Need Help With Bonding Or Advice On Correct Breed

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Mansel Nott

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Hello

Sorry for to bother you, but I’m looking for advice and thought I could hopefully get some from breeders who are based not far from me in Plymouth.

The pinkish piggy in the photo is Ollie. He is about 18 months old now and we have had him since he was a baby. I believe he’s known as a Teddy. He’s a Boar and very lovely and tame.

Occasionally we baby or piggy sit for our niece when she goes on holiday. He’s also a Boar and called Nibbles, he’s a few years older than Ollie. You can see them both in the picture, with me holding them.

Ollie was a bit territorial at first, waddling his hips, making that curious purring sound and sometimes not letting Nibbles out of the corner of the front room. Never vicious and to be honest Nibbles paid no attention. But that only lasted 2-3 days and Ollie gave up his bullish behaviour and they became friends. However, we could see that when Nibbles goes home, for a day or so, Ollie would be a little withdrawn. Not, jumping on my lap or playing. We therefore assumed he was missing his little friend. We could also see that when they are together, Nibbles had (eventually) a positive influence in Ollie’s behaviour.

So, we decided to find Ollie a new friend.

In the other picture you can see we got a baby long haired piggy. He’s called Ziggy. We got him at 12 weeks and he has been with us for 3 weeks. We read that a baby Boar and adult Boar tend to bond easier than 2 adult boars. Also we read that the adult Boar can become fatherly.

This hasn’t been the case. After sometime apart, about two weeks, we tried to introduce each other. We put them in the front room and it seemed ok. Ziggy wanting to hide under Ollie, and Ollie doing his usual bullishish introductions.

We then progressed to a cornered off area, about 1 mtr square. Same but Ollie being a little more bossy. When things calmed down, and after cleaning the cage of all smells, I tried to see how the got on in the same cage.

Ziggy went straight to the house that Ollie would normally sleep in, but would not let Ollie in, by chattering his teeth. There was a bit of teeth chatter from both, so I took the house out. They both seemed to get on more quietly, and I thought all was good when they sat in the corner of the cage together. Something broke out and Ziggy scratched Ollie’s nose.

So we kept them apart for a few days, sometimes putting the cages together for a few hours

Yesterday, I took them to the allotment, where I have a 2 mtr square cage on the grass.

This should be neutral territory as Ollie doesn’t often get to go there.

And I could see the teeth chatter from both. Ollie yawning to also show his teeth. So I partitioned the cage with a metal trellis.

It all died down, but both wanted to get to each others area, gnawing the plastic on the trellis. Ziggy also manage to get another scratch on Ollie that day.

So here’s my question.

Were we wrong to choose such a young piggy, or should we have got one as old as Nibbles?

Is there anyway we can get these two to bond and get on?

Is there a more passive breed, we can consider instead of Ziggy, one that is happy to be submissive?

Hope you can help.

Thank You
Mansel Nott
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!
I am very sorry about your problems, trying to do the right thing for Ollie! Please note that we are a pro-rescue, strictly non-breeding forum.

Sadly, there are still so many myths around boars; like that they have to be litter brothers or that a baby boar will always go with an older boar. The fact is that boars of all ages can be bonded with each other - provided that their personalities mesh and they like each other; age and breed are of less consideration than compatibility. However, this takes time and experience, which is something that shops and commercial breeders usually don't have and all too often are not aware of or don't care.

If you wish, you can give it a last try, but it really doesn't sound very promising.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boars-a-guide-to-successful-companionship.76162/

I would recommend that you contact either of our recommended piggy savvy rescues in your wider area; Norman Gorman should be your closest, Little Pips Rehoming is in Sidmouth. Both rescues offer boar dating/bonding with a suitable rescue boar under expert supervision at the rescue, which means that you only come home with a companion if there has been success and that you have got the rescue to fall back on if you get into problems. You are also guaranteed that all of their piggies are perfectly healthy and properly sexed. It is by far the least risky way of finding a companion, as it takes about 1-3 boars on average to find "Mr Right" and it is not a quick process, which is why there are so many boar issues. Our recommended rescues are the best place to work our a solution for you and your two boys that works long term for everybody.
Little Pips I know offers full residential dating where your boys will stay for a week of bonding and come home only after their bond is solid and has withstood the stress test. It is well worth going the extra mile for that kind of security!
You can find the contacts via this link here: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/
 

Freela

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I have sows, so probably can't give a lot of advice on boar bonding. I don't think there is any particular breed that is more docile... it varies with the individual more than the breed. So there's no particular breed more likely to dominate or back down. I hope you are able to work out their differences! Issues can ensue when both pigs want to rule the roost.
 

Mansel Nott

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Guys
Thanks for your advice... We have convinced ourselves that Ziggy just doesn't like Ollie. We've had the cages in the same room. Ollie wheeks and wants to look at Ziggy. Ziggy just ignores him. When we take them somewhere to have a bit more freedom, but separated Ziggy looks more interested, but as soon as we unseparate them, Ollie is all over Ziggy trying to be friendly. No teeth chattering, but little Ziggy chatters loudly, so we called it a day, in case Ziggy flies at him again.

We are going to sell Ziggy to a trust worthy home, or take him to a local rescue.

We've learnt a lot and we will try again as obviously Ollie wants a friend.
 
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