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Thread: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Careless 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Hi! So about 3 weeks ago now I got a guinea pig, her name is Ygritte. She's a baby and seemed a bit lonely so I decided to get another one this past week. The problem now is that both pigs are trying to assert their dominance; one pig has been there forma while and mildly asserts dominance, but now the Furipsa (new pig, also a baby) is constantly rumble strutting and dodges at Ygritte.I bought a larger cage and had them together and separated by a wire wall, but they equally are wheeking loudly for each other's attention (I believe). I let each piggie use certain things and then switched them so they could get the scent of each other.

    What do I do here? I feel bad for Ygritte because she has been here and is asserting dominance, just not as aggressively. I give them floor time and they are okay we each other, but ju 8st recently our newer piggie has been harassing Ygritte a bit.

    Do I leave them in the cage and separated by the wire wall, or do I put her in her own cage?

    Behaviors:
    Nipping
    Jumping/popcorning
    Chasing/running
    Teeth chattering (not very long)
    Purring (not very long)
    Loud wheeking when apart.
    Both are a bit territorial

    Please help!! I'm new to being a guinea own, so I need some help/tips!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    You put them together in a large cage with no wall and let them work it out. All those behaviors you describe are perfectly normal, and you're just hindering the adjustment process when you separate them.

    Here's the bible on guinea pig introductions: http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html

    And here's reading material for new pig owners:

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners
    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ur-guinea-pigs!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Definitely not the way to bond. You shouldn't just stick a guinea pig in with another unless they've known/been with each other when you got them. I'd put a see through bar/divider through the middle of the cage so they can get used to each other, while not being able to physically hurt the other at the same time. I don't know too much about introducing new pigs, but there are some great videos on Youtube!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zofia View Post
    Definitely not the way to bond. You shouldn't just stick a guinea pig in with another unless they've known/been with each other when you got them. I'd put a see through bar/divider through the middle of the cage so they can get used to each other, while not being able to physically hurt the other at the same time. I don't know too much about introducing new pigs, but there are some great videos on Youtube!

    I have them in a big cage with a divider! But thwy were wheeking so much I didn't know if I was doing something wrong . They're play during play time, and I had let the ramp down in the cage after play time and they weren't bad with each other. Just all of a sudden Furi got really dominant and was harassing Ygritte

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    You put them together in a large cage with no wall and let them work it out. All those behaviors you describe are perfectly normal, and you're just hindering the adjustment process when you separate them.

    Here's the bible on guinea pig introductions: http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html

    And here's reading material for new pig owners:

    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...nea-pig-owners
    https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...ur-guinea-pigs!
    Okay! Thank you so much! Are there certain behaviors to look out for? Because I watched some YouTube videos and read articles, they said back kicking and jimpomg over one another is a really bad sign and those 2 things just happened!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeannaRose91 View Post
    I have them in a big cage with a divider! But thwy were wheeking so much I didn't know if I was doing something wrong . They're play during play time, and I had let the ramp down in the cage after play time and they weren't bad with each other. Just all of a sudden Furi got really dominant and was harassing Ygritte
    Dominance should be a problem for a few days, even weeks! Keep them divided in the cage until they are completely (or as close to) peaceful.

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    Cavy Slave ZiggyPig's Avatar
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeannaRose91 View Post
    Okay! Thank you so much! Are there certain behaviors to look out for? Because I watched some YouTube videos and read articles, they said back kicking and jimpomg over one another is a really bad sign and those 2 things just happened!
    Ok, take what I have to say with a grain of salt because I haven't done introductions, but I have read extensively about it on this site as I hope to possibly add a piggie in the future.
    From what I have read and is said on here - don't separate them unless blood is being drawn. Then you need to watch their weight to make sure both are growing and one is not blocking the other from food.

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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Okay, I've done many intros in my time and have to echo what was already said. Do not separate again unless there is blood being drawn.

    What you've done already, putting them together and then separating, is extremely stressful for them. Repeatedly having 'playdates' only then to take them away is the worst possible thing. Think about it; you've made them go through the dominance rituals, they are making progress, then you pull them apart and they have to go through it all again. It's simply not fair to your piggies to put them through this over and over.

