Pot Bellied Pigs/10 Week old potbelly pig biting!
I have a 10 week old Mini Potbelly pig. She is such a joy except for the biting! She bit my husband when he had a treat in his hand because he didn't sit it down fast enough and it was pretty bad. So we stopped giving her treats. We only feed her out of her bowl no hand feeding but she still randomly bites! She bit at my daughter yesterday while she was holding her for really no apparent reason! The worst part is I have a 14 year old mix breed dog he is only about 8 pounds and she constantly bites at him. Sometimes its really bad. My dog does nothing! Sometimes I feel like she feels he is getting my attention and that's what upsets her but he can just walk by and she goes from calm piggy to trying her best to bite him! Like I said we took treats away. I've held her mouth shut and told her no, and I've tried to firmly tell her no. Recently I've rolled up a very small magazine and pop her on the nose with it. I only use the paper because when trying to flip her on the nose she bites at me! Some days she does great and other days she is awful! PLEASE HELP!!! I love her so much, but my husband is threatening to get rid of her if she continues to bite. I feel like as smart as she is she can learn to not bite.
One way piglets learn about the world is by tasting it. Unfortunately, that can lead to biting.
The food-related biting could be one of two things. She might be a little underfed and so desperately hungry she can not control herself, or she is beginning to exhibit a little Spoiled Pig Syndrome.
The general rule of thumb is at least 1/2 cup pig pellets per 15 lb of piglet. Many piglets need more. Piglets should gain about 1 lb per week. A 10 week old piglet should weigh between 8 - 12 lbs and should be getting at least 1/2 cup of pig pellets plus veggies, fruits and grazing time.
Because she is a growing baby and it's important for her to get nutrition now, I'd up her rations slightly. Often this solves a lot of biting problems. Of course you will not want to over feed her, but you don't want to starve her, either. If she is steadily gaining 1 lb per week she's getting about the right amount of food. Also, feeding her part of her rations before training time will help her concentrate on learning tricks for the treats.
Pigs see the world as a ladder with each person, pet and pig having his or her own rung. In a herd, pigs show each other who is dominant by making subordinate pigs move. For example, a low ranking pig might be sleeping under a tree. A dominant pig might come by and make the first pig get up and walk away. The second pig then may or may not take the spot. The argument was not about who gets the sleeping spot, it was about who is in charge and who can make other pigs move.
So, the easiest way to communicate with your baby is the way another pig would. Make your baby move. Do not step over or around her, make her move out of your way. If she bites, push her head to one side and say "knock it off" or a similar phrase. The word "no" is way overused in ordinary conversation, so choose a specific phrase. Of course the first time you do this she will simply try again, because it's programmed into her. So repeat the head push, this time make her take a step back. The point is to make her feet move. If she continues after three or four tries, make her move away from you. Or direct her attention to a toy, or make her do a trick for a treat.