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Thread: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

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    Cavy Slave piggys_mumzy's Avatar
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    Question Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    I haven't had a pig since childhood, recently I decided to take my friends. Just recently she told me he's at least 3 years old! (Originally I thought was only 1 year) It's extremely hard to pick him up. For months I've handled him, but still he acts terrified and wont ever truly relax when hes on my lap! I try to give him floor time but he's NEVER moved from his tube. Average guinea pig activities are impossible for him. His previous owner didn't give him much attention at all. He wouldn't go near his tube I gave him for days, now that's his security now at least. I feel so bad for him. The only other thing that's changed is he comes to my hand for food, and doesn't run away too much when I go to pet his head.
    Sorry if I've been hard to understand, I don't know much when it comes to Guinea Pig talk. . But I'll really appreciate any bit of advice! And I assure you I wont give up on him I just try to keep him at his happiest.

    Should I push him to change into what I think is a happier life, or is it better to let him stay in his ways he's used to?

    I'll respond as soon as I see a post. Thank you! - Mumzy

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    Cavy Slave LitaRutherford's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    He isn't that old. They can get up to 10 years in some cases (though your more likely to see 6-8 years). XD

    Just keep offering him attention. Be extra gentle and keep laptime short and consistant. He'll likely start to warm up but it may be slow. He sounds like my first rescue. Bear is rather shy, and nervous. You have to handle him very carefully or he spooks and bites. My boy also has the added "benefit" of a nervous tick too where he picks at clothing and your skin, with his teeth. X.x But once he relaxes he can sit for hours and be happy to just be petted. He just needs time.

    You can't force him to like you or cuddle with you, but constant exposure will make him less nervous around you. If he's eating from your hand even a little bit that's a good start. He just needs to get used to attention.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    He needs a friend -- a piggy friend. That will help bring him out of his shell. But it sounds like you're doing the right things -- just keep it up. Food is the way to a pig's heart, so always have a favorite food in your hand when you approach him.

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    Cavy Slave piggys_mumzy's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    He needs a friend -- a piggy friend. That will help bring him out of his shell. But it sounds like you're doing the right things -- just keep it up. Food is the way to a pig's heart, so always have a favorite food in your hand when you approach him.
    Ok, I've been considering that, so that's good! Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by LitaRutherford View Post
    He isn't that old. They can get up to 10 years in some cases (though your more likely to see 6-8 years). XD

    Just keep offering him attention. Be extra gentle and keep laptime short and consistant. He'll likely start to warm up but it may be slow. He sounds like my first rescue. Bear is rather shy, and nervous. You have to handle him very carefully or he spooks and bites. My boy also has the added "benefit" of a nervous tick too where he picks at clothing and your skin, with his teeth. X.x But once he relaxes he can sit for hours and be happy to just be petted. He just needs time.

    You can't force him to like you or cuddle with you, but constant exposure will make him less nervous around you. If he's eating from your hand even a little bit that's a good start. He just needs to get used to attention.
    Thanks! That's helpful and encouraging! He doesn't bite ever, but if he did I wouldnt blame him if he was afraid. 6-8 sounds about right, I dont think he got hardly anything fresh until I got him. Glad I could have him for his last years. He stays on my lap so that's good. I was just starting to get afraid for him. Thanks for your help! I need to keep slight exposure in mind.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    Do please look for one from a rescue or a shelter, or even off Craigslist, rather than buying one from a pet shop. Pet store pigs are bred in horrendous conditions, and are often ill, missexed, and have parasites. There are way too many piggies out there who need good homes to perpetuate the breeding mill-to-pet store train.

    If you'll post the name of the city you're closest to, we'll see if we can help you find a buddy.

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    Cavy Slave piggys_mumzy's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Do please look for one from a rescue or a shelter, or even off Craigslist, rather than buying one from a pet shop. Pet store pigs are bred in horrendous conditions, and are often ill, missexed, and have parasites. There are way too many piggies out there who need good homes to perpetuate the breeding mill-to-pet store train.

    If you'll post the name of the city you're closest to, we'll see if we can help you find a buddy.
    I agree! Thanks!

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    Cavy Slave violettedream's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted Old Pig - Can old pigs learn new tricks?

    My former pig was about 5 or so when I adopted him. He was pretty set in his ways. I kidded with friends that he was grumpy pig because he always seemed to dislike everything. But he did slowly get use to me, and my dog (who became his friend) and he rarely moved during floor time unless coaxed by food. But I took time, and patience he slowly got use to it. I worked at his pace and he came around. He was night and day in comparisons to my younger piggies, but lovable in his own way none the less.

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