Rubbing a pig's belly - good or bad?

HappyMamaAcre

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Hi - me again!

I just had a vet come and check out the year-old pig and goat that I adopted a couple weeks ago. He was nice enough, I guess. Maybe he was tired...:/

Anyway, he told me NOT to rub a pig's belly. He said when you pet a pig and it lays down and "lets" you pet its belly it is not a submissive gesture like it is with a dog. He said it's the exact OPPOSITE, that only the "head pig" does that.

I can't find any other information to support that.

My pig seems to enjoy the attention, but since I'm working hard to make him a well-behaved pig and break him of his (very) occasional nipping I don't want to do the wrong thing.

Opinions? (Facts, actually would be better!)

Thanks much!
 

drdoolittle

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I don't agree with the vet at all. I rub all my pigs' bellies and they just completely LOVE it----in fact they have even fallen asleep when I rub their bellies. Maybe someone else disagrees, but it seems like it's a kind of bonding thing between owner and pig-----although I think they'll love anyone that does it. :)

By the way, what did the vet mean by only the "head pig" does that------I haven't seen my "head pig" rubbing anyone's belly.
 

Stubbornhillfarm

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drdoolittle said:
I don't agree with the vet at all. I rub all my pigs' bellies and they just completely LOVE it----in fact they have even fallen asleep when I rub their bellies. Maybe someone else disagrees, but it seems like it's a kind of bonding thing between owner and pig-----although I think they'll love anyone that does it. :)

By the way, what did the vet mean by only the "head pig" does that------I haven't seen my "head pig" rubbing anyone's belly.
:yuckyuck
 

brentr

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drdoolittle said:
I don't agree with the vet at all. I rub all my pigs' bellies and they just completely LOVE it----in fact they have even fallen asleep when I rub their bellies. Maybe someone else disagrees, but it seems like it's a kind of bonding thing between owner and pig-----although I think they'll love anyone that does it. :)

By the way, what did the vet mean by only the "head pig" does that------I haven't seen my "head pig" rubbing anyone's belly.
The vet may have been meaning that other subservient pigs will rub the head pig's belly as a way of showing submission. Not a pig person, so no clue if it is true or not, but I bet that is what the vet intended to communicate.
 

Royd Wood

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Same here - dont agree with the vet
We scratch the bellies, backs and ALMOST anywhere else they fancy. Bob our cheif in command just mingles in with everyone else except feeding time when all stay clear of him
 

BrownSheep

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What selfrespecting head anything would show its soft underbelly to anybody?!
 

Lynn Esty

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Our pigs loved to have their bellies rubbed. They also loved to have their backs scratched (gently) with a hoe I had out by their pen. Or a crooked stick. But the belly rubs were the most popular... I also agree - no animal that is dominant (imho) would lay down submissively and have their necks/bellys exposed...
 

redtailgal

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lol, we always rubbed the belly of our pigs, and they loved it.

I have no idea where he would come up with something like that! :hu
 

SuburbanFarmChic

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Pheh.... We rub our boar's belly and he flops on his side and you can lay on top of him and cuddle. (if you really want to) And that's while he's in the pen w/ a female. They get total body rubs. (the girls do too actually)

I'd hate to have to work a pig that wasn't used to people hands going over any part of its body. And it's so much easier to do little vet type stuff if they relax and zonk out first.
 

drdoolittle

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brentr wrote:

drdoolittle wrote:
I don't agree with the vet at all. I rub all my pigs' bellies and they just completely LOVE it----in fact they have even fallen asleep when I rub their bellies. Maybe someone else disagrees, but it seems like it's a kind of bonding thing between owner and pig-----although I think they'll love anyone that does it.

By the way, what did the vet mean by only the "head pig" does that------I haven't seen my "head pig" rubbing anyone's belly.
The vet may have been meaning that other subservient pigs will rub the head pig's belly as a way of showing submission. Not a pig person, so no clue if it is true or not, but I bet that is what the vet intended to communicate
Ummm......I was just being silly. :)

I knew what the vet was saying, I just don't agree----like others on here stated, no animal that is dominant is going to show it's belly. If you start to scratch or rub any pig just in front of their back leg, for some reason they will slowly fall over and expose their belly to be rubbed. Although I don't think I'd try it on a wild boar!

Some vets are inexperienced with certain animals and may say things about animal behavior that they've heard from others who they consider experts on the subject. The truth is, until recently a lot wasn't really understood about pig behavior. You should read "The Good, Good Pig"-----I wish everyone who thinks pigs are stupid, stinky animals would read this book. It only confirmed what I already thought was true of all animals----they are intelligent, emotional beings that need to be treated humanely (if not with downright respect).
 

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