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Introductions Bad Introduction...

Jimmy Gibbs Jr.

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
12
So Pip's been cleared of diseases and she went through three weeks of quarantine. I tried to introduce her to Cleo in the bathtub, since it's a neutral place they never saw before.

Things were alright; I had some towels and several pieces of lettuce out. They sniffed and rumbled. Cleo seemed like the submissive one because she would bow down under Pip's chin. Cleo also seemed very intent on sniffing Pip's butt. After about ten minutes or so, though, things started to escalate. Pip would chatter and Cleo, in retaliation, would make high-pitched squeals. I didn't interfere yet, but five minutes later when the two were face-to-face and snapping at each other, I threw a towel down on them and separated the two.

I calmed down Cleo and then I tried a different tactic. I filled the tub with an inch of warm water and I gave them both a bath (they needed it anyway). They didn't fight or anything and they both were clean. So I took them out, dried them, and left them to wander around the bathroom floor while I drained the water. Basically the above happened; the first fifteen minutes were fine, but then they would get at each other. I gave up and put them both in their respective cages. What should I do? My mom and dad weren't pleased and they said that if they don't get along, we'll have to put Pip up for adoption or back to the shelter.
 
This might just be a discussion that they need to have. When I brought Winifred home she was only weeks old, Willy was almost 2kgs of solid man pig. He was terrified of Winifred! He'd get so upset whenever she came near him, especially when she climbed over/under him. He kept making stressed noises whenever she was near. But over time, through plenty of supervised play times together, the pair figured it out and are now inseparable.
I wouldn't give up just yet. As always, make sure they have enough room, two of everything and that everything is clean of both of their smells. If a pig i used to being a solo pig, it can take some adjusting to having a friend around 24/7.
 
Yeah, I told them I'll keep on trying but my mom's all about the dollar signs and she hates to take care of them when I'm in college, my brother's in school, and my dad's at work. That's why I wanted a pal for Cleo when I'm not around.

I think the main problem is that Pip was neglected growing up (she's an adult now) and at the shelter, her cagemate abused her (there are many open scabs and her fur was in bad shape when we got her). I'll keep on trying; Cleo's open for friendship, which is better than both of them hating each other.
 
Maybe spend a bit more time handling Pip so this defensive behaviour lessens? There are many ways to try and get them to bond. In your lap, in floor time, etc. It's good that you're thinking of reasons why they aren't getting along. Anything you can do to make them both feel safe and loved, especially for Pip, will be helpful. Pip will probably end up being the dominant one, and there is nothing wrong with that.
With mine, Willy is the follower. Winifred is now bigger than him and she charges about the floor with him following her. She does turn around and call out for him if he falls behind. It's very adorable now.
 
It's better to just introduce them once and leave them. Putting them together, then separating, then together again is very stressful on them. Only intervene if blood is drawn, someone is hurt, or if one if keeping the other from eating. It can take some time and a few wars to get them to bond to eachother.
Here's a link about gp social life, if you haven't seen it yet:
Guinea Pigs Social Life
 
I should say that with mine when I was bonding them, when they weren't in direct contact with me supervising, they were in adjoining cages.
 
Have you read Guinea Pigs Social Life The introductions section is about halfway down. Try those suggestions and let us know how it goes.

If they're not biting each other, don't separate them. Every time you separate them and then reintroduce them, they have to establish who's boss pig again. It's very stressful for them, and may make it less likely that they'll ever be successfully paired.
 
Ditto bpatters they don't need to be separated unless there is bloodshed. They might even pull hair but that is ok. My guys would lunge at each other and chatter up a storm for the first couple of days but now they are doing great! Also, make sure you have a large cage and lots of hideys with 2 entrances . I wouldn't suggest the bathtub because they won't have enough room and they need to be able to run. Good luck
 
Have you read Guinea Pigs Social Life The introductions section is about halfway down. Try those suggestions and let us know how it goes...

Alright, I'll try this again with my dad with me. We cleaned their cages today and spent some time with each one, so they both have my scent with me and none of the overwhelming musk from a week's worth of marking.

Ditto bpatters they don't need to be separated unless there is bloodshed. They might even pull hair but that is ok. My guys would lunge at each other and chatter up a storm for the first couple of days but now they are doing great! Also...

I was worried because they were on their hind legs and facing each other while chattering/rumbling loudly and snipping at each other's faces. We're gonna combine both their cages, so they'll have a 5x2 cage with two eating bins, water sources, and two hideythings. Although we bought an extra large one in the hope they can share body heat when it gets cooler.

Either way, I'm gonna try again today. I didn't use new towels last time, but I'll use new ones this time.
 
Just make sure nothing in the cage smells like either one of them. It should be totally cleaned with all new bedding, and everything in it should have been washed.
 
Huey and roger did the same thing, standing on their hind legs and lunging at each other. It's hard to sit back and watch them duke it out but it's a normal process for them:melodrama. The bigger cage will help a lot. You can use shoe boxes for hideys just make sure there is 2 exits so one of the piggies doesn't get trapped and feels the need to attack. I hope it works out for your piggies! Please let us know what happens.
 
Just make sure nothing in the cage smells like either one of them. It should be totally cleaned with all new bedding, and everything in it should have been washed.

I really wish I saw this comment before I introduced them... They seemed fine in the neutral area. They were still both a bit jumpy at times, but no chattering or rumbling or anything. Pip even groomed Cleo's ear and Cleo cleaned Pip's chin/chest. So I tried putting them together in Cleo's bigger cage and brought in both Pip's house and foodbin. Pip decided to commandeer both houses and refused to let Cleo sleep or eat in peace. I had to separate them again. We just cleaned the cages this afternoon, so we probably won't try this again till next time, which will be a while because I have to go back to college until the 14th.

Huey and roger did the same thing, standing on their hind legs and lunging at each other. It's hard to sit back and watch them duke it out but it's a normal process for them:melodrama. The bigger cage will help a lot. You can use shoe boxes for hideys just make sure there is 2 exits so one of the piggies doesn't get trapped and feels the need to attack. I hope it works out for your piggies! Please let us know what happens.

I'll definitely use the shoebox idea next time. I think that's why they both didn't quite do well in terms of who gets to sleep where because Pip felt trapped.
 
I had similar issues when Willy and Winifred started sharing a cage. Winifred would take over any shelter, food or water that Willy seemed interested in. I think I just persevered through that stage, making sure that Willy had plenty of alone time to get food and water. She still feels the need to pass her approval on what he does, but she gets so upset when she can't find him, and the same for him when he can't find her. It's adorable!
 
Yeah, I'm gonna keep on trying. I'll dedicate my whole winter break to them and try to break past Pip's icy shell and hopefully they'll have a good relationship. From the neutral playtime that they had, Pip seems fond of cleaning Cleo, so that's a huge improvement from yesterday. I'm thinking of letting them free-range outside together if the weather's not too bad.
 
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