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Thread: Very nippy guinea pig

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    Cavy Slave
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    Very nippy guinea pig

    I have a guinea pig.. he's still a baby. But he's very nippy. I've never really had a problem with biting with my other two guinea pigs, but he bites a lot.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Very nippy guinea pig

    My oldest daughters piggie would nip and even drew blood on me. I found that she nipped/bit when startled and I had to take extra care when picking her up, petting her, lap time, ect... If I moved slowly, but deliberately she was fine. Any sudden or start/stop movement and she would startle and nip. Each pig is different so take time and see if you can identify conditions that result in a nip and see what can be done to improve the situation.

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Very nippy guinea pig

    Mine will nip or bite if she feels cornered in a place that she can’t see out of. She’s okay in the cage if she can see out of the grids, but not in a hidey or pigloo. Also, guinea pigs in general don’t have very good vision and are easily surprised by a hand in their face so I have to make sure she sees me before I touch her. It works best if she has something like a long blade of grass or a corn husk to munch on before I pick her up. She won’t drop food just to bite me.

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Very nippy guinea pig

    Baby guinea pigs explore with their mouths too. My babies turned 5-6 months old and finally stopped trying to put their mouths on me and bite me. Now they will gently nibble my fingers and lick them.

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Very nippy guinea pig

    Keep in mind that cavies have NO dexterity with their paws and the world is explored through the mouth. It's not like a cat who can reach out and bat something away. They are prey animals and are easily startled and will often reflexively nip or bite. Now, if they are clamping down and biting hard, that is a different story.

    As others have suggested, it is important to move slowly and deliberately with cavies until they are absolutely secure with your voice and your touch. When I come into the room where my cavies live, I always make it a point to speak to them before I make any move to pet or pick them up. Be sure that your hands don't smell of food so that they make a mistake and lunge toward it.

    I had a boy who was a real biter......and I mean biter! I knew where he came from and that he likely had never been abused in any way........and yet, he frequently bit me. I would tap him on the nose and say sternly, "NO......no bite". Since I so seldom raise my voice to my cavies, they know that something is wrong if I do. Eventually he stopped biting and became a "licker".......much more pleasant response. It took a long, long time to gentle him because he was a high-strung, nervous little fellow who had difficulty relaxing. When we had him out for lap time, he would "sing" at the top of his lungs! So loudly that we could carry on a conversation or watch t.v. As he got older and became more trusting, the loud singing became this little sing-song voice that was uniquely his.

    Keep in mind that cavies are as different as we humans and that this little one just may require more time and patience to become totally trusting.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Very nippy guinea pig

    That's a good point. I just wondered if I was doing something wrong with him, since the other guinea pigs I had aren't really biters. I hope he'll outgrow it! He doesn't bite hard or anything though.

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