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Bonding boys teeth chatter

CourtneyBailey

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I got my first piggie Milo about 2 months ago and my other piggie Marvin about 1 month ago. They are both only a few months old still. They started bonding very well and seemed to love each other companies up until 2 days ago. My roommate has another boy piggie and we wanted to see if him and Marvin could begin to bond. But after their meeting and putting Marvin back with his cage mate, Milo began teeth chattering at him and lunging. I got worried and cleaned their cage and both of the piggies to get rid of the other piggies scent. It seemed to work pretty well and now Milo and Marvin get along again for the most part but Milo is still teeth chattering every once in a while and kind of pushing him and he’ll pop up on his back legs for a second. Its hard to expain but its like he thinks Marvin is in his way and acts annoyed at times. No huge fight has broken out but it worries me so much. I’m afraid Milo is kind of bullying him. I’m not sure if its normal for some teeth chattering to occur or if they need to be separated. I don’t want Marvin to get upset or hurt if I’m not here to watch over them. I don’t know what to do.
 

Piggies&buns

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Piggies go through a teenage stage between 4 and 14 months and during this time you will see dominance behaviours such as teeth chattering, chasing and mounting. However, they will also do these behaviours throughout their entire lives. If they are compatible, they will come through it. If they aren’t compatible, then they will fight and need to be separated.
dominance behaviours are normal, it is how piggies size up to each other and establish a relationship. Please do not separate for normal dominance as you interfere and potentially break their bond when there was never anything wrong.
When you say bullying - when a piggy is being bullied they are not allowed to each so start to lose weight, they aren’t allowed to rest and are chased out of every hidey, the mounting and dominance occurs constantly causing the bullied pig to become either depressed and withdrawn or fight back. What you are describing is happening with your piggies isn’t bullying.

if I’ve read correctly it sounds as if you’ve tried to put one of your two piggies with a third Male piggy. Please don’t do this - 1) boars can only live in pairs , putting three together is highly likely to cause fights and at worst it can break the bond of the original two piggies causing them to fight with each when previously they were fine. But 2) (and the one which is relevant in this case), piggies do not do play dates - you cannot put piggies together who are not bonded and don’t live together for a temporary play date. To them each meeting is a bonding session which is then cut short and that causes stress. Now you have Marvin and milo together, please do not let them have access to any other piggy.

The key with two boars is lots of space - their cage should be 180cm x 60cm. Too small of a cage and that can cause problems and tensions. Always make sure you have two of every item (bowls, bottles, hay piles) ensure you have at least one hidey per piggy and always handle the dominant piggy first so that you respect their hierarchy.

I’ll add in some links to guides below to help you with further information

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

Wiebke

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:agr:

@Piggies&buns has said everything I would say as well.

Please take the time to read the links as we cannot repeat all the detailed background information that you need in every post.
 

CourtneyBailey

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Piggies go through a teenage stage between 4 and 14 months and during this time you will see dominance behaviours such as teeth chattering, chasing and mounting. However, they will also do these behaviours throughout their entire lives. If they are compatible, they will come through it. If they aren’t compatible, then they will fight and need to be separated.
dominance behaviours are normal, it is how piggies size up to each other and establish a relationship. Please do not separate for normal dominance as you interfere and potentially break their bond when there was never anything wrong.
When you say bullying - when a piggy is being bullied they are not allowed to each so start to lose weight, they aren’t allowed to rest and are chased out of every hidey, the mounting and dominance occurs constantly causing the bullied pig to become either depressed and withdrawn or fight back. What you are describing is happening with your piggies isn’t bullying.

if I’ve read correctly it sounds as if you’ve tried to put one of your two piggies with a third Male piggy. Please don’t do this - 1) boars can only live in pairs , putting three together is highly likely to cause fights and at worst it can break the bond of the original two piggies causing them to fight with each when previously they were fine. But 2) (and the one which is relevant in this case), piggies do not do play dates - you cannot put piggies together who are not bonded and don’t live together for a temporary play date. To them each meeting is a bonding session which is then cut short and that causes stress. Now you have Marvin and milo together, please do not let them have access to any other piggy.

The key with two boars is lots of space - their cage should be 180cm x 60cm. Too small of a cage and that can cause problems and tensions. Always make sure you have two of every item (bowls, bottles, hay piles) ensure you have at least one hidey per piggy and always handle the dominant piggy first so that you respect their hierarchy.

