Some Advice Needed Please :(

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katie_anne89

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Hi everyone :)

I really need some advice on handling one of my piggies, Blakey. When we first got them about 2 months ago Blakey seemed ok during lap time (although he has always been the more timid pig). We moved their cage to a better location but since then he has seemed even more timid and its virtually impossible to pick him up without using a hidey or tube.

He had quite a bit of his hair caught around his privates a few weeks ago so my partner held him whilst I got it all out. he wriggled a lot after so we should have put him back straight away but unfortunately he bit my partner (and drew a lot of blood!) We understand that he was uncomfortable/scared by the situation but was so happy afterwards! (understandably, poor little guy). We're both a bit unsure of him now even though I pet him all the time in the cage which he seems to like and takes food from my hand.
Are we right in thinking that if he was aggressive in general/bitey then he would have done that already? And the only reason he did was because he was uncomfortable?

When I try to give him lap time inside a fleece tunnel he fusses so much (even with a snack in sight) that i'm scared I'll drop him so I end up putting him back in the cage :(
I know that these things take time for some piggies and he was making such good progress but he's taken a huge step backwards and its so disheartening.

He bullies the other piggy (Blizzy) (not extreme, I've researched acceptable dominance behaviours) more than the other way round but he is the first to run and hide behind the other piggy if he's scared!

He is SO HAPPY during playtime and is so lovely to watch him running around, playing with Blizzy and making cute noises (even coming close and asking for food!). He seems absolutely fine in all other areas just will not be picked up or have lap time at all! (also can't cut his hair, clip nails or do health check properly :( )

I'd really appreciate any advice or whether anyone else has experienced anything similar.

thank you! :)
 

Jesse's pigs

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Hi I'm sorry you feel this way but I understand why. Yes I agree your piggy probably only bit your partner because he was frightened. Some guinea pigs generally don't take to being picked up at all and will make a fuss like you describe. My first piggy for instance was easy to pick up and handle but Mo is a right little sod haha. He'll run in circles when I go to grab him and he'll bite my leg if I put him on my lap. But as soon as he is where I'm putting him- like on his spot on the sofa where he'll stretch out etc he's as happy as anything. And like you say when I have to cut his claws we usually have a tea towel ready because who ever is cutting them is going to be bitten if not careful. He is getting better though and I've learnt that food is vital in getting him to calm down when being picked up and put back. All I can say is keep doing what you're doing but perhaps keep handling to a minimum if he clearly doesn't like it then he'll associate you less with horrible lifting up and down and more with food and cuddles. :)
 

Guineapigfeet

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Hi, I only have sows, but it sounds like he bit because he was in a very uncomfortable situation! Even though he felt much better afterwards and it was totally necessary, the untangling probably caused discomfort itself and I imagine he was in quite an unnatural piggy position to enable you access to his bits?

Two of my girls bit me and drew blood in the same weekend and I was quite wary of them for some time after that but neither have ever looked like they'd do it again (except when one was prodded about at the vets - but I can understand that!) and I realised there were reasons behind each bite; they weren't 'mean' or random.

None of my girls enjoy lap time and I have to do nails in two sessions with the wriggliest one. My OH helps with this and wears thick gardening gloves! It's taken a long time to get to the point where we can do nails without biting, blood (mine) and tears (also mine)! (I've had them for over a year now and in the last 3 trims they are getting the hang of it) and I can imagine the hair incident has probably set him back a bit. He possibly thinks his willy is going to hurt again!
 

Lorcan

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My Blitzen hates laptime. He spends most of it sitting on my shoulder and usually attempting to get down, from the shoulder. It's not at all unusual to have a pig that hates being handled. I get the vet to do Blitzen's nails because for him, it's a two person job, so I'm sorry I can't help there.

He will happily sit on the sofa with me, and he will come over and say hello if there's food about when they're in the run, but that's it. But that's just how he is, and I've gotta respect that. I don't think your boy sounds aggressive though, fear and pain are what likely led to the bite, especially if he's fine with your other interactions.

If you really need to find some other way of distracting him if food isn't always helping, have you tried using a mirror? I know it sounds stupid but Blitzen gets a lot calmer when he sees his reflection, it's the only way I can give him a haircut. It might not help you though, I don't know how normal that is.
 

katie_anne89

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Thank you for your replies :) its comforting to know there are other piggies like my little Blakey and that it might just be a matter of time as there was once a time he wouldn't take food from me, now he doesn't give it a second thought! :tu:

I will try using a mirror - very interesting!

