Considerably smaller than standard American or European farm pigs, most adult pot-bellied pigs are about the size of a medium- or large-breed dog, though their bodies are denser at 8 to 136 kg (20 to 300 lb). There is a dispute between pig breeders and pig advocates over what the appropriate minimum weight of a healthy adult pot-bellied pig should be, with some advocates claiming that a pig under approximately 60 pounds would be severely malnourished or dangerously stunted, and some breeders claiming that it is possible to selectively breed a pig that will reach a healthy optimal weight at 20 - 30 pounds Fat rolls over the eyes or a belly that touches the ground are visual indicators that a pig is overweight. In a pig of normal weight, hip bones can easily be felt with minimal pressure and the eyes (whole socket) should be easily visible. Pot-bellied pigs can be easily discerned from other pig breeds by their size, upright ears, and straight tail. Not all pure sub-species have a pot belly and a swayed back.
Boars, un-neutered male pigs, become fertile at 6 months of age, long before they are completely physically mature. Pot-bellied pigs are considered fully-grown by six years of age, when the epiphyseal plates in the long bones of the legs finally close.
Because pot-bellied pigs are the same species as ordinary farmyard pigs and wild boars, they are capable of interbreeding. Most pot-bellied pigs have been crossed with various farm pig species, which is why many are outsized in comparison to a true purebred Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pig. A 2004 study by Thuy revealed extreme genetic diversity in indigenous Vietnamese Pot-bellied pigs. The purebred pigs had more alleles per gene locus and a large range of allelic sizes. They were
also genetically different from each other according to location of origin in Vietnam. Pig breeds from developed countries were refined over centuries to a specific genetic make-up. This means when you cross a purebred Vietnamese Pot-bellied with another pig type, its genetic material is more diverse and the offspring will resemble the more specific pig imports. The
German Agriculture Ministry has been assisting Vietnam with its pork production by introducing large breeds of pigs into Vietnam since the mid-1980s.
Temperament of your pet pot-bellied pig will vary. Males tend to be more aggressive and ”pigheaded” as they mature, especially if they are not neutered. Females can become territorial when they are pregnant. Most pigs will go through ”teenage” years as they mature. This stage is when they test their boundaries and see where they can put YOU in their pecking order. It is up to the owner to ensure that the pig learns its rightful place in the ”herd.” The owner should make the pig ”earn” his food and treats, thus enforcing the fact that the owner is the ”alpha.” During this phase the pig may develop ”selective” hearing and ignore commands from owners. It is up to the owner to consistently and uniformly enforce each action of the pig. If left uncorrected the pig may become unruly and this is, unfortunately, the time when most pigs are abandoned to shelters and rescues. It’s not the pigs fault; it is the lack of education on the owner’s part. Please be sure you are prepared for the responsibility of pet ownership before you purchase your pet. His life depends on you.