I’ll add in some links to guides below to help you with further information

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Thank you! That makes me feel much better. They do get along still for the most part. I guess that was our mistake hoping we could bond all 3 piggies. :( You think my 2 boars could go back to normal? They used to be inseparable but Milo has showed signs of annoyance with him frequently now. These are the first pigs I have ever had. I had 1 bunny for 10 years and it was much different so I’m still learning.
 

Piggies&buns

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If they are compatible, then they will be able to sort it out. Dominance behaviours will always occur though so as long as they stay as just that then it’ll be ok. It’ll be if it has caused underlying rifts to come to the surface that there might be an issue.
How old are they?
How big is their cage?
 

CourtneyBailey

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If they are compatible, then they will be able to sort it out. Dominance behaviours will always occur though so as long as they stay as just that then it’ll be ok. It’ll be if it has caused underlying rifts to come to the surface that there might be an issue.
How old are they?
How big is their cage?
I don’t have an exact age for either of them but I assume Milo is about 4-5 months old and Marvin is 3-4 months old. I currently have the Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat cage for them with 4 hideouts, 2 bowls, 2 water bottles, and hay of course. Milo is the more dominant piggie in the relationship and has always rumble strutted towards Marvin but I was just hoping the other behaviors (teeth chatter and annoyance) will pass, as they used to never do that with each other. They still occasionally cuddle up to each other and share food well which I assume are both good signs.
 

Piggies&buns

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I don’t have an exact age for either of them but I assume Milo is about 4-5 months old and Marvin is 3-4 months old. I currently have the Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat cage for them with 4 hideouts, 2 bowls, 2 water bottles, and hay of course. Milo is the more dominant piggie in the relationship and has always rumble strutted towards Milo but I was just hoping the other behaviors (teeth chatter and annoyance) will pass, as they used to never do that with each other. They still occasionally cuddle up to each other and share food well which I assume are both good signs.
This explains a lot - they are coming into their teens and hormones are increasing. You are going to see a lot of dominance behaviours from now until they are 14 months of age (although they will always do it throughout their lives). That is normal. As long as it remains dominance behaviours - mounting, chasing, chattering, rumbling - then leave them to it. If they show signs of bullying (one piggy never being allowed to eat or rest, losing weight etc) or a full on fight then it means they arent compatible and won’t be able to stay living together.
One Midwest is too small for boars - if I remember rightly they measure 120cm x 60cm. Two boars, particularly teens, need much more room - 180cm x 60cm - as lack of space can exacerbate tensions

The guides I linked in in my first reply details what is normal boar behaviour
 

CourtneyBailey

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This explains a lot - they are coming into their teens and hormones are increasing. You are going to see a lot of dominance behaviours from now until they are 14 months of age (although they will always do it throughout their lives). That is normal. As long as it remains dominance behaviours - mounting, chasing, chattering, rumbling - then leave them to it. If they show signs of bullying (one piggy never being allowed to eat or rest, losing weight etc) or a full on fight then it means they arent compatible and won’t be able to stay living together.
One Midwest is too small for boars - if I remember rightly they measure 120cm x 60cm. Two boars, particularly teens, need much more room - 180cm x 60cm - as lack of space can exacerbate tensions

The guides I linked in in my first reply details what is normal boar behaviour
Ah, I see. Thank you! I’ve found it difficult to find appropriately sized cages that I don’t have to make myself. Is there any suggestions you have that may fit them better? I have seen expansions for the Midwest Plus but the website is out of stock unfortunately, as I was planning to buy the second level for them. This was very helpful!
 

Piggies&buns

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Ah, I see. Thank you! I’ve found it difficult to find appropriately sized cages that I don’t have to make myself. Is there any suggestions you have that may fit them better? I have seen expansions for the Midwest Plus but the website is out of stock unfortunately, as I was planning to buy the second level for them. This was very helpful!
A second level won’t help their cage be bigger. Piggies are ground roaming and need their space to be big enough on a single level. If you do add an upstairs it is only a bonus space, it won’t increase their cage size when their downstairs space isn’t big enough.

Unfortunately commercial cages are rarely big enough (there are a few though), which is why a lot of people do go for c&c or homemade cages as they are very adaptable.

If you are to increase their cage size, then you need to do it carefully as any change in environment constitutes a change of territory and can increase dominance. You would need to ensure the cage is refilled with used bedding so if still smells of them

Member Gallery: C&C cages/homemade cages
 
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