How To Get Your Pet Mini Pig To Love And Trust You

Photo Credit: @floppythepig

When you first get a pet mini pig, more than likely they will be very nervous and probably not want to be around you. Pigs are naturally timid animals, so it will take time and patients for them to start to trust you. Sometimes even after a whole day of trying, you won’t even get them to move out of their comfort spot. Obviously, all pigs are different, and they will all take their own time, but luckily, you can do many things to help this process go as good as possible.

After asking 11 different pig owners and using my own experience, the best way to get your pet mini pig to trust you is simply by reading a book aloud next to them. When You sit by them and read aloud, your pig will slowly start to get used to your voice and start to feel comfortable with you being in their presents. This will also help when you teach your pig commands such as “come” and their own name because they will feel more inclined to listen to a familiar voice.

Use treats

Sometimes when your pig doesn’t want to go near you, treats will almost every time break the ice and get them to come over by you. I would recommend putting the treat on the ground right in front of you, so your pig can come over and eat it by you.

Don’t feed from your hands because many times, when you do that, your pig will accidentally bite you, and if you yell from being bit, your pig will be terrified. If you’d like, you could try reaching out and petting your pig, but if they don’t like that, just let them be and try again next time.

Don’t tease your pig

Although many people think it can sometimes be amusing to tease animals, bribing your pig to do something with food and then moving the food away can damage their trust in you. As @kunekunetoots puts it, “This is a recipe for disaster.”

Even if you still end up feeding your pig, they will still need time to forgive you, which will slow down the process of trusting you. If your pig does trust you, I still would recommend avoiding this because it will damage that trust.

Make sure you have some kind of safe area for your pig

Having a safe place for your pig to go is crucial in the process of them gaining trust in you. All pigs will choose a different “safe spot,” but it usually is somewhere that is comfy and is confined to a small space where they can’t be bothered. Sometimes this could be behind a chair that is against a wall or in a closet. Or what my friend @ziggy_piggy2020 did was put a blanket over a small dog kennel with a bed in it. Her pig found comfort being in there.

When your pig finds their safe spot, give them some food and water and let them be for a little while. Just stay near them and wait for them to feel comfortable enough to come to you. Don’t try to force anything. Once they have felt safe enough to come out of their safe spot, you are making great progress.

Always talk in a soft soothing voice

It is crucial not to yell in front of your pig. One of the best ways to slow the trusting process down is to raise your voice. Even if you’re not yelling at your pig, it will still scare them. When your pig starts to gain trust in you, they will actually challenge you, usually by getting aggressive.

Even if they get aggressive

In some cases, your pig may even charge you! This happens because your pig finally understands that you will be apart of their herd, and now they want to know who is the boss of their herd. When this happens, it’s essential to stay very calm. Do not raise your voice or punish the pig. Instead, defend yourself and stand your ground. Give your pig a couple of nudges back, but nothing that will hurt them, obviously. Sometimes using a door to block your pig and nudge back is simpler than just using your hands.

If you have a dog, keep them away

Especially if you have a very big dog, your pig will be frightened of it. Eventually, they can become friends, but when your pig is still getting used to their new home, your dog will most likely scare them. I would recommend keeping your dog outside, in your garage, or your bedroom and try to focus on only your pig for about 2 days, or however long it takes for your pig to trust you enough to pick him or her up. Barking can really frighten your pig, so make sure when your pig and dog first meet, you are holding your pig and soothing him or her. Let them sniff each other before you put your pig down.

Let them smell you

This may sound weird, but your pig will more than likely try to smell you. If they try to do this, stick out your hands, and let your pig smell them. I would recommend making sure that your fingers do not smell like food because your pig could easily mistake them for food and try to bite you. Sometimes they may softly nibble you to show love, but if they start biting too hard, back away and don’t let them bite your hand anymore.

Don’t spend too much time with your pig

I know when you first get your pig, all you want to do is be with them all day long, every day. But you want to make sure your pig can entertain themselves sometimes. If all you do is be with your pig, they will come to expect you to be around all the time. So on days that you cannot, you may start to run into some behavior issues such as chewing on your stuff and biting your other family members.

Let them go outside

If you have a pig pen for your pig to explore, that is great, but if you don’t, still let them outside. Your pig had probably spent a large portion of their life outside before you brought them home. So giving them some time to be out in the elements might calm their nerves and help them realize that everything will be okay. Also, if they happen to go to the bathroom, it won’t be on your floor. If you want to learn how to potty train your pig, check out this article here by tapping on the link.

Wait till night time

Sometimes it is best to wait until night when your pig starts to feel tired and more relaxed. Usually, they will be much more willing to trust you, especially if you have been calm with them all day long. This is a good time to start to pet your pig and find their favorite spots.

Many pigs like to be scratched on their forehead and their bellies. All pigs will be different, but my friend’s pig @poppy.the.piggy  loves to be scratched under the chin, but she only lets her primary owner do this. She doesn’t let strangers pet her there.

Consider your pig’s background

Pigs who have had harsh backgrounds usually are much timider as they have gained lots of trust issues overtime. Many times these are rescued pigs. Also, pigs who have obesity problems tend to feel very vulnerable, so they might be afraid you will hurt them. As long as you stay calm and be patient, you can gain any pig’s trust no matter their background. Pigs are naturally social animals that need loving relationships to be happy.

Pigs will remember everything

Pigs are brilliant animals. Many believe that they are smarter than the more common pets like dogs and cats. Because of this, they have an excellent memory and will remember even the smallest of things. That is why it is very important not to do anything to make your pig lose trust in you, especially when you first get them. Things not to do include:

  • Yelling around or at your pig
  • forcing them to do something they don’t want to
  • keeping them in one room and not letting them explore or go outside
  • Letting your dog bark at them
  • forcing yourself upon them

Try to pick them up

If your pig seems to be socializing well with you and they seem like they are getting comfortable, try and pick them up. Many pigs won’t like this (especially at first) because they will not be able to run away or hide from you. This is why you need to be sure that your pig is bonding with you.

Many pigs will squeal when you first do this. If that happens, just let them down lightly and give them a moment to calm down. You must be able to pick up your pig to control them when they are doing wrong behavior, so do not give up on this.

Remember to stay patient

All pigs are different, and I know many different stories of how long it took for new pig owners to finally connect with their new pigs, but it’s all about being patient. Sometimes it might take over a week for them to even let you pet them, but that’s ok. Remember, pigs are social animals, and they need loving relationships in their lives. So be patient. They will love you eventually.