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Old 10-03-2012, 12:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

Sorry if the title is vague, but I am a dog owner who is VERY interested in getting a hedgehog. My boyfriend is worried about me having a hedgehog with my dog Izzy. Izzy is a large 60 pound dog. I figured I would ask first before I get one to see what others thought. I do not want to get a hedgehog and put it in any harm. I'd rather love from a distance then. My dog does chase cats which is my boyfriends concern, my thought on it though is yes she chases cats but she has never harmed one. She is a big playful dog. My 2 year old niece can even put her hand in her mouth shake and still Izzy won't do anything to her. I feel that maybe if I could slowly introduce them at first that maybe that would be best. Our other concern is that we have school which we both may be gone for a few hours a time.

I guess I would just like general opinions on if this can be worked through. I want to make sure my home will be warm enough in the winter first and find a vet before I even start looking. So its not like i'm in love with a little guy or gal so telling me no please don't get one is ok.

Also as a side note we also have a 11 pound dog that lives fine with my Izzy.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

As long as the cage isn't going to be accessible to the dogs, it's fine. Keep it up on a table out of reach, or in a room that the dogs aren't allowed to go into. A lot of times dogs will learn to leave the hedgie alone after they get too close and get prickled in the nose, though regardless, the hedgehog should never be left out of the cage with the dogs (or any other animal) unsupervised. Depending on the personality of the hedgehog and the dogs (and cats, and other animals) they can sometimes coexist during supervised playtime, but that's more common with cats or small dogs, not so much large ones. Dogs have a predator instinct, so there's always some risk, but as long as the hedgehog is being held or closely supervised with the dog around, and the cage isn't accessible, it's fine. We have three mini Australian shepherds; two of them ignore the hedgies, or are a little nervous and avoid them (because of being nose-pricked) and one of them is a little bit derpy and hasn't figured out that hedgies aren't toys. None of them are allowed in the hedgehog room, and the derpy one is banned from the room whenever we have hedgies out on the floor in a playpen, or on a couch or bed or whatever.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

I'm guess i'm starting to see a problem then, because my dogs are allowed everywhere except our bed and I could very easily keep him/her on a table up higher but my dog is so big that she could stand up and pull a cage down. Which is what worries me then. thank you though!
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

Some just deal with it. :P Then again, mine's 8 pounds.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

Unless your dog has a very strong prey-drive, or tends to be aggressive toward smaller animals, most likely having a cage up on a table would be fine. Or pick a room and keep the door shut when you're not around.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

I have small dogs, and we have never had an issue. The hedgehogs are also on the floor and at their level often. The quills normally change the dogs mind on being mouthy and paw action.

Is there anyway possible that you can have your dog around a hedgehog before you buy/adopt one?
Seeing his reaction before hand, will help in answering how he will be with on.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

I have 4 dogs and the three little one`s all share a room with my hedgy. My cages are on top of my dresser and the dog`s don`t bother with him. They`re more afraid of him. My cat was my biggest worry which is why I use closed in cages, but even she got tired of watching him wheel night after night. You`d be fine with a dog and a hedgy.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

My best suggestion is to just see how it goes. If your dog doesn't have a strong prey drive, you probably should be fine, but as always, you need to be cautious. If you really want a hedgehog, I would compromise - find a room where you could put the hedgehog's cage and shut the dog out of that room, at least for the first few weeks. It won't kill your dog to be unable to get into one room of the place, and it will give your hedgehog a chance to settle in and get used to the new place without added stress from a predator.

Once a week or two has gone by, let your dog into the room under supervision. Let her see the cage, sniff it, etc. See how she reacts to the presence and smell of the cage, if she's anxious & wants to get into it, if she sniffs for awhile, then leaves it alone, etc. If she reacts well, you can try getting your hedgehog out (and have someone standing by to hold the dog, just in case). See how she reacts again. It's up to you if you want to let her sniff the hedgehog or not - personally I would be very, very careful doing that, even if you have someone holding her. With her size, she could hurt the hedgehog without meaning to, or hurt her before you have a chance to stop her, especially when they're up close to each other. Even without hurting her, she could very well just scare the crap out of the hedgehog. Some hedgies don't recognize or care about cats/dogs being predators. Some get quite upset about them. So judge the moods and behavior of both animals throughout all introductions. Hopefully with giving the introductions proper time & watching, you could leave everyone alone in the house after several weeks with the door open and the dog still getting free reign and leaving the hedgehog alone. Just take it slowly and see how things go - there's a chance that it may end up in the best interest of both animals to keep them separated and keep the dog out of the hedgehog's room. But many people that own hedgehogs own other pets as well, including dogs and cats, and everyone learns to coexist peacefully. You just want to be careful to make sure that'll happen rather than assuming it will and have the worst happen.
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Old 10-04-2012, 02:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

Thank you all of you for your opinions! I don't feel like my dog is prey drivin she just really likes to play. Like if a cat runs from her she chases but never hurts. Also I would never let my dog be near my hedgehog without me holding the hedgehog, and they both are use to each other. I'm just worried if she got curious enough to get into its cage. I love the idea of using another room that my dog can't be in but we uh..... don't have doors. I rent an older house from some guy and yeah.... it doesn't even have a bathroom door, but I think we could manage something. As for letting my dog meet a hedgehog before hand I would love to but its really hard finding a breeder where I live its going to be a drive that I will probably have to take solo. So less distractions the better. I have some great ideas to think about but my hope for a hedgehog has improved greatly! Thank you all so very much!
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Owning a dog and a hedgehog?

Doggy/baby gate? We use one to block off the downstairs "living room" area. Our hedgehog room is attached to that larger room, and we often have hedgehogs out with us being handled or in a playpen, so the dogs are barred from the whole area except for if we let them in specifically (when the hedgehogs aren't out, or are being held). Even when they're allowed in the living room they've been scolded a few times and that's enough to keep them out of the hedgehog room. Obviously you'd only be closing off one room, but that's more than adequate. Like Lilysmommy said, you can try keeping them out for a few weeks just to get a sense for how the dogs will react, and once you're comfortable and the dogs get used to the idea of the hedgehog, you might not even need the gate anymore, and you could always return it to the store (or borrow one from someone for temporary use).
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