Introductions...not going well :/

celestialteapot

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Spud, is a 9/10month female. Two weeks ago I lost her sister Sprout after a short illness. Initially I was planning to re-home a similar age female but none of the rescues near me had any females. I didn't want to leave Spud on her own for much longer so I decided to adopt an 11week old female, Brussel.

I've previously introduced two 11week females to a 2yr old male which had gone fantastically so I was kinda hoping it would go equally as well.

Meeting through the bars was mainly teeth chattering, but the slightly more aggressive one...which was fine, it was through the bars.

Then I tried a first introduction on the sofa...which turned into a fight (Brussel being the aggressor). I separated them and I think the sofa was a bad choice as might have been too many piggie smells (although I did clean everything before).

Okay, so first meeting didn't go too well...I looked up some more information on introducing guinea pigs and watched a few YouTube videos for advice.

Next, I got a brand new fleece and lined the bath with it, completely neutral ground. Put some of their favourite treats and crossed my fingers. This time, Spud went for Brussel and I got bitten through the tea towel I threw over Spud.

I don't want to get into a cycle of letting them meet and then putting them back in their cages so I set up the piggie playpen to give them more space.

Again, a fight broke out and I had to separate them again. This time I left Brussel in the pen and let Spud run round outside the pen. They interacted a lot through the mesh of the pen and after about 20mins, they weren't chattering teeth at each other so...I figured okay, fourth time lucky.

Instant fight.

Spud was the dominant piggie with Sprout and I think Brussel wants to be in charge. Their cages are next to each other but they pretty much just ignore each other.

Anyone have any suggestions for introducing two dominant guinea pigs?
 

Merab's Slave

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Welcome to the forum
The best bonding advice you will find is on the forum information thread bonding and behaviour.
Sorry I can’t link it for you.
That’s more about my lack of technical ability!

I found the thread saved my sanity when I bonded my girls.

I’m not an expert at bonding but I’m sure someone will be along who has a lot more experience

Hope it works out
 

Elthysia

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I’d let them be for a while - perhaps better when their teenage months are over or they are more used to each other. I’ve had the same issue with sets of pigs not getting on because one of my new piggies is aggressive to the two old ones - she’s around 9-10 months too. Maybe they’ll never get on but I know that trying at the moment is not going to get a good result. Personally I’m planning on trying again in a while - like maybe a month or two. They are side by side in pairs and they do chat to each other now rather than teeth chattering so better signs. (Although they may just be eying the other pair’s food as they don’t eat it as quick!).

I don’t think there is much you can do right now if you’ve tried a few times but ended up in fights. (Probably not what you would’ve liked to hear!)
 

Mother Hubbard

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Did you try bathing them first, you know to remove their smells as well. Obviously you've removes general smells but i found a good bath can make the difference when i've home bonded.
 

celestialteapot

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I’d let them be for a while - perhaps better when their teenage months are over or they are more used to each other.

I don’t think there is much you can do right now if you’ve tried a few times but ended up in fights. (Probably not what you would’ve liked to hear!)
I think you're right, let them get a little older before trying again.

IMG_20190217_134607_883.jpg
This is Brussel

IMG_20190217_134518_698.jpg
And Spud
 

celestialteapot

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Did you try bathing them first, you know to remove their smells as well. Obviously you've removes general smells but i found a good bath can make the difference when i've home bonded.
I've read differing views on bonding baths but that's next on my list of things to try.
 

Wiebke

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Spud, is a 9/10month female. Two weeks ago I lost her sister Sprout after a short illness. Initially I was planning to re-home a similar age female but none of the rescues near me had any females. I didn't want to leave Spud on her own for much longer so I decided to adopt an 11week old female, Brussel.

I've previously introduced two 11week females to a 2yr old male which had gone fantastically so I was kinda hoping it would go equally as well.

Meeting through the bars was mainly teeth chattering, but the slightly more aggressive one...which was fine, it was through the bars.

Then I tried a first introduction on the sofa...which turned into a fight (Brussel being the aggressor). I separated them and I think the sofa was a bad choice as might have been too many piggie smells (although I did clean everything before).

