New Guinea Pig Trouble!

Jennfier

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Hi! I'm new to this forum so I am not sure if I'm posting in the right spot.

I adopted two young guinea pigs two days ago. They had been living together before I adopted them for about a week or so. They are both still very small.

I feel at a loss. They are very shy and nervous. I do not want to force them out of their hidey home but they will not come out and so I do not know how to bond with them. When I have held them, it seems like they just want to get back to their cage.

On top of that, one has been a bit more brave than the other with coming out of the hidey house (still running away if I make my presence known). I am worried that he might be bullying the other one a little. It seems like sometimes he will chase him around the cage and if the other one tries to get food at the same time as him, he will scare him away. I'm really worried. I want them to like me and I want them to get along and I'm just not sure what to do at all. The one who is less brave spends most him time just sitting in the same spot in the hut. Please, any help is appreciated.
 

Jesse's pigs

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First off give them time to settle - I advise no handling l for at least five days and limited disturbing of the cage- obviously clean it and feed them lol.

Are they two boys? The new environment and smells is probably making the more dominant pig reassert his dominance and say that- "hey just because we're in a new place I'm still boss!". Chasing,mounting and rumbling (even some nipping) is all normal signs of bonding. Just because they have been living together before doesn't mean they won't have the odd scuffle.

Now the less dominant one- is he/she getting any food at all? We advise separating if there are signs of aggression- drawing blood- or bullying. But by bullying we mean not being allowed any where near food or water etc. If you feel one is unhappy you could see if they perk up when without the other. If instead they seem lost and look for each other it tells you that they are bonded. That being said I would keep them together for now and let him settle in.

Obviously you need to interact with them to get them used to you- I advise these tips:
1- when going to see them (and when you start handling) always give food. This way they associate you with good things!
2- talk gently to them or play them music or a youtube video.
3- leaving your hand in the cage for them to approach and sniff helps establish a bond.
4- patience! No piggy is ever going to immediately be 100% trustful of you so don't jump to the conclusion "oh my pig hates me!" When I got Mo I couldn't get near him- now he runs up to me and we kiss etc and you'd think he was the tamest thing in the world. Lol.

Hope this helps
 

Jennfier

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First off give them time to settle - I advise no handling l for at least five days and limited disturbing of the cage- obviously clean it and feed them lol.

Are they two boys? The new environment and smells is probably making the more dominant pig reassert his dominance and say that- "hey just because we're in a new place I'm still boss!". Chasing,mounting and rumbling (even some nipping) is all normal signs of bonding. Just because they have been living together before doesn't mean they won't have the odd scuffle.

Now the less dominant one- is he/she getting any food at all? We advise separating if there are signs of aggression- drawing blood- or bullying. But by bullying we mean not being allowed any where near food or water etc. If you feel one is unhappy you could see if they perk up when without the other. If instead they seem lost and look for each other it tells you that they are bonded. That being said I would keep them together for now and let him settle in.

Obviously you need to interact with them to get them used to you- I advise these tips:
1- when going to see them (and when you start handling) always give food. This way they associate you with good things!
2- talk gently to them or play them music or a youtube video.
3- leaving your hand in the cage for them to approach and sniff helps establish a bond.
4- patience! No piggy is ever going to immediately be 100% trustful of you so don't jump to the conclusion "oh my pig hates me!" When I got Mo I couldn't get near him- now he runs up to me and we kiss etc and you'd think he was the tamest thing in the world. Lol.

Hope this helps

Thank you so much for answering so quick. They are two boys. I'll give it time. I bought a second hidey home and second dish just so there's more places for them to get time apart. The less dominant one I have seen eating a little bit, mostly by sneaking up after the other one has eaten. I hope it will all sort out. They seem to get along okay when they are not trying to eat.

Thank you for all the advice. I'll give them their space for about a week and talk to them lots!
 

Jesse's pigs

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Thank you so much for answering so quick. They are two boys. I'll give it time. I bought a second hidey home and second dish just so there's more places for them to get time apart. The less dominant one I have seen eating a little bit, mostly by sneaking up after the other one has eaten. I hope it will all sort out. They seem to get along okay when they are not trying to eat.

Thank you for all the advice. I'll give them their space for about a week and talk to them lots!
You're welcome :) my boys are currently having a squabble themselves so it goes to show that even bonded pairs still have the odd falling out. It's like having two naughty children! One minute they tolerate each other next they are squealing and nipping lol.

Great you've gotten two of everything I meant to add that. Having two dishes etc does help stop/prevent bullying occurring and means even if one pig isn't letting them in one house for example there is another. You'll have to post pictures once they are more settled :) x
 

sport_billy

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Hello, at first and it is really early days put the food by their hideys they will come out and take it and probably take it back where they feel safe. This is not a reflection on you but merely they are prey animals so it takes a while for them to get used to their new surroundings.

We always start off after a few weeks by trying to hand feed a few veggie treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you. Just go slowly as they are prey animal patience is needed to build up the bond, younger piggies are especially skittish

Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

Have a read of this thread here How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

Have they got two of everything in their cage? So a separate hideys each? Also how big is their cage?

EDIT: apologies I see you have already answered the first two of my questions....

Welcome to the forum by the way :)
 

Jennfier

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Hello, at first and it is really early days put the food by their hideys they will come out and take it and probably take it back where they feel safe. This is not a reflection on you but merely they are prey animals so it takes a while for them to get used to their new surroundings.

