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Dominance Boar Introduction - is this a fail? Need help!

onya22

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Hi there,
I also posted this on my introduction thread as well, so sorry if this is redundant, but I thought a separate thread would be better.
So I have 2 rescue guinea pigs (unknown history). 1 is a 2yo large black boar and the other is a 1yo smaller tricolor boar. They are both new. I have worked with piggies as a shelter volunteer, but never owned one. I tried introducing them today, and it didn't turn out so great. They spent 2+ hours in the intro area, and everything seemed more or less fine (rumbling, sniffing, and then they calmed down). So I put them in the cage together, plenty of room, everything newly washed. There were two of everything, so no one would have to share. It went terribly. Teeth chattering, lunging, chasing, very aggressive, even after another hour had passed- so I separated them. While the tricolor boar was initally the one who seemed to be dominant, as soon as they were put in their cage, the black boar was on attack mode. But they seem to be able to coexist perfectly peacefully in side-by-side cages and play in a VERY LARGE (2 square meters per pig) area. They are more outgoing since I added the second pig (they talk back and forth too), and while they don't want to be affectionate with each other, they have both benefitted from a friend.

So I have a few questions:

1. Is this intro a fail? If so, should I return one of the pigs to the shelter and keep trying for a match? It would have to still be a boar-boar match, as I am unwilling to get them neutered because of the risk that anesthesia poses for small animals.
2. Or should I have them in adjacent habitats with "playtime" (seeing as they enjoy each other's company, but not too much!)?
3. Should I attempt another intro? Use the bath method?

Thanks so much!
 

Soecara

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I'd say try the neutral area introduction again. Bath them both first, ideally bath them together, and leave them in the introduction area for much longer. Put a whole day aside for this.

Most of my adult boar introductions have take upwards of 6 hours before I have put them into the cage, they need to be well and truly tired out before they go in the cage. I typically wait until I see someone napping in the introduction area then I wait another 1hr-30 mins before I move them across.

Leave them in whatever caging situation works best for you until you can reattempt introductions. I don't find side-by-side housing helpful for introduction purposes but if that is the easiest way for you to house them until you have time for a long introduction then have them like that.

I don't call an adult boar introduction a fail unless it devolved into an all out brawl with blood drawn, if they didn't do that chances are decent you can have it work out.

Don't do playtime, it just stresses them out and increases the chances that they will all out brawl, guinea pigs are territorial by nature and have to establish a hierarchy. Every time you put them back together they are starting from scratch in regards to where they stand with each other.
 

onya22

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I'd say try the neutral area introduction again. Bath them both first, ideally bath them together, and leave them in the introduction area for much longer. Put a whole day aside for this.

Most of my adult boar introductions have take upwards of 6 hours before I have put them into the cage, they need to be well and truly tired out before they go in the cage. I typically wait until I see someone napping in the introduction area then I wait another 1hr-30 mins before I move them across.

Leave them in whatever caging situation works best for you until you can reattempt introductions. I don't find side-by-side housing helpful for introduction purposes but if that is the easiest way for you to house them until you have time for a long introduction then have them like that.

I don't call an adult boar introduction a fail unless it devolved into an all out brawl with blood drawn, if they didn't do that chances are decent you can have it work out.

Don't do playtime, it just stresses them out and increases the chances that they will all out brawl, guinea pigs are territorial by nature and have to establish a hierarchy. Every time you put them back together they are starting from scratch in regards to where they stand with each other.

Thanks, I was so worried that I'd have two lonely boars! No all-out brawls, no blood so far. I have all day tomorrow to work it out with them and will definitely follow your advice!
 

4boipigs

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Unless they are actually fighting/drawing blood, they should be fine. Watch videos about boar bonding and behavior to get a good idea of normal. Humping, chasing, rumblestrutting, teeth chattering, and so on is all typical boar behavior during bonding. Be sure to give them multiples of everything - houses, food bowls, water bottles, etc.
 

onya22

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Unless they are actually fighting/drawing blood, they should be fine. Watch videos about boar bonding and behavior to get a good idea of normal. Humping, chasing, rumblestrutting, teeth chattering, and so on is all typical boar behavior during bonding. Be sure to give them multiples of everything - houses, food bowls, water bottles, etc.

I just did the bath with the two of them and it went pretty well. There was a little rumbling. They're in the neutral play pen (2 of everything, lots of hideys with multiple exits). 1 of them was prowling around for like the first 15 minutes, really rumblestrutting, and the other hid. Right now they're both eating, there has been some high pitched squeaking, tons of rumblestrutting and intense attempted mounting, but that's it.

