Sharon Cleary

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Hello, I recently adopted two guinea pigs. I first adopted 1 1/2 year old Ms. Piggie about 3 weeks ago and she had a very shy temperament and would often rest in her hidey house, but wasn't all that scared of human contact. I thought that she might have been depressed or lonely so I got a new 6-10 month old pig named Tubby about a week ago. They are both females.

I noticed that Tubby was very outgoing compared to Ms. Piggie and that Ms. Piggie wasn't at all interested in getting to know her new mate. In fact, she seems to be hiding in her house more often, but at the same time definitely not allowing Tubby to assert dominance on her.
Ms. Piggie is not skittish of us and loves being held and petted, but she really doesn't like Tubby taking up her space or being near her. She will sort of freeze and make high pitched squeals. I feel bad because Ms. Piggie will start to squeal and run off when Tubby tries to snuggle with her.

They both sleep in a 8sqft cage but get free range most of the day. In fact they are only ever in their cage when they eat or sleep.

Is it possible for Ms. Piggie to be antisocial or is there some social hierarchy thing going on that I don't comprehend?
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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That sounds pretty standard to me! None of my pigs are cuddlers sadly. They tend to prefer their own space but certainly enjoy each other's company. It depends where they are in the hierarchy as well. My Tonks is the bottom piggy and always moves should the boss lay too close. Perhaps some unspoken thing in piggy language, who knows!
 

pig in the city

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Hello, I recently adopted two guinea pigs. I first adopted 1 1/2 year old Ms. Piggie about 3 weeks ago and she had a very shy temperament and would often rest in her hidey house, but wasn't all that scared of human contact. I thought that she might have been depressed or lonely so I got a new 6-10 month old pig named Tubby about a week ago. They are both females.

I noticed that Tubby was very outgoing compared to Ms. Piggie and that Ms. Piggie wasn't at all interested in getting to know her new mate. In fact, she seems to be hiding in her house more often, but at the same time definitely not allowing Tubby to assert dominance on her.
Ms. Piggie is not skittish of us and loves being held and petted, but she really doesn't like Tubby taking up her space or being near her. She will sort of freeze and make high pitched squeals. I feel bad because Ms. Piggie will start to squeal and run off when Tubby tries to snuggle with her.

They both sleep in a 8sqft cage but get free range most of the day. In fact they are only ever in their cage when they eat or sleep.

Is it possible for Ms. Piggie to be antisocial or is there some social hierarchy thing going on that I don't comprehend?
You could consider getting a neutered boar, they often settle spats between females. Did you introduce them on neutral territory or just put Tubbs into Ms P cage?
 

Sharon Cleary

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You could consider getting a neutered boar, they often settle spats between females. Did you introduce them on neutral territory or just put Tubbs into Ms P cage?
I put them in quarantine for four days and introduce them in a play pen while feeding them veggies. It's quite odd because Ms. Piggy displays both dominate and submissive behavior while Tubby doesn't mind one bit. Maybe Ms. Piggy just thinks she's a princess
 

Doe

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I wouldn't worry if I were you, my two girls aren't cuddly with each other either, they definitely like their own space although they usually like to be close. When they are out of the cage they are happy to sit/lay next to each other for a short time but after that you hear little squeaks because they start to annoy each other! When they are in the cage they have two pigloos with the idea being they can have one each but when I get home from work I will find one in a pigloo with the other sat next to it. I am yet to work out which of my piggies is "top dog" and I have had them for two years! Every time I think I've sussed it the dynamic seems to shift again. As long as they are not trying to hurt each other I just let them get on with it. Sharing the tray under the table is as cosy as they get when they are out.Piggies Aug 2017.jpg
 

Freela

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A lot of guinea pigs are not constant cuddlers, but still appreciate having a companion and are bonded with them. Like people, they will sometimes be together and sometimes want their own space. The 'squeal' you are describing sounds like a submissive squeal- it's a way of acknowledging that the other pig is dominant. It sounds more distressing to humans than it actually is to the pig! In some pig pairs, it can be fairly apparent who the boss is... in others it is not so easy for the humans to figure out, though the pigs themselves will know! It sounds normal to me... as long as there is no out and out fighting, they are just getting to know each other and establishing a hierarchy that makes sense to them, even if it's sometimes confusing for human onlookers!
 
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