I know it is a little odd question to look answer for, but many guinea pig owners wonder if their guinea pigs hit puberty and go through some changes. But what makes them wonder the same? Do guinea pigs show any behavioral changes? Are there any signs of puberty in guinea pigs that you must look out for? Let’s find out!
Yes, like any other mammal, whether it is two-legged or four-legged, there is only one way to reach adulthood, and that is to go through puberty. Both male and female guinea pigs go through puberty at 2-3 months of age. They may also show behavioral changes like rumbling, humping, teeth chattering, and more.
Some guinea pigs get more aggressive than others and if you are keeping a pair or more in a cage, you might see them chasing each other, trying to hump on each other and similar behavior.
If you see some severe aggression like biting, barbering, or more then you might need to separate them using a divider or get the other one a new cage.
In most cases, they will show signs of dominance and settle down within a few weeks.
However, that doesn’t mean the phase is over, It can last for months before their hormones settle down.
I know you still have lots of doubts in your mind, like how long will your guinea pig’s puberty last and what are the signs and changes you should expect.
So, I would request you to read till the end to find an appropriate answer to all your doubts.
What age do guinea pigs go through puberty?
Guinea pigs go through puberty once they are two months old.
While a male guinea pig goes through the same after two months, female guinea pigs might experience the same after they hit the three-month mark.
Just like a human being, guinea pigs will also go through a hormonal and behavioral change that can be seen by their owners.
Some guinea pigs also show aggressive behavior while they hit the puberty mark. This is quite normal, and you need to keep a close eye on their actions.
If they get too aggressive, you might need to separate them with other cagemates until they calm down.
Many people notice rapid behavior change when their guinea pigs are between 3-6 months old.
Some guinea pigs also get aggressive and hyper as they reach 8-10 months mark.
This is the time when their hormonal changes are at its peak. After this point, the hormones start to settle down.
How long does guinea pig puberty last?
The puberty in guinea pigs might last for anywhere between 8-12 months.
If your guinea pigs start showing changes at two months of age, then expect them to settle down once they are 10-12 months old.
Some guinea pigs might take an extra month or two before their hormone settles down.
Some male guinea pigs might experience a shift in hormone even after they pass the 12 months mark.
Thus, it is recommended to keep them with bonded partners or get your guinea pigs neutered.
Once your guinea pig is neutered, you can pair them with a sow to keep their aggression in check.
Signs of guinea pig puberty
During the stage of puberty in your guinea pigs, the first thing you will start noticing is a change in their behavior.
Some of the common behavioral sign of puberty in guinea pigs includes:
- Nipping: Guinea pigs are curious little creatures. During the early stage of their life, they tend to nip at everything out of curiosity. Some also nip to check if it is a food or not. You may also notice that your guinea pigs are nibbling each other. Although a nibble is not dangerous, some guinea pigs tend to bite hard instead of nipping.
- Rumbling: Rumbling is a noise that guinea pigs make either during the dominance phase or for a mating call. The noise is made to attract female guinea pigs. However, guinea pigs also make similar sounds while having a verbal confrontation to prove dominance among themselves.
- Mounting and Humping: Mounting and humping are used for more purposes than we may expect. Yes, it is not just used for mating but also to prove dominance among the cagemates. The dominant guinea pig will mount on subordinate guinea pig and hump them. Male guinea pigs might hump other male guinea pigs while female guinea pigs hump other female guinea pigs.
- Barbering: Barbering is also a regular appearance during the puberty phase. Some guinea pigs chew on each other hair leaving a patch behind. This process is known as barbering in guinea pigs.
- Teeth Chattering: Teeth chattering is an aggressive sound that guinea pigs make when they are angry. It is usually accompanied by showing their teeth trying to express the anger and asking the other guinea pigs to back off or stay away.
- Chasing Their cage Mates: Guinea pigs are commonly seen chasing each other. This might be a behavior they show for dominance, as a play or something else. However, as puberty hits guinea pigs, they tend to get a little aggressive and chase their cagemates away. Some guinea pigs also get territorial in this stage. You might need a larger cage for your guinea pigs as they go through this stage.
- Tackling and Fighting: Although guinea pigs are calm and docile animals, they do tend to fight with each other in some cases. As their fights get aggressive, they may get physically involved in the same by fighting and tackling their cage mates. Although this is a rare occurrence, it may sometimes be seen during the puberty phase as their hormones go wild.
Guinea pig male puberty
Male guinea pigs go through puberty as they passed the three months old mark. However, some guinea pigs start showing changes as early as 8 weeks of age.
You will notice your guinea pig will go through some behavioral changes in this phase.
Some guinea pigs get too aggressive in this phase, and we should keep a close eye on them to avoid any severe fights among themselves.
As the guinea pig reaches their maturity point, you will also notice some visual changes in their scrotal pouches accompanied by large testes.
The male guinea pigs are ready for mating by this point.
So, if you want to avoid any mating between your guinea pigs, then you must separate them at this point.
Guinea pig female puberty
Female guinea pigs also go through the puberty stage as they hit the two months mark.
A female guinea pig is ready for mating as they pass this stage. This is the best age to mate your guinea pigs if you intend to do so.
As they start maturing and passing the 7-8 month mark, their pelvis joints start merging, which can give birth complications.
So, make sure you spay your females if you don’t want to breed them.
To conclude, we can say that almost all guinea pigs pass through the puberty stage.
Some guinea pigs show a drastic change in behavior, while others show a mild change.
In any case, you might notice some dominance behavior in your guinea pigs as they go through this phase.
Both male and female guinea pigs show behaviors like humping, mounting, and making weird noises.
However, male guinea pigs are more aggressive as they pass through this change than female guinea pigs.
It would help if you separated the female guinea pigs, including their mother from male guinea pigs, as they can make them pregnant.
Sources: Changes In Guinea pigs, Guinea Pigs During Adolescence, The environment, hormones, and aggressive behavior in guinea pigs, Signs of puberty in Newborn Female Guinea Pigs.