Advice please

Ellie-May

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Hi everyone,

My two boars are approaching four months this month and they have a really good relationship. However, Ernie is extremely dominant and Bert is very passive and relaxed. There have never been any fights, hair pulling etc or any of that, but I just worry sometimes that Ernie is so dominant it upsets Bert. It probably doesn't as he zooms, eats, drinks etc and is happy but where he is such a relaxed piggy compared to Bert it is upsetting to see sometimes. You can tell Ernie is dominant as he is always the first for any food, barges past Bert, shoves him and you can hear Bert give a submissive squeak and I think he is in pain. I keep them in their playpen from like 8am-10pm, but I can't keep them in there overnight as it is not really practical. Their cage is big enough, two of everything and when I clean it up Ernie doesn't seem to have exerted his dominance or anything like that so I can't really complain, they do get on well. It does happen the most when they are in the cage, but I always see them snuggling up to each other, sharing from the same bowl when there are two. I think it is just a case of boys being boys, but the funny thing is that Ernie is much smaller than Bert lol. I think he has little guinea syndrome lool. I think it is just me over worrying because you hear something and you're like omg! I check them daily for any marks etc and I never see anything
 

Piggies&buns

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It doesn’t sound like you have anything to worry about. If they fall out then you will absolutely know about it. The fact that Bert is clearly being submissive is great and it means that, for now, their relationship is in a good place.

My dominant piggy is heavier than my submissive and it is quite funny to see the little guy bossing the bigger piggy around!
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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It doesn’t sound like you have anything to worry about. If they fall out then you will absolutely know about it. The fact that Bert is clearly being submissive is great and it means that, for now, their relationship is in a good place.

My dominant piggy is heavier than my submissive and it is quite funny to see the little guy bossing the bigger piggy around!
I think you got the last paragraph back to front 😉
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Hi everyone,

My two boars are approaching four months this month and they have a really good relationship. However, Ernie is extremely dominant and Bert is very passive and relaxed. There have never been any fights, hair pulling etc or any of that, but I just worry sometimes that Ernie is so dominant it upsets Bert. It probably doesn't as he zooms, eats, drinks etc and is happy but where he is such a relaxed piggy compared to Bert it is upsetting to see sometimes. You can tell Ernie is dominant as he is always the first for any food, barges past Bert, shoves him and you can hear Bert give a submissive squeak and I think he is in pain. I keep them in their playpen from like 8am-10pm, but I can't keep them in there overnight as it is not really practical. Their cage is big enough, two of everything and when I clean it up Ernie doesn't seem to have exerted his dominance or anything like that so I can't really complain, they do get on well. It does happen the most when they are in the cage, but I always see them snuggling up to each other, sharing from the same bowl when there are two. I think it is just a case of boys being boys, but the funny thing is that Ernie is much smaller than Bert lol. I think he has little guinea syndrome lool. I think it is just me over worrying because you hear something and you're like omg! I check them daily for any marks etc and I never see anything
I don't think you have anything to worry about, I think you will get used to it as you get more experienced. You should see how my rats are with one another, the dominant one will run up and pin down the other one, until he screams and gives up. But it's all normal
 

Ellie-May

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It doesn’t sound like you have anything to worry about. If they fall out then you will absolutely know about it. The fact that Bert is clearly being submissive is great and it means that, for now, their relationship is in a good place.

My dominant piggy is heavier than my submissive and it is quite funny to see the little guy bossing the bigger piggy around!
He is very submissive and just stands still when Ernie is dominant or lets out a weak and I never see him challenge him or fight back. Their relationship is very good and I know fallouts can happy at any time (like humans), but I do believe that because they were together so young it has helped. I do have a ramp in their cage, but they are still so young and I see them observing it, but I don't want to force them to use it. I do have a few ramp obstacles I set up in their playpen that they are getting used to.
 

Ellie-May

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I don't think you have anything to worry about, I think you will get used to it as you get more experienced. You should see how my rats are with one another, the dominant one will run up and pin down the other one, until he screams and gives up. But it's all normal
I bet that it is quite funny to see lol. I try and put them back in their cage when they are quite tired so they are a bit more relaxed, but I might look into a C&C cage in the future. The cage I have is big and mahooosive, but I feel bad to sell it and get a new one because it was a gift
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I have had two boars before that didn't get along. The bigger dominant pig would chase the lesser one constantly, kick him out of every place hewanted to be, and keep mounting him all of the time
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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I bet that it is quite funny to see lol. I try and put them back in their cage when they are quite tired so they are a bit more relaxed, but I might look into a C&C cage in the future. The cage I have is big and mahooosive, but I feel bad to sell it and get a new one because it was a gift
How big is you're cage? I only have a 120x60. Minimum size for a boar and sow. But always have floor time
 

Ellie-May

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I have had two boars before that didn't get along. The bigger dominant pig would chase the lesser one constantly, kick him out of every place her wanted to be, and keep mounting him all of the time
No that hasn't happened at all. They quite happily share hideys although I put like 2-3 in, eat from the same bowls and share their food. Sometimes Ernie gets a little dominant, but nothing serious. The guy at the pet shop did really help me out as he kind of knew which ones stuck together the most. It can be quite cute to see as sometimes Bert follows Ernie and lets him dominate. I think if any piggy was to pick on Bert Ernie would sort him out lol. Dw I am not getting another one lok
 

