Many Guinea Pig owners want to know, how long does Guinea Pig Dominance last? Your piggies will act like children fighting and you just want them to stop. Sadly there is no specific length of time how long your Guinea Pigs battle for dominance will last. On the short end it might only take a few days. Typically it will take a few weeks, but sometimes it can even go a few months. The dominance ends only after one of the Guinea Pig agrees to be dominated by the other. Until one of them agrees to step down, the dominance is likely to last.
In some rare cases the behavior may continue for years. For example, when introducing a small Guinea Pig to a cage that already has an older Guinea Pig. Initially the younger Guinea Pig will submit to the older one because the small one is not strong enough to challenge the larger one. Once the younger Guinea Pig grows and is large enough to challenge the older one, the battle for dominance may happen again.
What is Guinea Pig Dominance?
When two or more Guinea Pigs are put together in the same cage they may start competing for the limited resources. They will compete for food, water, treats or mating. They will dominate and mark their territory by doing different things like teeth chattering, humping or butt sniffing.
The dominance behavior is commonly seen when a new Guinea Pig is introduced to the cage that already has a Guinea Pig. The Guinea Pigs start showing dominance behavior to make themselves stand out as the leader. Until one of them submits to being dominated by the other, they continue trying to get the other to submit.
Guinea Pig dominance behavior is a natural bonding process and should not be interfered with. Once the dominance ends your Guinea Pigs will live with each other peacefully. They will be friendly and will be social with each other.
In some rare cases the behavior can continue for long or escalate to aggression and may need you to separate them.
Do all Guinea Pigs Show Dominance Behavior?
We don’t know for certain that all Guinea Pigs will try to show dominance. The behavior of individual Guinea Pigs varies, but it’s thought that most if not all do it. The type of living environment they are given can also influence their dominance behavior. Some Guinea Pigs will be more dominant than others.
The dominant behavior does seem to differ based on gender. Male Guinea Pigs tend to be more dominant than females and their dominant behavior also lasts longer.
How to Reduce or Stop Guinea Pig Dominance?
Sometimes the dominance can last for several months or even years, and they can become aggressive with each other. This might become irritating for you as a pet owner. There are a few things that can be done to stop the dominance behavior:
Getting a Larger Cage
Putting Guinea Pigs in a small cage can be a common reason for prolonged dominance behavior. The small space will make them compete for territory and can lead to unnecessary aggression. Having a larger cage should help reduce their aggression and shorten the dominance cycle. A large cage will have enough space for all your Guinea Pigs to move around and play without always being next to another piggy.
A divider made of mesh can also be used to create separate areas for different Guinea Pigs. The divider will make it difficult for them to show dominance and still let them interact with each other through the screen.
Separate Male and Female Guinea Pigs
If there are two males kept together with a female Guinea Pig, the males will start competing with each other. The males will show dominance to attract the female and show them they are worthy of mating. Separating the males from the females can help reduce or shorten the dominance cycle.