Okay, so first meeting didn't go too well...I looked up some more information on introducing guinea pigs and watched a few YouTube videos for advice.

Next, I got a brand new fleece and lined the bath with it, completely neutral ground. Put some of their favourite treats and crossed my fingers. This time, Spud went for Brussel and I got bitten through the tea towel I threw over Spud.

I don't want to get into a cycle of letting them meet and then putting them back in their cages so I set up the piggie playpen to give them more space.

Again, a fight broke out and I had to separate them again. This time I left Brussel in the pen and let Spud run round outside the pen. They interacted a lot through the mesh of the pen and after about 20mins, they weren't chattering teeth at each other so...I figured okay, fourth time lucky.

Instant fight.

Spud was the dominant piggie with Sprout and I think Brussel wants to be in charge. Their cages are next to each other but they pretty much just ignore each other.

Anyone have any suggestions for introducing two dominant guinea pigs?
Hi!

Please stop any bonding attempts!

Once sows have made up their mind that they do not like another piggy, you have had it. There is unfortunately no trick in the world that can change personalities and attitudes - when the chips are down, piggies either like other and want to be with each other or not. Any of the widely recommended breeder tips, from scent masking to buddy baths simply delay the inevitable for at the most half an hour.
Full-on bites are always the end of any co-habitation or bonding attempt, whatever the gender, but they are the end of any relationship.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Lunging, full-on fights and defence bites are very rare but they are all shouting very much the same: "STAY AWAY FROM ME!" in the strongest way possible. A piggy can't say it more strongly than that. :(

Best keep them as neighbours with interaction through the bars, but don't try any bonding again any time soon! It is only to get worse.
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
" Biting" And What You Can Do

Sadly when you are introducing piggies without dating at a good rescue, you always need to have a plan B at the ready as by farnot all bonds work out. While guinea pigs rely on social interaction, they are every bit as complex as humans.
 

VickiA

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Tagging @Wiebke in on this, but I have to say that I’d give up on this bonding. These 2 strong minded ladies have made their views perfectly clear. They aren’t going to accept each other. Sows can be very difficult to bond, that is why we recommend dating at a rescue wherever possible.
I doubt that a bath would help. At the end of the day it only masks smells and they have decided irrespective of smell that they do not like each other. Sorry but that is my honest view after bonding (and failing to bond) multiple sows over the years.
 

VickiA

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Hi!

Please stop any bonding attempts!

Once sows have made up their mind that they do not like another piggy, you have had it. There is unfortunately no trick in the world that can change personalities and attitudes - when the chips are down, piggies either like other and want to be with each other or not. Any of the widely recommended breeder tips, from scent masking to buddy baths simply delay the inevitable for at the most half an hour.
Full-on bites are always the end of any co-habitation or bonding attempt, whatever the gender, but they are the end of any relationship.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Lunging, full-on fights and defence bites are very rare but they are all shouting very much the same: "STAY AWAY FROM ME!" in the strongest way possible. A piggy can't say it more strongly than that. :(

Best keep them as neighbours with interaction through the bars, but don't try any bonding again any time soon! It is only to get worse.
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
" Biting" And What You Can Do

Sadly when you are introducing piggies without dating at a good rescue, you always need to have a plan B at the ready as by farnot all bonds work out. While guinea pigs rely on social interaction, they are every bit as complex as humans.
I agree completely
 

Swissgreys

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Having been in a similar situation myself I would agree with the above.
If piggies decide they don't like each other they are simply not going to change their mind.
Time and bonding baths (which I think are usually not recommended these days) will not make any difference.
Sorry.
 

celestialteapot

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You guys are right, I think everyone has made their feelings very clear. Their cages are next to each other so if they do want to chat, they can do.

Do you think it's worth setting up a guinea pig play date in the future (my local rescue is closed for renovation & currently only has intact males) for at least Brussel? She's only 11weeks and I am a bit worried she's going to feel lonely living on her own (Spud actually seems quite content, she's arranged the cage to her liking and was never entirely pleased with Sprout being in her space).
 

