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Pot Bellied Pigs/Gravy the Pot Belly Pig


so I own a male pot belly pig that we've had for maybe a month now. I'm not quite sure how old he is...but I know he is young and was the runt of the litter. Everyone seems to love him, as he gets along with most everyone he meets...but he has given some people reasons not to like him. He bites toes, feet, and ankles and nudges very hard! We push him away and tell him NO but he doesnt seem to get the idea. He also jumps on people's laps and jumps on legs, causing his little hooves to painfully scrape them. He is kept outside with a whole enclosed patio to himself and he also has a kennel with blankets and a pillow that is always left open for him in case it gets too cold, but he still begs to come inside the house. He pounds against the glass sliding door, jumps on it, and someties tries to bite the metal frame of the door. There have been nights where he sits by the door all night SQUEALING for us to let him in. Please help :(

Pigs see the world as a ladder, with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. Pigs show their higher position on the ladder by making lower ranking pigs move. For example, a lower ranking pig might be sleeping under a tree, when a higher ranking pig comes along. The higher ranking pig might make the lower ranking pig get up and move away from the spot. The higher ranking pig then may or may not take the sleeping spot. The confrontation was not about who gets to sleep in the comfortable spot, it's about the fact that the higher ranking pig can, and did, make the lower ranking pig move.

Being the runt of the litter, chances are your piggy was pampered and spoiled by his previous owners. He thinks he sits quite high on the social ladder, above people. He shows this by trying to make people move, and an easy way to make a person move is by making their feet move. So, that's why he goes after the feet.

Your pig is just one of those pigs who can not be allowed to play with feet or shoes at all. Whenever he tries, push him away, make him take a few steps back. He will immediately try again! This has been working for him for all his life, so he will be surprised and confused. Push him away again. On the third try, make him actually walk out of the room. There is no need to put him in a time out, because the lesson is that you can, and will, make him move. Again, the first time you make him walk all the way out of the room he will be baffled, and probably try again.

Another secret is to pick a word other than "No". "No" is a very overused word in our language, so choosing something distinct, like "Knock it off", helps.

It also sounds like he is used to spending the nights inside. Put him on a strict inside visitation schedule. For example, let him inside between 6 p and 9 pm and NEVER after 9 pm no matter what. At 9 pm promptly, put him outside in his bed with some treats. Again, he will react badly, because he doesn't know what else to do. But if you put him out with a treat at the same time every night and leave him there, ignoring him completely no matter how crazy he gets, he will settle down after a week or so. The key is that consistency in terms of inside/outside time.

The lap jumping is also probably from being spoiled. He's probably very used to being held and fed in people's laps. Watch him carefully and stop him before he leaps. You can distract him by  making him do a simple trick like sit or turn. Or you can teach him to leap into an empty seat next to you. Or give him his own cushion, bed or chair, and teach him to stay there by telling him "Go to you Place" and giving him a treat when he does.

Pot Bellied Pigs

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Helen Morrison


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!


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

Pigs of Great Fortune; FAREC; PigCollaborative

BBA from KSU

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