Guinea pigs from a long history dating back more than 500 years from South America. While they are named for pigs, more commonly due to their pig like oinks and honks, they are relatives of the rodent family. They are also known for their native Peruvian Indian name: cavy. A bit skittish by nature, it is best to get a guinea pig as a baby so you can train it to become familiar with your touch and handling. Look for one that is calm and can be easily socialized.