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Advice for handling new piggy

Twitchqq

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Hi,
I have recently adopted a cute little piggy, called Viktor, he's a boar and around a year old, and I have had him for 2 weeks now. He is very nervous around people, though very confident when it comes to hand feeding, he will bolt around the cage and buck (sometimes he may chatter his teeth, but never bites- mostly when it comes to food he chatters) once holding him he likes to wiggle and run off and try to jump off anything. He also jolts whenever someone lightly pets him, even if he is on your lap. I understand I have only had him for a short amount of time so he is probably overwhelmed at the moment, I was just wondering if anyone had any advice they could give me to make his settling in and trust a little easier for him.
My cage is 120cm (I also have a large run outside) if anyone was wondering about space
Thank you so much c:
 

Twitchqq

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Sorry just to add to my post- my cage is around 120x60, my run is around 5 feet
If anyone thinks the cage is too small I will definitely save up and get him a bigger cage :)
 

Merab's Slave

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Welcome to the forum
It takes time with new piggies.
The key is gentleness and patience.
Give him time to settle into his new environment and all the sounds and smells.
Talk to him all the time so he gets to know your voice.
Offer food from your hand but be prepared for it to be snatched away.
He will slowly begin to feel safe and associate you with good things.

There are some very helpful information threads for new owners which you will find give you good guidance.
Every piggy has their own personality and likes and dislikes so you will have to learn about Viktor’s.

Is he a single piggy?
Guinea pigs are herd animals- companionship is vital for their well-being.

Please can we see pictures
 

Twitchqq

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Thank you so much for responding. I will give him more time, he does seem to greet me at the bars which is nice, I will try and be patient with him as it must be scary for him
He is a single piggy, originally I was going to adopt two but I seen he was being sold on his own (he isn't neutered and they hadn't paired him up yet), I fell in love with him- I was thinking of when he settles a bit more, that I should get him neutered and find him a little companion? :")
20190103_204410.jpg
Here is the handsome little man
 

sport_billy

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Awww he is gorgeous!

Great he is taking food off you the trust is coming on really well, early days yet so please don't be disheartened

We would do laptime for short amounts of time at first, we would take our girls out for 30 seconds then pop her home, we did this 3 times a week for around a month, then slowly increased it up to 5 mins via 30 second increments over forthcoming months . Each lap session she'd have a sprig of coriander.
 

Seven7

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Welcome
He is super cute. I feel your cage should be fine for a single piggy.

I fell in love with my Finn when I saw him at the PetSmart so I know what you mean about falling in love with your Viktor. I was appointed Lara's pet parent by a friend who didn't want her. I didn't want Lara to be homeless so I took her in. Finn and Lara live in separate cages but close enough to see and hear each other and this has worked for us.
 

Little Piglets

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Don't talk to him while he's chattering his teeth as that'll make things worse and he'll associate your voice with whatever is currently aggroing him. Talk only when he stops clattering his teeth. Also, PAY attention to WHEN he chatters his teeth. Some will chatter when touching their nose, then immediately stop when you stop touching, then start again instantly after touching again. So in that case, nose touching would be avoided until he's used to you and you can desensitize the behavior.

Since you didn't get him as a pup at day 1, his background could have been filled with neglect and/or abuse. Adopting a gp is like fostering a child, you have zero background on where they've been or what they were exposed to, so what you'll actually experience now will rely heavily on your ability to pay attention to what it'll tolerate or won't tolerate.

My advice is find a veggie it LOVES. Most seem to love lettuce, and as long as you aren't overfeeding it, it shouldn't get the runs. Put a bunch of lettuce scraps in a bowl (or whatever it eventually LOVES to eat) and then put the bowl off to the side. With it on your lap (this is assuming it'll even eat from your hand yet, need to work up this if not) chest, etc., wait until it stops chattering, then give a small piece of lettuce (do NOT say anything, just give it a piece). Try petting it's nose while it's eating the lettuce/veggie reward. The idea is to get it to associate the no teeth chatter/nose touch with lettuce. Try this for a couple minutes, then put it back. If it's not chattering/biting a finger while walking it back to the cage, you can say something like "want to go back to your cage" as you put it back. If IT tries jumping from your hand, hold other hand in front of it's face, similar to how horse blinder works. Once it's paws are on the bedding, remove the hand. That will stop it from jumping.

Do this as a routine, several times a day, for a couple months or until it learns. It'll eventually understand what "going back to the cage" means (which should be viewed as an actual reward to the guinea pig as it actually wants to go back), and once it stops chattering while being held/given veggies, THEN you can talk to it so long as it doesn't start chattering again in mid sentence.

Simply put, reward the good behavior, and avoid the bad behavior. Avoid talking when the bad behavior is present as it WILL associate words with whatever is happening. A prime example of this is my boar Scottie, when he was younger and getting intro'd to a sow I own via through the bars contact, I'd always say "do you want to go see her?" then take him over to her cage. To this day, if I say that now (he's 9-10 months old I think) he'll immediately start rumbling whether he's in his cage or being held, and will get super excited and start squeaking followed by bouts of more rumbling. This was actually by accident, I was just talking to him while an action HE wanted was occurring, and it stuck. If anyone doubts it, I can upload a video of him doing it after I say the magic words. I also use teeth chatter as a discouraging event if a couple sows are being brats to each other for the sake of being brats. They've learned when I chatter my teeth, I'm not happy with the action, and will usually stop and abandon their minor squabble. So it definitely can go both ways (good vs. unwanted behavior). Think of your gp as a special needs child needing a different tool set to cope.
 
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