One moody pig

training7061

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Hi everyone - got 2 males at Xmas and they seemed to get on fine. Alately though one of them is constantly growling and seems moody we’ve had 2 occasions with cut ears. The cage is a nice size and we regularly get them out for play time and running around. Also the one that is constantly growling still is quite nervous with us. Never had guinea pigs before so I’m not sure if they need to live separately? Any help appreciated thank you
 

sparkythepiggie

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Piggies usually growl when they're frightened and feel like they have no way out of an uncertain situation, or on the verge of fierce behaviour. Make sure each piggies has its own hidden. Your Guinea Pig may be rumble strutting though, as growling is rare in Guinea Pigs, rumble strutting is perfectly normal for piggies, just make sure they each have their own space. rumble strutting sounds like a low purr and can be seen as an act of dominance. It is also natural for Guinea Pigs to be nervous with humans as they are prey animals, try holding out veggies and being patient so they can come and retrieve it from you, and waiting for them to approach you instead of the other way around.
 

Siikibam

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How old are they and how big is their cage? Where did you get them from? And you’re sure they’re both boars? How long were they together before you brought them home? Do they have two of everything? And all hides have two exits? What does the other piggy do when approached? Is there squealing in submission, humping, mounting or anything like that?

You say you’ve had cut ears. Is it both or just the one? Does it look like a bite was taken out or attempted? Have a read of the guides below. The first talks about dominance levels. See where your growling (I think it may be rumble strutting or teeth chattering?) piggy sits.
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?

Sorry for a post filled with questions!:wel:
 

Piggies&buns

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Fantastic questions from @Siikibam. We would need more information from you in order to help determine what the situation between them may be.

In terms of being nervous, that is entirely normal. Guinea Pigs are prey animals, they dont like being picked up, some will learn to like being cuddled, but others will never enjoy it plus it can take weeks, months or even years for them to become less nervous. Of my own two piggies, Dexter (the submissive) settled much more quickly and was taking food from my hand and not running away from me after around six weeks of being with me. Popcorn (the dominant of the two) took 18 months before he was brave enough to take food from me and not run away as soon as I went anywhere near. Even now, three years down the line he is the most nervous of the two and while they are both happy for me to sit in their shed with them, they absolutely hate being touched.

I'll add in some other guides below which can help you with how to settle them and help you pick them up for their weekly health and weight checks

How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig Safely
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
 

training7061

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Hi thanks for this. It’s definitely growling and teeth chattering with each other. One does it more than the other. We have the cage open and they are able to run round the bedroom, the one who growls the most tends to just rununder the wardrobe and likes to stay under there. The other guinea runs around more and seems a lot more lively. We got them at Xmas and they lived together at the pet shop. Today they both have cuts which I’d sad to see. Do you think I should split them up permanently?
 

Piggies&buns

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Unfortunately pet shop piggies are often just put together for sale, character compatibility is not really taken into account so there is going to be a risk of problems between them as they get towards and into their teens (4-14 months of age).
If they don’t seem to be getting on, arent forming a hierarchy and you are finding wounds on them, then I’m afraid it doesn’t sound good and being split is probably going to be the course of action you need to take.

The guides below may help you with further information.

Bonds In Trouble
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 
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