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Socializing Hedgehogs

Millermeade Farm's Critter Connection

By Julie Haynes


Socializing your grumpy HedgehogHave you just become a new hedgehog owner? Are you asking yourself the following questions: How long will he be like this? Will he ever be friendly? What can I do to help him relax?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures that are very cautious. A hedgehog huffs and rolls into a ball because it is frightened. This is how hedgehogs protect themselves from predators, and to the hedgehog, you are a possible threat until he learns you are a friend.

In order to gain his trust, the most important thing you must remember is patience. From my experience hedgehogs are very intelligent creatures. Some will take more time before they trust you, while others have a more trusting personality.

Below you will find a few suggestions I have given and seen given by breeders many times to new owners. If you have a suggestion you think might be helpful to a new owner, please send a comment to us.

Suggested methods to help socialize your hedgehog

1. Try placing an old t-shirt which you have worn recently or kept under your pillow for a few nights in your hedgehog's cage. This will help your hedgehog get to know your scent and be less afraid of you.

2. Hold your hedgehog every night for at least 30 minutes. You can do this while reading a book, watching TV, even while sitting on the computer.

3. Offer your hedgehog a treat when you make progress. For instance, if your hedgehog has just uncurled itself while on your lap, offer him a mealworm or other treat as a reward. Positive reinforcement is a wonderful way to get a hedgehog to be more friendly.

The End

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