Guinea Pig IQ

How Smart Is Your Guinea Pig?


When people ask others or themselves how smart or dumb their pet is, what are they really asking? What are they comparing it to? How much interaction has been between the pet and the owner asking the question?

Usually the person asking is one that has not spent too much time with their animal. They expect it to act as one, owned by another person, that has been worked with and trained. The person asking may not understand the difference in an animal that is what humans perceive as intelligent and what other animals see as savvy.

Many of the animals of any or all species that humans see as "smart" would perish in the wild. Think of it as we judge many people. Some people are "book smart", some people are "street smart" and some truly have neither quality. There is a book written that became very popular, not about Guinea Pigs but about another species. It is titled something like "There are no bad _______". Depending on what that person calls "bad" I guess is different then what I see as "bad". Because I have seen a lot of bad ones.

I have said it a million times and I will say it a million more BREEDING MATTERS! Personality, disposition, instinct and traits are bred in. If you breed two Guinea Pigs that are very skittish, your beget will also be skittish. This is two fold, bred in and learned from mother. Why are Guinea Pigs skittish? They are savvy. In the wild it is their survival mode. Guinea Pigs in the wild are food for other animals. We have this nice word called "prey". But the truth is a wild Guinea Pig knows through instinct that it could, at any moment, be torn apart and eaten. We be skittish too.

So? How Smart Is Your Guinea Pig?

Again I ask, What type of "smart"? Most people are talking about human training and animals catching on to what the human is trying to teach them. Here again. So many factors. I used to train dogs. I have a six dog trick troupe that I took to Churches, Schools, Old Folks Homes, Scout Events, and more. One time a lady, that I knew from the dog club we were in came up to me and said "You are so lucky. You always buy smart dogs. My dogs are so stupid." I knew she had several dogs and I had seen her training technics. I looked her in the eye and said "I don't think it is your dogs, I think it is the way you train." She did not get angry (I have to admit, I might have) but listened to what I had to say. Her dogs were the better for it.

Could It Be The Trainer?

Often times it is the trainer, not the animals. The trainer is not communicating with the animal. The trainer thinks they are training well, but in fact they are not taking into consideration that the animal has no idea what those words you are saying mean. Even when you raise your voice, they still do not understand. Always think how you would respond to another person who's language you do not understand. Start with one word. One simple easy word and show the animal what behavior you are looking for with that one word.

Are Their Stupid Guinea Pigs?

Yes, and their are those of every species, including humans, that just never catch on. However, if a person is precipitant and patient, even the dull witted can learn. But I will tell you for sure, I will never understand calculus. I am dyslexic, have all the initials they now give children (most of which only need discipline) and am probably what they now call "bi-polar". But, I can do other things that math nuts could never understand. Am I stupid, you bet, when it comes to complicated math problems, count me out.

Much more to come on this. Our websites are a work in progress. Right now, I have to go and milk the goats. (yes, really)

The contents of this page for Guinea Pig IQ is still under construction. Please check back later!

-- The Guinea Pig Agility Team
Fri, 22 Apr 2011 10:21:35 -0400

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