Ellie-May

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How big is you're cage? I only have a 120x60. Minimum size for a boar and sow. But always have floor time
My cage is 150cm in length but idk about the width. Their playpen is massive and is constantly expanding lol. They get floor time from like 8am-10pm
 

Piggies&buns

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He is very submissive and just stands still when Ernie is dominant or lets out a weak and I never see him challenge him or fight back. Their relationship is very good and I know fallouts can happy at any time (like humans), but I do believe that because they were together so young it has helped. I do have a ramp in their cage, but they are still so young and I see them observing it, but I don't want to force them to use it. I do have a few ramp obstacles I set up in their playpen that they are getting used to.
It’s more likely that they get on because they are character compatible rather than because they were together from so young. Even being siblings is no guarantee of a successful bond.
They’ll understand a ramp eventually. Putting food up it often works!
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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It’s more likely that they get on because they are character compatible rather than because they were together from so young. Even being siblings is no guarantee of a successful bond.
They’ll understand a ramp eventually. Putting food up it often works!
:agr:
 

Ellie-May

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It’s more likely that they get on because they are character compatible rather than because they were together from so young. Even being siblings is no guarantee of a successful bond.
They’ll understand a ramp eventually. Putting food up it often works!
Probably, but I just think if they hated each other a lot then it would start to show. It can happen anytime but as they get on well I am always trying to introduce new things so it stays that way
 

Ellie-May

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I party agree and disagree lol. Dw I'm not trying to be controversial, but I just feel there are things you can do to help strengthen a bond. Once you have done everything you can then you know. I can imagine it can be very time consuming if you are in a position like that
 

Piggies&buns

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Probably, but I just think if they hated each other a lot then it would start to show. It can happen anytime but as they get on well I am always trying to introduce new things so it stays that way
If they hated each other now then yes you would see signs. But we do see it happen - everything has been absolutely fine, no problems, bond looks great, no sign of any problems and then one day turn on each other after having been ok after months together. At that point you can’t give them more space or more items efc, the damage is then done.

You can take steps to ensure they have no reason to argue right from the beginning - have enough space, two of everything, handle the dominant pig first, don’t bring sows into the room, don’t ever separate them., if they weren’t already bonded rescues, then choosing two piggies who get along best. Suddenly introducing new items or new territories can cause the dominant pig to need to assert dominance more. Often it goes ok, submissive pig backs down, but if you do these things once cracks in the relationship are starting to show, then it can cause further problems. After ensuring you don’t give them a reason to argue it is then entirely down to them - character compatibility and mutual liking is the number 1 thing that is going to get them through. There is nothing you can do to strengthen a bond and to make piggies like each other, particularly once theyve decided they don’t.

But you do need to remember that more boar pairs make it than not so there is no need to be concerned, you’ve done everything right. Your pair certainly aren’t showing any signs of problems and it will hopefully continue that way, but always keeping the warning signs in your mind and a plan b particularly during the teenage months as that is, if there are going to be problems, that it will likely come out. My boys have been together over 18 months, closer to 2 years (they’ve been with me 16 months) things got tense during the hormone spikes (10 months being the worst) but they are well bonded and should now be fine for the rest of their lives....I still have a spare hutch just in case though!
 

Ellie-May

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If they hated each other now then yes you would see signs. But we do see it happen - everything has been absolutely fine, no problems, bond looks great, no sign of any problems and then one day turn on each other after having been ok after months together. At that point you can’t give them more space or more items efc, the damage is then done.

You can take steps to ensure they have no reason to argue right from the beginning - have enough space, two of everything, handle the dominant pig first, don’t bring sows into the room, don’t ever separate them., if they weren’t already bonded rescues, then choosing two piggies who get along best. Suddenly introducing new items or new territories can cause the dominant pig to need to assert dominance more. Often it goes ok, submissive pig backs down, but if you do these things once cracks in the relationship are starting to show, then it can cause further problems. After ensuring you don’t give them a reason to argue it is then entirely down to them - character compatibility and mutual liking is the number 1 thing that is going to get them through. There is nothing you can do to strengthen a bond and to make piggies like each other, particularly once theyve decided they don’t.

But you do need to remember that more boar pairs make it than not so there is no need to be concerned, you’ve done everything right. Your pair certainly aren’t showing any signs of problems and it will hopefully continue that way, but always keeping the warning signs in your mind and a plan b particularly during the teenage months as that is, if there are going to be problems, that it will likely come out. My boys have been together over 18 months, closer to 2 years (they’ve been with me 16 months) things got tense during the hormone spikes (10 months being the worst) but they are well bonded and should now be fine for the rest of their lives....I still have a spare hutch just in case though!
Thank you for your advice! Yeah I have another two cages just in case. I am always thinking about plan b in the back on my mind, but at this precise moment in time nothing really has happened. I do think they have sorted their hierarchy out, but anything can happen. But to see them sharing food, hideys, playing etc is nice to see
 
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