The angel and the devil

Piano

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Hi.
I've never own piggies before and I'm really trying to look after them but I'm really confused by their behaviour. Both unnuterred, bonded males from a rescue.
I have one piggie by the name Angel. He is lovely. OK with being picked up, likes a groom, will feed from my hand.
The other piggie is an absolute swine. His name is Butterfly. (my daughter chose their names). He bullies the nice one all the time.
From YouTube videos I'm understanding that they are asserting who is boss in the home.
The confusion is this- Angel is constantly being mounted by the one I don't like and is chased by him most of the time. Angel is also the one making the "stay away from me because I'm aggressive" noise. I don't know what it's called but it's like a cross between a cat's purr and a pigeon's coo. (according to YouTube).
Butterfly is the bully but doesn't make any noises. I think he is a bit sociopathic.
Eventually Angel turns on him and he runs away... For a few minutes then it starts all over again.

Is this normal? Clearly the one being bullied could stomp the younger one if it chose to, but he is just incessant in his attempts to dominate.
At the moment, butterfly is only there to keep Angel company. Is there a chance this will stop? The rescue said they are a good bonded pair with no dominance issues. Since we've had them, this behaviour has been ongoing. We've had them for 5 days now.
 

Mo & Stubbins & Vani

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Hi.
I've never own piggies before and I'm really trying to look after them but I'm really confused by their behaviour. Both unnuterred, bonded males from a rescue.
I have one piggie by the name Angel. He is lovely. OK with being picked up, likes a groom, will feed from my hand.
The other piggie is an absolute swine. His name is Butterfly. (my daughter chose their names). He bullies the nice one all the time.
From YouTube videos I'm understanding that they are asserting who is boss in the home.
The confusion is this- Angel is constantly being mounted by the one I don't like and is chased by him most of the time. Angel is also the one making the "stay away from me because I'm aggressive" noise. I don't know what it's called but it's like a cross between a cat's purr and a pigeon's coo. (according to YouTube).
Butterfly is the bully but doesn't make any noises. I think he is a bit sociopathic.
Eventually Angel turns on him and he runs away... For a few minutes then it starts all over again.

Is this normal? Clearly the one being bullied could stomp the younger one if it chose to, but he is just incessant in his attempts to dominate.
At the moment, butterfly is only there to keep Angel company. Is there a chance this will stop? The rescue said they are a good bonded pair with no dominance issues. Since we've had them, this behaviour has been ongoing. We've had them for 5 days now.
Hi! :)
:wel:to the forum!
I am in a bit of a hurry in terms of answering your question with detail, but I just wanted to point something out.
Butterfly is clearly displaying dominance behavior, but calling him "devil" or saying that he is "a bit sociopathic" is definitely not fair to him at all. Please do keep in mind that piggies are wonderful animals, and your boy is not being "the devil" for showing dominance.
I just love piggies a ton and it really makes me sad when people place all of the blame on a piggy's behavior for a bond in trouble (not that you are).
I hope that this was okay to write. :)
 

Piggies&buns

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The cats purr you are referring to is called rumblestrutting and is a normal dominance behaviour, so is chasing and mounting normal.
Piggies can be bullied by their cagemates, but chasing and mounting Isn’t bullying. It only becomes bullying when it is relentless to the point where the submissive piggy is chased away from food and unable to eat at all, chased out of hideys and not allowed to rest at all and begins to lose weight and become depressed.

The change in environment ie coming to you will cause them to have an increase in dominance behaviour while they settle into a new home. Provided they are well bonded, then it will calm down, but it is something that boys will do their entire lives. So while it will calm, it won’t ever completely stop. It’s just normal piggy behaviour. He isn’t sociopathic.

When you clean out their cage, try to leave some soiled bedding in there so the cage continues to smell of them. That will help reduce the dominant piggy’s need to reassert his dominance. Also, ensure you always handle the dominant piggy first. It is his right to be first in everything and you must respect their hierarchy

As long as one is dominant and then submissive, then they will be fine.

What size cage do you have them in and how old are they?

