Any advice welcomed! 2 males fighting!

MY94

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Hi! We have had 2 male guinea pigs since January but are looking after 2 female guinea pigs for the week. We let the females out for a run yesterday, but now when our 2 males come out I think they can sense that the females have been around. They were smelling everything and squeaking like crazy. The boys have turned on each other and are constantly chasing/teeth chattering/squeaking and occassionally going at each other. They had a dominance fight in March-ish but since then have been fine with each other.

Will this end again when the dominance has been established (again)? Ive tried cleaning everything to get rid of the female scent and moved the females completely out of the way but the males are still agitated and not friendly with each other.

Any advice/experience/reassurance would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

Piggies&buns

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Unfortunately you can’t have sows anywhere near a bonded pair of boars as it can cause havoc for their relationship. Bonded boars must never be within smelling distance of sows.
I’m assuming your piggies are in their teens? This in itself is a difficult and tricky time for their relationship anyway and having females around them would be highly unlikely to have helped the situation.
Are they full on fighting? If so then they are unlikely to be able to get past it and will need to be separated.

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Bonds In Trouble
 

Siikibam

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I'm afraid you made the mistake of letting them catch a whiff of the girls hence the (potentially permanent) fall out. If they're going at each other I would consider separating them for a day or two then try introducing them again in a neutral territory. Unfortunately this can happen, even with the most placid boars, and it doesn't matter whether they can get to them or not. Have the sows been moved to another room now? Going forward you have to handle the boars before you deal with the sows.
 

MY94

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Not had a full on fight yet but the dominant male is chasing the other one around a lot and teeth chattering. We are letting them have some space and there are patches where they are quiet and settled and moments when the chasing starts again. The girls are completely out of the way now!
 

Siikibam

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What is the underpig doing? Is he squeaking in submission and letting himself be humped/mounted?
 

MY94

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What is the underpig doing? Is he squeaking in submission and letting himself be humped/mounted?
He is running away and then occassionally they have a little flap around each other and then move away from each other for a little bit, this keeps repeating
 

Siikibam

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What do you mean by a little flap? Have a read of the links above that Piggies&Buns posted. It sounds like the top-pig is asserting his dominance and not a fight. The latter is quite distinctive.
 

MY94

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What do you mean by a little flap? Have a read of the links above that Piggies&Buns posted. It sounds like the top-pig is asserting his dominance and not a fight. The latter is quite distinctive.
Its like he gets fed up of running away and jumps into him. Then they both get startled and move away from each other for a while. There was a bit of hair on the cage floor this morning which is what made me assume they had a tussle
 

Siikibam

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Okay. Keep an eye on them and just be prepared to separate. The bonds in trouble is a good one.
 

Piggies&buns

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Have you checked them both for injuries?
So the submissive runs away but then lunges/jumps at the dominant? I’d be concerned about that. If the submissive starts to fight back, there will be trouble.
You’re going to have to see how it goes between them and prepare to separate them but hope for the best. It could go either way I’m afraid.
 

MY94

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Have you checked them both for injuries?
So the submissive runs away but then lunges/jumps at the dominant? I’d be concerned about that. If the submissive starts to fight back, there will be trouble.
You’re going to have to see how it goes between them and prepare to separate them but hope for the best. It could go either way I’m afraid.
Thanks. Yes, they are both unscathed other than a few strands of hair on the cage floor. Yes he did the same about 4/5 months ago then eventually gave in.

It seems when they are in the cage with each other there is a lot less tension, its when they are on the floor where the sows have been. Is there a way of getting rid of the sense/scent of the sows? I wiped down the floor and furniture they may have touched but didnt seem to work. Do you know if it will go away eventually or if a deeper clean would help?
(Yes I know I look silly for letting the sows walk around the same room!)
 

MY94

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*Update*
its been 4 days now and my boars still arent too happy with each other. Whenever I let them out for a run it results in the alpha chasing around the underpig and a lot of teeth chattering. The underpig keeps doing the “yawn” movement - I think this suggests he isnt backing down this time? When they are in their cage they dont seem as lively apart from when they have the odd moment where they chase each other around the cage and the woodshavings go flying!

Although the underpig is still able to eat and drink without being stopped/blocked, I am considering either getting a bigger space for them to live or a trial separation as they both don’t seem happy, although I’m not sure if ive given them enough time to sort their differences.

Can anyone recommend what they think is best? I have read the relevant threads on here but still not sure what the best action would be to take. Could they ever get along again? At the moment they share food bowl/water bottle/shelter as well.

Thanks
 
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Piggies&buns

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How big is their cage? Two boars need 6ft x 2ft to have enough room.
Getting a bigger cage won’t solve character compatibility problems and changing their territory (ie making the cage bigger) can cause a fresh dominance display while they reestablish territories.

On its own chasing and chattering isn’t of concern, it’s dominance , the fact there doesn’t appear to be any bullying and them sharing items is good. If they are teenagers then this kind of behaviour is to be expected. It’s incredibly hard for us to be the judge of it because these things on their own would not be a cause for concern, it’s normal. The presence of the sows has caused the upset and its whether they can sort things out. But, You can obviously judge whether they are happy. If you don’t think they are, then you can try the trial separation and see how it goes. You can only do a trial separation once though without causing problems and destabilising them further.
 
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