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Dominance Introducing a 2-year-old male to our 6-month-old male.


Cavy Slave
Mar 23, 2012
Hey everyone!

I'm back and I'd like some more advice. I'm the owner of Rupert, a little guy who owes you all a great many thanks. I came on this forum right after I got him (first time pig owner) and needed medical advice. You all convinced me to get him to an Exotics vet ASAP (I didn't even know there was one in my city!) and thankfully I did because he may have died. He had a bad upper respiratory infection, an abcess that ended up the size of two golf balls (within a VERY short amount of time!) and a smaller abcess on a lymph node. Thank you, again. He's brought a lot of joy to mine and my husband's life.

Now that he's all healed up and healthy, we decided to get him a friend. My husband spends a lot of time with him as is, but I've been reading a lot and figured he'd be more well off with a buddy.

I had a cage someone gave to me that wasn't going to fit Rupert's needs. It was very large but it had wire bottoms. I decided to try to sell it on Craigslist for some extra money and ended up trading it for an older male guinea pig.

"Trigger" is probably about 1.5-2 years old. His owner says she didn't know his age because he had once belonged to her friend and ... well, long story short, I think this girl had acquired way too many animals to begin with. She told me she had female pigs in with male pigs. When I told her I was looking for a boy to be friends with my own boy, she seemed appauled that I didn't want a girl. I told her I wasn't looking to breed. She thought I was crazy because "guinea pig babies are adorable! I've had five litters!"

I cringed. I told her I was only interested in having a friend for my boy and I left it at that.

Trigger is very beautiful. He has long, white hair with some gray speckles. His face has brown and gray splotches and he has reddish eyes. I checked him for a clear nose, clear eyes and a clear butt. His ears looked clean. I double checked him for fleas and he seemed to be in the clear. The only issue was that he appeared rather dirty. The first thing we did when we got him home was give him a good bath. I know it's unnecessary to bathe them, but he was pretty dirty. He looked brand new as we dried him. :)

Anyway, we decided to get him acclimated. I have a big plastic kiddie pool that I haven't used yet. I put it down in the living room, filled it with Carefresh and gave him a makeshift hut. I gave him some Timothy hay and pellets, as well as water. He ate and seemed to be doing well. We left him that way for a little while and then decided to introduce Rupert.

Rupert's still pretty young (about 6 months old) so he's a little smaller than Trigger. The two of them did their dominance dance and nipped at one another for a few turns. We were standing by in case it got too ugly. They clicked their teeth and made angry noises but it never got too aggressive. Rupert kept trying to mount Trigger, but Trigger wasn't having it. After about 30 minutes, the two of them started eating together but kept a watchful eye out. Anytime one of them would get too close to the other, the other would show his teeth and click them angrily. At one point, Rupert exhibited submissive behavior. He laid down on his side and kept his head lower than Trigger's.

We decided 30 minutes was enough so we put Rupert back in his cage and let Trigger settle down. We gave Trigger Ruper's favorite pair of my husband's shorts (don't ask, LOL) so he could get used to his smell. Was that a good move? Trigger seemed to like the shorts and buried himself in them.

We tried again about an hour later. The two did as they did previously, but it wasn't quite as intense or aggressive. After a while, they pretty much stayed on opposite ends of the pool and ignored one another.

Rupert was put back in his cage for bedtime. We're going to try again today.

Any advice would be great. We want these two to get along. Trigger is used to being around other pigs, but Rupert really isn't. Rupert's personality is very playful, energetic and curious. Trigger seems to be more reserved, but that could be just because he's in a new environment. I spent some one-on-one time with Trigger this morning, holding him on my chest. I want him to feel safe with us.

My husband was worried that the two will never get along just because they were aggressive at the beginning. I told him that, according to my research, it could take a little while and as long as they're not drawing blood or seriously injuring one another, it's safe to try again. Am I right or wrong?

Thanks for any advice.
I wouldnt be two worrid about the pigs being aggressive. there just figuing each other out. Anouther thing you should really have waited a few weeks befor intos, trigger could be sick and just not showing signs yet. also when you intoduse them do it on nutreal taritory, that means not in the pool anymore becuae this is where trigger is staying full time for know. also when you do intros you should leave them togeather after they meet, alfter you disenfect the cage to wipe away any smell
They sound like they're ready to live together. Next time they meet, clean out the cage while they're in the pool, and once they're in the shorts snuggling phase, put them in the cage. Quarantine would have been better, but you already broke quarantine so they've been exposed to each other's germs. You should treat both for mites and keep an eye on them to make sure they're not getting infections.
Crap, I didn't think about quarantine and that's really important. I'm crossing my fingers that Trigger is healthy. He appears healthy so we're just going to keep an eye out. Thanks for the advice.
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