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Bonding With An Adopted Piggy

cfarrell25

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I adopted a Peruvian piggy of approx 9 months old a few months ago. I don’t know much but that he was given up by the previous owner because of “dominance issues” and was never with another piggy. When I first got him I noticed that he would bite my clothes whenever picked up and he’s very reluctant to be pet, picked up. I got him a buddy shortly after I adopted him. They get along fine although he does snap at his new buddy when he tries to share his hiding spot (which I suppose is normal). When taking him to the vet, he was very nervous, squirmish, would bite more furiously and the vet mentioned how he may be just a jerk although I’m sure there’s a way to change his behaviour, especially since he’s now that old. During flood time, he usually hides out and doesn’t explore much. Any tips on how I can tame him? Make him trust me? And perhaps make him more pleasant to hang out with?
 

sport_billy

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Nice comment by the vet there :( he isn't a 'jerk' just very scared and nervous. Some piggies are.. Guinea Pigs are prey animals, also you dont know what this little pig has been through before you had him. The prey instinct is very strong in pigs.

First off make sure the piggies have two hideys.

Biting is a fear reflex, not him being a nasty, it is because he is really really frightened. We had a biter she was so scared but in the end we had a lovely bond with her, it took time and patience however.


Go back to basics with him.... We always start off by trying to hand feed a few veggie treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you.

Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 30 seconds with our biter then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

Have a flick through of these threads here:

Settling in and interacting with your guinea pigs:
How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
How To Understand Guinea Pig Instincts And Speak Piggy Body Language

Have a look at this also picking a piggy up can stress them out so this thread shows a good way of using a cosy to catch them
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

Finally I'd possibly think about a new vet..... with a slightly better attitude
 

Wiebke

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I adopted a Peruvian piggy of approx 9 months old a few months ago. I don’t know much but that he was given up by the previous owner because of “dominance issues” and was never with another piggy. When I first got him I noticed that he would bite my clothes whenever picked up and he’s very reluctant to be pet, picked up. I got him a buddy shortly after I adopted him. They get along fine although he does snap at his new buddy when he tries to share his hiding spot (which I suppose is normal). When taking him to the vet, he was very nervous, squirmish, would bite more furiously and the vet mentioned how he may be just a jerk although I’m sure there’s a way to change his behaviour, especially since he’s now that old. During flood time, he usually hides out and doesn’t explore much. Any tips on how I can tame him? Make him trust me? And perhaps make him more pleasant to hang out with?
What jerk of a vet! A wiggly piggy is generally one that is not frozen with fear at a vets. ;)

With love, persistence and patience, you can bring round your boy, but it is likely going to take some time, so don't expect wonders. Trust takes time to grow. A good number of piggies are not happy to be handled and will never come to more than tolerating it. It is doesn't mean that they do not trust or love, or have a happy relationship with you!

You have already given him the best present, a mate. Nipping is mild dominance behaviour, it means 'respect my personal space'. It is a very carefully judged gesture of power that actually does not hurt.

You may find these guides here helpful in sorting out the tweaking. Always start with assuring your boy of your love; the way any social enabler piggy does when telling another what is the done thing and what not.
" Biting" And What You Can Do
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig
Illustrated Bonding / Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Aw that wasn't very nice of the vets! I echo what everyone else is saying about just taking it slowly. It can be tough if they haven't had the best start in life but they definitely come around :)

I don't know whether it's worth looking for a new vet, when my Iggy was bitey it was because he was in pain. He was diagnosed with various bladder problems and not a jerk :P A diva maybe! :)) Now that he's better he's a little darling and we have one of the best bonds ever, he asks to come out for cuddles and he's so friendly.

Don't worry, he's not a jerk. Whether it's down to pain or fear you'll get to the bottom of it all and I'm sure you'll have a lovely bond with him. Patience can be hard when you have so much love to give them, I think we've all experienced that but they all get there in the end :)
 

cfarrell25

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In terms of care I’m also very reluctant to groom him (brushing - he is a Peruvian..), cutting his nails as I’m afraid that it’ll Either make him trust me less or aggravate the problem.. any tips on how I can go about to taking care of him without harming our relationship?
 

Lady Kelly

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I think the vet could have chosen their words a lot differently. I have had one piggy who was more mischievous than the others and just didn't like being held very much. She would tolerate maybe a minute or two before biting my clothes but otherwise was confident in the hutch, would interact a lot through the bars, eat out of my hands and let me pet her as long as I didn't pick her up. However it does just sound like a bit more perseverance is needed and hopefully he will start to enjoy cuddles a bit more
 

Betsy

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In terms of care I’m also very reluctant to groom him (brushing - he is a Peruvian..), cutting his nails as I’m afraid that it’ll Either make him trust me less or aggravate the problem.. any tips on how I can go about to taking care of him without harming our relationship?
When it comes to nail trim time, you could try wrapping him up tightly in a towel with a paw hanging out and trim the nails on that paw, unwrap and repeat the process. That way he won't be so wriggly and he'll also feel a bit safer as he will be wrapped up and in a dark place.
 

Hath

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Hi,
Very unprofessional from the vet. Trust me, I've been bitten and scratched by so many animals at work, you just accept it's scary situation.
One of my boys bites when I am doing his pig mot (health check, bath, glands etc etc). Just learned how to place my hands :lol!: it's helpful if you'll have extra pair of hands to help you wrap him in a towel.

Iam sure he'll settle, it just takes time.
 
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