I think you should move them inside, frankly. Make them a nice C&C cage.
I have 3 guinea pigs, that are very dear pets to me and the kids. We love them. We have a large outdoor run, complete with all weather hutch to get out of the elements. The top swings open for easy access for cleaning and grabbing. Its Large and cutely made of wood. It looks like like a little kids log cabin.
Now the public part. We have a fenced back yard, and recently realized since winter, and since our puppy grew up to a 80lbs adult dog, she no longer respects the guinea pigs cage or lives. She wants to eat them when they scurry about the run. So to save them and still let them outside, I opted for the front yard. The problem is that we live in a suburb with few sidewalks. We have one, and we are on the main street, the heart of our city. We have a fairly large front lot, and I have the piggies run close to our house, but the fencing to the run is multicolored, and looks like a circus thing with the doll house/hutch a main attraction. For SOME reason it is causing almost ALL daily walkers and strollers to STOP and wonder whats in there. All shapes, genders and ages. Some kids are even coming up the yard, over the flower beds, and trying to look inside. They are even utilizing the neighbors drive way in odds of seeing better. I put a note on the hutch that says "these are not free, or for sale. They are pets please do not disturb" my husband found it funny to add a note that says "these pets are trained to bite strangers, grab at the cost of a finger"....
so should I put up a blind? like some plywood? a picket sign that says? should I try to camouflage it? I am more afraid of someone nabbing the hutch rather than the pigs. Either way any suggestions? The run is a open topped small animal fence in a hexagon shape and they are super glued to the side of the hutch.
I think you should move them inside, frankly. Make them a nice C&C cage.
I'm sorry M., I don't really have an answer to your questions.
I just wanted to say "How to make my outdoor run for my Guinea Pigs less publicly appealing" it THE MOST interesting title to a post I have EVER seen!
Furthermore, the BODY of the post is fantastic too!
I mean, what a VERY unique situation!!!
ILY M.! And your little pigs, too!
Why don't you fence in the dog? We have a pen for our black lab/chow mix so he has his own "space" within the fenced yard. Then you can move the GP's back into the safety of the back yard. Good luck!
Your piggies sound awesome! I love my little pig "Zippy" but she is indoors unless supervised. Do they sleep outside as well? That wouldn't work for me with coyotes and my fear that she would really got stolen. People are clueless, some have actually asked if my guinea pig was a dog!!
I didn't read any of the other posts.... but I think you're focusing on the wrong thing. You need to better train your dog, not move your GP's/work on their home.
I don't know if you've trained your dog or any other dog for that matter but it's not that hard... just a lot of consistancey (sp??) upfront... and big rewards after that!
no matter how cute the enclosure is....this is pretty much the same as putting a snowcone machine in front of your house, & telling everybody to stay away! It's a novelty, & neighbors (& strangers) can be very curious.
if my neighbors stuck something like this in front of their house, I would not appreciate it. I think it's detrimental to the value of the neighborhood + I would be pissed over the use of my driveway for gawkers. Just my opinion.... You are lucky not to have rules against this - some neighborhoods/subdivisions are very strict with their outdoor codes. :)
& regardless of what you think, yes....without a top on the enclosure, this is a safety & liability issue for you. Curious kids, even teens...couldn't care less about warning signs. If you have a pet which could bite, then you do need to worry about liability.
So here's my solutions: move the enclosure to the backyard. Add a secure top to it to prevent doggie snacks.
If you leave it out front, you do need a top on it for safety. Stray dogs/cats could have a smorgasboard without that protection. + you would be protecting children from self-chosen harm.
To me, a top on the enclosure is a win-win solution. :)
I agree to paint all simmilar to the house and to take down the signs on the animals. Place a sign on your property fence reminding people of No Trespassing if you feel you need to. Here is the thing, those that already know they are there will still want to come have a look.
Wow - they sound like show-quality piggies! How do you keep your peruvian's hair from getting matted up in the run?