I'm super hopeful that this will work out. Thanks for your advice!
 

onya22

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I just did the bath with the two of them and it went pretty well. There was a little rumbling. They're in the neutral play pen (2 of everything, lots of hideys with multiple exits). 1 of them was prowling around for like the first 15 minutes, really rumblestrutting, and the other hid. Right now they're both eating, there has been some high pitched squeaking, tons of rumblestrutting and intense attempted mounting, but that's it.

I'm super hopeful that this will work out. Thanks for your advice!

They battled over one of the cardboard hideys for 3 hours - and are now sitting in it together!!! Fingers crossed!

Also, just some questions regarding their caging situation.

I don't have a single cage that's big enough for the 2 of them (bad planning on my part, I thought the cages could be attached together but they really can't) so I'm building one last minute. It's about 14 square feet (1.3 square meters). It has sides of 12 inch chew proof wood and a wire top (because of the dog). Is this a good permanent cage, or is it better as a temporary one? I plan to add two large C&C lofts, a hay/litter area, and some other stuff if its going to be permanent.

Thanks!
 

onya22

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Update: They had a fight! There was blood (nothing too serious, thank goodness!), and have been separated for ~1 week or so. I think one of them, Pigglesworth (he's still a teenage boar really) is just having a hard time. And Nacho (my 2yr old black and tan boar) is not willing to put up with it. I divided the cage, but that means I had to take out the second level, so they have too little space. Should I reintroduce them after another week? Pigglesworth acts really agressive everytime he even sees Nacho. The cage situation is definitely not great right now, and even the whole cage with the second level would need to be bigger, as it clearly was too small for the two of them. What do you think?
 

Guinea Pig Papa

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Second levels don't count toward space for them anyway. They do much better with large, flat open space.

If blood was drawn, separate them and leave them that way until you can provide them a large space, and a large neutral space to do another introduction.
 

4boipigs

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Update: They had a fight! There was blood (nothing too serious, thank goodness!), and have been separated for ~1 week or so. I think one of them, Pigglesworth (he's still a teenage boar really) is just having a hard time. And Nacho (my 2yr old black and tan boar) is not willing to put up with it. I divided the cage, but that means I had to take out the second level, so they have too little space. Should I reintroduce them after another week? Pigglesworth acts really agressive everytime he even sees Nacho. The cage situation is definitely not great right now, and even the whole cage with the second level would need to be bigger, as it clearly was too small for the two of them. What do you think?

I had this situation occur - trying to bond a 2 yr old to my 6-7mo old boar going thru puberty, at the end of March. They fought a few times, drew blood without me realizing it, and then the final fight before separating they pulled out each other's fur. If they've made it clear they don't like each other, they'll be best living together in a split cage. I was scared/disappointed to do it at first, but my boys are just fine. They have all the interaction they need thru the bars. Don't be fooled by their tolerance of each other when they interact thru the bars - if you try to remove the bars, they may just go back to fighting.

If you have a c&c, you can buy an extender from this site (the one you're on): https://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/cage-extensions Idk if all coroplast is going to be the same, but chances are you can modify it to fit your cage. I upgraded my 2x4 into a 2x6, and split down the middle with extra grids. I'd prefer to give them both a 2x4 space tho (I just don't have the length in my room to do it basically).
 

onya22

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I had this situation occur - trying to bond a 2 yr old to my 6-7mo old boar going thru puberty, at the end of March. They fought a few times, drew blood without me realizing it, and then the final fight before separating they pulled out each other's fur. If they've made it clear they don't like each other, they'll be best living together in a split cage. I was scared/disappointed to do it at first, but my boys are just fine. They have all the interaction they need thru the bars. Don't be fooled by their tolerance of each other when they interact thru the bars - if you try to remove the bars, they may just go back to fighting.

If you have a c&c, you can buy an extender from this site (the one you're on): https://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/cage-extensions Idk if all coroplast is going to be the same, but chances are you can modify it to fit your cage. I upgraded my 2x4 into a 2x6, and split down the middle with extra grids. I'd prefer to give them both a 2x4 space tho (I just don't have the length in my room to do it basically).

I made an L-shape with 2x4 foot (.61 by 1.2 m) cages, so they each have 8+ square feet if I count the second level. Thanks so much. They do not tolerate each other through the bars though!
 

4boipigs

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I made an L-shape with 2x4 foot (.61 by 1.2 m) cages, so they each have 8+ square feet if I count the second level. Thanks so much. They do not tolerate each other through the bars though!

What sort of interactions do they have? Mine sometimes lunge at each other, but they obviously can't hurt each other. They will eat together and sleep next to each other. They will rumble and do all the normal pig things.
 

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