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Thread: Issues with guineapig chewing habits

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    Cavy Slave
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    Issues with guineapig chewing habits

    Hi. I have 4 month old female guineapig that is very interactive and playful when we have her out of the run. The issue arises when we try to return her to the run as from the moment we stand up with her (securely held) she begins to nibble at our clothes which is manageable with thick clothing but with a thin shirt she can bite through and is quite painful, she will also nibble skin if she is resting against it. This behavior continues and appears to worsen when we are right by the run and are about to put her back. I am unsure how best to reduce this behavior as it is impossible to avoid and obviously you can't punish the guineapigs behavior

    I find it odd that this behavior does not occur when we first pick her up out of the run and carry her to our destination, This makes me think it is not height related. It is also worth noting that she is the more dominant gineapig of her cage mates and they all get along harmoniously. They even have wood to chew in their run so i dont think its that and her teeth appear in good condition
    Does someone have ideas what could be causing this chewing and what is the best way we can stop this behavior? All help is appreciated, thank you.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Issues with guineapig chewing habits

    I'm not quite sure how you are holding her that her biting you is an issue. You should be able to hold her in a way so that she can not reach you with her mouth.

    To do this put one hand from the side under her stomach between her front and back legs (I use my non-dominant hand for this), as she is young you may have to put your thumb over her back and cup your fingers up to secure her. Begin to lift her with this hand, and slip your other hand between her back legs to support her bottom, all four legs should be lose in the air or she may "hold on" to your first hand with her front feet. You should now have full control over where her head points.

    Even if she tries to bend her head down to bite your hand she shouldn't be able to reach as long as your hand is under her "arm pits" and below.

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


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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Issues with guineapig chewing habits

    Quote Originally Posted by Moltoxy View Post
    I am unsure how best to reduce this behavior as it is impossible to avoid and obviously you can't punish the guineapigs behavior
    If this cavy is only 4 mos. old, that is probably your biggest problem. Young ones often need to be trained and that takes patience and time. No, you don't want to "punish" her behavior, but you CAN change it........I've done just that with more than one cavy who was a "biter".

    The first step is to not give her the opportunity just like @Soecara suggests. Keep in mind that cavies have little dexterity with their front paws and that EVERYTHING is explored through the mouth. If something is bothersome, they can't just reach out a paw and swat you like a cat might do. I so rarely ever raise my voice with my cavies that when I do, they pay attention. I tap them on the nose and say loudly and sternly, "ouch.......no biting". Animals live in the moment and if a behavior needs to be corrected, it has to be done immediately. If you scold them 30min. later, they have absolutely no idea what it's about.

    And, do keep in mind that a cavy isn't perfect just as we humans aren't. She may make a mistake and simply react in the moment. My Sparky is the ultimate happy mellow fellow and loves us to distraction. But, occasionally when we are carrying him back to the cage, for whatever reason.....he bites us on the neck or shoulder because that's where his mouth may be. Again, the answer is simply to hold him securely and not give him the opportunity to make the mistake.

  5. "Thank you, spy9doc, for this useful post," says:


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