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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-01-2005, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2005
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new grouchy chinchilla

A couple days ago one of my friends told me where to get a free chinchilla and 3 cages for free. I went there to pick him up and noticed that his cage was in a noisy room. The people living in the house were all college boys and I am sure they bothered the chin during drunken parties and whatnot. Heck they were feeding him cat food and didnt even know what a dust bath was (although they had it). The cage looked like it wasnt cleaned in about a month and they were not feeding him hay (again they had stale hay, but there was none anywhere in the cage).

I get him home and was able to combine my chins cage with his. The two get along pretty well which is suprising since he was neglected, however the problem is when i put my hand anywhere near him. He starts showing his teeth and does not want to be bothered at all no matter what time of day or where he is in the cage. I have to wear a glove to get him out and he attacks the glove like mad. The funny part is when he is out of the cage he is very sweet and wouldnt harm a fly. So my question is if there is any way i can calm him down so he does not try to kill anyone who puts their hand in the cage? I know he just had a HUGE change moving to a lousy place to a new one with a cagemate so should i just give it some time or is there something else i should try? He is sorta cute from his grouchyness though. Is it just a territory/personal space invasion thing?

oh and if it matters the new grouch is about 2 years old and my other chin is less than a year (10 months about)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-01-2005, 06:27 PM
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Congrats on saving the poor little guy!

First..I have to tell you that you took a big chance introducing him so fast to your other chin. I always recommend a quarantine period. Minimum 2 weeks. Are you sure you have a same sex pair?

Ideal situation would be himself alone in a new cage with lots of good food, toys etc and then just let him be. Sit by his cage and read and/or talk to him quietly. Do this for a minimum of a week. Stressing him out by picking him up with gloves will set you back tons. Because of the treatment he previously received, he may never come around totally but hopefully with quiet time with you and an occasional treat, he will learn to trust you. Once he is calmer in a few weeks, try taking him out and playing with him on the floor in a small room such as a bathroom (toilet seat down). Let him climb on you and try not to force yourself on him.

If your other chin is tame, he may learn in time from example. When your other chin runs up to greet you, he will see and sense that you are o.k. Just give him time.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-01-2005, 09:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I agree completely with everything Brenda said. He probably feels very rushed and unsure of himself and new surroundings (and new cagemate). I would back off and let him just observe everything for a couple weeks before trying to handle him. He needs time to get used to the new sights, smells, and your presence. Coming from a neglected home it may take longer.

I would ditch the gloves and start out giving him a raisin or shreddie through the cage bars. Food is a great positive reinforcement for bonding but just don't overdo the treats, only one per day. Slowly he will learn to trust you, it just takes patience and time. I also encourage people to quarantine chins before introducing them.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-02-2005, 10:45 AM
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Location: Mississauga, Ontario
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I would definatly watch him. Coming from those conditions he could very likely have something to pass onto your chin. Do a 'bonding' search, I'm sure you will find lots of threads. I also have a section on my site on bonding. (link in signature)

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