    Dominance behaviours you have described are normal and expected. Guinea pigs are herd animals. There is a pecking order, and it is necessary for them to work this out. And it's not instant. You have to let them work though it. It's not even going to happen in a day, if I am honest with you. The initial intro will need to be done over -several- hours, with plenty of space for them. I would say no less than 6 hours, from my personal experiences.

    The cage you put them into needs to be very clean, as do hideys/bowls, so it doesn't smell of either of them when you put them in together. This creates a blank slate. Bearing in mind, when you put them in this new environment together after their initial into session, however calm they might have been, it's likely to start up again. it's a whole new space for them to figure out between them. So be prepared for the behavior to pick back up once they are in their home.

    In my experience, it can take days or even a few weeks for the hierarchy to be properly established. Be brave, be patient, and let them work it out.

    And remember, if you hear squealing, it's usually just noise. Think of it as one pig swearing at another. It doesn't necessarily mean they are being hurt.

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    Cavy Star wigglemish's Avatar
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zofia View Post
    Definitely not the way to bond. You shouldn't just stick a guinea pig in with another unless they've known/been with each other when you got them. I'd put a see through bar/divider through the middle of the cage so they can get used to each other, while not being able to physically hurt the other at the same time. I don't know too much about introducing new pigs, but there are some great videos on Youtube!
    Hi Zofia, personally I would have to disagree with you here. As I understand it, a divider between pigs who do not know one another only creates more stress, as they can see one another but cannot get to one another. Please someone correct me if I am wrong, but I would not do this to pigs who don't know one another.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by wigglemish View Post
    Hi Zofia, personally I would have to disagree with you here. As I understand it, a divider between pigs who do not know one another only creates more stress, as they can see one another but cannot get to one another. Please someone correct me if I am wrong, but I would not do this to pigs who don't know one another.
    Just my opinion of course. Everyone has different opinions and experiences. It obviously also depends on the pigs themselves.

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    Cavy Star wigglemish's Avatar
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zofia View Post
    Just my opinion of course. Everyone has different opinions and experiences. It obviously also depends on the pigs themselves.
    Of course, if it's worked for you fair enough

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by wigglemish View Post
    Okay, I've done many intros in my time and have to echo what was already said. Do not separate again unless there is blood being drawn.

    What you've done already, putting them together and then separating, is extremely stressful for them. Repeatedly having 'playdates' only then to take them away is the worst possible thing. Think about it; you've made them go through the dominance rituals, they are making progress, then you pull them apart and they have to go through it all again. It's simply not fair to your piggies to put them through this over and over.

    Dominance behaviours you have described are normal and expected. Guinea pigs are herd animals. There is a pecking order, and it is necessary for them to work this out. And it's not instant. You have to let them work though it. It's not even going to happen in a day, if I am honest with you. The initial intro will need to be done over -several- hours, with plenty of space for them. I would say no less than 6 hours, from my personal experiences.

    The cage you put them into needs to be very clean, as do hideys/bowls, so it doesn't smell of either of them when you put them in together. This creates a blank slate. Bearing in mind, when you put them in this new environment together after their initial into session, however calm they might have been, it's likely to start up again. it's a whole new space for them to figure out between them. So be prepared for the behavior to pick back up once they are in their home.

    In my experience, it can take days or even a few weeks for the hierarchy to be properly established. Be brave, be patient, and let them work it out.

    And remember, if you hear squealing, it's usually just noise. Think of it as one pig swearing at another. It doesn't necessarily mean they are being hurt.

    I separated them through a divider but I keep the ramp down so they can go back and forth with each other, I would take it down but they both seem to enjoy going under the ramp! Is this okay or should I take the divider out completely? I only close the ramp when I'm going to bed because I can't watch them, should I start to leave it open while I sleep?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: 2 female guinea pigs; bonding problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeannaRose91 View Post
    I separated them through a divider but I keep the ramp down so they can go back and forth with each other, I would take it down but they both seem to enjoy going under the ramp! Is this okay or should I take the divider out completely? I only close the ramp when I'm going to bed because I can't watch them, should I start to leave it open while I sleep?
    Even though you weren't quoting me, I would say yes. If they are getting along, going into each other's "areas" and interacting without a problem it's probably safe to take it off. Of course if you don't want to, that's your choice as well.

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