Are your male guinea pigs engaging in some strange behaviors such as fighting, biting alongside humping, or male guinea pigs mounting another male, and you’re not sure why this is happening?
Guinea pigs are social animals and, just like other species, they have a particular way of functioning to preserve the herd’s cohesiveness.
These actions you’re seeing might be just that, the individuals demonstrating perfectly natural behavior by embodying their biological need for order in the group.
If you have doubts about why that is happening, then you are in the right place.
Male Guinea Pig Assert Dominance
It’s typical behavior for male guinea pigs to impose themselves, what may seem sexual, onto another male, and you may be wondering what could be the reason behind this unusual way of acting.
That appears to be just one-way male guinea pigs often assert dominance over the rest of the guinea pigs and show the less dominant one in charge.
This type of behavior, in many cases, can occur when a new addition to the group is made and the older member is trying to defend his place in the cage.
Maybe when they feel like there aren’t enough resources for all of them, so they feel the need to follow the instinct to fight to survive when a female guinea pig is present in the cage, or it can even happen due to some seasonal changes which bring hormonal changes in guinea pigs.
The dominant, or we might call it the alpha guinea pig, forces itself on the compliant male to mark his territory and establish his prominent role in the habitat.
This frequently occurring way of acting is somewhat needed.
In other words, guinea pigs need to demonstrate this type of behavior to set the hierarchy, so there are no wars and disagreements in the surroundings further along the road.
How Do Male Guinea Pigs Show Dominance?
A need for a leader or an alpha in every group of animals has always existed since the dawn of time and with that, asserting dominance is a chronic and regular case in the animal kingdom, including among guinea pigs.
Considering that guinea pigs, even in their domesticated form, are still a part of this fauna and behave and have primal instincts just like every other animal, they are no exception from this rule.
They usually indicate asserting dominance by starting to vocally challenge one another through fighting and humping each other, also by pushing and forcing themselves onto the other guinea pigs.
If you notice guinea pigs conducting this kind of behavior, there is no need to be concerned because this does not mean the guinea pigs can’t coexist and live together.
They need to go through this process of establishing some order and hierarchy in the space they share.
In most cases, these fights are not something you should be worried about since they don’t tend to get serious.
But if you notice that they’re getting out of hand, you should do something to interfere and break up the fight.
Fighting And Mounting Between Male Guinea Pigs
It usually starts with one of the male guinea pigs, the dominant one, chasing the other around the cage, making loud screeching noises with his teeth at the other male, nibbling him while making continuous rumble strutting noises at him.
Once the less dominant guinea pig is cornered, the dominant one starts humping and mounting him for a couple of seconds or minutes to show him who is in charge, and then in no time, they tend to get back to their normal activities.
The dominant male might even gently bite or shove the other male for a while, but this stops in no time, and they go back to their normal states until this behavior is repeated a few more times.
This can go both ways, and it either goes on until the weaker link finally caves and the other guinea pig has proven his dominance over him, or it can escalate in an aggressive, serious fight in no time.
These fights can be noticed through a couple of indicators: biting attacks, full force thrusting, producing loud, aggressive screeching noises with their teeth, and even confrontation in combat.
How Long Does Fight Over Dominance Usually Last?
When keeping two or more guinea pigs together in the same place, you should be aware that they will behave just like any other animal when it comes to being territorial and establishing a particular order between them, this meaning there is bound to be fought over dominance, food, and similar aspects.
This is no reason to be alarmed though, these fights, most of the time, don’t last too long, and things quickly go back to normal as soon as the structure of the hierarchy is established between the guinea pigs.
Even though no precise time frame can describe how long this can go on, we can say that the disagreements end when one of the male guinea pigs fully surrenders and agrees to be dominated by the other male.
This period can last for an estimated period of a couple of days, but this can prolong and can exceed even a couple of weeks or more.
This being said if you notice that these fights between your guinea pigs might be going on for too long or are getting too aggressive, and the guinea pigs are seriously hurting each other with possible traces of blood and injuries.
It would be best to look into other options regarding the situation here or consult a veterinarian.
Should I Let Male Guinea Pigs Mount Each Other And Fight?
When this question comes up, there could be a few pointers that can tell you whether or not you should intervene in the fight for dominance and put an end to it or just let it play out on its own until things are back to normal and going smoothly.
If in this competition of dominance between the guinea pigs, they’re showing signs of mild fighting such as teeth chattering, nudging even biting alongside with humping and mounting, you shouldn’t be worried.
These are all indicators of a healthy establishment of dominance, and your guinea pigs should be excellent.
When this takes place, keep in mind it is an entirely natural process in the animal kingdom, and in most cases, you shouldn’t try to intervene, seeing how this will only upset them, and they’ll have to start the whole process all over again.
