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Old 03-03-2012, 11:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New hedgehog help

[attachment=0:f71hz8qw]phpVSNXGuPM (1).jpg[/attachment:f71hz8qw]So I have this beautiful female white and cinnicot hedgehog and shes 2. Her last owners really abused her. She huffs out of fear and obviously wants love (she doesn't full quill up) but shes afraid, will that change over time if i hold her more? What should I do for her? Shes been in her habitat for 2 days and I just started holding her. She has never been held in her life, she was a breeder hedgie, will she ever be tame? please help.Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog help

Just have patience with her. Patience is the BEST thing you can have when owning a hedgehog, especially a fearful or grumpy one. If she doesn't fully quill up, then there's plenty of hope for you both. Just make sure you take her out every night for bonding time. If you can, try to keep a consistent schedule, such as always getting her out from 8-9. Given time, she'll start to expect that that's the time you'll come get her out, and she may react better to being picked up. Go slowly with her as well. Sit someplace quiet with her in your lap, with a blanket. If she seems cautious and doesn't want to explore, or is frantically searching for someplace to hide, cover her with the blanket. She may explore underneath it, or decide to curl up for a nap. Either is fine, and just having her sleep on you counts as bonding - she's still learning your scent, and she's associating that scent with something great - a nice, calm nap! Try to take your cues from her, and see what she's comfortable with. I'm sure she'll come around with time. She's a gorgeous girl!
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much! She doesn't explore a lot, not yet at least, she kind of just lays there in a ball with her quills laid flat. I love her so much already.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Congrats on your new baby and I am so glad she found a loving home
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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From that picture of her, she is not that scared of a hedgehog. Very defensive hedgehogs tend to not uncurl and look around at you like that. Continue to spend lots of time with her, and be patient. Offer her mealworms to help promote bonding. If she won't take them from your hand, put some mealworms in a bowl in her cage. Do this for a few consecutive days, then offer the mealworms to her in the bowl but hold the bowl. If she huffs and puffs at you, just hold the bowl still, chances are she will eat from the bowl. Keep doing that, and as time goes on start offering them to her by sitting them in front of her. She will quickly associate the yummy mealies come from you, so you must not be too bad right? Show her respect when she acts defensive. If she doesn't like to be petted, don't pet her, etc.

I have taken in extremely defensive hedgehogs, some that were biting and had them turn into love bugs. I have one right now that was given to me because he is not social. His old owner felt I could help him live a happier life. I wish he would look at me like yours does, but he huffs, puffs and clicks for long periods of time. After 3 weeks, that period of time is already dropping quickly. We have a long road ahead of us, but I see in him signs that we can break through and he will at least be more social than he is now.

So yes, with the proper amount of respect, patience and interaction an older, defensive hedgehog can turn into a sweetie. Not all will, because some may just be that way naturally, but it can, and does happen. Also don't expect that change to happen in a week or even a month. It can take truly defensive hedgehogs a long time to trust you. You have to be ready for a long ride, and should it be shorter, well take it as a pleasant surprise.
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