Here is my recent dog and piggie stories. Oscar, Buddy and I moved in with my parents and their beloved rottweiler last year. I was definately nervous about it, but let me say that this dog was the saddest excuse for a Rottweiler. His bark shook the house, but he was usually barking from his bed and not bothering to protect us from whatever he was barking at. Introducing the pigs to the dog was hilarious. Roxy, (the dog) got so excited he bounced around the cage like a little kid until he peed on the floor. The next day we put the pigs on the floor and let Roxy sniff them out. Next thing I know, Roxy was bouncing around trying to get them to play with him. He even nudged poor Buddy. Buddy just stood there. Roxy looked up at us so confused about why Buddy wouldn't play with him. Oscar and Buddy just stood perfectly still probably scared out of their minds. I relieved them and put them back in the cage. I honestly believed Roxy thought they were little dogs. A few days later he started licking his lips every time he saw them, so I guess he figured it out. I still let them be near each other, but not freely. A dog is a dog.
Sadly Roxy passed away last March from a quick bout with cancer. During the hardest days I would take the piggies out to see him because he wasn't really able to move around much. It just seemed like he needed the company.
In July we got a 5 month old Black Lab. Now this dog is funny! She flunked out of hunting school and I know why! Up until about 3 weeks ago, when Oscar got sick...she was terrified of the guinea pigs. I couldn't get her in their room. If I took them out, she was running. She was always a very scared dog and ran from everyone and everything. She lived under my parents bed unless my mom was around. You couldn't get her out of there. She also is really big on eating grass, leaves and wood. She was using the bathroom everywhere, especially when nervous. I didn't realize it until the vet gave her a strict no carb diet (as a behavior modification approach) but our new dog was acting like a guinea pig! Now I can't keep her out of their room. She isn't so interested in them, she just loves to get at the hay that falls to the floor! She still gets really nervous if they start talking, lol.
Anyway, I noticed those few months in which my home was dogless, the piggies got so relaxed and layed back. As soon as we brought another dog in the house they were, "scaredy pigs," again, so I do worry a bit about their stress level...though they seem to be a lot less scared of our new dog than the Rotweiller.
Finally as a complete side comment, if you are interested in a great story about strange animal combinations, or just need a reason to smile, check out this link: http://www.owenandmzee.com/omweb/
It's my favorite story. You would think it was a fairy tale, but it is 100% true! The books are great too, especially for children.
- Supporter in '12
This I totally agree with! The dog that attacked my pig probably just thought it was a toy, he sure squeaked like one, but the force of his jays cased a hernia on the guinea pig. If he would have shock him like dogs usually do with toys I would have one less pig today.She would be just as dead if he squashes her as if he bites her!
So, the question is not: Will the dog attack and want to kill the pigs, it is also: will the dog try to play with the pigs? Equally dangerous.
I would never ever leave a dog alone in the same room as the cage - no matter how the dog behaves.
- Even Booze Hags Give
When I took in an ancient shepherd/lab mix, she quickly learned that she was low animal on the totem pole here. Any other animal could do whatever they wanted to her and she had to put up with it. Even if a guinea pig wanted to share her supper.
But still, I never left them together unattended.
That dog also loved lettuce and pig poop. She loved poops so much, she could hardly wait for them to come out of the pig.
Bodhi the lab/border collie would probably be fine with them. He's well behaved when I have the little guys out, and tends to run away from them. The guinea pigs have no sense of personal space and tend to charge at Bodhi. I still would never trust him alone with them.
I always contain the dogs away from the small guys (and cats) when we're not home. It's safer for everyone that way. I also have the cat proofed C&C's lid tied shut. This is in case the bouncy terrier ever discovers where the lid is and realizes that he could get inside. It's just smart to be cautious to the point of paranoia.
- BDM+Ps Mom
- OH MY!
I had my dog first, and aqcuired my guinea pigs later (about 4 years after my dog), so I knew very well that he could care less about any other animals. Frankly, I don't even think he thinks he's a dog... I'm pretty sure he thinks he's a human.
Anyway, I think the best approach would be to voice your concerns to the dog rescue (maybe they have a dog inparticular that is super, duper laidback, and/or they know it used to live with small animals or cats or something), and have multiple visits with the dog so you can observe his behavior (maybe bring a stuffed toy that looks like a guinea pig and see how he acts with it).
As long as all precautions are taken, I think you can definitely make it work.
I personally find cats MUCH more worrysome with guinea pigs than dogs, but that's just my experience.
Further, when we got the new dog I felt it was very important to make sure that this dog knew she was moving into their home and that she know that they are supposed to be there. I did and have no regrets of encouraging her to come into their room. In fact, my goal was to have her come in there often enough that they were no longer interesting to her. I see nothing wrong with that.
