Stand up, also commonly referred to as “beg,” is a well known, beginner friendly guinea pig trick. This trick requires balance on the guinea pig’s part, so the amount of time it takes to teach this trick will vary from one guinea pig to the next. If your guinea pig is hesitant to stand up at first, remember that this is normal and totally fine! Be patient, and work through this at the guinea pig’s pace. Most guinea pigs will improve quickly with practice and will go from refusing to lift a foot to standing up all the way with confidence. Stick with it, be consistent and patient, and your guinea pig will catch on in no time!
How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Stand Up/Beg (Video Tutorial)
For this trick, you will need…
- Your guinea pig
- Your piggy’s favorite veggie treats
- A safe enclosed space with few distractions
Teach your guinea pig to put their front paws up on your hand. Start with your hand at ground level and lure them onto your hand with a treat.
Gradually raise your hand higher off the ground as the guinea pig gains confidence. Practice until they will step up on your hand a few inches above the ground with less reliance on the food lure.
Keep the treat close to the guinea pig’s nose and slowly lure upwards. Reward when they lift one or both paws slightly off the ground.
If they are hesitant to lift even one foot off the ground at first, reward just for reaching their neck up towards the food. Jackpot reward with lots of treats and praise whenever they happen to lift their foot just slightly off the ground. Repeat this several times.
Once the guinea pig is standing up more confidently, gradually start luring them a little higher each time. Reward for small efforts, being careful not to ask for too much too soon. Only ask them to stand up as high as they seem comfortable with.
To encourage the guinea pig to stay standing longer, let them nibble on the food for a few seconds while they’re still standing on two legs.
Practice until the guinea pig is balancing more confidently on their hind legs and is less reliant on the lure.
Start using the lure less and less, eventually fading the lure and introducing a hand signal or verbal cue each time the guinea pig stands up.
Additional Tips For Teaching This Trick
- Some guinea pigs have better balance than others. If you have a guinea pig with poor balance, be patient and work through this trick slowly. With ample time and patience, their balance and confidence will gradually improve.
- On the other hand, if you have a young or more agile guinea pig, you may be able to skip the first step (putting their front paws up on your hand) and just lure them into a standing position right from the beginning. Some guinea pigs naturally have good balance, and therefore pick up on this trick very quickly.
- Many guinea pigs won’t lift their feet off the ground at all initially, and will just stretch their neck up as far as they can while keeping their feet planted. Keep rewarding them for reaching up and watch their feet. If they lift up one of their legs, even very slightly, reward with plenty of treats and praise. Be patient and generously reward them whenever any progress is made, no matter how small.