Wave is definitely one of the cutest tricks a guinea pig can learn. It’s so adorable to see your guinea pig wave back at you when you wave at them with your finger. Before teaching this trick, it’s a good idea to teach your guinea pig how to stand up on their hind legs or go to a platform. If your piggy is hesitant to put their paws up on your hand, it may also help to teach them the paws up trick before starting on wave.
How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Wave (Video Tutorial)
For this trick, you will need…
- Your guinea pig
- Your piggy’s favorite veggie treats
- A safe enclosed space with few distractions
- A piggy sized platform (ideally less than 4 inches high off the ground)
Version 1 (Wave one paw)
Find a suitable sized platform and teach your guinea pig to get on/off it on cue. (See Go To Platform page)
I like to use a platform for this version of the wave trick because it’s easier to teach the guinea pig to reach their paw out rather than be tempted to climb on your hand instead.
Starting with the guinea pig on the platform, move your hand slightly to one side of them and lure up so one paw lands on your hand.
Practice this several times until the guinea pig will consistently touch your hand with their paw without a lure.
Hold your hand out in front of the guinea pig, just out of their reach. Reward any time they try to reach or wave their paw towards your hand.
If they won’t try to paw at your hand at all, move it a little bit closer until they will, or go back a step and keep practicing.
Practice until the guinea pig is consistently pawing at your hand.
Start building duration by waiting until you get a second or third wave before rewarding.
Once the guinea pig is consistently pawing at your hand, start adding a cue. You can say “wave” or just do a hand motion like waving your finger while they wave.
Continue to practice with the cue until they are waving consistently on cue.
Version 2 (Stand Up & Wave)
Teach your guinea pig to stand up on their hind legs. Make sure the guinea pig is very confident with this trick before trying to teach them to wave while standing on two legs.
(See Stand Up page)
Teach your guinea pig to put their paws up on your hand.
You can start teaching this by luring the guinea pig onto your hand with a treat. Keep practicing until they are becoming more confident about putting their paws on your hand. Once they start getting the hang of that, start gradually raising your hand higher and begin to fade out the food lure.
Gradually raise your hand higher until the guinea pig will put their front paws up on your hand confidently at any height they can reach.
Raise your hand just a little bit higher until it is just barely out of the guinea pig’s reach. Reward whenever they try to reach up and paw at your hand, even just a little bit at first.
Keep practicing until they are waving consistently, then start adding a cue as they are waving.
Additional Tips For Teaching This Trick
- Your guinea pig should be able to stand up fairly well before attempting version 2 of this trick. If your guinea pig is lacking confidence with standing on two legs, you can teach them to wave from the ground (version 1) instead, and try version 2 once the guinea pig has grown more confident with their balance.
- Encourage the guinea pig to wave more by praising them extensively whenever they put in more effort or wave with more enthusiasm than usual.