Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register

Behavior Separation anxiety?

BlueButterfly

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
396
I'm pretty sure that old rumor if you get your guinea pig a friend it won't love you as much is true for me. Whenever I hold my pigs, for the first few minutes they're fine, loving on me, purring and chutting. But then, they freak out and want to go back to they're cage to their friend. They'll climb up my shoulder and wheek back and forth to each other. It's super annoying, because I either have to put up with it, or hold them for only a few minutes at a time. I try holding them in another room, but then they freak out because they're away from their friend. I am at my wit's end, what do I do?
 
If you have a secure area for floor time, you can have all of them out at once.

Some pigs aren't cuddly at all. Some pigs only tolerate being held for a few minutes. They're all unique characters. ❤️
 
Mr. Whistles doesn't have a friend. And I believe that just because he doesn't have a friend, our bond is stronger. He runs and hide when someone goes to pet him in his cage or run pin. But he'll run up to me ❤️
 
To the OP: My suggestion would be not to separate them like that. Give them floor time together, sit with them and pet them. There really isn't a need to hold them individually like that, particularly if it's upsetting to be away from a friend. They are social creatures and really thrive on the companionship of each other and they don't really benefit from being held.

Mr. Whistles needs a friend. I'm sure you have a strong connection with him, but you simply cannot provide the same companionship another guinea pig can - you don't speak the same language and you don't have the same body language or mannerisms. Nor are you spending every day, all day with him. That's something only another pig can provide, so I'd strongly urge you to consider a companion for him. It won't prevent him from running up to you, it'll make him happier and healthier in his life.
 
Mr. Whistles needs a friend. I'm sure you have a strong connection with him, but you simply cannot provide the same companionship another guinea pig can - you don't speak the same language and you don't have the same body language or mannerisms. Nor are you spending every day, all day with him. That's something only another pig can provide, so I'd strongly urge you to consider a companion for him. It won't prevent him from running up to you, it'll make him happier and healthier in his life.

I think Whistles is doing just fine right now. He is about 3-4 years old now and has spent his entire life living by himself. Should we have extra money when we move into our new apartment, I may consider getting him a friend.
 
It may work out fine for you, but just because you are not able to get him a friend doesn't mean that it's better for him. Whether you feel that it makes your bond stronger or not is besides the question. What is best for the pig? In some countries it's illegal to have a single guinea pig.

I hope that you can get him a companion when you move.
 
I think Whistles is doing just fine right now. He is about 3-4 years old now and has spent his entire life living by himself.
I actually find that quite sad. Pigs are ever so much happier and healthier with companionship. I'm sure you like the bond you have with him, and I'm sure it enriches your life. But part of the responsibility of owning a pet is making sure you're doing all you can to enrich its life, and a companion most certainly would do that, regardless of what you think it may or may not do to your relationship with him.
 
It may work out fine for you, but just because you are not able to get him a friend doesn't mean that it's better for him. Whether you feel that it makes your bond stronger or not is besides the question. What is best for the pig? In some countries it's illegal to have a single guinea pig.

I hope that you can get him a companion when you move.

In Sweden. However, the law mentions that there are exceptions, for example if the individual is aggressive and there is a risk of injuries.

If the pig is happy on his own, there's no need to push his owner to get another one.
 
I did bring him to a friend's for a play date and he didn't do very well with that pig. So I'd rather not risk it.
 
I did bring him to a friend's for a play date and he didn't do very well with that pig. So I'd rather not risk it.
Yeah, you can't throw a pig into a random situation and expect to get an accurate gauge of how he's going to react in a normal situation at home where he's comfortable. The concept of "play dates" for guinea pigs is completely pointless, because the journey to a new place stresses them, a new environment stresses them, and every time they meet a new pig they have to establish dominance, which is also stressful. I'd be surprised if it had gone well, actually. If you contact a reputable rescue, they should be able to help you pair up Mr. Whistles based on his personality.
 
Yeah, you can't throw a pig into a random situation and expect to get an accurate gauge of how he's going to react in a normal situation at home where he's comfortable. The concept of "play dates" for guinea pigs is completely pointless, because the journey to a new place stresses them, a new environment stresses them, and every time they meet a new pig they have to establish dominance, which is also stressful. I'd be surprised if it had gone well, actually. If you contact a reputable rescue, they should be able to help you pair up Mr. Whistles based on his personality.

