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Pot Bellied Pigs/Overall wellbeing

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Question
My question is not really a direct question, but more of a request for approval and guidence. I actually never planned on having a pot bellied pig as a pet but my husband misinterpereted my request to have a baby pig in fall to live in my garden and eat all the leftovers while doing my work of "rootatilling" as we now call the pigs soul responsibility. I meant for a more temporary, non bonded hog. Bless his heart he brought home the most sweet and honestly beautiful little pot bellied pig in the world!
SO! Its safe to say i am very new to pet pigs and am learning everyday that she is in fact a complex, sensitive, delicate little thing with the biggest heart! My maine concerns are these: her living structure is outdoors and i know they dont like to be alone very much but i cant get the cats to stay with her to sleep. I dont want her to be scared and unhappy.
Also, i read online that dogs are inevitibally going to hurt her and i refuse to believe that ours would ever hurt a hair on her body! The two were in love at first site.. My american bulldog has never been in an agressiive situation and she has only shown shame when another animal shows fear. The two play tug of war, romp around the yard, roll in the mud, and then groom each other to sleep in the flower beds.. Should i let this relationship conntinue?
Please, any tips or facts i should know as an eager pbp friend is appreciated.

Answer
Pigs are adaptable creatures. They are just fine living outside, as long as they have secure fencing and dry, windproof shelter with plenty of warm bedding.

Dogs and pigs are not a great combination because dogs are predators and pigs are prey. Often a pig will move or respond in a way that triggers a dog's hunting instinct. It is not the dogs fault. Now, this does not mean that every dog is going to attack pigs. A lot of factors come into play, including the dogs training, personality and breed. Dog breeds developed because people wanted dogs with specific traits. Hunting dogs and high energy dogs are most likely to attack a pig, even a "family member" pet pig that they have lived with for years, because that is what they and their ancestors were bred to do. Working dogs are less likely to attack a pet pig that's part of the family, but it happens. A lot depends on the dogs training. A well trained working dog is even less likely to hurt a pet that's part of the family. Bulldogs are usually laid back dogs that get along well with other pets.

I would keep a close eye on them when they are together, and never feed them together. Usually there's a few warning signs before the family dog attacks the family pig. Often, it's the pig who starts the problems. If the two are squabbling, or if the pig starts picking on the dog, it's time to separate them. As long as they are happy together, just keep an eye on things.

Pigs reach emotional maturity at about age 2. They see the world as a ladder, with each person, pet or pig having his or her own place. Baby pigs are ok with being on lower rungs, but when they reach adulthood they want to be boss pig. This is the age when a pig might start picking on a dog, because the pig wants to be boss. They are ok right now, but it's impossible to know how things will be in four or five years, so just keep an eye on things and be ready to intervene if their relationship begins to change.

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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