Difficulty Matching Guinea Pig

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Cute_Guineapigs

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Hi

I have 3 boars at the moment, 2 are happily bonded but one is single. I want to find him a friend because he's around a year old and he's been alone for around 8 months. He was bonded as a baby to an adult boar (Fudge who I now own). When he was around 4 months old, he was apparently very dominant, baring teeth and started a few fights, so they were separated. Fudge happily and very easily bonded to my boar, Elmo. But Charlie looks like he'll be much harder to bond.

I went to a rescue yesterday to see if he'll bond to a boar, 2 were available. As soon as the other boars were put in the run with him, he went towards them, teeth chattering and circling and being very dominant. He was separated quickly as it looked like fights were going to happen.

It looked like fear to me as he didn't even give the other boars a chance to have a sniff and a hello, he was straight away telling them to go away. One of the boars was quite submissive, but even with him, he wouldn't stand for Charlie's dominance. I worry that he won't bond to an adult boar as he's just too dominant and no boar would stand that. What is your opinion on this?

I can either keep trying single boars at rescue, which doesn't like look it'll work. I can try a baby boar but I don't know if this will work or be fair on the baby. Also, if the bond breaks up later on in the baby's life, I have nowhere to house another cage. Or I could neuter him, which I don't want to do due to the operation, but if needed, then I will do it. However I don't know if a sow would work with him either.

Can you give your opinions on this please?
 

Wiebke

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Hi

I have 3 boars at the moment, 2 are happily bonded but one is single. I want to find him a friend because he's around a year old and he's been alone for around 8 months. He was bonded as a baby to an adult boar (Fudge who I now own). When he was around 4 months old, he was apparently very dominant, baring teeth and started a few fights, so they were separated. Fudge happily and very easily bonded to my boar, Elmo. But Charlie looks like he'll be much harder to bond.

I went to a rescue yesterday to see if he'll bond to a boar, 2 were available. As soon as the other boars were put in the run with him, he went towards them, teeth chattering and circling and being very dominant. He was separated quickly as it looked like fights were going to happen.

It looked like fear to me as he didn't even give the other boars a chance to have a sniff and a hello, he was straight away telling them to go away. One of the boars was quite submissive, but even with him, he wouldn't stand for Charlie's dominance. I worry that he won't bond to an adult boar as he's just too dominant and no boar would stand that. What is your opinion on this?

I can either keep trying single boars at rescue, which doesn't like look it'll work. I can try a baby boar but I don't know if this will work or be fair on the baby. Also, if the bond breaks up later on in the baby's life, I have nowhere to house another cage. Or I could neuter him, which I don't want to do due to the operation, but if needed, then I will do it. However I don't know if a sow would work with him either.

Can you give your opinions on this please?
Poor boy! It sounds like fear-aggression. :(

There are two options, which may work. Either a rescue that offers residential bonding (i.e. the boar stays a week at the rescue and so has got time to relax and get to know the neighbour pre-bonding). A baby boy may or may not work, but you don't want to end up with one that doesn't work out, so it would be better if you were considering other rescues. Some may have rescue-born babies of a suitable age.
If you can contact either East Peckham Guinea Pig Rescue or Hazelcroft GP Rescue in St. Albans, they might be able to help you.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/

The alternative is neutering and bonding with a younger sow. The key to it is finding a good vet; that really minimises any risk factors. It is worth travelling that bit further for a specialist vet who is either very experienced in small furries operations or a general vet with plenty of practice in guinea pig neutering operations. Perhaps one of our London-based members can give recommendations? One of the most experienced and safest neutering vets in the country is based in Northampton, if you can get there (either by train or via the M1). Sadly, spayed sows are about as rare as gold dust!
@Pebble
 

Cute_Guineapigs

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Thanks Wiebke for your fantastic reply. Are boars easier to bond with sows? How young should the sow be? I know to wait 6 weeks after the operation before doing any bonding with sows.
 

Pebble

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There is a good guinea pig neutering vet at Kings Road Surgery in Biggin Hill (Rikus Harmse) who neuters for two guinea pig rescues that I know of. Alternatively there is Simon at Cat and Rabbit at Northampton.

I have several older single boars who cannot be neutered because of long term medical conditions and won;t bond with each other. Some remain single but live side by side with another boar...for others I will try to bond them with a spayed female (I prefer to opt for spaying females rather than neutering boars, because despite the fact the former op is considered more invasive, I have found from experience that provided it is done by someone who is very practised at it there is less occurrence of post-op complications/abcesses than with boar neutering. I get my females spayed by Simon at Cat and Rabbit (who used to spay all the females at RGPW Rescue in Rugby)

One thing I can say is that you never know whether a sow will take to a particular boar or not! It's just as unpredictable as boar/boar bonding and requires just as much patience and preparatory work (put them side by side in separate cages, then gradually introduce them together in a large pen etc etc). Chances might be better with a very young sow but once they are fully grown they really can have very particular preferences for the type of huspig they are looking for (or are willing to tolerate!) It is therefore quit risky opting to spay a sow in the hope they will then accept their intended beloved - things might not work out as planned so perhaps in your case it may be better to opt to get Charlie neutered?

Regardless of which pairing you opt for, I would still recommend adopting from an experienced rescue who are able to give advice and assistance with the bonding process.

HTH
x
 

Cute_Guineapigs

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Thank you Pebble for your reply. I think I probably will get Charlie neutered as I can't see him accepting a boar and a baby is too risky. I'll still wait for a single sow at a rescue for bonding them. Hopefully he'll prefer sows to boars, otherwise I don't know what I'll do.
 
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