Female Dominance or Bullying?


New Born Pup
May 19, 2018
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Two months ago, I rescued two female guinea pigs from a friend whose family found them in their wood pile. They came in a pet store cage with one single-entrance hideaway. That’s when I noticed Binx (presumably the older one) showing dominance towards Buffy by not letting her into/out of the hideaway. We got them home and in a bigger DIY cage. They kind of sorted out any dominance issues they had, and established Binx as alpha. But, she occasionally bullied Buffy. For example, it would be quiet with each pig resting on either side of the cage, then out of no where Binx rumblestruts over to Buffy and does so for several minutes. Buffy doesn’t put up any sign of trying to dominate her at this point.

A few days ago, we got a new guinea pig, Bumpkin. She’s probably about 2 months old. Her introduction on neutral ground went well. Both Binx and Buffy cleaned her at some point. But, it did spark some sort of insecurity in Binx, and she tried mounting, rumblestrutting, and nipping at Buffy again, with Buffy submitting. Today, Binx has been chasing baby Bumpkin around, nipping at her, etc. even though Bumpkin is showing no signs of resistance or aggression. In fact, Binx is initiating it and seeking her out even if they were all resting just fine earlier. Buffy has gotten into it a few times, as if she’s defending baby Bumpkin, but always ends up submitting. It makes me nervous because Binx weighs just over 2lbs and Bumpkin is only 13oz! I’m afraid she’s going to get hurt.

I feel like Binx is the problem here. I theorize that she was alone for a while with her original owners, so she’s not sure how to positively socialize. From all of my research, it doesn’t seem like her behavior is normal. She seems very insecure about dominance. Any help or advice would be great! Thanks!

pig in the city

*Rescue Buddy*
Forum Donator 2020/21
Jan 29, 2009
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It sounds as if Binx is just showing who's boss. Make sure the little one has plenty of hiding places so she can get away from Binx if necessary (tunnels are ideal, nowhere where she can get cornered). Things should settle soon . Love the names!