Mounting other guinea pigs is a common behavior you may see from time to time with your piggies. Mounting can mean a couple of different things in guinea pig language. However, not all guinea pigs will show this behavior in their lifetime.
You may be surprised to learn that mounting is not always a mating behavior. In fact, you’ll see this behavior in both male and female guinea pigs depending on the situation. In this article, we’ll cover all the reasons your guinea pigs may be mounting each other and how much is normal.
Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs to Mount Each Other?
Mounting other guinea pigs is generally a normal behavior for guinea pigs. It can be related to hormones and reproduction or a way to assert dominance and sort out the pecking order within a group.
As a dominance behavior, you’ll often see humping or mounting behavior occur between males and even between females. Typically, the more dominant guinea pigs will mount the more passive members of the herd. This behavior is more common when introducing new and unfamiliar guinea pigs for the first time. Once they have established their pecking order, the mounting behavior usually decreases significantly.
Mounting can also be related to reproduction and hormones. Of course, you’ll see mounting behavior in male/female pairs as males try to mate with the females. Females will typically scuttle away or spray pee at the male’s face when she’s not in season.
Is It Normal for Male Guinea Pigs to Mount Other Males?
Mounting behavior is generally much more common in males than in females. It can be quite normal for males to mount others due to the extra hormones in their system. While most males are interested in mounting females for obvious reasons, it’s also common for them to mount other males.
This is often their way of asserting dominance over others. However, some males will continue to mount others well after they are bonded. Sometimes they are simply acting on their hormones with other guinea pigs that are around. This behavior can pick up when males hit sexual maturity and have a lot of hormones flowing in their system.
It may get a little worse in the springtime, but it can occur all year around as guinea pigs can breed any month of the year. Being in close proximity to females or smelling them can also trigger more mounting behavior in males. However, some males are just more prone to this behavior than others.
Do Neutered Males Still Mount Other Guinea Pigs?
Neutered males may mount a little less than their intact counterparts, but neutering does not normally eliminate the behavior completely. While neutered males have fewer hormones, they still have their natural instincts.
Additionally, they may still mount for dominance or communication with others. Mounting can also be a learned behavior, so if they were inclined to hump a lot prior to being neutered, they may continue to do it regardless of hormonal levels.
Do Females Mount Other Females?
If you adopted multiple females and catch them mounting one another, this can be alarming at first glance. However, it is normal for females to mount other females within reason. Some females may even hump males if the female has a more dominant, outgoing personality.
Generally, females are not as persistent with humping and don’t do it as often as males. You may see mounting behavior between females when introducing new guinea pigs together. However, if it seems excessive, it never hurts to double-check gender to make sure you don’t end up with any surprises. I have an article with photos and tips on how to determine your guinea pig’s gender here.
You may also see your females mount others when they come into heat. This typically occurs for a day or two once every couple of weeks. They may also chase their cagemates around and be a bit of a nuisance for a short time. All females act differently when in heat, so some may show this behavior and others won’t.
Should You Stop Your Guinea Pigs From Mounting Each Other?
Usually, there is no need to stop your guinea pigs when they are mounting each other. Mounting is a non-violent way for guinea pigs to sort out their pecking order without biting or fighting. However, if there are signs of it leading to a fight, you should intervene.
If one guinea pig gets excessive with the humping, the other may get annoyed and start teeth chattering or threatening to bite if not left alone. If the other doesn’t back off, this can lead to a more serious confrontation.
Additionally, if two dominant guinea pigs try to hump each other, they may end up in a fight as both want to be the boss. You can often tell when a fight is imminent if the two pigs start circling each other intensely, chattering their teeth, yawning and showing their teeth, or freezing in a stand-off before launching into a fight.
More Dominance Behaviors
In addition to mounting, there are a few other behaviors you may see when your guinea pigs try to show dominance in a herd.
Most commonly, there is rumbling, also known as rumble strutting. This behavior is often accompanied by humping. Rumble strutting is when guinea pigs purr and shake slowly from side to side. Rumbling is more common with males as a way to show dominance or court a female. However, females may rumble strut on occasion for dominance or when in heat.
Chasing is also common, particularly during introductions with new guinea pigs. Chasing is fine as long as it’s not excessive. However, if the guinea pig being chased is getting bit repeatedly and cannot outrun the offender, you may need to step in and separate them.
Throwing their head up or raising their heads in front of one another is another way guinea pigs determine dominance. You may see this behavior when two guinea pigs are clashing over a piece of food or something else they both want.
Mounting behavior is generally normal in guinea pigs as a reproductive urge or a way to assert dominance and sort out the pecking order within a group. While mounting is more common in males, females can also show this behavior in some cases.
Mounting is one way that guinea pigs use to communicate with each other and sort out herd dynamics. To learn more about how guinea pigs communicate with you and with each other, you can also check out this article on 27 Normal Guinea Pig Behaviors and What They Mean.