Does anyone else have a pig this skittish?

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Post   » Tue May 07, 2002 9:47 pm

It is getting harder and harder to pick Piglet up. She has 3 houses in her cage and I have to take all of them out before I even have a chance of catching her - even then it can take a good 10-15 minutes. She also bites - hard - so it´s a dangerous procedure. I know it´s mean to take out the houses, but she does enjoy being petted once she´s on a lap and that the ONLY way I can get her out. She also won´t let anyone put a hand near her, touch her or pet her in the cage, but she is fine with being petted when she´s on a lap. She has such a freakish personality, has since we got her a year and a half ago, and I´ve accepted that she probably will for the rest of her life...but does anyone else have a pig that´s this hard to handle?

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Post   » Tue May 07, 2002 10:13 pm

I gave my biting pig to my sister-in-law. Worked well for me.

But regarding our skittish Piglet, she used to run and hide whenever we got close. In fact, it´s taken 3 months to get her to stay still whenever we reach into the cage. How did we do that? By staying next to the cage and rustling bags and wheeking along with her so she associated us with food... and hand-feeding her little bits of lettuce, one piece at a time... and slowly training her to allow us to pet her while we fed her.

Think food. It´s the way to a guinea pig´s heart.
Last edited by bats on Tue May 07, 2002 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Wed May 08, 2002 10:39 am

My two piggies are getting better about being so skittish, they are a little over 3 months old. Batgirl will actually stay still to let me pick her up, Wonderwoman trys to escape getting picked up anyway she can. Also Wonderwoman has started biting my 4 1/2 yr. old son. We are not sure why, she bites him when he holds her. Any suggestions on breaking this unwanted behavior. We do get them out every day to get used to being handled. Is this something that will stop on it´s own when they get older or is there something I should be doing?


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Post   » Wed May 08, 2002 10:42 am

Is it a hard bite or a warning bite? Can you watch how he is holding and handling her?

Is she more touchy these days about being petted (think mites)?

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Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Wed May 08, 2002 10:44 am - useful biting info.

I wonder if your son smells good to her. Pigs have been known to nibble people wearing perfume, or lotion, or if they´ve just handled food. They also go through an adolecent phase where nibbling is common.


Post   » Wed May 08, 2002 10:59 am

Not sure how hard the bite is--my son crys and says it hurts alot. And yes we are working on learning to hold them correctly--I am always right there when he is holding them, they are too young to leave him alone yet with the girls. I don´t think she is any more touchy these days but will keep an eye out for mites. From the begining wonderwoman has been the squeler, we just thought it would take time for her to get to know us. From what I´ve seen she bites my son so she can get down out of his hands. We have tried letting him feed her some parsley or lettuce while he holds her so she would think he was OK. Strange thing--every time she bites it is the same pointer finger. I am adamant about washing of hands after handling the piggies, maybe I should have him wash before too. Maybe he has some food scent on his hands--at 4 1/2 they seem to snack quite often throught the day. I will go read the about the biting info.

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Post   » Wed May 08, 2002 11:29 am

Jensway - it could be the way your son handles her too.

I have one pig, Fido, that has never liked being held. He´s tolerant now (after 6 months) but still not crazy about it. I have to let him walk free on my lap or chest or I get a head-butt. When he settles down I can pet him gently. If I try to rustle his fur, scratch him, or do anything "playful," he bites. I think it´s out of fear. He´s still not sure what to think of me.

Spot on the other hand loves to be held and when I´m playful with him he squeeks and snuggles.


Post   » Wed May 08, 2002 11:33 am

The biting page should be of use to you. I know Piglet has some "problem" behaviours that we have not been able to get rid of, probably in part due to the fact the she is sometimes in discomfort, but according to Teresa´s page on biting, "biters" are quite rare.

We can´t hand-feed Piglet because we would get our hands torn off - been there, done that - and we did used to do that all the time when we first got her. She is very, very aggresive. I know Piglet is weird...something really got screwed up for her, before I had her. Poor thing. I guess I just wish I could pick her up without removing every single house from the cage!

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Post   » Mon May 13, 2002 5:50 am

Isabelle is USUALLY pretty easy to get her from her cage. Sometimes she jumps when you touch her and runs under her upper level in this cage she´s in- but she sits there stock still for me to pick her up at that point and doesn´t try to bite (then- she has had times where she tried to bite like during nail clippings and once bit my husband hard when startled by my youngest child all the sudden petting her on the head while in his lap).

BabyNoo is very skitterish. She is getting better already though -for instance usually running only once and then sitting still while I pet her or take her from the cage. I´ve done lots of JUST petting in the cage though so I think she just doesn´t know if I´m only going to pet her that time or pick her up. LOL I do have to take her "house" (which for right now is a wide pvc pipe) to be able to do so though- or else she would for SURE run hide in there- always does. She also seems to try to bite me when I´m picking her up but she´s small and it´s easy to make sure I´m holding her in a position where she can´t bite me- she´s fine once in my lap though (except for hiding her face or trying to- everytime I comb her or pet her.) I´ve only had her a week though- I hope she gets better about it.

I hope your cavy stops biting.... I wouldn´t know what to do if I had a cavy that bit my child all the time. And I´m sure he´s devastated as any child would be if a pet bit them over and over. :( I hope it stops soon!
Last edited by aSAHMof3Rs on Mon May 13, 2002 5:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post   » Mon May 13, 2002 9:56 am

My daughter gets bit all the time, by the rabbit, the pigs, the horses, the birds. She loves them, and they tolerate her (well, the rabbit loves her). She actually handles them appropriately, but for some reason gets bit. It mostly just hurts her feelings--no blood yet. She is five years old. Maybe kids that age just smell like they would taste good!

It seems to be the younger animals that do the biting. It must be a "baby" thing they go through.


Post   » Mon May 13, 2002 11:40 am

I have started making my son wash his hands prior to getting the girls out, and we are working on how he holds them. I won´t let him feed them in his lap though, just so they won´t think he is food. When the girls have bitten him they do not draw blood either,just barely break skin. Anyway they seem to be doing better. Maybe it is just that they are still young.

My son still loves them both, he loves play time with them on the floor. I hoping as the girls get older they will be a little more calmer and mellow as I know he would just love to sit and have them stay in his lap for a snuggle. Right now they are too curious and want to keep moving all the time. Thanks for all the input.

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Post   » Tue Aug 27, 2002 10:44 pm

Pheobe used to HATE being picked up, but was pretty good while being held and petted. She´d run around in circles or turn to face you so it´s much more difficult to pick her up (Tricky thing!). But by hand feeding her and making sure she´s calm and ready to be picked up (along with very swift movements), she´s now a lot better when being picked up. Sometimes, she´ll even wait patiently while I place my hands around her belly and will stand up and lift her stomach a bit to make the process easier.

I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue Aug 27, 2002 11:06 pm

I swear by the cavy cozies. We´ve done a bit of animal therapy and the cozies seem to help both the pig and the person be comfortable.. When I teach animal education classes to kids, I also use them with the piggies . I have the kids sit down and hold the cozy on their lap. The children seem to relax a bit knowing they may not accidently get bit or scratched. I bet your son would like it as well.

I think Erin is making them. They are basically a large rectangle of lined polar fleece. Picure a large fleece pocket. Very comfy..........

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Post   » Thu Aug 29, 2002 4:20 pm

Chuffey bites too, just now i got bitten and i got a cut from his bite. like a second after that. he bit my mum who tried to pick him up and put him back in his cage. crazy pig.......

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