How to Tell Guinea Pig Personality

A young reader provides guideance on the finer points of guinea pig personality identification and what you can do with the little varmints once you know.
May/June 1985
http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/guinea-pig-personality-zmaz85mjzraw.aspx
Do you know your guinea pig personality?


ARKHIPOV/FOTOLIA

You probably never thought about it, but guinea pig personality is something you should know if you are going to have one. Here is how you can tell: place your pet guinea pig in a small space, but with enough room to run around. Now sneak around a corner where the guinea pig can't see you, but you can see it. If it immediately starts running around and chirping, then you have an unusually happy and inquisitive guinea pig. If your guinea pig just sits there looking around and trying to shrink into the ground, then you have a very scared guinea pig and need to convince it that all is well to see its true personality. If your guinea pig dives back into its cage, it is a guinea pig with definite preferred places. If it just sits there looking quite content, then you have a quite content guinea pig that will usually be happy wherever you set it down.

How to change a scared guinea pig into a friendly and inquisitive guinea pig: Give it greenery and put it in a dark space and softly croon to it while it is eating. Do not make any loud noises or move suddenly. Keep this up for days or even weeks, and your guinea pig should become less and less scared. Gradually move your guinea pig out into the open, out of the darkness into the light, and pet it while crooning.

Ten Things to Do With a Guinea Pig

[1] Statue. Get a stool, and set the guinea pig on top. The guinea pig will not jump off but will stay as still as a statue. Name your statue.
[2] Breathe Ocean Waves. Lie on your back. Put the guinea pig on your tummy. Make your tummy go up and down with big breaths, and your guinea pig will look like she's sailing on ocean waves.
[3] Hold Coronations. Make a little paper crown. Place it on the guinea pig's head. Have a coronation.
[4] Opera. Teach her to "sing" opera when it's on the radio. Squeeze slightly at the sides of her mouth, and she will lift her head and look as if she is singing opera.
[5] Compass. She can be a compass if you point her nose to the north. Then you can practice finding your other compass points on her.
[6] Lion Ruff. Fluff up the fur around the guinea pig's neck so she will look more like a lion. Sing fierce music.
[7] Hide and Seek. Set the guinea pig on the floor, away from her cage. Cover your eyes and count to ten. Then find her.
[8] Elephant Seal. Gently press the guinea pig's nose, and she will look like an elephant seal. That will get you laughing a long time.
[9] Teeth and Tongue. Set your guinea pig on a high chair so you are eyeball to eyeball. Look in her mouth. See her tongue and teeth. Compare her mouth to the giraffe's — the one you saw at the zoo.
[10] Lettuce La Mania. Take the outer leaves of head lettuce that your mother throws away, give them to your guinea pig, watch all the excitement, and call it Lettuce La Mania!