Blizzy is the complete opposite, still runs a bit when about to be picked up but he's very friendly and tame already :)

Blakey is very vocal and popcorns a lot so I'm glad that he is happy in general :love:
 

piggieminder

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" Biting" And What You Can Do
I found the above thread very helpful with Spike, he bit my partner when we were cutting his nails and he would try to bite every time we handled him after that. He is much calmer after following the advice in this thread, if he starts getting a bit restless now I seoke his face and tell him hoe lovely he is in a calm voice and he quietens down like magic:).
 

squeakypigs01

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He was probably just scared, pigs aren't usually biters but they will bite if they're scared. We have a long haired pig who will try to bite a little when we brush her but she is the sweetest pig afterwards so it is not unusual. I have heard that gently stroking pigs behind the ears can help to relax them and also giving them their favourite food at laptime will help.
 

flowerfairy

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Jingle tries to bite when i cut her front nails. Going to use a towel next time i think. Its made me a bit wary too. They are happy to be transported in a hidey but do not enjoy handling yet. Got them end of jan this year
 

Swissgreys

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All piggies are different, and some are just destined not to be 'cuddly'.
We have 4 pigs.
We have had all of them since they were young, so they have always had consistent and loving care.
Eddi is our boar - he is laid back and quite cuddly. He doesn't always love being caught, but he will happily settle on almost anyone for a long snuggle.
Lucy is our cuddle pig extraordinaire - she just loves being held, and will sprawl out and chill for hours.
Oreo is feisty and not much of a cuddler - she is friendly and will occasionally tolerate a cuddle for a very short time, before she makes it clear she is done.
Ruby is a nightmare. She hates being handled by everyone, and will cheerfully give you a nip to let you know. Except for my DD1. When DD1 calls her, Ruby trots to the front of the cage, allows herself to be scooped up, and then will lay on DD1 for hours - literally hours. If anyone else tries to handle her she bites them or at the very least chatters angrily until they put her down.

So I guess my advice would be to give it time, and respect the feelings of the guinea pig in question.
Even Oreo has laid back days where she will enjoy a cuddle for a while.
 

VickiA

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Some great responses and the link to Wiebke's thread is very helpful. I've used that thread for tips on handling one of my piggies who still is a biter!
All piggies are different, some like being handled, others hate it. I don't try to work against their personality but with it. If piggies don't like being picked up I use tubes and hideys to scoop them up. It's easier for everyone that way. In time they all come to learn it isn't such a bad thing after all, but not all will enjoy it.

I'm sure your piggy isn't aggressive. He was just expressing his fear and dissatisfaction at the indignity of what you had just out him through. Don't wrote him off as aggressive. Just keep showing him that hands are not always bad and often bring nice things like treats.
 

katie_anne89

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Some great responses and the link to Wiebke's thread is very helpful. I've used that thread for tips on handling one of my piggies who still is a biter!
All piggies are different, some like being handled, others hate it. I don't try to work against their personality but with it. If piggies don't like being picked up I use tubes and hideys to scoop them up. It's easier for everyone that way. In time they all come to learn it isn't such a bad thing after all, but not all will enjoy it.

I'm sure your piggy isn't aggressive. He was just expressing his fear and dissatisfaction at the indignity of what you had just out him through. Don't wrote him off as aggressive. Just keep showing him that hands are not always bad and often bring nice things like treats.
Hi, thanks for the advice! We definitely have been working with his personality and have great respect for him. Our main concern is getting him used to us before he gets used to not being picked up etc. We doubt very much that he is aggressive but this has probably set him back a little bit, which we respect. Will defo let him know that hands are friendly and bring treats :) and will check the link out regularily :tu:
 

Tiamolly123

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When I had Tia in the first 2 weeks, I was on the end of a defence bite, I wasn't comfortable holding her so I moved her & boy, did she bite. Blood everywhere & nasty bruising afterwards. I have never felt such pain in all my life. The trick is to know the signs & your piggy. She bit me the other day & it was just a don't do that mum. The hardest thing is you need to have trust in your piggy, if your frightened she will pick that up. Within 10 minutes I picked her up, again that was the hardest thing I have every done, but I excepted I was in the wrong. You say you are frightened when you pick her up, she will sense that. If you are confident she will be. Give it another try, get your partner to do it first, the more confident you will both be, maybe she isn't a lap piggy but if you don't try you will never know. Think to yourself she's going to bite me but I can cope with that, if she doesn't, your OK.
 

katie_anne89

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When I had Tia in the first 2 weeks, I was on the end of a defence bite, I wasn't comfortable holding her so I moved her & boy, did she bite. Blood everywhere & nasty bruising afterwards. I have never felt such pain in all my life. The trick is to know the signs & your piggy. She bit me the other day & it was just a don't do that mum. The hardest thing is you need to have trust in your piggy, if your frightened she will pick that up. Within 10 minutes I picked her up, again that was the hardest thing I have every done, but I excepted I was in the wrong. You say you are frightened when you pick her up, she will sense that. If you are confident she will be. Give it another try, get your partner to do it first, the more confident you will both be, maybe she isn't a lap piggy but if you don't try you will never know. Think to yourself she's going to bite me but I can cope with that, if she doesn't, your OK.
Aw thank you! I will try that! I definitely agree that animals pick up on things like that so I'll try my best! :tu::nod:
 
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