jessiejazz

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Hi all! I just recently adopted a new guinea pig from a guinea pig rescue -- they observed him to be happier when alone in a cage as opposed to with a companion so they asked that I adopt him out on his own, though I'm home all the time with virtual schooling and work from home, so he's going to get plenty of socialization (and I'm monitoring his behavior to see if he seems lonely or upset). I brought him home yesterday and he seems content for the most part -- he eats, drinks water, chews his toys, takes food from my hand, and sleeps with his eyes closed in the little shelter I have for him, but every once in a while he will chatter his teeth for a minute very quietly while he lays there. I know teeth chattering is a sign of anger/discontent so I'm worried I am somehow making him unhappy. He did it last night when I was refilling his hay and then this morning while he was laying down with his eyes closed. His teeth are never showing or anything like that but I'm concerned. Both times it's happened I've been quiet and slow with my movements -- I was very gentle and slow when I refilled his hay, and when he did it this morning I was sitting at my desk working on homework, not looking at him.

Has anyone else had this experience with a new guinea pig? Is he just stressed out from the move or does he hate me? Is there any way to make him happier?

Thanks!
 

Siikibam

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Sometimes when they don’t have companions, they will put their behaviour expectations onto you. Teeth chattering can be dominance or displeasure.

I would strongly advise against keeping him alone. I’m not sure how many other piggies he was tried with before they declared him better off alone. Even living next to another piggy would be better than a life of solitude. You may be at home a lot, but you can’t replace the communication and interaction he’s be able to have with another piggy.

You have two options. First is to try and bond him with another boar. Second is to have him neutered and bond him with a sow after six weeks. How old is he?
 

jessiejazz

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Sometimes when they don’t have companions, they will put their behaviour expectations onto you. Teeth chattering can be dominance or displeasure.

I would strongly advise against keeping him alone. I’m not sure how many other piggies he was tried with before they declared him better off alone. Even living next to another piggy would be better than a life of solitude. You may be at home a lot, but you can’t replace the communication and interaction he’s be able to have with another piggy.

You have two options. First is to try and bond him with another boar. Second is to have him neutered and bond him with a sow after six weeks. How old is he?
Yeah that’s what I’m thinking. He’s 4 and hadn’t been able to live with the other boar they had at that shelter but I’m keeping an eye out because I’m not sure how many other boars they tried him with and I don’t want him to get lonely. I’m hoping I can keep him happy in the meantime, but I do worry about him being alone. I wasn’t sure what to do since I thought the shelter would probably know more than I did but it seemed like a questionable declaration for them to make considering the research I’d read about them being unhappy alone...
 

Guinea Pig Magazine

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We've noticed that there are at least three types of teeth chattering that our present and past pigs are capable of.
1. chitterchitterchitterchitter with physical defence or aggressive postures. Backing up or nudging forward.
2. Scissor type noise, like scissors being used without cutting anything. Slower that the chitterchitter noise. This is the sound of teeth being sharpened prior to eating. Often in anticipation of veggies.
3. Kchit kchit, This is a strange one to describe. Imagine snapping your fingers but with your teeth. We've all done it when miss-chewing some food. we've only noticed this noise when a piggy is having chest time. It's then followed by a hot puddle of wee.
This is purely what we have observed ourselves. Trying to describe a noise without a sound byte is not easy and all pigs differ in how they communicate to you.
Learning how to listen and understand your pig is part of the wonderful relationship that you can have with them. Especially the way they warn you that they want to go back to their pen for a wee, rather than wee on you.
 
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