Wiebke

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You guys are right, I think everyone has made their feelings very clear. Their cages are next to each other so if they do want to chat, they can do.

Do you think it's worth setting up a guinea pig play date in the future (my local rescue is closed for renovation & currently only has intact males) for at least Brussel? She's only 11weeks and I am a bit worried she's going to feel lonely living on her own (Spud actually seems quite content, she's arranged the cage to her liking and was never entirely pleased with Sprout being in her space).
Yes, you can set up a play date in time for both girls. Give Brussel time to settled down and settle in; that is by far the best thing you can do. When she is no longer so on edge and fear-agressive to the extreme, she may be able to bond; but you are looking at a few months rather than a matter of a just a few weeks.

Please consider using piggy whispering and avoiding tripping her currently animal instincts on hair trigger.
These guides here will help you to understand and work around it. You don't know her background and how badly on edge her mother was when Brussel was born.
How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

Please take the time to read the guides I have linked in; you will find them very interesting!
 

celestialteapot

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Thanks :D
Brussel is currently stretched out in her basket so apart from not getting on with Spud, she seems content.
I suppose I'm just going to have a house full of guinea pigs...the horror xD
 

MaddyGK

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Spud, is a 9/10month female. Two weeks ago I lost her sister Sprout after a short illness. Initially I was planning to re-home a similar age female but none of the rescues near me had any females. I didn't want to leave Spud on her own for much longer so I decided to adopt an 11week old female, Brussel.

I've previously introduced two 11week females to a 2yr old male which had gone fantastically so I was kinda hoping it would go equally as well.

Meeting through the bars was mainly teeth chattering, but the slightly more aggressive one...which was fine, it was through the bars.

Then I tried a first introduction on the sofa...which turned into a fight (Brussel being the aggressor). I separated them and I think the sofa was a bad choice as might have been too many piggie smells (although I did clean everything before).

Okay, so first meeting didn't go too well...I looked up some more information on introducing guinea pigs and watched a few YouTube videos for advice.

Next, I got a brand new fleece and lined the bath with it, completely neutral ground. Put some of their favourite treats and crossed my fingers. This time, Spud went for Brussel and I got bitten through the tea towel I threw over Spud.

I don't want to get into a cycle of letting them meet and then putting them back in their cages so I set up the piggie playpen to give them more space.

Again, a fight broke out and I had to separate them again. This time I left Brussel in the pen and let Spud run round outside the pen. They interacted a lot through the mesh of the pen and after about 20mins, they weren't chattering teeth at each other so...I figured okay, fourth time lucky.

Instant fight.

Spud was the dominant piggie with Sprout and I think Brussel wants to be in charge. Their cages are next to each other but they pretty much just ignore each other.

Anyone have any suggestions for introducing two dominant guinea pigs?
Possibly bathe them, as piggies go for familiar. If they both smell the same, it is very much possible for them to get along! Hope this helps!
 

VickiA

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Possibly bathe them, as piggies go for familiar. If they both smell the same, it is very much possible for them to get along! Hope this helps!
I’m afraid we don’t recommend buddy bathing any longer. It really doesn’t help piggies who have taken a dislike to each other to get along.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Hello everyone, just had a read through this thread. I'm not clued up on bonding, but would adding a boar and making a trio help anything? Or make it worse? Just a crazy idea.

Neutered boar that is!
 

VickiA

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Hello everyone, just had a read through this thread. I'm not clued up on bonding, but would adding a boar and making a trio help anything? Or make it worse? Just a crazy idea.

Neutered boar that is!
The addition of a neutered boar will not improve matters. When 2 sows have decided they do not like each other that’s it. He won’t make them like each other!
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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The addition of a neutered boar will not improve matters. When 2 sows have decided they do not like each other that’s it. He won’t make them like each other!
Ok , had a feeling it could make a distraction. Thought i heard it somewhere before.
 

VickiA

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Ok , had a feeling it could make a distraction. Thought i heard it somewhere before.
If you have an already bonded group with a few political issues then a neutered boar can defuse the situation between sows but he can’t work miracles with an unbonded pair of warring sows
 
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