Pot Bellied Pigs/biting pig

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Question
I have a year and a half female pot bellied pig. She is a house pet. I went to the hospital for 4 days and when i came home she started attacking me. i mean really attacking me. I walk by she bites me. I was fixing the coffee table and she attacked my head and drew blood. I sat next to her on the couch and out of nowhere she attacked me biting and drawing blood. its making me afraid of her. She has never done this before . She is usually very lovable, gives kisses and loves belly rubs. She also attacked the bird whom she loves. they are best buds. Please help I'm desperate
Teri Bouteiller

Answer
A couple of things have happened here to upset piggy. First, you were gone. Then, you return, but you're not smelling or acting like yourself. So she's still upset and insecure.

Pigs see the world as a ladder with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. When you left, your rung became vacant. Naturally, piggy decided to put herself up there. And so she was.

Then you came home. But, she didn't recognize the strange smells. She missed you, but was confused and did not want to give up her new rung.

Piggy needs to relearn her place. If necessary, arm yourself with a shield like a plastic laundry basket or garbage can lid. When she attacks, let her go at the shield. Give her a small safe space where she can retreat to. It can be a closet, laundry room or small bathroom with a bed.

When pigs interact with each other, they establish dominance by making each other move. The higher pig can make a lower pig move anywhere, any time. For example, if a lower pig is sleeping under a tree, a higher pig might walk over. The higher pig would make the lower pig get up and walk away. Then, the higher pig may or may not take over the comfy sleeping spot. The point was not the spot or who was sleeping in it. The point was that the higher pig was in charge and he decided to show it.

So that is the approach to take with your pig. When she attacks, make her back up. If possible, put her on a harness and lead, and keep them on her all day long. Do not step over or around her, if she is sleeping in the hallway make her get up and move out of your way. Make her get up and move at random times throughout the day. For example, if she is taking an afternoon nap, wake her up, and make her get up and walk away. It doesn't have to be far, just a few steps. If she is just nosing around in a corner, make her move away from the corner to go nose something else.

At first she will be angry. From her point of view, attacking has always worked in the past. So the natural thing to do, from her perspective, is to try harder. Ignore this, just keep making her move.

I highly recommend the book Pot-Bellied Pig Behavior and Training by Priscilla Valentine. Pris really understands how pigs think and why they do the things they do. I also recommend the Yahoo group PigInfoAndChat. There's several members on there who have gone through exactly what you are going through now and will be happy to offer support and specific suggestions.

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison

Expertise

Pot-bellied or other miniature pet pig care, including diet, housing, training, health care. Can provide information about zoning, adoption, supplies, and organizations. Questions about any kind of pet swine are welcome!

Experience

Owning, raising, and caring for small pet swine, including "Vietnamese" pot-bellied pigs since 1992.

Organizations
Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

Education/Credentials
BBA from KSU

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