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Old 06-01-2011, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post how do i make my hedgehog like me?

I bought my hedgehog (Thistle) about a month ago on craigslist, and she's been really mean and scared. When I bought her she was pregnant, and I did all the things I was supposed to in order to help her with the birthing and rearing, but she ended up killing them. I'm assuming it was the stress from moving about so much during her pregnancy and being in a new home.

Either way, I don't know how to get her to like me or trust me, and I don't want to have to get rid of her :[. I've heard that putting a shirt in there that smells like me is a good idea. Anything else?
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: how do i make my hedgehog like me?

Okay, first thing that needs to be told to you. Hedgehogs are not like cats and dogs. They are prey animals and naturally fear humans. They won't run out to come see you when you get home, rub up against your leg and blanket you with kisses. Normally, anyways. Some people have hedgehogs that really seem to like them and are very sweet. From what I gather, this is the minority and this is because they were patient, understanding and cared for their pet. Most hedgehogs can be brought around after months and months of patient working with the animal, doing what the animal is comfortable with. Your hedgehog is not being mean. She is being scared and trying to defend herself. Lots of things eat hedgehogs in the wild and because she probably had a BAD past experience with humans, she is going to take a while to warm up to you. Put in a shirt that you have worn for a day. When you take her out, bring out her hedgie bag or something she can hide in. Bring food or treats (like mealworms) and lay it out on the blanket or around your lap. This will help her associate coming out with you as something good. Working with her will take a long time. Be patient, keep working with her. Do not give her up for simply being a hedgehog.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: how do i make my hedgehog like me?

Hedgehogs need time and patience. That's the only real or good advice anyone will give you. They aren't like people. They can't just meet you and talk to you for a bit and then make a decision to trust you because they think you seem like a nice person. She's probably terrified from going through so much. My little one just stopped quilling after what seemed like forever and he was meeeeeeeean! I was very persistent and spent time with him every day and made sure he was as comfortable as possible. I never thought to just give him up because he was noticeably uncomfortable and in pain. It's not your hedgehog's fault that she's scared. She doesn't know to trust you. And they aren't like dogs, as in, just because they know that you feed them doesn't mean they will love you. You can't "make her love you". It just doesn't work that way.

One thing i did do while he was quilling and i couldn't touch him was read to him so he was familiar with the sound of my voice. It helped a lot more then i thought it would. He's very comfortable with me now. I can tell because my brother tried to hold him last night and he immediately balled up and started hissing but he doesn't do it to me anymore. Most people go through things like this with their hedgies. Just keep trying but certainly don't give her away just because she doesn't feel safe. She will come around eventually.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: how do i make my hedgehog like me?

Lol I understand they are prey animals and she's not going to just run up to me to greet me. I understand she is scared - and I know she's been put through a lot, that is one of the reasons I rescued her. I would have given her up LONG ago if I didn't want to deal with her hissing and whatnot, but I haven't. I posted this thread obviously because I am trying to work with her and get her to feel comfortable.

The reading thing sounds like a good idea, I'll try that.. and also bringing her out in the hedgie bags.. She doesn't like apples, so maybe I'll try some cottage cheese and meal worms..

What about the little balls? I've heard that some hedgehogs like to run around those balls - should I try that, or wait until she feels safe?
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: how do i make my hedgehog like me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aang

What about the little balls? I've heard that some hedgehogs like to run around those balls - should I try that, or wait until she feels safe?
If you're talking about the plastic hamster balls then it's not safe for them because they have delicate feet and the air slits in the ball could injure her. Most of them also aren't big enough for a hedgie either. Just try to keep her in a calm and quiet environment while she's out. If she isn't used to your voice yet then chances are she probably doesn't like noise. That's why i used to read to my little one and study with him so he was used to quiet noises like page turning, typing, writing, etc. and then i started playing low music and i used to keep him in my lap when i played piano. It's almost like the sensory integration techniques they use for autistic children lol.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: how do i make my hedgehog like me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArJay
It's almost like the sensory integration techniques they use for autistic children lol.
lol thats true. never thought of it like that.
well, ill try. thank you!
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