Do Guinea Pigs Recognize Their Owners Smell?

Guinea pigs are cute and pretty smart too. They can express their feelings thru different sounds and movements, are they smart enough to know who their owner is from their smell?.

Yes Guinea pigs can recognize who their owner is from their smell, because there eyesight is not that good they rely on their keen sense of smell. They can even smell their owner at a distance and sometimes will go to them.

Because of their poor vision they rely on sound and their keen sense of smell, and even when they are in the wild they use their sense of smell to recognize family members and those who are not part of their group.

Many owners have mentioned that their guinea pig will show affection towards them when they come into a room and approach the cage. They also will look forward to a cuddle from their owner. It’s quite clear they do recognize different humans and know who their friend and owner is.

Signs Your Guinea Knows Who You Are

Wheeking… This is the sound they usually make when there hungry. It Is also the sound they make toward their human owner and is a sound they have developed in captivity and not used in the wild. When your guinea pig wheeks it also means that they recognize you.

Purring… This is a low tone that is similar to a cats purr but lower and similar to a dogs grumble sound. Guinea pigs purr when there in a happy state. If you are holding and them and they begin to purr it can also mean that they recognize you and feel safe.

Grooming… This is another way your guinea recognizes you thru grooming, which involves them licking and nudging you and when they do this you know it thinks your special. Many Guinea pigs will enjoy sitting on the lap of their owner and sometimes will squeeze themselves into your arms.

Getting them to reach this point will require some time until they begin to trust you. Don’t be too concerned if you new pet runs and hides in their cage when you come into the room. Once they get familiar with your sounds and scent, they’ll quickly want to be with you.

Helping your Guinea Pig Recognize You

There are several things you can do to get a guinea pig to know who you are, this begins by making certain they don’t feel unwanted. Work on making them feel like there welcomed around you and this will help them feel safe and secure when you’re with them. If they appear to be afraid and uninterested here are a few things to do:

Don’ Be in a Rush… When you first bring your pet guinea pig home it’s natural for them to be afraid and skittish, so take your time and don’t make any fast sudden movements which will help keep them calm and get to know you.

Be Quiet… Try to avoid making loud noises in the room either from moving furniture or playing loud music and talking loudly.

Talk to Them… Have a conversation with them, this may feel strange having a one-way conversation, but it will help them recognize your voice and feel calm and relaxed.

Have a Routine…Guinea pigs like to have a daily routine especially when its mealtime, and following the routine lessens the chances of them being startled and helps them to feel safe and secure around you.

Use Food to Bond… A great way to get them to recognize you during the first few days and weeks is to get them to eat out of your hand a few times. Don’t try and force them, if they won’t take the food from your hand place it in their plate.

Many guinea pigs are quite shy and to help them get over their shyness put their food at one end of the cage and then place your hand on the other end of the cage. As they get accustomed to your hand, over the next several days move your hand closer to them and pretty soon they be eating with your hand beside them, then try to feed them from your hand.

Take your Time… It’s their nature to be shy and it’s difficult for them to get used to a new person when their placed into a new surrounding. Being very curious they will come around and soon they will recognize you.

Can You Train Your Guinea Pig to Recognize You?

Yes you can simply by having good interactions and creating that trusting relationship with them will result in them trusting you and very soon they will recognize who you are. The easiest way to teach your guinea pig to trust you is spending some time teaching them some basic tricks. Here are a couple tricks you can begin with:

How to Teach a Guinea Pig to Stand

This trick will require that they will eat from you hand already and is very basic and guinea pigs catch on really fast. Do the same thing like you do when getting them to eat from your hand, place the yummy treat in your hand and keep it at their eye level and say “stand up” and let them take the treat from your hand.

After doing this a few times raise your hand with the treat a little higher up so your piggy will need to stretch upwards to get the treat. Continue increasing the height of the treat until they are standing up in order to reach their treat. In a few days of practice they will naturally stand when you have a treat for them and say “stand up”. Next you can just give the “stand up” command and they will stand up, make sure you give them a treat after obeying you.

Teach Your Piggy How to Jump Hoops

First get a hoop that they will be able to jump thru easily, you can use a piece of cardboard and cut a circle out of it, make the outside wide enough so you can hold onto the hoop while teaching your guinea pig this trick.

With a favorite treat in one hand and holding your hoop in the other hand hold the hoop at ground level and get your piggy used to going thru the hoop, still give the treat if they only go part way through this will help get piggy comfortable with the hoop.

When you can get them to walk thru your hoop continue the same thing and raise the hoop up a bit and continue raising the hoop until they can jump right thru it. You can give them a treat and even some verbal encouragement during the training. Doing these simple tricks will really help them bond with you and trust you and its fun too.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Attached to Their Owners?

Yes they can get very attached to their owner. How much they bond to you can depend on the personality and each piggy has a unique personality. The age they where when you got them can also affect how attached they will become. We got our pair of guinea pigs at 6 months old from a friend who got sick it was about a month before the finally started to accept us.

I would say that they where very close to there previous owner and it can take awhile and lots of patience to win them over. If I had to do it over again I would get them at a much younger age so they can bond much quicker. Things are good now and they have accepted us as their owners.

Do Guinea Pigs Need to Have Human Attention?

Guinea pigs require interaction with others, so it’s a good idea to have at least a pair and they do need to have some interaction with their owners. They need to have the attention of their humans… Isn’t that why you have pet guinea pigs? Just like any other pet you need to create a relationship with them.

The reason for recommending you have a least 2 guinea pigs is in their natural environment they are a very social animal. In the wild they are mostly a herd animal and need the interactions of others. Having two guinea pigs isn’t that much more work than having one, all you’ll need is a bigger cage and some more food.

The human attention becomes more important if one of your guinea pigs dies and getting another one could take some time for them to bond with your guinea pig. So, while your cavy is adjusting to there new mate your going to need to spend some extra time with them until they have fully accepted their new friend.

The attention your piggies need can be as simple as being around them, picking them up, petting them. Brushing them can be enjoyable for you both and of course talking to them goes a long way in creating that special bond and after awhile you may find that they simple want to be near you.

Are Adopted Guinea Pigs Harder to Bond With?

If your planning on adopting a Guinea pig you’ll have to work on winning their love and trust and piggy will know your not their owner. Adopted guinea pigs will need to go through some adjustments, but you can get their loyalty by spending extra time with them and being patience with them while they adjust to their new home.

When your adopting or if your giving up your guinea pig take some time to talk to each other so the piggy can have the same food and care schedule, this will really help your piggy adjust to their new home and owners.


So we now know that guinea pigs do recognize their owners smell which helps them to get used to their owner and both of you can have a great relationship. Thanks for reading.

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