Maple Is Still Nervous!

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aimzer

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As some you of may know, I rescued Maple in August as a new cagemate for Daisy. She was very timid and took a while to settle in.
She is much more relaxed during floor time and in her cage although she does still dart at little things that don't bother Daisy but I understand she is still getting used to her environment. I wondered if she was maybe an outdoor piggy before I got her. She used to shriek whenever she was picked up. I don't think she was handled very much at all.

4/5 months on and she barely ever shrieks when being picked up but she does still tense up. During lap time in the evenings she just freezes. She can't seem to relax and sometimes I can feel her shaking. I feel so sorry for her. I give her something to hide her head in but it doesn't really seem to help. I just end up putting her back after 5 minutes because I don't want her feeling uncomfortable and stressed out. You guys got any tips? Do I carry on with cuddle time or do I just forget it and just interact with her during floor time?
 
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piggyfan

I have the same problem with Shereen. I have had her for two years yet she is still terrified. If I sneeze she runs and hides. I have held her every day for two years, apart from if ill, and yet she freezes. She was abused in the past and bred so who knows what the poor thing has been through. I totally understand your concerns.
 

aimzer

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I have the same problem with Shereen. I have had her for two years yet she is still terrified. If I sneeze she runs and hides. I have held her every day for two years, apart from if ill, and yet she freezes. She was abused in the past and bred so who knows what the poor thing has been through. I totally understand your concerns.
Aww poor little Shereen :( If only they knew we were trying to love and help them.
As far as I'm aware Maple was never abused. I was told she was part of a trio and the other two piggies past away leaving her alone and the family didn't want to carry on with piggies. I was told that she was handled but I really do doubt that by the way she acts. Poor thing.
 
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piggyfan

It really does not sound like she was handled. I hope they know we love them and just want to protect them. Have you tried holding her in a fleece? This helps Shereen.
 

aimzer

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It really does not sound like she was handled. I hope they know we love them and just want to protect them. Have you tried holding her in a fleece? This helps Shereen.
Yes I have tried fleece. She usually just burrows and hides in it. I do try and stroke her when she is burrowed in it but I'm not sure if she enjoys it :( I've just thought, maybe it's because I take her for cuddle time alone, without Daisy. Do you think that would affect her? Daisy is the definite leader between them.
 
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piggyfan

Yes I have tried fleece. She usually just burrows and hides in it. I do try and stroke her when she is burrowed in it but I'm not sure if she enjoys it :( I've just thought, maybe it's because I take her for cuddle time alone, without Daisy. Do you think that would affect her? Daisy is the definite leader between them.
Why not try holding them together then? It could make her more confident.
 

theoretikos

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I have a boy (Quinn) who is scared of everything and runs as fast as possible at the slightest noise. I think it's just the way some pigs are.
 

Flutterby

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I think sometimes it depends on the piggies. My group of 5 girls are all at different stages of nervousness. None of them I would say are overly cuddly (I don't think a huge amount of pigs are) but some are braver then others no matter how long I have had them.
 

helen105281

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My Sophie is like that too, happy enough in her cage (was popcorning with Tim this morning) but the minute we get her out she freezes and goes all floppy. She does the same thing at the vets.
 

Freela

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Some pigs are just high-strung. Frenzy was like that. I doubt she had any negative experiences, as we got her very young, and she was relatively tolerant of being handled after the first couple of month with us, but she just never relaxed. I really never saw her at anything less than full alert and ready to boot it if something startled her. Then I had one who was a total lazy lap pig who wasn't scared of anything and would literally stretch out and sleep on our laps (Linney) and one who was somewhere in between (Sundae.) Linney and Frenzy were our original pair, from the same origin and we got them both at about four weeks of age and they lived in the same environment and had all the same interaction, so I think that speaks a lot to the idea of nature versus nurture, and the fact that some of it just comes down to inborn disposition.
 

xxaimeexx

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I've had my piggie Holly for almost four years and she is still very skittish! She is held almost everyday if not chatted to and hand fed but still at the slightest thing she will run and hide an when I do get her out she is tense and nervous. I have accepted that that is just the way she is. Keep going with your Maple and maybe try some hand feeding. Food is key to a guinea pigs heart!
 

aimzer

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Some pigs are just high-strung. Frenzy was like that. I doubt she had any negative experiences, as we got her very young, and she was relatively tolerant of being handled after the first couple of month with us, but she just never relaxed. I really never saw her at anything less than full alert and ready to boot it if something startled her. Then I had one who was a total lazy lap pig who wasn't scared of anything and would literally stretch out and sleep on our laps (Linney) and one who was somewhere in between (Sundae.) Linney and Frenzy were our original pair, from the same origin and we got them both at about four weeks of age and they lived in the same environment and had all the same interaction, so I think that speaks a lot to the idea of nature versus nurture, and the fact that some of it just comes down to inborn disposition.
Maple might just be a skittish pig but I got her when she turned 3 so have no real idea of what went on in her past. I have another piggie,like you Linney, so laid back!

I've had my piggie Holly for almost four years and she is still very skittish! She is held almost everyday if not chatted to and hand fed but still at the slightest thing she will run and hide an when I do get her out she is tense and nervous. I have accepted that that is just the way she is. Keep going with your Maple and maybe try some hand feeding. Food is key to a guinea pigs heart!
Yes I will continue trying. If she is on my lap she will only take veg if she has somewhere to hide or if it has been sitting I front of her for like 5 minutes. She doesn't gobble it straight away like my other pig. But she is totally fine in the cage and takes veg from me all the time :/
 

Freela

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Maple might just be a skittish pig but I got her when she turned 3 so have no real idea of what went on in her past. I have another piggie,like you Linney, so laid back!

At 3 it is so hard to say! Even if she wasn't handled much before you, it may be harder for her to learn to relax. Before my pigs I had hedgehogs for 12 years... the two I got as babies were great, the third I didn't get until she was an adult and she really never got comfortable being handled at all, and I had her for five years! They aren't as social as guinea pigs, but it made such a huge difference that she hadn't had much time invested in socializing her when she was young.
 
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