So somehow a rescue pig that would also get stressed from the travel and new environment would help?
How is that any different than my guinea pig meeting my friend's??? It's not. It is almost exactly the same. The pig it still get stressed from the travel, still getting stressed from the new environment and having to establish dominance.
I understand making my guinea pig happy and healthy is important. Clearly he is still happy and healthy. He plays with his toys, runs around, makes all his piggy noises, etc, etc.
Whistles is doing great by himself. End of conversation, thank you very much.
 
There's quite a big difference between the necessity of bringing a pet home from a rescue (or other source) a single time and hauling a family pet off to a friend's house so you can see how he "plays" with another pig. There's also a difference between taking a pig to a rescue so he might be paired up with a compatible cagemate - the rescue scenario benefits the pig(s), at least potentially so; the other does not and actually causes unnecessary stress, unless you're considering taking the friend's pig as a pet, which you didn't mention.

If you're content to keep your guinea pig alone and are convinced he's as happy as a clam, that's completely fine - your pig, your choice, fine. But for folks looking for advice on keeping a single pig or not, the suggestion that getting a cavy a companion will diminish a person's bond with the animal and therefore isn't advisable is not acceptable. Guinea pigs are social animals and should live in pairs or groups. If they are happy, you will in turn be happier with your relationship with your pet.

I can think of scenarios where guinea pigs can and should be kept as singles, but that his/her relationship with its owner will be stronger if kept alone most certainly isn't one of them. Thank you very much.
 
There's quite a big difference between the necessity of bringing a pet home from a rescue (or other source) a single time and hauling a family pet off to a friend's house so you can see how he "plays" with another pig. There's also a difference between taking a pig to a rescue so he might be paired up with a compatible cagemate - the rescue scenario benefits the pig(s), at least potentially so; the other does not and actually causes unnecessary stress, unless you're considering taking the friend's pig as a pet, which you didn't mention.

If you're content to keep your guinea pig alone and are convinced he's as happy as a clam, that's completely fine - your pig, your choice, fine. But for folks looking for advice on keeping a single pig or not, the suggestion that getting a cavy a companion will diminish a person's bond with the animal and therefore isn't advisable is not acceptable. Guinea pigs are social animals and should live in pairs or groups. If they are happy, you will in turn be happier with your relationship with your pet.

I can think of scenarios where guinea pigs can and should be kept as singles, but that his/her relationship with its owner will be stronger if kept alone most certainly isn't one of them. Thank you very much.

I am not keeping him alone because of the bond I have with him.
There are 2 reasons for keeping him alone:
1. He was aggressive with my friend's pig (of which I WAS planning to take in)
2. these days cash flow is ALOT tighter right now

Also, the 2 scenarios are NOT hugely different just because the rescue guinea pig has a chance in getting a forever home. Maybe you should give more people the benefit of the doubt. Because of how you are so bent on thinking the 2 scenarios are hugely different just because the rescue piggy is having a chance at getting a home you have lost some respect from me.

Please step back and look at the whole picture. Both scenarios are almost exactly the same.
 
Piggies usually need time to adapt. When adding another pig you generally do some seclusion first to ensure they aren't sick and then introduce on neutral territory. Not all pigs will take to each other right away and sometimes not at all. Zeus and Calvin certainly didn't bond at first meeting and they spent time in a split cage (cage with divider) before they were housed together because at first they were very aggressive towards each other. It was a bit of work and now they are buds. My point is, when you take on a rescue you are in it for the long haul and take the time to do a propper introduction and get them used to each over. You simply can't do that on a play date thus the pay date is far more stressfull over and over again.
 
Both situations are stressful.
Not sure why both of you are failing to see that.
 
Both situations are stressful.
Not sure why both of you are failing to see that.

Because one situation you can take slowly over a period of time to help limit the stress, or at the very least is a one time stress. The other requires continued stress each time you plan to do a play date.
 
Because one situation you can take slowly over a period of time to help limit the stress, or at the very least is a one time stress. The other requires continued stress each time you plan to do a play date.

The other can be taken slowly over a period of time as well.
But because Whistles almost mauled the other piggy, I opted to not take the chance.
 
Not trying to discourage you or persuade you just giving a bit of my own personal experience: It could have been your friend's guinea pig he didn't like or the way he was introduced to him. I have 4 boars living together and each introduction has been a bit tense at moments but with the proper persuasion and care they are all getting along very well. Happy as guinea pig clams together. I did at one point have one boar that just would not get along with anyone at all. He got so mean towards the other guinea pigs I ended up having to rehome him. =/ It's just all in the personality of the piggy.