You just let them go through this so the guinea pigs can cohabit together in harmony and peace.
On the other hand, in some cases, it’s known that these fights can deepen and go on for a more extended period as a result of neither of the males caving in.
This can result in severe injuries between the guinea pigs and become fatal that.
In this situation, you should consider separating them in different cages for a while or even permanently to stop them from harming each other.
Female Guinea Pigs Dominance Behavior
It’s known that this dominance fight is more common in the relationship between males seeing how they’re considered to be more dominant.
But that does not exclude the possibility of a female guinea pig trying to establish dominance over another female.
This being the case, we can exhibit similar behavior as shown between the male guinea pigs, in other words, them fighting for resources, space, and even mates by asserting dominance.
A sign of this can be loud vocal noises followed by running and chasing one another, possibly sniffing the butt of the other guinea pig.
One of the female guinea pigs may even mount the other female that is more submissive.
Another common indication is ahead holding confrontation in which the female puts her head down before the other one gets dominated.
Seeing how female guinea pigs are less dominant than males, this so-called fight tends to be much shorter and even ends at the first stage.
In other words, at the very beginning, when one of the females vocally challenges the other female guinea pig, the submissive one can surrender at that very moment, and dominance is established in no time.
Therefore, there are ways to stop them from fighting, so let us see them.
Slowly Introduce Them To Each Other
As mentioned above, one of the reasons for these fights for dominance could be bringing a new member to the cage, and that, in a way shaking up the dynamic of the habitat.
A step you can take towards preventing fighting and disagreements between the guinea pigs would be slowly introducing them to one another.
The first thing you should be doing after making a new addition to your group of guinea pigs is isolating the new guinea pig for a while.
Approximately two weeks, to make sure your new addition is free of disease that could be harmful to the others in the cage.
After you’ve concluded that it’s safe to socialize them with each other, you can start by taking out the guinea pig you already have out of the cage.
Then putting them on a neutral territory until they get to know and hopefully accept one another.
Placing them somewhere other than the cage is preferable since the cage is already the old guinea pig’s territory, and just adding a new one in there would possibly cause panic and hostility.
A Fight For Resources
Another reason why your guinea pigs can start getting territorial and fight is the limited resources they might be having.
To prevent this, always make sure the cage they’re living in is big enough; it is recommended to have at least a 7.5 square feet cage for two guinea pigs.
Maybe even larger would be a great choice, so they have room to go on with their lives without the feeling of tension and crowdedness.
It would also be preferable, regarding the feeding, to give them two different bowls, so your guinea pigs don’t get into fights over food and water.
You can also provide them with a couple of different toys simply because it helps them satisfy their chewing needs, keep them busy and off each other.
What To Do When The Fights Are Getting Too Intense?
If you notice your guinea pigs getting too violent in this fight for dominance and start hurting each other, you should consider breaking them up and putting them apart for a short period.
It’s recommended that they stay separated during the night.
After the night has passed, they should be calmer, and you can try to initiate introducing them to one another once again so they can cohabit the cage together with no pressure or disagreements.
If they tend to get into the same aggressive and harmful fights once again, it would probably be a good idea to look into separating them permanently or maybe consult a vet and see what they can recommend to you.
How To Know If My Guinea Pigs Have Bonded And Get Along?
Guinea pigs are a highly social species and often need at least one more guinea pig around them to live a happy and fulfilled life.
Once the dance for dominance has successfully finished, the guinea pigs will stop with the somewhat violent behavior such as rumbling, mounting, and biting and move on to peacefully living with each other.
You can tell your guinea pigs are getting along when they have no problem sharing their food, and they can start grooming one another and even cuddle and sleep together.
You can even notice them jumping high in the air out of nowhere, known as popcorning, seeing how this resembles a popcorn popping, as a sign of satisfaction and joy, which means they are happy, well pleased, and content.
All these are indicators of a healthy relationship between the guinea pigs in the cage, and they should be perfectly fine cohabiting the same space with absolutely no problems or need for worries.
Seeing one of your male guinea pigs mounting another male in the cage is no need for concern seeing how this is just one of the many things they tend to be doing while asserting dominance between one another.
This is a healthy process they must go through and should be fine and cohesive once it’s all over, completely able to coexist together in the same space happily.
However, suppose neither of your guinea pigs decides to give up, surrender, and be submissive. In that case, this dominant behavior can continue with other manifestations such as biting and serious fights that go on for a long time.
If you notice that these fights are getting quite destructive, you should probably look up other reasons why this could be happening.
Also, help them get along better by giving them the resources and means they might be needed to get along better.