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
 

Piggies&buns

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And to add, alongside having a large cage, it is also important that a boar pair have two water bottles and two or more hay piles. Also ensure you have plenty of open ended hidey houses (enclosed hideys means a piggy can get cornered which Is something you want to avoid being able to happen), at least one per piggy. If possible scatter feed veg and pellets around the cage rather than using food bowls - this acts as enrichment and encourages their natural foraging behaviour but it also prevents any food hogging.
 

Piano

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The cats purr you are referring to is called rumblestrutting and is a normal dominance behaviour, so is chasing and mounting normal.
Piggies can be bullied by their cagemates, but chasing and mounting Isn’t bullying. It only becomes bullying when it is relentless to the point where the submissive piggy is chased away from food and unable to eat at all, chased out of hideys and not allowed to rest at all and begins to lose weight and become depressed.

The change in environment ie coming to you will cause them to have an increase in dominance behaviour while they settle into a new home. Provided they are well bonded, then it will calm down, but it is something that boys will do their entire lives. So while it will calm, it won’t ever completely stop. It’s just normal piggy behaviour. He isn’t sociopathic

As long as one is dominant and then submissive, then they will be fine.

What size cage do you have them in and how old are they?

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Hi thanks the reply everyone.
I have a Ferplas 160 and approx 3mx3m run. They've only been in the run once for me to clean out the cage. I was told to leave them in cage as much as possible until they get used to me and my home.
I think there is trouble communicating by writing. I know he's not an actual devil. I just have a weird way of talking.
 

Piano

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And to add, alongside having a large cage, it is also important that a boar pair have two water bottles and two or more hay piles. Also ensure you have plenty of open ended hidey houses (enclosed hideys means a piggy can get cornered which Is something you want to avoid being able to happen), at least one per piggy. If possible scatter feed veg and pellets around the cage rather than using food bowls - this acts as enrichment and encourages their natural foraging behaviour but it also prevents any food hogging.
Funny enough I bought my 2nd water bottle today! Hopefully it'll help.
I'm just not keen on the dominant one because he hides from humans and bullies the human friendly one. The one being bullied is always exploring and going up the ramps I've built so I feel bad he is being dominated by a "bully who isn't as brave". I'm definitely prescribing human emotions and behaviour onto them *palm to face*. Need to stop that I think.
 

Piggies&buns

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Yes that’s right - leave them to settle in for a few days/a week before trying to handle them too much.
But otherwise the behaviour is normal.
The ferplast 160 is a good cage. 150cm x 60cm being the absolute minimum for two boys to live in but 180cm x 60cm being better.

The link below will take you to new owner guides covering many aspects of piggy care. Do give them a read.
Most importantly, ensure you know the specific quirks of keeping boars and what their behaviours mean. It is important not to misinterpret anything. They are just being normal piggies. It is in no way bullying and thinking of him as bullying isn’t going to help.
Also ensure you are confident on feeding - 80% daily intake of fresh hay (topping up several times a day), one cup of veg per day and one tablespoon of pellets per day (don’t let them have constant access to pellets)

My dominant boy is much more nervous than my submissive boy. The dominant took almost two years to take food from my hand whereas the submissive was doing it within six weeks. All this time on, the nervous but dominant piggy is still nervous but he has come round so much and is such a loving little man. They all have their ways and I love both of them for having different characters. It is so important you don’t see him as a bully when he is just being the leader of their pair which is absolutely what he needs to do. He doesn’t feel bad by being dominated, he has accepted that his position is as number 2 and that is what makes their relationship work. If he stood up for himself and they both wanted to be number 1 you would be asking for help with full on fights, blood shed and needing to separate them permanently

New Owners' Most Helpful How-To Guides and Information
 
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rp1993

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We get in a mood with Pepper when he starts mounting and chasing Pringle and call him dirt bag 😂 it doesn’t happen very often and it is so hard to stay mad at them! You just have to remember it’s normal behaviour, I’m sure they are kissing each other afterwards!
 

Piano

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Thank you for your replies everyone.
 
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