Try taking a look at Guinea Pigs Social Life link and seeing if you followed the proper introduction technique Cavyspirit used there. If you didn't that might be why he or the other piggy was so mean.
 
You're absolutely right - every pig is an individual. A dear friend of mine has several males and one old boar just refuses to live with any other male, and she's tried several over the years (after adopting them). She's found that while he's generally unhappy to be sharing cage space with another pig, he is quite thrilled to live next to another pig. I have two males right now who just will not happily co-exist in the same cage - my most recent (and consequently final) attempt to pair them resulted in a nasty fight and a large vet bill. However, they are exceedingly happy to be living in a divided 2x8. I often find them laying next to each other at the divider. In the years I spent doing rescue, I did find a handful of individuals who didn't want to live with another pig. They did, though, enjoy being housed in a cage where they were in ear/eyeshot of other pigs. They are social animals and while they can't all live together peacefully, they generally all will benefit greatly from the companionship of another, even if they aren't able to share the same cage.

I am not keeping him alone because of the bond I have with him.
The comment that I made, while not directed specifically at any one person, was made in part because of this response:

Mr. Whistles doesn't have a friend. And I believe that just because he doesn't have a friend, our bond is stronger.
If you'll go back to the beginning, the thread was started by a person who seemed to be feeling a little down that her guinea pig seemed to be more strongly bonded to his pig companion than to her. The comment wasn't directed specifically at you, but was in general a response to the idea that guinea pigs have stronger bonds with their owners when kept alone. The reality is, their owner is the only social interaction they have, so of course it's easy to form the opinion that the pig is happy and prefers the company of humans to pigs. That doesn't mean it's to be encouraged and some folks would use that justification to keep a pet as a single when it's wholly unfair to the pig. Keeping a guinea pig alone with only its owner for company is not fair to the animal and it isn't going to be something we advocate for the simple reason that a guinea pig is probably going to like another guinea pig better than a person. Again, so we're clear, that is not directed to you personally. It is a comment inspired by yours.

Now, when you go to a rescue, if it's a reputable rescue, they know the personalities of the animals they have there for adoption and the staff generally knows that neither pig is going to respond in any way that's true to what its actual reaction would be at home in an environment where (hopefully) both pigs could be comfortable with their surroundings. They take that into account and they can help make pairing decisions accordingly. The stress you cause your pig by driving it to a rescue for that pairing is generally worth it if you're dealing with a rescue group who knows and understands its animals and the nature of guinea pigs and it's likely you will find a suitable companion.

When you take your pet to a completely unknown environment and then attempt to pair him up with a guinea pig whose personality may or may not be a suitable match, you are unnecessarily stressing both animals - the one who has been toted across town and is plunked into a strange environment, and the one who is having its home invaded (as he sees it) by an unknown, unwanted guest. Furthermore, the idea you introduced was "play dates" ... which didn't include any mention of your intent to adopt the other pig. That idea, that a guinea pig benefits from a romp with another guinea pig like a dog at a dog park, is a bad one because every time a pig meets another pig, they have to do a "dominance dance" that is stressful to them. Causing this because one might think it's enjoyable to the pig is a bad idea.

If you are considering adopting another guinea pig, I'd suggest looking for one who has a personality that would pair well with your current pig's personality (if he's dominant, look for a submissive, possibly younger, pig, etc.) and unless you go to a rescue in the scenario described above, I think you'd have a much higher chance of success if you bring the other pig home and give him time to get used to you, your home, the new environment (during quarantine) and then follow the instructions in the link Inle posted. I'd think you'd have a much higher chance of having a successful match than the one you describe with your friend.

Now, again so we're clear, what you choose to do with your pig and your reasons for those choices are your business. But for those who might be reading and on the fence between getting a companion or not because of the concern that something might be lost when getting another pig, the idea that it's acceptable to keep an animal alone so that it is more strongly bonded to you is simply wrong.

*I apologize for the length, but I'm hoping a clearer explanation might help to unruffle some feathers.
 
Last edited:
do you think having a trio of boys would mean one would get left out or will it be ok to have an odd number.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

MyPigs=MyLife
Replies
7
Views
760
MyPigs=MyLife
MyPigs=MyLife
tkowalski
Replies
4
Views
418
Soecara
Soecara
Scbscb
Replies
1
Views
1K
Guinea Pig Papa
Guinea Pig Papa
Top