Midnight Made Me Bleed

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lexi468

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Midnight recently bit me so hard that I bled. Granted it was on the inside of my finger, so a sensitive place, but he has never done this before. I wasn't carrying him or anything he was just sitting on me with his feet on my fingers and he bit one. He has quite the attitude in general and I've heard this is rare but can happen with guinea pigs. He is definitely a biter and always has been, however he usually does not make me bleed. I've read a few things that say there is not really any way to make them stop biting you other than to listen to them. Whenever he starts nibbling or biting, I put him back in his cage because I know that's what he wants. I read that if they bite you really hard, you should NOT put them back because then they will associate biting with getting what they want. Is this true? Opinions? Advice on how to make him stop? And if anybody thinks I'm doing something wrong, please let me know! Thank you!
 

Mother Hubbard

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Hi there
I know my method won't be liked however it worked for me. Captain jack had not been handled when I got him. But I worked on dog correctional behaviour. Whenever he bit, I lightly pinched the back of is neck and made a high pitched noise I kept him on my lap throughout and continued every day. It took only 2-3 days in total as he was trying it again just to be sure that's what happened. Bingo.
He is allowed to mouth me and he knows it.
I don't have any problems now and frankly adorable. Like I say, it won't be a popular method but was good for me.
 

MerryPip

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Biting is difficult because we can't really explain to them why not to do it.... Not sure what's the best way to discourage it.

Generally I'd say it's because they aren't happy about something, got scared or want our attention. Angus bites (gently) when he wants to go back to the cage or wants on the floor. He also does it if he thinks I am ignoring him or paying Hamish too much attention and not him!

It may not be relevant but it is worth remembering that just because they don't appear scared, they can hear more range of sounds than we can so something can startle or irritate them that we aren't aware of and also they don't see as well as us so they can startle easily at other things too.
 

Goth Mummy

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It is important to remember that biting is a way of the guinea pig trying to communicate something with you. They have limited means of expressing distress or discomfort afterall. If I have a piggy that bites (I'm looking at YOU D'Hoffryn!) then I wear thick gardening gloves when handling him and try to be extra sensitive to him.
 

Wiebke

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I have found that the best wa to discourage biting is making sounds of displeasure/disappointment. Hard biting out of context is usually connected with a sudden fright, often from something that we humans can hear or smell; it is an instinctive defense mechanism. Or the piggy is dealing with some with some very real discomfort.

Tweaking to get his way is different from that. It is not always easy for us to figure out what is going on and what the message was supposed to be.
 

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We had a biter 'Vimto' that used to draw blood on a regular basis. She was just a very scared piggie and felt vulnerable on laps, she didn't appear frightened but obviously was and that was here way of saying, please put me home 'i don't like this'. We worked at it and would take her out for 30 seconds then pop here home, we did this 3 times a week for 3 weeks, then slowly increased it up to 5 mins via 30 second increments . Each lap session she'd have a sprig of coriander. It took us 6 months but she doesn't bite now and will happily chill on laps for a while.
But some piggies really hate lap time and we as owners have to respect that, we'd all but gave up with Vimto and used to interact at the bars with her in the cage until we gave the above method a try.
 

Goth Mummy

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D'Hoffryn used to live in a school classroom and I dont think he particularly enjoyed the lifestyle of being handled by different children, I think that is why he bites, because it is always when he is being taken in and out of his cage to go into his run. He is actually fine once settled for lap time and interacts nicely at the bars of the cage. @sport_billy do you think your method might work on D'Hoffryn? I was managing him mostly by trying to be respectful and "hands off".
 

sport_billy

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D'Hoffryn used to live in a school classroom and I dont think he particularly enjoyed the lifestyle of being handled by different children, I think that is why he bites, because it is always when he is being taken in and out of his cage to go into his run. He is actually fine once settled for lap time and interacts nicely at the bars of the cage. @sport_billy do you think your method might work on D'Hoffryn? I was managing him mostly by trying to be respectful and "hands off".
Hard to say... maybe. Vimto was proper savage, but we already had a bond from interacting in the cage that I thought we could work with. Maybe give it a go. Like I said above go for real short time 30 seconds tops with a treat then back in even if it is going well do this for several weeks then try a little longer.

When you say he bites... is it when being transfered?
 

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I should have added, Jacks biting was clearly not a call to the toilet, feeding or anything else, he was just a young and naughty piggy who had lacked handling. He didn't know anything to be honest, in fact it's pretty clear he has to learn everything from Flossie, he's a very impressional piggy and very bright. Frankly, he's an absolute delight. He tells me if he wants the loo without biting down, he'll lick me followed by a little flesh pinch...so that side was never removed from his character.
Didn't want to give the impression I'm a hard horror with my furballs.
Says the lady whose just had a large delivery of Oxbow Vit C arrive at work with a quizzical look from a co-worker!
 

lexi468

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Thank you everybody! Midnight is a lap pig, in my opinion, granted he is not grumpy. He more often than not falls asleep stretched out on my tummy. I think he just has an attitude. I will try these methods though!
 
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