Why Do Guinea Pigs Touch Noses? (Should You Be Worried?)


Why Do Guinea Pigs Touch Noses

Guinea pigs are prey animals who cannot communicate humans likewise, so they communicate through body language cues. Guinea pigs use their nose for communicating with each other. Whenever two guinea pigs touch noses, it will have a definite meaning.

By touching noses, two guinea pigs are likely to cement their dominant and submissive roles. Guinea pigs often touch their noses to apologize following falling out and accept their respective roles. Guinea pigs will bow their head after they rub their noses. That is a precursor to grooming.

When guinea pigs hold their noses against each other and stare into each other’s eyes, it reflects the affection and love between two bonded guinea pigs.

Always keep an eye for any angry vocalizations, though. That shows that the guinea pigs are in a fight for supremacy. None of them will prefer to back out, so it will be your duty to separate them.

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What does it mean when guinea pigs touch noses?

When two guinea pigs put their nose together, it shows the signs of love and affection. It also has other explanations.

Let us go through some other reasons for such behavior of your guinea pigs:

  • If your guinea pig is touching each other noses, it may be a sign of apologizing.
  • It may be possible that your guinea pigs are trying to investigate each other scents.
  • Guinea pigs are trying to create a bond with each other.

You must be careful as guinea pigs going nose to nose does not always point towards happy endings.

You should continuously keep an eye on both the guinea pigs as one may bite the other one if you misunderstand the situation.

That can also happen when your guinea pigs are yet to decide their hierarchical status amongst each other.

Any group of guinea pigs, there will be one guinea pig with dominant nature. That guinea pig will prefer to be groomed upon demand, which reflects the sign of respect.

They will begin this by approaching another guinea pig, lowering their head slightly, and staring into their eyes.

If the submissive piggie allows this demand of the dominant guinea pig, then all will be well.

But if in case the submissive guinea pigs refuse, then the dominant guinea pig can bite to remind them who’s the boss of the territory.

Guinea pig touching nose to apologize

Guinea pig touching nose to apologise

It is possible that sometimes, guinea pigs fall out. Guinea pigs can be hot-tempered and impulsive, which can lead to any act of misbehavior. Guinea pigs can be moody and hold on to displeasure.

But, thankfully, guinea pigs have a docile general nature. That means that if two guinea pigs get involved in a difference of opinion, they will often apologize afterward. Guinea pigs do this by touching noses and holding the position.

The explanation of this can be drawn from the sense of hierarchy that explains so much about guinea pig’s behavior. Guinea pigs are telling each other that they understand their position in the pecking order.

Guinea pigs with dominant nature bows down their head by saying that “ you may groom me to apologize.”

If the guinea pigs with the submissive nature lower their head, they are saying, “ I accept my mistake, my apologies.”

This might sound like a problematic behavior to us, but it makes perfect sense to guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs prefer to express themselves in this manner. After an inter-guinea pigs disagreement, touching noses is often the first step for clearing the air.

You can try this as a guinea pig owner, too. If your guinea pig is not happy with you, rub your nose against theirs if they allow you to do so. Your guinea pigs may accept your apology.

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Guinea pig touching nose to investigate a scent

Grooming guinea pig

Guinea pigs have a very good sense of smell. Likewise, many other animals, they have trust in their nose implicitly-significantly more than their eyesight. That concludes that your guinea pig will make a point of smelling to judge their cage mates.

Bonded guinea pigs will always keep an eye on their friends while they are leaving the cage.

When they return afterward, expect to see this behavior. The rest of the guinea pigs will want to know the reason for their friend’s absence.

  • Have they associated with humans?
  • Were they playing with other guinea pigs?
  • Do they smell of a predator, or are they safe?

These are some questions that will raise your guinea pig’s minds.

Of course, you will have to take your guinea pig to the vet. There are some other reasons to separate bonded guinea pigs.

Everything the same, the guinea pig that stayed back does not have any knowledge about this. So they will prefer to check that everything is above board.

Guinea pigs may also judge each other after this brief separation. They are confirming that they still know about their respective roles in the dynamic.

Guinea pig, with the dominant nature, ensures that the submissive piggie does not have any new ideas about seizing power.

Guinea pig with passive nature will keep their mind at rest. Both of the guinea pigs will be satisfied after a few moments of touching noses.

Guinea pig touching nose to bond with each other

The most delightful thing about owning multiple guinea pigs is watching them making a bond with each other.

