RachelLaura2012

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Hi,

We got our first boar Dwight in Autumn 2019 - he was recommended to be homed individually because he was apparently bullied and when we got him, he had a couple of recovering cuts on his face. We kept him alone until January to see how he developed and he was doing well. He was lively and healthy, but we were concerned that he could be happier and therefore adopted a younger male, Jimmy.

We kept them separately for a couple of weeks but made sure they could smell each other, before moving them closer so they could see each other. Upon trying to bond them in neutral territory (our bathroom) they seemed to be doing ok, so we moved them in together. After moving in together, they started fighting quite badly and ended up separating them again when they both ended up with small cuts. They now live in adjoining cages so they can communicate and be near each other without being able to physically hurt each other.

Dwight seems to be the obvious dominant - he’s much larger than Jimmy, he’s older by about 3 months, and he rumblestruts a lot. Jimmy, on the other hand, squeaks a lot but does not seem to challenge his dominance (emphasis on ‘seem’!). That being said, Dwight rumblestruts a LOT - every time he sees Jimmy, when he first wakes up, or just when he feels like it. They both also bite their shared bars a LOT.

It’s hard to say obviously, but I feel as though they want to be around each other (hence the biting), but we seem unsure that, after the scale of their previous fighting, that they’ll ever bond successfully.

Does anyone have any tips about how to bond tricky males, or any opinion on whether you think they will eventually bond? How much violence is tolerable before you give up trying to bond? We want them both to be happy ultimately, whether that be together or separately - that is the priority!

Thanks in advance! :) I’ve also attached a picture of Dwight (bottom) and Jimmy (top).
 

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Siikibam

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:wel:
a couple of questions. How old are they? And when you say fighting, was blood drawn? Was Dwight constantly chasing/mounting Jimmy? Was Jimmy squeaking in submission (not pain)? What exactly happened? And did you clean out the cage thoroughly before you put them back? Is there two of everything in the cage?

Okay that was more than a few 🙄😁 Have a read of the threads I’ve linked below.
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Bonds In Trouble
 

RachelLaura2012

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Dwight is approx 9 months and Jimmy is approx 5 months (give or take a few weeks, we’re not entirely sure), and we first tried bonding them at 7&3 months. I understand that things are tricky with them being in their teenage hormonal months :vom:. During their initial bonding session, Dwight rumblestrutted constantly and tried to hump Jimmy. He did indeed make high pitched submissive squeaks, but really didn’t like being humped. When Dwight backed off (mostly when he was eating... he’s very greedy), they seemed to get along better. I’ll attach a photo of them during this session at their best - we took a triumphant photo thinking that they had made friends, silly us 🙃

Blood was drawn but not during their initial bonding in neutral territory, only when they were put together in their new pen. It seemed at the time as though Jimmy got fed up with Dwight trying to mount him, and the next thing we new they were tumbling around like something out of a bad action movie. When we separated them, we saw that Jimmy had a cut (nothing deep) about 0.5cm on his nose. This area was deep cleaned and was 90 x 150 cm, and they had two of everything - we wiped down all of their plastic bits from their previous cages so they each had familiar but unscented things.

Thanks for your reply! 😊 I’ll definitely read those threads - I appreciate your help!
 

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Seven7

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Experts on this forum have said once blood has been drawn that means they really don't like each other.
They will be here to help you shortly. I will bump it up for you.
 

RachelLaura2012

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Experts on this forum have said once blood has been drawn that means they really don't like each other.
They will be here to help you shortly. I will bump it up for you.
Thank you! That was my initial thought, however because they seem to bite their shared wall so much these days I’ve been cautious. Also, as naive as it sounds, I don’t think Dwight intentionally drew blood - it seemed as though Jimmy jumped on him from behind and startled him, and they both tumbled. I was hoping his lack of apparent intention (hopefully?) made things slightly better.., wishful thinking I know!

Thanks for your advice & bump 😊
 

Siikibam

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I wonder if the cut to the nose may have been an ill-placed swipe to get him to stop. I had that with my boars when I found a cut near the dominant pig’s eye.

