Socialization basics

Aim and purpose

Animals that do not know each other should never just be put together in the main cage or in the cage of one of the animals, they should always be socialized beforehand. Although there are chinchillas that spontaneously get along together right away, this is rarely the case. Often it comes by such an action to unnecessary socialization aggravation or even failure. While the simple putting together can go well with rabbits and guinea pigs, it will go wrong with chinchillas in most cases! The animals will chase each other, bite each other, and in the worst cases, bite into each other or even kill each other. Lifelong trauma also occurs, where the animal becomes unfit to socialize.

Baby chinchillas are an exception, as well as kittens and not infrequently couples (neutered males with females). However, this is not the rule and therefore you should carry out a socialization for the sake of yourself and the animals.



A socialization is a bringing together of strange animals under the supervision of the owner, which is at best adjusted to the character of the animals (e.g. it does not offer itself naturally to lock a Chin, which has claustrophobia or panic before conspecifics, into a small transport box etc.). If you don't socialize animals in a specific way and just put them together this can lead to bad consequences like bite wounds, exhaustion due to hunting and even death.

There are short and easy, but also long and problematic socializations. And: it is necessary to be aware that not every animal suits the other. It is essential to respect this fact.


Important tips in advance

  • During the socialization you must not let your animals out of your sight - not even at night. Therefore, it is advisable to start a socialization at the weekend / vacation / vacation, if you do not have to get up early the next morning or be asleep
  • Before starting a VG it is advisable to do the sniff test
  • Not every method fits and works with every animal, a sozialization must be designed individually
  • Respect and no pronounced coercion towards the creatures and their needs should be maintained
  • Acutely ill, weakened, pregnant or lactating chinchillas should not be socialized
Chinchillas during socialization in a transport box
Chinchillas during socialization in a transport box

Normal behavior during socialization

There are behaviors during a socialization where the owner must go through - even if it is difficult for him - and which are normal.
These include:

  •     aggressive-dominant rearing / standing on the hind feet
  •     Teeth chattering
  •     climbing on
  •     aggressive-dominant and placating grooming
  •     fearful or dominant nipping
  •     pee-doing
  •     jumping on
  •     kangaroo boxing with the hind and front paws
  •     some (!) fur loss

Signs of necessary termination of socialization

A socialization should be discontinued if:

   (1) there is more than a brief chase.
   (2) a Chin shows signs of exhaustion or panic, convulses, massive shaking, etc.
   (3) a lot of fur is pulled out
   (4) the animals can't agree on a ranking order and the VG doesn't move forward that way
   (5) blood flows
   (6) there is an attempt to bite the neck (caution: not to be confused with aggressive dominant head grooming and nipping)
   (7) if the chins immediately start attacking each other


Signs of the final failure of socialization

To (1)-(3): Here a renewed socialization can be tried, possibly also another socialization method is necessary, so that the reunion works.

To (4): If the chins cannot agree on a ranking even after 1-2 further socialization attempts, a reunion should be avoided.

To (5): As long as it is only a minor wound that bleeds easily (there are also places that can bleed heavily despite superficial bites such as on the ears), a socialization attempt can be tried again depending on the individual case.

In the case of points (6) and (7) a socialization is usually considered as failed. In case of (7) you can try the cage-to-cage method afterwards.