Chasing? Aggressive? Playful?

Olizie

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Hi!
So ive seen my guinea pigs chase each other around quite a lot recently and I’m just wondering if it’s not starting to get aggressive? I’ve posted something similar before however I just feel that this looks more, I don’t know but like more serious, and I’m really scared they’ll fight one day. They haven’t actually fought yet and i haven’t seen any bite marks on them. I’ll insert a video and show you but basically the brown one goes up to the grey guinea pig and then the grey one turns and chases the brown one and the brown one runs away if that makes any sense and they just keep doing that. The grey one also teeth chatters quite a bit when they do this so I’m just wondering if this is just being playful or if it’s something more aggressive? Thanks for all and any adviceThat’s the video and I’m pretty sure it will ask you for a password and it’s just Guinea pigs
 

Olizie

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Also, I don’t know if this information will be helpful at all, but the grey one also does other stuff to the brown one e.g. pushes him out from the hide he wants to be in, pushes him away from the food bowl (the brown one does eat he just goes to the other one but it’s the fact that he does it) and obviously chases him around. Don’t know if that helped in any way but yeah
 

Piggies&buns

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How old are they?
I assume the area they are in on the video is their normal play area and that they have a cage elsewhere?

I am hearing a lot of teeth chattering - chattering ranges from mild dominance to getting more annoyed. It sounds quite loud but I’m not sure if it is just echo on the video for example. For the moment, I’d leave them to it to sort it out for themselves. You only really step in with boars If is a full on fight or clear signs of bullying (the submissive losing weight through not being allowed to eat, not being allowed to sleep or rest and generally looking depressed).
My two have times of being like yours are on the video but then they calm down and all is well again.

If the grey one is the dominant piggy, then they will be able to choose which bowl they eat from or hide they sleep in - it’s their right as the dominant. As long as the submissive is allowed to eat and isn’t constantly chased away from all food and isn’t losing weight because he isn’t allowed to eat all, then that isn’t concerning.

Try scatter feeding their veg and pellets rather than using food bowls. It can really help with boars.

Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
 

Olizie

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How old are they?
I assume the area they are in on the video is their normal play area and that they have a cage elsewhere?

I am hearing a lot of teeth chattering - chattering ranges from mild dominance to getting more annoyed. It sounds quite loud but I’m not sure if it is just echo on the video for example. For the moment, I’d leave them to it to sort it out for themselves. My two have times of being like that but then they calm down and all is well again.

If the grey one is the dominant piggy, then they will be able to choose which bowl they eat from or hide they sleep in - it’s their right as the dominant. As long as the submissive is allowed to eat and isn’t constantly chased away from all food and isn’t losing weight because he isn’t allowed to eat all, then that isn’t concerning.

Try scatter feeding their veg and pellets rather than using food bowls. It can really help with boars.

Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Thank you and yes this was just on floor time and they have a separate cage aswell. But they do sometimes do this in the cage aswell though. And they are a year and a few months old. Also yes the brown one still does have access to food and I'm pretty sure he’s even slightly chubbier! 😂 But it’s just the chasing that concerns me and the teeth chattering you heard wasn’t just a loud echo it actually was pretty loud when you hear it in person aswell it wasn’t just a mild chatter it was like really loud.
 

Olizie

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Also do you think that this is fine until they actually fight? Because they have been doing this quite a lot since I got them(a few months ago) but the person who was rehoming them said they were getting along very well so do you think it was the change in environment that did this or do you think they just didn’t say the truth as they wanted them gone or do you really think this is fine behaviour?
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you and yes this was just on floor time and they have a separate cage aswell. But they do sometimes do this in the cage aswell though. And they are a year and a few months old. Also yes the brown one still does have access to food and I'm pretty sure he’s even slightly chubbier! 😂 But it’s just the chasing that concerns me and the teeth chattering you heard wasn’t just a loud echo it actually was pretty loud when you hear it in person aswell it wasn’t just a mild chatter it was like really loud.
So they are probably just at the end of their teens then. How big is their cage?

That’s good then - if he is being allowed to eat and is generally happy then it isn’t the definition of bullying.
Chasing in itself isnt really a concern, it is a dominance behaviour , well bonded boars will still do it when there is a hormone spike for example. Loud chattering is a sign of annoyance but as long as they calm down and do something else rather than go into a full on fight then leave them but keep an eye on them.

Also do you think that this is fine until they actually fight? Because they have been doing this quite a lot since I got them(a few months ago) but the person who was rehoming them said they were getting along very well so do you think it was the change in environment that did this or do you think they just didn’t say the truth as they wanted them gone or do you really think this is fine behaviour?
Yes, with boars you leave them to it while it is dominance, if it looks like things are becoming worse (and from the clip on your video I wouldn’t step in at that point) then you prepare with a pair of oven gloves but hopefully they will calm down and get on with something else.

A change in environment can increase dominance but it is usually only temporary and well bonded boars won’t have any problems from it.

It’s obviously hard for us only seeing a 1 minute clip vs you seeing the whole thing play out though.
 

Piggies&buns

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I’ve just read on one of your other threads that their cage is 120cm x 60cm. While it is the bare minimum for two piggies, that cage size is more suitable for sows and is in fact too small for boars - boars are more territorial and need a lot more space. For two boars you need a cage of at least 150cm x 60 but 180cm x 60cm is better. Being in too small of a cage will cause tensions between them. I would strongly recommend you give them a bigger cage but you will need to do it carefully by using some of their soiled bedding so it still smells of them. Changing the cage size will constitute a change in territory and it will cause a bit of dominance, but being in a cage that is too small won’t do their relationship any favours
 

Olizie

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Ok thank you so much! I’ll try upgrade them to something more suitable then but thank you again. As you say though, if chasing isn’t too much of a concern then it’s such a relief. However I’ll still watch them. Thanks!
 

Wiebke

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Ok thank you so much! I’ll try upgrade them to something more suitable then but thank you again. As you say though, if chasing isn’t too much of a concern then it’s such a relief. However I’ll still watch them. Thanks!
Hi!

Please read our boar guide before you move any boar pairs into a larger cage. Any change to the territory can trigger a new hierarchy sort-out and can even cause a fall-out in adult boars, not just teenagers, who are even more prone to this; so this has to be done by using some tricks to minimise the risks.
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars (chapter 3)
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics (more information on social behaviours and how dominance works)
 

Olizie

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Hi!

Please read our boar guide before you move any boar pairs into a larger cage. Any change to the territory can trigger a new hierarchy sort-out and can even cause a fall-out in adult boars, not just teenagers, who are even more prone to this; so this has to be done by using some tricks to minimise the risks.
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars (chapter 3)
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics (more information on social behaviours and how dominance works)
Thanks! I’ll look through them all :)
 
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