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Thread: Setting boundaries with badly behaved pig?

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    Question Setting boundaries with badly behaved pig?

    Hello! Now, before I say anything I do want to establish I do not feel any real anger or lack of love towards my piggy, I love both very much and have just grown a bit annoyed.

    I will fully admit to spoiling my pigs. They both came from previously neglectful homes, as well as I've been with them every single day for the past 10 months. As of recent my Guinea pig Chewie has been badly behaved? He isn't biting or fighting stella (other pig), but rather he will take his teeth and make noise with the bars for very minor reasons.
    For example, it is currently winter where I am so sometimes I allow the pigs to stay under the blanket with me as more of a bonding activity. My room is kept at ideal warm temperatures, I put a sheet over their cage in the evenings, they are nowhere near any cold drafts, and they have three separate hidey spots to nuzzle up in (two of which have pillow cases in them as beds)
    So they are NOT chilly. With that being said, Chewie will throw fits at least three times a day desperately trying to lay on the bed under the covers. He also insists that I'm with him under there at all times. I adore cuddling with both of them, but at this point getting the sound of half of the cage shaking at 4am is tiring. He is both very persistent and very stubborn in his actions.
    It makes sense for him to think this is natural. His past home would vehemently ignore him to the point of being starved for days at a time, the only way to get attention was to chew at his cage until somebody paid attention.
    Stella, my other pig, is only 8 months and has started trying to parrot him. Totally natural, but I don't exactly feel comfortable that those behaviors are becoming normalized for her..
    Is there any way for me to set more boundaries with his behavior? I love him dearly and don't want to hurt him under any circumstance. I simply need help figuring out ways to appropriately teach him that this isn't acceptable.
    Thank you

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Setting boundaries with badly behaved pig?

    Move the cage out of your room, or get some good earplugs (Mack's silicone ones are excellent). Feed him his major meal just before you go to bed, and make sure he has plenty of hay. Then ignore him. Don't put him under your covers, don't respond to the bar shaking.

    However, if the bar shaking is severe, you may need to line the inside of the cage with plexiglass. Otherwise, he can break his teeth.

    Are they in the same cage? If not, why not get him neutered and let him have a buddy. Guinea pigs do much better with a friend of their own kind, and he's very likely just lonely.

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    Re: Setting boundaries with badly behaved pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Move the cage out of your room, or get some good earplugs (Mack's silicone ones are excellent). Feed him his major meal just before you go to bed, and make sure he has plenty of hay. Then ignore him. Don't put him under your covers, don't respond to the bar shaking.

    However, if the bar shaking is severe, you may need to line the inside of the cage with plexiglass. Otherwise, he can break his teeth.

    Are they in the same cage? If not, why not get him neutered and let him have a buddy. Guinea pigs do much better with a friend of their own kind, and he's very likely just lonely.

    He is neutered and stella is in the same cage with him so they both have company :]

    As for moving the cage, I really wish I could but my home is very small. I've been planning on moving my room around though, so do you think moving them farther away from the bed could help?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    this is the cage I have, I don't keep the separator in as a way to give them more room. Could you possibly send any tutorials on how to secure the bars? He was named chewie for how much he chews on things, just today he started squealing at me for not letting him eat my sweatpants.

    Being completely honest this is kind of unnatural behavior. Sure he does act a little that way at times, and has had phases of throwing more fits, but I've never seen him have such intense fits. Maybe he's bored? I apologize for any lack of knowledge, I'll have had chewie for about a year next month and have only had stella for 7 months so I'm just trying to get used to it.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Setting boundaries with badly behaved pig?

    For one thing, the cage isn't large enough for two pigs, especially if you've got cage furniture in it.

    What do you mean, tutorials to secure the bars? If you mean line them with plexiglass, you just cut the plexiglass to size, drill holes in it, and zip tie it to the bars.

    You may only need to line one or two sides. Mine only chewed the end of the cage closest to the refrigerator. :-)

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    Re: Setting boundaries with badly behaved pig?

    One of my piggies' also chews the bars and I bought some plexiglass at Loews, and they provided free cutting service. I only put the plexiglass in specific areas of the cage and just slipped it in between the coroplast and the metal cubes. Subsequently I also bought some Pig-a-Boo windows from the sister site here, Guinea Pig Cages store, as I didn't have a drill. Those are exactly as @bpatters described, plexiglass cut to size, holes drilled, and zip tied. I tried copying the picture to this forum but I've never mastered the art. To see the picture, go to:

    https://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/pig-a-boo-window



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