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Frustrated I just don't understand :(


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Dec 29, 2011
Hello again, everyone
So I've had my girls for about a month now, and they're just not opening up.

I know that you guys say it's different for every pig, but these two are just baffling me hehe.

For example, on the plus side, they will both eat out of my hand when I give them veggies, they run around in their cage and on their floor time, they show all the signs of being happy, and they have healthy appetites... But on the down side, they seem increasingly reluctant to let me hold them. Molly is constantly trying to jump out of my arms and Abigail just makes these irritated noises sometimes.

They still hide when I get near the cage, though I seem to able to get closer and closer to it without them booking.

They're good at lap time, but it's actively holding them (like while I'm walking around) that they seem to hate.

It's just getting frustrating. I don't know what else I can do to encourage them or let them know that I am friend, not foe.


[GuineaPigCages.com] I just don't understand :([GuineaPigCages.com] I just don't understand :(
From personal experience I can tell you that it takes time sometimes.
My bonding with Patch when I first got him was so horrible and frustrating I actually tried to return him. Luckily it did not work out because now he is my heart.
I have had them for a year almost and for the last 2 months George has gotten into this habit of chattering his teeth every time I come close to the cage. But he lets me pick him up without too much of a chase and loves to lick my chin
To be so small, they seriously have major personality and each have their own way of interacting with you.
Good luck and hang in there.
BTW, those are some cute piggies you got :)
Don't worry! They will come around. I've had my two boys since September and just now, this week, ONE of them is finally starting to come around and will actually come up to me when I put my hands in his cage to pick him up. Both of them still don't love being held, but I always try to sit down with them during floor time (before they have pooped everywhere LOL) and put my legs out so they have to climb over me to pass.... They become curious and will come behind my back against the wall and run laps around me. One still is SO scared of me when I reach to pick him up, but will come "explore" when I am sitting down with them during floor time. It's been 4 months for me! Don't worry!
None of my 4 piggies enjoy being carried around the house. Probably, they just don't feel that safe? I'm not sure about all piggies but my guys like it better when I'm sitting still. By the way your piggies are adorable!
Thanks guys. I feel silly worrying like this about it, haha, it's just that I'm reading threads and watching videos of piggies that are affectionate and not afraid after four days! It's just a little disheartening and I've never had an animal take as long as these guys (granted I grew up with cats and dogs). But I guess I just keep trying, and hope they come around more.

The reason I carry them around the apartment with me is because I read some threads about wrapping them in a towel and just carrying them as I do my day to day things. They both HATE being wrapped in a towel and struggle like crazy to get out, so I figured I'd just carry them about normally.
It's actually unusual for pigs to open up completely within only a few months. Depending on where they came from & their background, as well as age can make a huge difference. Younger pigs are generally squirmy & dislikes being held.

It took about a year for one of my adopted pigs to enjoy lap time, but she will fight for her life when being picked up. She does however enjoy cuddles while in the cage & will never run away when I reach in to pet her now.

Her cage mate that she came with, has only now opened up. That will be about 16 months after I got her. She will let me pick her up without too much of a struggle now, but is still nervous during longer lap times or being touched.

It's simply the nature of this animal, and they might never completely open up or act like in certain youtube videos.
All four of our pigs responded to us in different ways and over a different time period. Part of it, I think, is an issue of Aby vs. American, for us anyway. The other part was how badly they were treated before we got them. Our Aby is now 7 months old. We got her at 3 weeks old after she was dumped in the woods. She was fearless from the get-go, loved floortime from day one (she could be in a concert hall and not be afraid), but did not like being held at all and in fact would nip at us if we held her for more than a minute. It took awhile for her to train us on a couple of things: one, we can't pet her below her mid-body, and we have to be careful not to go against the grain of her rosettes. She also does not like pooing or peeing on you, or anywhere except for a certain spot in her pen or in the floor play area. She has stopped nipping for the most part -- she will stay on our lap for 10 minutes, then she will lick your hand, which is the first warning that she needs to get down. She'll kiss you with her teeth next -- not a chomp, but definitely teeth, and then start "dut dut dut" and chattering. Now that we know this, she's much better. ANd in the past month we can even reach slowly into her pen and give her scritches on the head and she likes it. Oh -- and she loves to play with humans! If you dangle something like a long paper scrap in front of her, she'll tackle it and bat it like a cat! She can't stand other pigs, by the way. We've been through about 8 attempted pairings at the rescue "speed dating" sessions, and in fact one of our other pigs is the result of a failed attempt to bond her with him (we since got him another female).

Our bonded pair love laptime. They do not like to be facing you. They get antsy if they do. But they love to watch TV! But they seem more to enjoy us as comfortable seats and like hanging around each other more.

Our fourth piggy was from a shelter and very badly mistreated. When we got him, he was mute, terrified, ragged ears, blind, and left-side paralysis that the vet now thinks was partly brought on by severe malnutrition. You could hold him but he would freeze in terror. My husband would hold him for a couple of hours a day and pet him, and eventually Picckalo started to whistle and purr and chut. My husband is Picckalo's pig. Picckalo will let the rest of us hold him for awhile, but it doesn't really talk to us. When my husband gets home from work, Picckalo tells him about his day (and in fact starts whistling when my husband is on the trail walking home by our house). He pees on him at least three times, and will eat his pellets and curl up under my husband's neck like a feather boa. He will stay there for 2-3 hours and sleep and chat. We're hoping that we have helped love away the bad memories of his past, and that because he has good nutrition, he is feeling better. But it took intensive work with my husband to get him to trust and bond. And he is still very shy around other people and will hide from them.
It all takes time and patience, a month isn't really all that long so you still have nothing to worry about. It can take up to 6 months for piggies to completely settle into their new home. I'd just keep doing what you're doing, if they like lap time, floor time and eat out of your hand then that's good.

One of my boars absolutely hates being handled and hates lap time and I've had him since August, he much prefers a chin rub :) None of my pigs enjoy being carried around the house but love floor time and (7 out of 8) love lap time.
I've had two of my piggies for over 6 months, and they are jut now comfortable with getting picked up and petted in the cage. Just be very patient, it's worth it! I have one piggie who even knows his name and responds to it (albeit, I think he thinks his name means 'food'.)
It took my Eleanor 7 months to come to the edge of the cage to get veggies! She still hates getting picked up! Once she's on my lap it's wonderful though. :)
Most pigs hate to be carried, so your are acting totally normally.

Do you have plans to make them a C&C Cage?
At some point, I'd like to. As it is right now, it's not possible for me to make one.
The cage I bought is about half an inch short of being 2X3 so it's the min. recommended size while still being large enough for them both to run around in, so I don't really see the point. Especially since I give them a few hours of floor time just about every day.
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