Guinea Pigs/aggression


Hi, I have a guinea pig I bought as a friend for my guinea pig. It took like 3 months before they ever could be put in same cage due to his high aggression. They were pretty much polar opposites. Mine was a big baby, he just liked to be cuddled and eat. Rarely did he run away. My new one would always chatter and rattle the cage and make like weird chirping sounds that I've read means he exploring or something. Anyways I could not say they were buddies but they were fine being around each other with the new one occasionally pickin on him. Well recently my old one had passed away. I had worried he might get lonely as that's the reason I had the other one in the first place because I adopted him and he was really depressed due to his friend dying. Anyways I just recently got a new guinea pig. I put em both in a cage with a wall between him. My aggressive piggie just doing whatever he could to tear the wall down by head banging it, chattering, pulling on it and wouldn't stop. After he calmed down I tried putting him together and at first it was okay until my aggressive piggie tried to mount him and they just straight out attacked. We separated em again and left the wall up. He kept trying to get at him. I don't know what to do. I've tried holding him and petting him everyday but it seems like he is so angry. He showed no remorse for our other one. Then again he did die at the hospital and not in the cage. Is he going to stay aggressive forever? It's been like 5 months

Unfortunate we can't put human emotions on an animal. Your aggressive pig is simply acting on instinct. Unless raised together from birth most boars will not get along with another boar. In the wild all herding and pack animals operate on the same dynamic. There can only be one alpha boar and he maintains the exclusive breeding rights, period.  Another boar coming into the herd is an unwelcome rival.

If left together they will fight to the death as that's natures way. They don't really need companionship like the sows do. It's just the law of nature and we cannot change it. The exception is when an old boar simply gives up his right to be leader. He allows the younger boar to take over.

They will be fine with a barrier between them to prevent either from getting hurt. But expecting them to live in the same cage without serious injury or death is not likely to happen. As for remorse, that's a human emotion. Animals don't know what that is. They live in the now. They don't feel regret or guilt. That's just the way nature works and we are helpless to change it.  

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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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