Can Guinea Pigs Understand Human Language? Let’s Find Out

Since I started keeping a guinea pig, I talk to him all the time because that way I will get closer to him.

I often wonder if my guinea pig even understands anything when I speak to him, so I did some research, and here’s what I found out.

Can guinea pigs understand human language?

Guinea pigs can understand when you speak to them, they can learn short and precise words. Guinea pigs cannot understand when you tell them a whole sentence, but short words they can understand with proper training.

Guinea pigs can learn their name when you repeatedly use it when calling them.

In today’s article you will find out how long it takes guinea pigs to understand and learn basic words, do they like it if you keep talking to them, and other similar questions.

Can guinea pigs understand human language?

Guinea pigs are smart animals who can understand when you speak to them concisely words.

By training and speaking, your guinea pig can learn its name, as well as other words if you repeat them over and over.

For example, my guinea pig understands when I tell him that I will give him a cucumber or an apple, which amazes me.

Guinea pigs cannot fully understand what we say to them because they do not have enough capacity in their brains to process auditory information.

However, guinea pigs can learn certain words if they are persistent and repeat them over and over. Guinea pigs are particularly good at recognizing sounds which helps them understand certain words.

Does my guinea pig understand his name?

Guinea pigs understand their name when you speak to them, it just takes time to learn.

You just need to constantly talk to them and call them when you approach them, or when you want to give them something to eat.

All guinea pigs are different, some will learn faster when you call them, while others will need more time.

Some guinea pigs may come towards you when you call them, others will just look at you and know you are addressing them.

Some guinea pigs may not respond when you call them because they may have previously been with other owners who used a different name, so it will take time for them to get used to the new name.

If you bought a guinea pig when they were very young or if you are a first-time owner then they will learn their name more quickly.

How long will it take for a guinea pig to learn its name?

Guinea pigs will learn their name when they are old enough to recognize that you are actually calling them and referring to your pet personally.

Some guinea pigs may learn their name more quickly, while others may need more time.

This also depends on the health condition of your pet because if the guinea pig is sick it will not respond when you call it.

When guinea pigs are sick, their priority is to get better faster than to think about what you tell them.

Also, some guinea pigs will first want to get to know you better and trust you more, and only then will they start responding when you call them by their name.

But we must emphasize that some guinea pigs may never learn their name for various reasons such as:

  • intelligence
  • attachment
  • repulsion

Guinea pigs usually learn their name, but you should not be disappointed and if your pet never learns its name, it may be that it simply does not learn or cannot learn it.

Does my guinea pig like it when I talk to him?

Guinea pigs love it when you talk to them, they are social animals that like it when someone interacts with them.

Guinea pigs feel that you love them if you talk to them more often, it will help you get even closer and build a strong bond with your pet.

Although guinea pigs do not understand what you say to them except some words, they still need to talk to them and you should use it very often, whenever you can.

Just make sure whenever you talk to your guinea pig it’s quiet because they are very sensitive and any raising of the tone will negatively affect your mutual connection.can guinea pigs understand human language

Do guinea pigs talk to their owners?

Guinea pigs communicate with their owners through vocalizations and various sounds.

Although guinea pigs do not use words, they still show us with their vocalizations if they are angry, happy, or sick.

Here are some sounds that are characteristic of guinea pigs:

  • Purring
  • Wheeking
  • Teeth chattering
  • Rumbling
  • Chirping

Guinea pigs don’t always want to know what their sounds mean especially when they are sick or injured as their instinct is to hide them.

They unconsciously make those sounds even though they may want to keep them to themselves, but we can tell by their vocalizations how they feel at a certain moment.

How many words can guinea pigs learn?

Guinea pigs can learn many words if we repeat them over and over. My guinea pig knows when I give him hay, or when I need to put him back in his cage.

Guinea pigs can learn single words, while whole sentences cannot be understood.

I will say again that their sense of hearing helps them more easily synchronize the words and what we do to learn some words.

How to teach a guinea pig to understand your words?

To teach the guinea pig to understand your words you will need to be patient and have enough time.

Guinea pigs will learn what you say to them, but you will also need to have some tactics to achieve this.

For example, when you want to give him something, first say the word and then give him, for example, an apple.

The tone of your speech should always be the same, do not change it, because any change of tone can only confuse your pet and then you will have to feel everything again.

If your pet reacts correctly to certain words, you can reward him, because this will motivate him even more to learn certain words.

Read more: Do Guinea Pigs Like to Be Kissed?

Does recognizing their owners’ voices help guinea pigs learn certain words?

The more the guinea pigs learn their owner’s voice, the easier it is for them to learn words.

If guinea pigs cannot recognize the voices of their owners then do not expect them to learn certain words because then they will be afraid.

Fear will make it impossible for the guinea pigs to focus on learning the words you tell them.

That’s why you should always speak in the same tone to your guinea pigs, be sure that they will learn certain words and their meaning faster.

Read more: Do Guinea Pigs Like Being Held? (All Answers)

Do guinea pigs understand human body language?

Guinea pigs understand the body language of their owners especially when you need to give them something to eat or similar things.

For example, my guinea pig constantly looks at me in the morning and waits to see when I come to put food.

He starts making noises to let me know he’s hungry, and when he notices that I’m going to turn to my pet, he immediately comes closer to the bars and starts yelling even more for me to give him food.

The guinea pig knows exactly when I am going to give him something to eat because he understands my body language.can guinea pigs understand human language

How to teach the guinea pig certain words more easily?

Here are some tips to help your guinea pig learn certain words. For the words get up, sit down and jump:

Jump – To teach your guinea pig this word, first place a treat at a certain distance and place your pet on the edge of an object.

Then tell them to jump and bring the food close to them for them to jump on. Repeat this until your guinea pig learns the word jump.

Use the same technique when you need to get him to stand up or when he needs to sit down.

The most important thing in training a guinea pig is to always have a certain pleasure that he will get, which will encourage him to learn certain words.


How do guinea pigs say I love you?

Guinea pigs say I love you when they lick your hand. It is a sign that your pet likes you and it shows you signs of love, at the same time your pet shows that he enjoys being with you and feels safe.

Do guinea pigs like human touch?

Guinea pigs love to be hugged, but there are always exceptions. Some guinea pigs simply do not want to be hugged, and others will allow it, but you will have to wait a long time or several months.

Do guinea pigs know when you’re sad?

Guinea pigs are very smart and sensitive animals that notice when you are sad. Guinea pigs feel the emotions of their owners just like other guinea pigs.


Guinea pigs understand human language, but only certain words, because they do not have enough capacity to understand whole sentences.

Getting the guinea pigs to understand what you are saying will take time and patience. Guinea pigs will learn certain words much more easily if you show them what the word means at the same time.

The time it takes for guinea pigs to learn the words we say to them varies and may depend on their health or current mood.

But some guinea pigs will never learn words because they are stubborn or simply don’t want to learn.

My guinea pig knows his name, he knows when I give him a cucumber or hay, which makes me happy to continue teaching him new words.

Read more: Why Do Guinea Pigs Stop Squeaking? Let’s Find Out