Piggies Not Getting Along

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Glok24

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Hello everyone, this is my first post, so I apologize if its in the wrong section.

I have 2 guinea pigs, Penelope, and James Baxter, both are females, despite the name James Baxter.
Me and my girlfriend got Penelope about 7 months ago, and James about 6 months ago. They were both young when we got them from petsmart. But they have never gotten along well, we have to keep them separate or they will fight, even during floor time, and I'm really not sure what to do. It seems that one, or both of them, is very territorial.
Is there anything I could do to help them become friends?
 

Wiebke

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It is much rarer that sows don't get along than boars, but it can happen occasionally if they are both rather dominant or one is a bit of a maverick. Have a look at our guides at the top and judge whether they they really fight or whether you are just seeing normal, of strong dominance behaviour.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/sow-behaviour.38561/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/

If they really have proper tussles, then they are not getting on. Unfortunately, once sows have made up their mind about another piggy, they rarely change it in my own experience. Once a sow has decided whether another one is "not us", then that is usually it - irrespective whether it is a sister that has lived with her for years or a new sow she doesn't click with. :(
 

Glok24

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According to one of those guides, it seems like theyre mostly showing signs of establishing dominance, but on the other hand, they do try to fight, and if they do, there isnt really any squealing or anything, but small tufts of fur seem to get ripped out, but I'm not completely sure weather that is just shedding fur, or if its getting ripped out. But theres not really a build up to it, no rearing back, or 'yawning' the way fights were described in the other thread. Maybe we just need to let them socialize with eachother a little more during floor time?
 

Wiebke

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According to one of those guides, it seems like theyre mostly showing signs of establishing dominance, but on the other hand, they do try to fight, and if they do, there isnt really any squealing or anything, but small tufts of fur seem to get ripped out, but I'm not completely sure weather that is just shedding fur, or if its getting ripped out. But theres not really a build up to it, no rearing back, or 'yawning' the way fights were described in the other thread. Maybe we just need to let them socialize with eachother a little more during floor time?
Little meetings won't help resolve the issue. At some point, you have to commit and let your girls sort out the dominance once and for all, whether that ends up in them living together again or whether you end up with a final break. Sows rarely fight with bloody bites the way boars do; they usually rip out a mouthful of fur. I would recommend that you make sure that both girls have got space to get away from each other and that they have each a hidey (preferably with two exits), a bowl, water bottle etc. at least a body length away from the other same item, so the dominant sow can't use bullying tactics.

Observe your two girls: is one of them noticeably happier when they are apart? How big is their cage?

PS: As we have got members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please added your country, state or (for the UK) your county to your details; that helps us to tailor any advice and recommendations to what is available/possible to you; in your case, it will inform especially any options you have in case your girls are not working out. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location.
 

Glok24

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I have updated my location just so you know.
and neither really seems happier than the other, although james baxter is a little more friendly toward people.
They both have just over a 2ft by2ft square, the cage total is about 4.4ft by 2.2ft, and said it was good for up to 3 guinea pigs, but I have it split down there center, so that they can still communicate and see eachother through the cage. they each have a tube to run through and a little wooden shack to hide in.
 

Glok24

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From what I can tell, it seems like there is nothing I can do to get them to be comfortable with eachother, so would it be better for me to get a second cage entirely and fully separate them? Or would it be better to keep them in the same cage with a divider down the middle so they can still "talk"?
 

madguinealady

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Tbh I would get a separate cage and have them side by side.Two x two isn't really big enough for one pig .
 
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