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Guinea Pigs/Re-bonding Boar Guinea Pigs


Dear Pat, we have had 2 himalayan boars from a sanctuary since April. Although Monty was always the boss they got on Ok (they are maybe 18 months old). A couple of months ago they fell out, maybe due to being taken to our caravan on holiday for a few hours. If put together they teeth chatter, get agitated and sometimes go for each other. Therfore we are keeping them apart. Is there any way that we can re-bond the 2 boars?

Unfortunately there is no way to re-bond these two boys. This is a common request and the answer always comes out the same. These are herding animals, and like all herding animals there is one dominant male who holds the breeding rights.

As baby boys are born into a herd they're allowed to stay until they begin to reach their sexual maturity at which time they start to challenge the alpha male. A fight will begin, sometimes to the death, as the alpha fights to retain his rights as number one. If he wins the fight the challenger is banished forever from the herd. If No 1 loses he is chased away and left to die alone. This is how nature works and has since the beginning of time.

This is a genetically hard wired rule for all herding animals. Horses are the first ones we think of because we see how two stallions cannot live in one herd. Cattle, Hippos, Lions, Zebras, Gorillas, Chimpanzeez and even chickens live by this rule. They can't help it, it's built in.

Two boars will live happily together sometimes for a couple of years. Then one day the hormones begin to dictate their instincts and they start to fight. The only exception is if one of the boars is past breeding age and docile enough to not represent a challenge to the younger boar. I have breeder friends who've had boars neutured and it still did not stop this behavior. If neutered young that's different, but once they've discovered their purpose there is no more peace in the household.

What's happening in your caviary is just that..... hormonal rage. The testosterone is flowing quickly and continuously through their veins and the reaction is uncontrollable. If you leave them together you risk severe injury and infection from bites that can and will be the end of one or both of them.

The safest thing to do is separate them from each other. They will be fine with a wire partition between them, but if left together the fighting will not stop until one or both are severely injured.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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