Aggressive Behaviour?

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Allan

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HI there, my wife and I rehomed two guinea pigs today. I've never had any, but my wife has.

Anyway, we have a cage about the same size of the cage that the centre had them in. They are shy piggies (between 1 and 2 years old, they have been companions since before the rehoming centre had them). We took them home in a carrier and they cuddled in together and when put into their cage, they both hid together in one of their hidey holes (a wooden archway, the same type as one they had in the cage prior, but bigger).

An hour or so ago, they started to squeak/purr at each other and will get very close in their personal spaces before one forces the other to run off. It's sort of as if they are facing off.

I had thought that this could be a regular male thing, or perhaps they are trying to assert dominance in their new habitats?

They haven't appeared to physically fight. Am I being over-anxious?
 

Wiebke

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HI there, my wife and I rehomed two guinea pigs today. I've never had any, but my wife has.

Anyway, we have a cage about the same size of the cage that the centre had them in. They are shy piggies (between 1 and 2 years old, they have been companions since before the rehoming centre had them). We took them home in a carrier and they cuddled in together and when put into their cage, they both hid together in one of their hidey holes (a wooden archway, the same type as one they had in the cage prior, but bigger).

An hour or so ago, they started to squeak/purr at each other and will get very close in their personal spaces before one forces the other to run off. It's sort of as if they are facing off.

I had thought that this could be a regular male thing, or perhaps they are trying to assert dominance in their new habitats?

They haven't appeared to physically fight. Am I being over-anxious?
Hi and welcome!

Are your piggies boys or girls? All piggies need to re-establish their hierarchy in new surroundings, so that is what you are hearing now; it is mild dominance. It would be good if you offered two hideys, each with two exits, so no piggy can get caught in a tight corner during this phase as chucking the underpiggy out of a hidey is normal for dominance.
One bowl per piggy to serve veg and pellets in (both rather in small portion several times a day than leaving them out) can also help to prevent food hogging, which is a typical dominance tactic, too.

How big is the cage?

You may find our information bundle for new owners helpful. It contains lots of tips on how to settle in and make friends with your piggies as well as guides on behaviours. We have lots more information at the top of our various Care sections but you are always welcome to ask any questions you may have along the way.
" Starter Kit" Of Information Threads For New Owners

As we have members from all over the world, we find it really helpful in giving your the best advice possible for what is available and possible where you are straight away if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details. Here is how you can do that and also upload the picture that appears with any post you make! Thank you.
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Allan

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Hello! Thank you very much for your reply. They are both male guinea pigs and our cage size is 100 x 54 x 44 cm (L x W x H).
 

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Hello! Thank you very much for your reply. They are both male guinea pigs and our cage size is 100 x 54 x 44 cm (L x W x H).
The cage is a bit small for welfare standards, especially for two boys - they really can do with any extra space they can get! If you can, try and look around our forum to see what is possible for a reasonable price to get the best out of your piggies. Please take your time to do any research and don't rush into an expensive buy; the current cage is what they are used to and will do for the moment.
 

Allan

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We're doubling their cage size.

They were circling each other earlier but I think they are mainly bottom sniffing today (we've given them free reign of a spare room).
 

Wiebke

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We're doubling their cage size.

They were circling each other earlier but I think they are mainly bottom sniffing today (we've given them free reign of a spare room).
When you double the cage size, please make sure that the cage smells all over after them (either rub any new fleece on some old one or mix a bit of the old bedding into the new one, so the extension is not sparking a renewal of the dominance behaviour that is par for teh course for any new territory. ;)

Bum sniffing is a national sport for boars.
 

Allan

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So, do you think they are rutting off because it's all new territory then?

I slept beside them last night and the "fighting" seemed to stop.

In addition, they usually only face up to each other for a couple of seconds.
 
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