Saturday, July 12, 2014

Polite Pig

Have you ever heard a guinea pig say "Thank you" when they've been handed a treat?  Pinniped has been making a quick little purr when I hand over certain green veggies or corn husks.  Usually it occurs just as she bites into it and hauls it away.  Realistically Pinni is probably saying "Hand the food over faster" or "Yay!  Food!" but it sounds like thanks to me.

She's not the first - I've had other guinea pigs do this.  Granted, I only get a thank you when I'm doling out the really good stuff.   Cannoli has yet to express any gratitude.

Right now, Pinni's thank-you food of choice is corn husks.  She regularly purrs when I hand it over.  I videoed it, but you have to turn the volume way up on order to hear her purr just before the corn husks are whisked from my fingers.  The longest purr (and easiest to hear) is first.  The other two occurrences are are shorter and quieter.  The camera picked up the crunching/munching with no problem!

Do your guinea pigs ever say thanks?  Or do they just take the goods and run?


  1. Belka does the thank you/victory treat purr, usually while running off to gobble down the goods. It's pretty funny to see.

  2. I thought this noise was supposed to be bad? As in "stop that!"
    Am I completely misreading my girls?

    1. Almost all of the noises guinea pigs make have multiple meanings. The purr's meaning depends a lot on body language. The scared/dislike purr tends to be a bit shorter and sharper than the happy purr, and is combined with a nervous looking or upset pig. Happy purr has a relaxed or in this case, eager looking pig. They'll also purr at each other as part of the dominance display; combined with a wobbly walk, it's called "rumblestrutting."


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