Are Pot Bellied Pigs Good Pets? At three years old, Pot Bellied Pigs average about 125 lbs.,
(contrary to what you may have heard), making it difficult to take them to the vet in a car. Vietnamese
Pot Bellied Pigs were once "darlings of the media," and promoted as the condo pet of the eighties -
clean, smart, small and affectionate. Imported into the United States from Canada, the first Potbellies
sold for up to $25,000! Ten years later, there are sanctuaries for unwanted Potbellies that are filled to
capacity. Potbellies are often advertised in the "For Free" section of newspapers, the prices have
plummeted, and occasionally, the pigs are even abandoned by the roadside. What happened? Of
course, with any new, exotic breed of animal, prices will fall as the supply meets the demand. This goes
with the territory. But in the case of the potbelly, other factors came into play.
If you have been thinking of adopting or purchasing a Teacup Pig, please CLICK HERE for more info on them.
Pot Bellied Pig a Good Pet?
Pot Bellied Pig Information
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Pigs are like 2-year-old children-intelligent, curious, mischievous and sometimes manipulative. They are
sensitive creatures that can be playful, and even almost humorous. In the intelligence scale, they are
only two species away from the intelligence of humans! Only the monkey/ape family and the
dolphin/whale families are more intelligent. Unfortunately, that can be detrimental to having a pig as a
pet. The porker will quickly learn to open refrigerator doors and cupboards in his eternal quest for
food, and outsmart hi trainer by taking the shortest route to gratification. Wily pigs learn to scream, to
wake their owners for breakfast, beg for food and raid pantries. They can be demanding, overly
sensitive or even neurotic. Piggy's often pout if challenged by humans! Their personalities are complex.
Because of this, pigs need a lot of discipline and monitoring. A bored pig will root, knock over
household objects and devour house plants. Pigs take nothing for granted and seem to want to know
what is under everything. Pigs are not good pets if left home alone with no mental stimulation or
physical challenges. And, because of their intelligence, they can be aggressive with young children.
The good news is that pigs are very trainable. First, a pig must be taught that he can trust his owner.
Firm, gentle discipline works well. Because of their love for food, positive reinforcement is effective.
Negative physical reinforcement is not. Pigs have a great memory and respond well to commands.
They are capable of learning to slam dunk a basketball, play a piano, or golf, play soccer, jump through
hoops, dance, ride a skateboard and dozens of other feats. Housebreaking comes very easy to pigs.
Pot Bellied Pigs average about 125 pounds at 3 years of age. Originally, they were advertised by
breeders as being around 50 pounds at maturity. What few people took time to learn was that the pig
grows until 4 years of age, and often is too large to ride in a car to go to the veterinarian. This problem
can be overcome, if the owner is dedicated, by training a pig to climb a ramp into the car.
All pigs must be neutered and spayed to be good pets. Otherwise they are very hormonal, demanding
and whiney. Potbellies are herd animals with a strong pecking order. If they are spoiled, they often
become territorial, and aggressive towards humans, especially house guests. The pigs have an
instinctual urge to be "Top Hog," and defend their turf. Pigs with lots of subtle, daily discipline and
boundaries in the home, do not exhibit this phenomena. The oinkers must be taught the word "NO" and
to respect humans. Porkers need time outdoors, in a fenced yard, secure from hostile dogs. This cuts
down on household territorialism, and gives the pig something to do. Pigs root, although this can be
somewhat curtailed. They rarely get fleas, but do get mange, which is easily treatable. All in all, pigs
have the potential to be the BEST pet, or the very WORST pet. It really depends upon the
expectations and efforts of the owners.
Pigs are not small, or easily transportable, and do not belong in apartments, generally. They can be
convoluted, or even aggressive, if their caretaker does not come across as a leader. They get bored
easily, and knock over waste paper baskets and household objects. They will also do anything for food
- living up to their name. As long as you do not expect a pig to be anything other than a pig, a Potbelly
can be a marvelous lifetime companion. They are adorable, loving, affectionate creatures with
incredible intelligence. They have grunted their way into our hearts and I wouldn't trade mine for
anything in the world. Article Courtesy of Priscilla Valentine. Google: "Potbellied Pig Behavior and
Pot Bellied Pigs are very "special"
animals. Most owners that understand
their personalities and quirks bond to
them. Many owners sleep with their
pigs, travel with their oinkers, dress
them in costumes and share every
aspect of their lives with their portly
companions. Potbellies love to have
their tummies scratched, and to
snuggle with their owners.