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Old 05-12-2012, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog Training

As a zookeeper I know it can be both useful and enriching to train animals and hedgehogs are no exception. I'm setting up a plan for Arya, my 9 week old hedgie. I'm mostly hoping for target training as well as climbing on and staying on the scale. I've already started with clicker training, using tiny bits of crushed up kibble as rewards, which works for now, I'll switch to bits of chopped up mealies later (slimy but they go farther that way). Just this morning I introduced the target and she's already picking up on it a little which is super exciting. Has anyone else done any training other than litter box training (she's got that down pat)? If so what behaviors and rewards did you use? I'm just curious to see how other people have approached this.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

I know that it can be done. I talked to a couple of girls that have trained the hedgies at the Point Defience Zoo in Tacoma, WA. They said that they started target training the hedgies there and that they were doing well with it. I haven't heard anything since though. I just happen to run into them almost a year ago at a fair. If I find out any new info I will post it on this thread. You may be able to try other things too like blueberries or corn. I know my girls like cooked corn. Anyhow, please keep us updated. It would be nice to know how it goes and what works and doesn't work.
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

Is your hedgie not scared of the clicking noise?
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Old 05-12-2012, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

Thanks, I'll look into different things for treats for her in the future. Right now we're still transitiong food so I'm gonna wait on that for the moment. In regards to the clicking, at first she jumped a little because it was new and close, but since I spent the first 3 days of training just bridge building (associating the noise of the clicker with good stuff), I keep the clicker further from her and she's stopped jumping and started looking for food when she hears it. Usually if an animal is scared of a noise I won't use it as a bridge, but being a young indiviudal of a prey species I figured I'd give her some time to be accustomed to it and she's doing fine. If anyone has any training questions, I'm more than willing to offer what info and advice I can. I've worked with several species on training, just none quite as small as a hedgie before.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

Agility... training... hedgehogs.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

I love it! I do have a tunnel I can expand and twist for her. That's too funny a thought. I now have images of little courses set up and hedgehog agility tournaments. Too CUTE!
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

I think the A frame we use for Adrian would work for a hedgie :P
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by zookeep
I've worked with several species on training, just none quite as small as a hedgie before.
I haven't tried training my own hedgies yet but I have had experience with clicker training rats and a rabbit. It was quite fun and interesting to see what they can do and how fast they learn. I may just try training my girls now too.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christemo
Agility... training... hedgehogs.


That would be too cute!!!! I love it!


I have wanted to try to train Holly to come when her name i called. She knows what it is, but she doesn't come.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Training

Sounds like a good idea! But, it might not work for some hedgehogs. The click sound might make the hedgehog think there is another hedgehog there, but I don't know how well hedgehogs can hear differnt sounds. Maybe walking through a hoop? Not a big one, and it could be a centimeter on the ground. It would be really really cute.
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