What makes you think that Jimmy didn’t like being mounted? If he’s squeaking in submission then that’s fine. How long have they been separated now? It’s a difficult time to be bonding (due to the hormonal period), but I would perhaps try again. You can leave them in the neutral territory overnight if you want. Make sure you have two of everything in the cage. Rearrange it as well so it’s more ‘new’. If you decide to go down that route I would make sure you can be on hand to sit and watch in case of anything.

The humping, chasing and mounting is all part of the show of dominance. It looks worse for us than it is for them. Where it is too much is if the other piggy isn’t allowed to eat or do anything, and acts withdrawn. On that note, how did Jimmy behave when you separated them? Did he appear happy?
 

RachelLaura2012

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I wonder if the cut to the nose may have been an ill-placed swipe to get him to stop. I had that with my boars when I found a cut near the dominant pig’s eye.

What makes you think that Jimmy didn’t like being mounted? If he’s squeaking in submission then that’s fine. How long have they been separated now? It’s a difficult time to be bonding (due to the hormonal period), but I would perhaps try again. You can leave them in the neutral territory overnight if you want. Make sure you have two of everything in the cage. Rearrange it as well so it’s more ‘new’. If you decide to go down that route I would make sure you can be on hand to sit and watch in case of anything.

The humping, chasing and mounting is all part of the show of dominance. It looks worse for us than it is for them. Where it is too much is if the other piggy isn’t allowed to eat or do anything, and acts withdrawn. On that note, how did Jimmy behave when you separated them? Did he appear happy?
Jimmy kept running away when Dwight tried to mount him, and with him being much smaller and quicker than Dwight, he ran away quite easily. Jimmy is a very timid pig at the best of times but didn’t seem better or worse when separated. They’ve been separated now for nearly 2 months - my best guess would be 7/8 weeks.
I really want to try and put them back together and I know that they may need a lot of time to bond properly, which isn’t a problem. How do you know for sure whether they are ok to stay together overnight? My biggest worry would be leaving them together and then waking up to very injured Guinea pigs! Thanks for your help 😊
 

Siikibam

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If they seem ok together when on neutral territory and no proper fights have broken out. You also have to remember that bonding continues for a further two weeks from initial time. And as they’re in their teens, there will be hormone surges every now and then which could lead to chasing, mounting and humping.

Running away is normal, as long as they submit and don’t try to be the one on the pedestal.

Have a read through the threads and see what constitutes a failing bond. Also bear in mind that putting together and separating can be stressful. Hence seeing it through to the end. Good luck!
 

RachelLaura2012

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If they seem ok together when on neutral territory and no proper fights have broken out. You also have to remember that bonding continues for a further two weeks from initial time. And as they’re in their teens, there will be hormone surges every now and then which could lead to chasing, mounting and humping.

Running away is normal, as long as they submit and don’t try to be the one on the pedestal.
I think I’ll try again today (plenty of time these days to keep an eye on them)! I’ll report back on how it goes, hopefully with a couple of videos 😊
 

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Update: So we waited a couple of days and ordered some bits for a larger pen in the logic that we’d build a new huge one from scratch if they bonded. We tried again and within about a minute it was clear that they were destined not to be 👎🏼 Jimmy nearly tore a chunk out of Dwight and Dwight spent an hour or so recovering on my knee in a towel feeling sorry for himself, despite them both being physically fine. I guess they will remain neighbours and not housemates! Typically though, as soon as they moved in and got comfy in their new pens, they spent the night crying at each other before falling asleep next to each other though the cage bars - you’d think they were so badly done to 🙄 Maybe we’ll try again one day - thanks everyone for their tips & advice!


Below: The terrible two deciding they hate each other... but miss each other
DAFD1C15-6575-4EE4-BD5A-65C3B96B0FA6.jpeg


Below: Dwight feeling incredibly sorry for himself that his brother didn’t want to move in with him. He spent an hour snuggling into me and this towel, and fell asleep on my hand... before deciding enough was enough and it was time to go and rumblestrutt at Jimmy again 😂🙄
D7829B9F-D45A-46B5-A373-B0D2DFCDFEB0.jpeg
 

Siikibam

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At least you tried. If you really feel the need to try again then wait until they’re out of their teenage months. I wouldn’t but that’s just my opinion. Can’t live with, can’t live without 🤦🏾‍♀️😁
 
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