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Old 07-29-2018, 09:17 PM United States
kels_lr kels_lr is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Default Chinchilla biting but doesn't seem angry?

Hey guys - I have a male chinchilla, almost 8 months old. Recently when I've been letting him out to play he will "hump" and nibble me, which is usually only for a couple seconds and then he continues running around. Today when he was nibbling he bit down really hard. he didn't bark or anything, just bit down way harder than usual and it hurt pretty bad. Like i said, I don't think he was angry because he didn't bark? Does anyone know what this might mean? Hormones? Chinchilla puberty? lol

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:29 PM United States
Devynthecatwithsocks Devynthecatwithsocks is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Southern California
Age: 14
Posts: 28
Chinchillas: 1

My Roo bites me quite often even tho I use hand sanitizer before and after playing with her. She is 2 so I don't think its a puberty thing. She only does while I'm in her cage and apparently she is trying to get me out cuz my inital reaction is to flinch and leave. Now in order to get her to stop I firmly say no a boop her nose soflt but enough to get her attention. She has been biting me less now so I think its working. Chinchillas are like babies they explore things by seeing if its edible so your chin might have smelled somthing good on your finger and thought he could eat you. Try putting hand sanitizer on before and see if he still does it. If so do the thing that I do cuz it does work. Try not to do it hard tho cuz that could make it worse. Just poke her nose and (don't yell) firmly say no.
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Old 02-10-2019, 02:46 PM United States
keala keala is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Iowa
Posts: 25
Chinchillas: 14

He probably didn't realize it was hard enough to hurt while grooming you, playing, or simply being curious. If you express displeasure without causing pain or scaring them they usually pick up quickly they made a mistake. Chins are fairly vocal with each other about these things or will give a sharp tug to each other's fur. It causes my more annoying male to lose some butt fur when the females want to sleep or chew sticks. Often a quick "no!" or "ouch!" and pulling back for a couple seconds will make them stop after a few times. Occasionally I have a bolder, pushier young one I lightly shoo away or sort of shove my hand into their nose/head or shoulder a few times before they stop completely. A slight fur tug works on guinea pigs but with the differences of chin fur it may not be as good of idea to try to mimic another chin that way.

The more they like you and get good handling experiences the more they tend to care you don't want to be around them and learn faster. If you hurt them or scare them too much you and handling will become a bad thing and they really won't care you got hurt. It's kind of like bite inhibition training for puppies but far less serious and generally much easier if they don't have a negative background. Same concept just modified slightly for tiny, prey animal.

I find applying things to my hands is often worse for getting small animal bites than smelling like me or harmless objects. They want to see what this odd soap or hand sanitizer smell tastes like and people tend to want to scent everything they use on themselves. Chinchillas usually aren't too bad but I've had to pry hedgehogs and gerbils off my fingers when I used public restroom soap or hand sanitizers before picking them up. At home we only use unscented dawn dish soap or a veterinary approved cleaner.
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