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Thread: Aggression or dominance? And how to change it?

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    Aggression or dominance? And how to change it?

    Hi, I saw a post of facebook today about the difference between aggression and dominance and under the aggression side was a few behaviors that my pigs do. For instance, this post said that chasing and kicking the other out of hidey holes ("and not using" wasn't sure what that meant entirely) we're signs of aggressions that my pigs do. I always assumed these was playing and/or dominance. Also they said that blocking the other pig from food sources can be a sign of aggression and occasionally my pigs will block the other from one of the hay sources (there are multiple in their cage though so I've never worried about one not getting enough) but never their food, veggies, or pellets. They've never got into any sort of fight to my knowledge and these things only happen sometimes. Is this behavior I should be worried about? And if so is there anything I can do to avoid it escalating? Thank you!!

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    Re: Aggression or dominance? And how to change it?

    Kicking each other out of hidey holes and not using means that it's not because the bully pig wants to sit there. For example, if Cuddles is resting in a hidey, and Spotty comes and kicks him out because he wants to rest there instead, that's normal dominance. But if Spotty kicks Cuddles out of the hidey and then doesn't use it himself, that's aggression, because he wasn't doing it for any purpose other than to be mean.

    Even if your pigs are doing those things, though, I wouldn't worry about it as long as there's always enough hideys, food, hay, and water for everyone. There's no need to separate them unless they ever fight badly enough to draw blood, or if one pig is unable to eat or sleep enough, but that doesn't sound like the case. All families get on each other's nerves sometimes.


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  3. "Thank you, jaycriae, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Aggression or dominance? And how to change it?

    I wouldn't worry at all about any of those behaviors.

    What I would do is take out any hideys that only have one door, or else cut another hole in them. One-door hideys are just an invitation for the trapping pig to get its face slashed.

    And I'm not sure there's enough difference between dominance and aggression to be able to separate them by behaviors. Aggression is just extreme dominance, and unless there's all-out war, it's hard to know. And it doesn't really matter. If one pig is being picked on to the point that it can't eat or sleep, or if the dominant one is initiating fights that draw blood, they need to be separated. Doesn't matter what it's called.

  5. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Aggression or dominance? And how to change it?

    Thank you both very much. The hidey behavior isn't even what my pigs do. Usually my more lively one will go into a hidey that my grumpy pig is already in and get chased out pretty quick. Ive never seen either kick the other out for no reason. And I've definitely never seen one draw blood.

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    Re: Aggression or dominance? And how to change it?


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