat in front to attract guinea pigs to follow you.
If you observe your guinea pigs do not approach you even after smelling treat, come forward to the same distance earlier and try the process again.
Keep trying more and more unless your guinea pigs learn to come to you no matter how far their name is called.
Once your guinea pigs learn their name, you may try teaching them further new commands.
The length of time it takes your guinea pigs to get expertise in this to rely on many other elements like the kind of encouragement (or treats) your guinea pigs get from you and the difficulty level of the commands.
Keeping a consistent and straightforward tone is the critical factor of guinea pigs’ training.
You can even teach your guinea pigs some tricks.
For example: You can make your guinea pigs learn how to twirl around or roll a small ball in return to get some treats. It is much better to maintain simplicity and consistency in stimulating positive behavior by rewarding with some treats, petting, or pampering.
Do guinea pigs remember their names?
Due to the skittish behavior of guinea pigs, sometimes it is hard to find whether the guinea pigs know about their name or not. Especially if they do not always come when they are being called.
Whether or not your guinea pig will remember their name will depend upon the training provided to them.
Luckily, guinea pigs have wonderful long-term memory. According to the research, guinea pigs can remember specific responses from the beginning of learning skills for a long period of time.
Researchers also learned that even if the guinea pigs are not given any specific responses between 6-9 months, they can still remember the desired response much faster in the process of learning skills again than when they first learned how to act to the said response.
That verifies the good memory capability of guinea pigs or the capability of recalling memories of the past unintentionally without overthinking about them.
Typically, what all this means is your guinea pigs will be able to remember their name, commands, and tricks they are taught for long time.
It does not signify that you should stop working on these commands and skills with your guinea pigs. Regular practice will help in keeping guinea pig’s memory preserved.
That is also why the right encouragement is essential in the process of training and further.
Your guinea pigs must be taught that approaching you when called will get them rewarded with a sort of fruit treat or grooming session.
Remember that offering small slices of fruits or other treats is fine when teaching them some commands and tricks.
Though, you should start removing sugary treats as they help you to make your guinea pigs understand commands better.
Excessive sugar can lead to obesity and other health issues. Other options of rewarding guinea pigs can be petting, praising verbally, offering them toys that will be better for their health in the long-term.