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I have a ~5mo (mostly) American mini-pig/potbelly mix.

The little guy loves to snuggle. We have a ramp up to our couch that he'll use whenever we're sitting up there. He'll come up, climb on our laps and oink angrily at us until we put our hand on him and give him scratches. Same thing if we sit on the floor by him (he'll hop on almost immediately).

But here's the thing--if we walk over and squat down, he'll come up to us to check if we have food. And if we reach a hand out and start to slowly pet him or give him scratches, he hates it. He always squeals and runs off.

We also have a backscratcher that we'll use to scratch him and he loves that. Even if I'm standing over him using it, he's happy with it. It's when I reach down and use my hand that he freaks out.

Things I've tried:

  • I'll feed him out of my hand often, which he loves. And he'll come up to me now when I squat down, but he still freaks out when I bring my hand up to pet him.
  • I've started following him when he runs until I get him to a corner where I'll gently pet and scratch him to try to show him that I mean no harm, but he's still squealing the whole while--he's not a fan.

How can I get him more used to being scratched and pet when he's not in our laps? It's confusing to me why he'd be okay with it and willingly hop on us and ask for scratches/pets when he won't let us do it other times.

2

He is still pretty young. When my Berkshire pig was young he was the exact same way. Just give him some time and keep doing what you’re doing. Don’t force the petting. He’ll come around with time. The fact that he will come over to you when you’re sitting is a good sign. With time and as he gets older this should get better and correct as long as you stay interacting with him. You also have to remember that some animals just do not like to be touched when it’s not on their time or choosing. I find this to be the case a lot in pigs.

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