As said in my original post, a dog is a dog and one should never forget that when having the two animals in the same environment with one another. Irresponsible would be neglecting to recognize that the two animals are in an environment together. They will have interactions with each other and I much rather they be used to having them, then surprised if they should happen to meet in a non-controlled circumstance.
I stand by my actions and I do find it amusing that Roxy thought they were little dogs and the new dog seems to think she is a guinea pig. (though that dog actually chased a squirrel the other day, so I think we are making progress in teaching her how to be a dog.)
I also don't know why you think that it would have resulted in death. As stated, the rottweiller was the saddest excuse for a rottweiller and never acted violent. Knowing that and taking into concideration that a rottweiller is still a rottweiller allowed me to put the piggies in a perfectly safe situation, so please don't assume I threw the pigs on the floor with the dog and walked away or that I brought a new dog in the house and through her into their cage.
Granted, other than one time, I never left them together to meet and interact. When Spike was out on my lap my dog would come and watch over us. When Spike had floor time, my dog would circle the enclosure and layodwn beside him where ever spike would lie down. (He was too old and arthritic to jump the barrier.
We had a new dog later who also was interested in the guinea pigs, but I think she wanted to play with them.... I never let her near them unless the pigs were on my lap and the log was on the floor.
I think the thing you have to understand is that dogs are curious and often don't know their own strength. I completely agree with everyone warning on the dangers of dogs and guinea pigs. A nice dog may not mean to hurt a small animal, but can easily do it. Laying on it, or playing to rough or getting scared.
I don't know, that is my two sense. I think interaction is fine granted that the pig isn't on its own and is either protected by its owner or its cage...
Fortunately, my 4-year-old girl Sunshine has never actually climbed into Harry's cage. She is from American show lines, not hunting type, but has what I would call a "strong interest drive" in cats, birds, ducks, squirrels and yes, guinea pigs. She just wants to SEE them and sniff them, darn it! I honestly don't think she'd hurt anything/bite on purpose. When she has gotten close to a couple of extremely tolerant cats, she sniffed them all over thoroughly and then lost interest.
Now when Harry is out, she truly wants to play with him. I hasten to add - they are NEVER left alone together; as others have said above, I don't think she would hurt him on purpose but one wrong step and voila, smashed pig (doesn't help that Harry is old, small and frail). So I will hold Har-Bear and she will sniff him, and give him an experimental shove with her nose like, "Hey you, get moving, I wanna play!"
When I let Harry walk around, Sunny is either outside or I'm right there with them. She loves to Hoover up any magic beans he produces (which appalls my family but I find rather useful). She'll follow him a little bit but since he is busy ignoring her, she'll usually give up and lie down. The other night she did this, and the pig actually ran between her legs and hopped over them!
Let me explain that Harry is either A) incredibly stupid, or B) incredibly used to dogs (he came to us from a family that owned two). Because he is utterly blase about the dog. Sunny will stick her nose in his cage and he'll walk over, touch snoots, and go back to what he was doing. He absolutely could care less that she is around and doesn't act the least tiny bit afraid of her.
That said, I strongly advocate a strict "no pigs and dogs left alone together" policy. Dogs will be dogs, after all, and even the sweetest and smallest family pet is armed with a mouthful of wicked teeth and more than capable of pig homicide. I say the same thing about dogs and little kids. You just have to be careful.
I've noticed that Ariel is less afraid of Emils affection after she lost Anne, but she's still very apprehensive. I usually give her floor time or cuddle time when he's out with my husband and not around, so he won't come over and lick her all over when she's on my lap. She relaxes better when he's not there, and I think stress is a bad thing for cavies.
At first my dog was very scared of them, they were bigger than he was. He is now 8lbs and they are both 3 lbs. But now that he is getting older and not so playful we allow him to see them on the floor. He was quite energetic the first 2 years of his life and I was afraid he might try to bite them like his play toys. Now he runs all around them and bounces off the walls. He loves chasing little critters outside and wants to do the same with the pigs but we do stay very close when he is allowed to be by them. He acts playful not aggressive around them but I won't let him be by himself with them.
When I was looking for a dog I researched the breeds and asked about what kind of pregy drive they had.
If you take the time to use proper captalization and punctuation, it makes posts so much more readable.
It came up when discussing large breeds with high hunting/killing instincts and how they can misinterpret smaller (miniature dogs). Now, there is some debate about this, but facts are that sometimes miniature dogs are killed by larger. He was saying that when the little dog squals and shows submissive signals, the squeal is a tiny squeak that is understood as the sound of a small prey, and the killing instinct kicks in. He said that he believed using squeaky toys as a reward when training your dog would trigger the killing instinct in dogs with these tendencies.
I train obedience with my dog, and he loved to work for squeaky toys, but I couldn't help thinking that maybe that could be something to think about at least for those of us who have guinea pigs as well.
- Ze French Piggies
I'd stay careful though: animals are and will remain animals: they too can have a grumpy day and an urge to bite;) I know many humans like that too..lol