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Pot Bellied Pigs/Aggressive pot belly

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Question
I have a 3 year old neutered male. Was sweet when he was young but now aggressive to anyone but me. Another pig is not an option.  I read pigs and cats can make good companions.  I have 2 cats in house and he tends to ignore them but now attacks the dog who is not aggressive at all.  Often the dog is doing nothing and my pig will attack.  My pig does spend a significant amount of time alone.  I can also tell lately he is depressed.  I got a kitten for him hoping they can become companions. The kitten only 8/9 weeks old and friendly as most kittens are but my pig attacked.  Can this be overcome or probably not?

Answer
The first thing to rule out is any physical ailments that could be making piggy grumpy, such as arthritis, bad hooves or teeth, chronic constipation, etc.

Pigs see the world as a ladder, with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. Naturally, most pigs want to be as high up on that ladder as possible. Pigs on higher rungs claim their positions by making lower ranking pigs move. Literally, by pushing them around!

Your piggy is an adult. Adult pigs can be territorial. When pigs reach adulthood, they try to move up the ladder. The problem is, pigs and dogs don't speak the same language. The poor dog just does not understand what is going on, and the pig is driven by instinct to push the dog around.

You mention that piggy might be depressed. I assume this means piggy is starting to sleep more. Piglets are bundles of energy, but adult pigs are much more laid back. So, piggy may be depressed or piggy just may be out of excess piglet energy.

If you can, move piggy outdoors for the time he is alone. This will give him something to do, and also lessen his territorial feelings about the inside of the house. At the same time, start piggy on a Move the Pig and training program. Move the Pig is just that. At random times for no apparent reason, make piggy get up and take a few steps in any direction. This is how higher ranking pigs show their position, so by doing this to piggy you are teaching him that you are the person in charge. Right now piggy still knows that so it's important that he does not get a chance to forget it! Trick training gives piggy something to think about and also reinforces rank.

For the time being, it might be safest to keep the pig on a leash when he's going to be in the same room as the dog, so piggy can not hurt the dog. It might be difficult to keep them apart for awhile, but it will keep them both safe while piggy gets retrained.

Cats and pigs do get along well. Don't worry about piggy and the kitten, piggy simply felt the need to let the kitten know this is piggy's house!! Cats seem to understand pig language more than dogs, and they will work things out.  

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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