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Thread: He only bites when I'm NOT holding him

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    Cavy Slave
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    He only bites when I'm NOT holding him

    So my 4mo old is biting my fingertips, knuckles. I don't know how to respond to him when he does this. I've read a lot of sites, threads, and posts that discuss biting, but none of them seem to answer my questions.

    He doesn't bite me when I'm holding him, or during lap time as I'm petting him. He bites me when it's floor time or he's in his cage. He sniffs my fingers/hands looking for food. He used to just nip (not painful at all, I just felt his teeth) and he figured out I wasn't food or holding food. But now he sniffs and goes straight to biting rather than nipping (he's drawn blood a couple times), and then when I pull my fingers away, he comes closer (as if to sniff), and then bites again.

    Some people say that obviously I should pull my fingers away, but I know that if I was holding him people would tell me to not put him down right away so he doesn't get the message that biting gets him what he wants.

    If he's on the ground and he bites me, doesn't me pulling my hand away completely tell him the same message? I know this seems like such a stupid minor question, but how exactly should I respond to him? I realize that every tiny thing you do with guinea pigs matter over time, so I want to know I should act each time he does this.

    I've tried to figure out WHY he bites, and to be honest I'm not sure. I've been really good about cleaning my hands after handling food.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrWhistles's Avatar
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    Re: He only bites when I'm NOT holding him

    He may just be nibbling. Nibbling their way of touching and feeling their world.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: He only bites when I'm NOT holding him

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhistles View Post
    He may just be nibbling. Nibbling their way of touching and feeling their world.
    OP says their pigs have drawn blood more than once. Is that really normal? I don't have enough experience to say for sure, but I'm sort of thinking that a bite that draws blood, on more than one occasion, isn't exactly an exploratory nibble.

    @elkaye, have you seen any other weird behavior out of him? Scratching? Generally seeming cranky? Mites sometimes make pigs act grouchy and weird.

    Or maybe it has something to do with where he was before you got him? A scary environment, like a pet store or a home with a too-aggressive owner?

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