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Old 04-23-2016, 04:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New hedgie owner in need of advice

So, let me first give a bit of background. We got Thor the hedgie from someone selling him on Craigslist about 3 weeks ago. They had 4 (parents & 2 babies) and by the time we got a call back this little guy was the only one left. He had been bounced between a few owners who didn't have time for him & was returned to the original owners twice. With constantly barking dogs & two small children we decided to rescue him from the chaos.
We are having the hardest time getting him to warm up to us. We try to handle him every day, talk to him, feed him treats when he is out with us, put a worn t shirt in his bed....pretty much everything I've read to promote bonding. I feel like nothing we try is helping, and the hissing, balling up and popping seem to be getting worse. It is impossible to pick him up with bare hands due to the severity of the popping/jumping. Even out of his cage he just wants to hide and sleep. Bath time is the only time he allows us to handle him a bit, as we are the escape route from the water. But that only lasts a few minutes then it's back to spike ball mode. I can sit next to his cage and he is ok with me being there, but no sudden movements or trying to touch him are allowed. Any advice on what else we can try would be greatly appreciated. We don't want to give up on him but this is all very frustrating.
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you got yourself a regular rehome. Just carry on doing what you're doing, handling him daily. It can take a couple of months, even up to a year or longer before he will get used to you. Try handling him with bare hands or a piece of fleece if you really need it but don't use gloves. He needs to get used to your scent; you can also give him an old t-shirt of yours to sleep in so he gets more used to it.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I gave him a t shirt to sleep on. I slept in it for 3 nights to make sure it had my scent. I don't wear gloves; use a small microfiber cloth to get him out of the cage & transfer to a towel for lap time. I'm going to attempt to make a snuggle sack. Also started putting him in a laundry basket beside me on the couch when he's really acting up.
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Old 04-23-2016, 12:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You have a very normal hedgehog who has been bounced around and has some serious trust issues going on. It will take time for him to decide if you are trustworthy or not. Some are extremely slow to trust, meaning it can take months before you see improvement. Patience is the key. You have to continue to handle him and interact daily. Hedgehogs are defensive by nature. He may also just be an overly defensive hedgehog, which often the ones who are defensive do bounce from home to home as interaction with them is not what people expect or want from a pet.
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