How much biting is normal?

Post Reply

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:04 pm

Been doing some reading up on why one of our pigs is more bitey than the other. That got me thinking... maybe this is all pretty normal?

Our oldest rarely bites. We have noticed that he gets a little mouthy when he's being held and needs to pee. He'll start pulling on clothes / towels he's laying on. If he's in your hands and nature calls ... well... you're gonna get a nibble. That all seems kinda normal to me.

The other one is more ... unpredictable. Holding, snuggling, everything is chill... then he'll maybe crawl up toward your neck, you're thinking "aww he wants to snuggle!" *CHOMP" on your neck, collar bone, or whatever is near by!

I've noticed he's more curious with his mouth too. I'll put my had in the cage, he'll come up, I pet him gently, hold my hand out more... sometimes he'll open his mouth real slow and bite every so gently. Other times he'll chomp ya real good. VERY rarely draws blood but just because there's no blood doesn't mean it don't hurt! He's sent the girls running away crying more than a couple times =P

...however... is that just kind of normal for even the younger bitey one? It's not like he'll bite you every time you hold him or interact with him. In fact I'd say 80% of the time he's totally fine. He's just so unpredictable though that everyone is a little scared holding him. If he's just chilling it's fine... but he gets curious / bored /whatever... starts wandering around your body... and that's when you just don't know if you'll get bite or not.

What do ya'll think?

User avatar

Post   » Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:51 pm

I think it's more likely it is just his manner. I don't think lots of pigs are bitey. Sometimes there is a medical contributing cause (mites, pain). You might want to read over an article Vicki wrote some time ago about biting guinea pigs. Linked to on this page, hosted here at Guinea Lynx


Post   » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:56 am

One of ours that we had since her birth was bitey -- not trying to hurt us, but just nibbling a bit too hard so that it hurt. Her sisters learned rather quickly that the humans didn't like nibbles but rather licking as signs of affection, but Sugar took a LONG time to learn that. She is four years old now and just recently it has dawned on her that licking makes the humans happier.

I'd like to think I helped her figure that out, but it did take lots of patience. When she would nibble, I'd pull her away gently and say "No" and refrain from petting her for a few moments. It took her a long time to try licking, but when she did lick, then I'd praise her profusely and give her a treat. She now rarely nibbles and licks most of the time. She will still pull on clothing, but not as much as before.

None of our other piggies (and at one time we had seven) nibbled or bit past a few months of age. Only Sugar was the slow learner of the bunch!

User avatar

Post   » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:13 pm

My order one is a nibbler and biter. He doesn't like anyone or anything in his face and will bite if anyone reaches towards his face; especially when I'm holding him. He's fine being held and purrs when being petted as long as you keep your hands behind his head.

The younger one is a licker all the way. He doesn't mind reaching out to him from the front and likes being held so much that he'll climb up into your hands when you reach for him. He only nibbles when he's done being held.

Each Guinea Pig has their own personality and preferences. By getting to know them, we figure out what that is and adjust to what they like and don't like.


Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:00 am

Lynx: That was a good read; most of it review but I did pick up a couple of good bits of info. One thing we were doing wrong is putting them down after being bitten. I'll ask everyone to not do that but instead keep holding them, calm them down and gently pet them. Then put them down later.

JX4: The bitey one is definitely younger; I don't think he's quite 1 year old yet. Could be his age and curiosity!

Reno: Yeah our older one is like that... he generally doesn't bite but a sure way to get bit: Mess with his lower face or under his chin and you WILL get bit! Other than that he's a little fur-ball of loveliness.

For the Love of Pigs

Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:42 am

Our first pig was a real biter, but never broke the skin. We learned early on where we could pet her so her mouth couldn't get us.I made a sort of elevator out of a kleenex box - she'd walk into it & I'd lift her out, taking care that she didn't fall, & put her where ever we wanted. I had to put a piece of cardboard in front of her when I took her food bowl out because she'd lunge at me.

We adored her. She was the smartest pig we ever had. We didn't have very good vet care at that point & I suspect she had some health problems that hadn't been addressed that were making her uncomfortable

User avatar

Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:45 pm

If mine is cornered anywhere that she can’t see out of she will whine and bite hard. I usually use some fleece wrapped up to gently nudge her out. If she she is in one of the corners of a cage where she can see out, she doesn’t bite. She whines about being picked up but no hard bites.

I’ve seen all those videos about offering food and using a transport box but she’s a smarty. She only falls for that once or twice and then I get stared down.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:13 pm

Luckily, both of mine come out to greet me and are pretty easy to pick up. I can reach right under Scruffy and pick him up. Mr. Bubbles likes to make a game out of it, but as long as I play along, he'll let me get my hands under him and lift him up. I just have to let him go back into his house after the greeting, wait for him to come back out, pet his back and then I can pick him up. It's really cute and I don't mind it one bit. 😁

User avatar

Post   » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:44 pm

MorganM, if you havent' read this page, it might help too.

Post Reply
9 posts • Page 1 of 1