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Dominance Young Male Dominance?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 26, 2012
I'm new to the life of piggies. We got our first two about 12 days ago. From the pet stores before I knew there was SO MUCH to know about guineas. So we are quickly making all the necessary arrangements to keep them healthy and happy (I have definitely turned into a piggie lover!). I have done nothing but read up on them for the last week and our 2x4 C&C is on its way. They are currently in a 30"x20" single level store bought cage...again, before I knew better. :/

On to my question. One boy is about 12 wks (Silas) and the other 9 wks (Conner aka Squeaker--kids were undecided on names). Positive both are boys as that much I did do plenty of research on. Saw the boy parts myself and checked multiple times. They were NOT bought at the same place though. We bought the first boy (the older one) and then that night read that we should have two, so two days later we got the younger boy at a different store. Normal dominance behaviors like mounting, rumbling, and circling each other, though Silas has definitely shown himself the alpha male. Connor endures the mounting and seems to be ok with the less dominant position (though he tries now and then to mount the other with no success, as Silas quickly turns and lets him know who is boss). Nothing in their behaviors toward one another worries me, but it is interaction WITH ME that has me slightly concerned.

Connor is OK and displaying normal behaviors for getting used to his new home and everything...very fidgety and doesn't like to be picked up or lap time for more than a couple minutes. He does, however, eat from my hand and will sit for petting in my lap while eating.

Silas, on the other hand, worries me. He doesn't panic so much when I pick him up or try to get away during lap time, but he rumbles at me when I'm petting him on my lap or even while just holding him and petting. He will NOT eat anything I try to offer him during lap time, or in the cage by hand. He rumbles and his whole body shakes when I'm petting him. I thought it might be certain areas I was petting, but it seems to be random. He will be ok for a minute while I pet him...very still, doesn't explore or sniff around a lot (scared maybe?), then he'll rumble and shake. Should I stop petting him and put him back in the cage? Or continue petting (maybe in a different area) and talking to him? I don't want to push him to get mad or bite. Nobody else handles either of them except me. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks! :)

**also wanted to add that Silas often sleeps outside of any of the houses/hideys that are in the cage. Is that normal? There are 2, so they each have their own if they want. They also have floor play time 1-2x daily in our spacious hallway with lots of toys and veggies and will hideout in the tunnel or hay bag together. Just curious.
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I pretty much have the same background as you, bought one pig, read that we should have two, got another one, built a c&c cage, etc. Both of mine are young males, about 4 months and 6 months old. The older one Samwise, during laptime he will just sit in your lap and not move. He will eat though! Sometimes when I pet him he rumbles, sometimes he won't. You can often mistake rumbling for a purring sound which means they like where your petting them. He's still very timid. I would give him more time. From what I've read on here it could take many months for your pigs to get used to you and to realize that you are on their side! I would keep doing what your doing, feed them veggie, pet them, lap time, floor time. You seem to be doing a good job. It's only been 12 days, just be patient!
Mine sound very similar. It's hard to tell between a rumble and a purr. If crackers doesn't like something he will toss his head back and give a little rise. His body language also tells me if he likes it. He might purr but then sink down a bit in a relaxed stretch then splay out his rear legs. I take that as a good sign he's content.
Trying to be patient. I only do around 5 minutes of lap time with each of them a couple times a day (separate from floor time). When Silas rumbles his whole body shakes. Connor has yet to rumble at me, he just wants to run all over. Silas nibbles a little and I make it clear with my voice that nibbling is a no-no. They are so adorable and I can already see their very different personalities. They are very happy and playful during floor time and in their cage as well. I take one of the houses out of the cage when I feed them veggies so they have plenty of room to separate. This morning Silas was popping all around the cage! Love it!
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