Pot Bellied Pigs/nipper

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Question
Hello, we have an about 15 week old pot belly pig. We have had her about a month and a half. She recently has started to come out of her shell and settle in, play with the dogs, etc. which is very exciting. However, she has started nipping at our feet. It doesn't hurt by no means and saying she is 'mouthing' our feet might be a little more accurate. She does it especially when it's about time for her to eat. when we are giving her treats, and when we get home after being gone for awhile. I'm worried she will start actually biting down a little harder when she gets older and bigger. Should I divert this behavior now? Is it harmless? Also, what is an effective way to discipline?

Answer
What piggy is doing is completely natural for a pig. But, many pigs take the wrong idea from this, and it sounds like your piggy is one of them. Some pigs just can not be allowed to play with feet, and that's ok.

Pigs in a herd show their herd position by making lower ranking pigs move. Pigs see the world as a ladder, with each person, pet or pig having his or her own rung. An easy way for a pig to make a lower ranking person move is by nibbling at feet.

So when piggy nibbles at your feet, piggy is trying to be dominant over you. When she nibbles at feet, push her back, make her take a few steps away, and say "Knock it off". The word "No" is way overused in daily talk, hearing "no" all day in different contexts confuses piggy. Knock it off is easy to hear and distinct.  

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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