Advice needed with my babies' behaviour

Lawsii15

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When my boar has outside time from his enclosure, he is generally quite relaxed and has even slept on me (which I think shows how relaxed he is) however in his enclosure he seems quite skittish and hides when we come into view.
How can I make him more at ease in his enclosure and will this behaviour change over time?
 

Siikibam

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You have to learn to approach as if you’re not a predator. So announce your arrival before you get to where his cage is. Talk to him in a soft/gentle voice. If you’re doing something say what you’re doing.

Does he have a friend or is he getting one soon? They also grow in confidence once they have friends of their own kind. Have a read of the guide I’ve linked below.
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
 

Lawsii15

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Yes he has a companion who he is always with and I think that's part of the problem. I don't know if I should just leave them alone for a few days or just carry on getting them used to us?
 

Siikibam

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When did you bring them home? If it’s less than a week then let them settle in uninterrupted. Just put food in for them and spot clean.

If it’s longer then you’re okay taking them out, but take them out together rather than individually. He may just not like being stroked while in his domain’.
 

Wiebke

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Yes he has a companion who he is always with and I think that's part of the problem. I don't know if I should just leave them alone for a few days or just carry on getting them used to us?
How long have you had your boys? Please give them time and accept that the majority of piggies are actually not naturally born animated cuddly toys. They are prey animals that need a lot more time than you think to getting used to their new environment and to setting up a working group in their new home.

And don't be surprised when you wonder why your new boy is suddenly hating you some weeks down the line. He actually isn't. He has just started to trust you enough to tell you how he feels and has stopped playing 'boring prey' with you, as our prey animal instinct guide will you.

Apart from that very interesting and helpful guide, I would also strongly recommend to read these guides here in order to understand better what is going on.
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Please keep in mind that the videos and pictures on social media are entirely driven by what humans want to see and not by the actual reality. Would you be interested in watching a video about your boy being skittish - yet that is what most of them are. The majority of piggies will more or less come to tolerate cuddling and only a few will actually love it if you allow them the freedom to express their own feelings and take them seriously as personalities in their own right.
 

Lawsii15

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Thanks for your help. This forum is really opening our eyes and helping us with our babies. I will try and not worry as much - I just found it a bit odd that he slept on me and was really comfortable and was all skittish in his enclosure. But I do now feel assured that they're ok. Thanks for your patience! Here's a picture of my boy Pedro :)
IMG_20200831_085753.jpg
 

Wiebke

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Here is more information on interactive and dominance behaviours. Please take the time to read the guides, look at the pictures and watch the videos. It will hopefully help you to learn interpret your boys' behaviour so you can judge whether they get on or not.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs

All the guide links in this thread here are part of our much more comprehensive New Owners guide collection, which specifically addresses all the areas we get the most questions and concerns about. The guides are also there to help you learn what is normal and what not as well as to avoid/minimise the most common pitfalls that new owners are usually not aware of as well as get some very helpful long term health monitoring routines, which can save lives down the line. I would strongly recommend to bookmark the link, to browse when you have time and re-read whenever necessary. The guide format allows us to update and extend our information at need.
You can access our whole, even more extensive information via the shortcut on the top bar.
Here is the new owners link: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 
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