Intro: Teach Your Guinea Pig to Run in a Circle
Step 1: Make Sure That You Are Trusted
To do this trick, your guinea pig must trust and eat out of your hand. This can be frustrating. It helps to have a treat that your guinea pig enjoys and can eat somewhat quickly. Don't give your guinea pig too much of the treat, or it will get full. To start this trick, your guinea pig must follow your hand with the treat in it.(not in a circle, but in any direction.) When your guinea pig can follow your hand for great distances, you are ready for step 2.
Step 2: Starting the Circle
Start doing circular patterns with the treat. Make sure you pick one direction (clockwise or counter clockwise) and stick with it. Make sure to reward your pig with small piece of the treat for every circle. After a while your guinea pig will expect a circle and will begin doing them more efficiently. As soon as this happens move on to step 3.
Step 3: The "key Words"
Assign a key word or phrase to this trick. Every time you want your guinea pig to do a circle, say the exact same word or phrase. I always say "do a circle", which he guinea pig interprets as "dooasercal" and will not understand if I rephrase it any other way. Saying "please! - I'll give you a juicy carrot" will not help; remember guinea pigs don't speak English! Also, if you pick a key phrase that is too long or confusing, or if you say too much other stuff, your guinea pig might get confused and do circles for everything even when you don't want them to. You can assign any key word(s) that you want, such as "circle", "turn", or "do a circle". Just make sure to remember the key words, otherwise your guinea pig will get very confused if you try to teach them new key words. It helps if every now and then you give your guinea pig a treat without making it do a circle. A good time to do this is when they're in their cage - not in the middle of a lesson.
Step 4: The End of the Lesson
This is the hardest part. It will probably take over 100 level 3 circles to get here. Eventually your guinea pig will expect a circle and be able to do them quickly.. When this happens you don't need to make your guinea pig follow your hand for a full circle, just put the treat either to the right or the left of their face (depending on the direction of the circle), say the magic words, and your guinea pig will begin to learn how to do circles without following the treat. Make sure to reward them for every circle. It is important that you never change the direction of the circle. When teaching your guinea pig to do a circle do not award a treat for a circle in the opposite direction you taught it (even though it is tempting at times) because this is rewarding them for not completing the trick correctly. After the circle is mastered, make sure to practice it often enough so that your guinea pig doesn't forget the trick.
Remember to be patient and have fun while teaching your guinea pig tricks! :)
*You can also teach this trick to your dog!