How about an additional sign "GET OFF MY FLOWERS!!!"
If that doesn't make an impact, nothing will!
Your piggies sound darling!
Repaint the hutch a neutral color before trying anything else and take down the signs. Signs prompt investigation. Brightly colored anything also draws attention. If you do all that and it still doesn't work, you may have to build an enclosure for them
I have a guinea pig and love him. Such an awesome dude. I wish you the best in figuring out what to do, BUT...
I will have to say, this post is very humorous to me, just really plain funny. I know it is a real problem, but I'm just saying, it happens to be a very comical problem. Hope you don't take offense!
You may want to consider moving them out of the front yard.
While your warning sign is helpful, you still have property liability issues.
Imagine a child getting bit, or smashing a finger in the lid - YOU are liable.
Not all children can read, PLUS you have created what many states consider a curiousity for children meaning they just can't help themselves but want to play on it.
That is why many places require a fence around a pool, or a cover on a hottub. For liability issues.
how tall is it, maybe you could get one of those things designed to hide trash cans to block people's view of the cage?
I was wondering the same thing but our guinea pigs are inside unless I take them out so I am not 100% worried about it. they have a play pen outside. If you want to call it that. For my rabbit I had though his run was up against the garage the same color. A lot of people didn't know he was there. I also made him a box that he could hide in if anyone bugged him.
Post "no trespassing signs" every few feet, at the edge of the property and on the hutch itself.
Put a lid on the enclosure, and put a lock on the lid. Put a double fence around it, or netting (like the bird netting to prevent birds from getting into your berries kind of thing) over the whole thing.
I think your pen in the front yard counts as an "attractive nuisance" though it's may not be as potentially dangerous as a horse or a swimming pool (two classic examples). But it is unreasonable to expect that you can camouflage it so that people will ignore it. I think the best you can hope for is that you can make it safely inaccessible, so people can only look but not get into it.
Its probably not possible to train the dog to ignore it's prey drive, but you might consider contacting your vet and asking for dog trainer references... Unfortunately, to the dogs, they look like either toys or food (or both), and it can be a deep instinctual drive in some dogs. That being said, if you can't train him to accept the pets, then the next thing might be for the dog to his his outdoor time in the yard, and the guinea pigs to theirs. To me, this seems like the easiest solution.
Can you just post "Stay off the grass" signs near the sidewalk? And then get some long planters, plant lots of colorful flowers and place then near the colorful sections of the run to maybe make it stand out less.
I want to build a covered outside run for our pair of cute little "piggies". Yours sounds amazing! All our little gals had last summer was an area with super tall grass that would fall over and make tunnels. They loved it but we had to sit with them the whole time in case the hawks in the neighborhood got hungry.
Best of luck to you.
I'm with you; it's your yard, you can do with it what you want. If that means you want to dig up your entire front yard and plant a garden, you should be able to--provided there's nothing against having a front yard garden. And people should leave your garden alone.
In the same vein, you should be able to have an outside runner/hutch for your guinea pigs. The issue seems to be that it "stands out" and catches people's attention. Toning down the colors/etc., might be one way of keeping curious people and fingers off your property.
I used to raise rabbits, and their hutches were on the ground during all seasons but winter, when their hutches were placed up for the winter behind the house (with lots of straw to keep warm). My rabbits were never in the front yard--always in the back--but because we were on a corner lot, everyone knew about and could see the hutches. Unlike you, however, we never had anyone just "stop and look" at the bunnies.
I cannot believe the gall of people, that they would just assume that they can go right up and look at them. I don't really think it's your fault for having them in the front yard as it is people's lack of integrity and common sense.
Sorry, everyone, but I side with this mom and the fact that her property is her property and people should stay the hell off. She doesn't have the guinea pigs so that every Tom, Dick, and Harriet can stop by any time of day and "have a look." That would be like everyone who walks be someone's front yard garden stops and snaps off some beans or peas or picks a few strawberries to eat. Really? I call that stealing.