We always start off after a few weeks by trying to hand feed a few veggie treats in the cage by offering some nice veggies to the new piggy when they are in their hidey, hopefully they will take it off you as you hold it in for them... after a while try offering it a little further from the hidey so they edge out and take it from you. Just go slowly as they are prey animal patience is needed to build up the bond, younger piggies are especially skittish

Food is the best way to bribe, use food when you get round to lap times also. Start lap time for a short amount of time at first and build up. We started off we laptimes for 1 minute with new piggies then pop them back, slowly increasing the time. They will soon associate you with food and good things but at first it takes a while to gain their trust.

Have a read of this thread here How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

Have they got two of everything in their cage? So a separate hideys each? Also how big is their cage?

EDIT: apologies I see you have already answered the first two of my questions....

Welcome to the forum by the way :)
Thank you so much for the advice :) I'll continue to give them their space for now. I think their cage is 8 square feet, maybe larger.
 

Jennfier

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Thank you so much for answering so quick. They are two boys. I'll give it time. I bought a second hidey home and second dish just so there's more places for them to get time apart. The less dominant one I have seen eating a little bit, mostly by sneaking up after the other one has eaten. I hope it will all sort out. They seem to get along okay when they are not trying to eat.

Thank you for all the advice. I'll give them their space for about a week and talk to them lots!

I had another quick question! Do you all think it would be okay if I took the hidey house out of their cage for a bit at a time each day? Because they are not leaving it except to sneak out and get food when they think I'm not watching (or to occasionally chase each other around). I'm trying to think of non-disruptive ways to get them acclimated to me. Also - for floor time, if they were bigger and bonded with me I would be okay with it, but am a little nervous about giving them floor time when I know they will just run and hide. I don't have a big apartment so it's not a huge deal or anything, but doesn't really seem productive. Any tips at all? They are still just as afraid of me and I work all day so only get time to bond in the evenings.
 

Jennfier

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First off give them time to settle - I advise no handling l for at least five days and limited disturbing of the cage- obviously clean it and feed them lol.

Are they two boys? The new environment and smells is probably making the more dominant pig reassert his dominance and say that- "hey just because we're in a new place I'm still boss!". Chasing,mounting and rumbling (even some nipping) is all normal signs of bonding. Just because they have been living together before doesn't mean they won't have the odd scuffle.

Now the less dominant one- is he/she getting any food at all? We advise separating if there are signs of aggression- drawing blood- or bullying. But by bullying we mean not being allowed any where near food or water etc. If you feel one is unhappy you could see if they perk up when without the other. If instead they seem lost and look for each other it tells you that they are bonded. That being said I would keep them together for now and let him settle in.

Obviously you need to interact with them to get them used to you- I advise these tips:
1- when going to see them (and when you start handling) always give food. This way they associate you with good things!
2- talk gently to them or play them music or a youtube video.
3- leaving your hand in the cage for them to approach and sniff helps establish a bond.
4- patience! No piggy is ever going to immediately be 100% trustful of you so don't jump to the conclusion "oh my pig hates me!" When I got Mo I couldn't get near him- now he runs up to me and we kiss etc and you'd think he was the tamest thing in the world. Lol.

Hope this helps
Oops, I meant to reply to your post not mine - if you have time would you be able to offer any advice on the comment I put further down where I replied to my own comment? Haha, sorry I'm still figuring out the forum :)
 

Jesse's pigs

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I had another quick question! Do you all think it would be okay if I took the hidey house out of their cage for a bit at a time each day? Because they are not leaving it except to sneak out and get food when they think I'm not watching (or to occasionally chase each other around). I'm trying to think of non-disruptive ways to get them acclimated to me. Also - for floor time, if they were bigger and bonded with me I would be okay with it, but am a little nervous about giving them floor time when I know they will just run and hide. I don't have a big apartment so it's not a huge deal or anything, but doesn't really seem productive. Any tips at all? They are still just as afraid of me and I work all day so only get time to bond in the evenings.
As hard as it may be I wouldn't remove the houses no. My boy Mo was rarely seen outside of his house when I got him for nearly 3 weeks! All I could glimpse was a head or his butt LOL.

As for floortime, I tried with my Mo a little to early when he was only just beginning to trust me and...he disappeared under a bookshelf which might I add was blocked off by about 8 thick books- he was getting away! So I would wait for floortime (at least free range floortime) until they are comfortable enough with you. However, you could purchase a pen in which they could go in safely for floortime. Puppy pens work great- I recently bought a puppy pen for my two so they can go in the lounge with me (they will still free range my floor lol but in here they can toilet without ruining my carpet).

:) hope this helps - any questions please do ask again.
 

Jennfier

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As hard as it may be I wouldn't remove the houses no. My boy Mo was rarely seen outside of his house when I got him for nearly 3 weeks! All I could glimpse was a head or his butt LOL.

As for floortime, I tried with my Mo a little to early when he was only just beginning to trust me and...he disappeared under a bookshelf which might I add was blocked off by about 8 thick books- he was getting away! So I would wait for floortime (at least free range floortime) until they are comfortable enough with you. However, you could purchase a pen in which they could go in safely for floortime. Puppy pens work great- I recently bought a puppy pen for my two so they can go in the lounge with me (they will still free range my floor lol but in here they can toilet without ruining my carpet).

:) hope this helps - any questions please do ask again.
Thank you so much! You've helped me feel a lot better :)
 
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