Likewise, humans, Guinea pigs do not make friends temporarily. They make it for life. A big part of this is by touching noses and staring into the eyes of each other.

Gazing is a beloved pastime among guinea pigs. If your guinea pigs are happy and satisfied, they will usually relax and stare for hours.

It seems like the guinea pigs are sitting in companionable silence, but they are communicating. Guinea pigs are experts in body language.

Guinea pigs will twitch noses and ears always for conveying messages to each other. They are most probably talking about us.

If you find your guinea pigs not verbalizing while they touch their noses and stare, there is nothing to worry about it. They can stay in this way for hours. Guinea pigs may even drop off in this position.

If you find your guinea pigs growling, you should separate them. That suggests that the staring has now turned sour. Let the guinea pigs be cool down in a separate area before bringing them together again.

Guinea pig touching nose to establish a dominance

Placing the enclosure in a shady area

It is not necessary that only two bonded guinea pigs can stare at each other. Often, two unbonded guinea pigs also stare at each other’s eye for hours. They will also come closer to each other and touch noses that must be observed, though.

Two guinea pigs will never consider themselves equal to each other. Even the happiest bond of the guinea pigs will have alpha and beta. Guinea pigs prefer to assign these statuses to each other.

Dominance is established by verbal confrontation and touching noses. The guinea pig of the submissive nature is expected to groom the dominant one on demand.

Even when the guinea pigs have bonded well and got their role, this behavior must be noticed. The dominant guinea pig will touch noses and lower their head slightly. While doing this, they are expecting grooming from the other one.

Most Guinea pigs with submissive nature will obey this command and will be well. But sometimes it is possible that the piggie can be stubborn.

If the dominant guinea pig notices such behavior of the subject, they will likely bite or chase them to show who is the boss of the territory.

That is a sign of warning for the submissive guinea pigs that they should not be big enough to disobey the dominant one. If the submissive guinea pig is in the mood of revenge, they will bite back, though. That will then lead to a fight.

It would be best if you separated the fighting guinea pigs immediately as they can cause severe damage to each other. Also, it gets tougher to reunite the guinea pigs after a fight.

Touching noses show affection among guinea pigs most of the time. The difference in opinion can still arise among your guinea pigs, though. It would help if you always tried to bond your guinea pigs for a better relationship between them.

Why does my guinea pig rub his nose on me?

If your guinea pigs rub their nose on you, it is a sign of respect and love form them. If they even purr or cluck, they are in love with you.

As guinea pigs are prey animals, they cannot show their affection like humans. So they even lick to show their love and friendship.

Guinea pigs only like to groom them whom they consider as their senior. As they are dominant, they rarely grant such a privilege.

Not only humans, guinea pigs touch their noses with other household pets as a sign of love and affection.

That must be overseen as if the guinea pigs lunges towards a cat or a dog; they may be misunderstood by the other animal. Guinea pigs hardly ever come out of any confrontations well.

You must be aware that not every nudge is a sign of affection. That can only be applied when a guinea pig rubs their nose as that is determined as guinea pigs kiss. A general nudge is an appeal for attention.

That means that the guinea pigs want a snack or some petting. We will advise you to provide that immediately as they might get upset if their demand is not fulfilled.

A light nudge by a guinea pig is a polite way to grab your attention. If they are not successful in doing this, they will bite or nip to get your attention.

Guinea pigs touching their noses is always something to notice. It means that your piggies are now communicating and making a bond with each other. If your piggie rubs their nose on you, then you are definitely on their excellent books.

Conclusion:

  • Guinea pigs touch noses against each other to show their affection with each other.
  • They also sometimes touch noses to apologize for any misbehavior.
  • Guinea pigs use their nose for communicating with each other.
  • Guinea pigs also touch noses to establish dominance. As two guinea never consider themselves equal.
  • Guinea pigs also touch noses to make a bond with each other.
  • Every pair of guinea pigs will have alpha and beta.
  • As guinea pigs have a perfect sense of smell, they use their nose to investigate scent.

Sources: GUINEA PIG BEHAVIOR, Guinea pig careGUINEA PIG GENERAL CARE GUIDE

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Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are one of the most lovely animals I have ever owned. So, I decided to spread some love for them and that's how this blog came up. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve. I have also written a book called Guinea Pig Diet Plan which you can check out on Amazon.

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