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Old 10-21-2019, 03:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Timidness

My 11 week old Hedgehog that is almost always very timid and always balling up. It's very hard to hold him because he so sharp. A couple times he has come out in walked on me but he normally stays in a ball outside of his cage I've had him for about a month now and I think he knows me better than other people. Does anyone think that he may outgrow this or is this his perminent personality?
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Old 10-21-2019, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He's incredibly young, and you've only had him for a month. Hedgehogs are not naturally sociable animals and it takes a lot of work to get them to be otherwise. Are you spending time with him every night, or at least 6 nights out of the week? If so, keep going. 1 month is not a long time - they often take months to tame. With Coco, i saw the most progress at around the 3-4 month mark. his personality is still developing, hes still just a baby - patience & consistency are key to taming a hedgehog!
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Old 10-22-2019, 03:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As said keep going, he's still finding his personality. Whilst he may stay a huffy hog he may become more social. Its not easy to tell. Its VERY rare that a hedgehog will be tame in a month. The shortest I believe is 3 months, some can take a year or over a tear. It depends on how you bond and on the hedgehog.

Some hedgehogs like my Holly, can be friendly and social as a baby, which then made bonding easier, but I wouldn't say I had her fully tame until 1 and half to 2 months.

Even after tame they will still get huffy when you first go to take them out - because your waking them up.
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Old 10-26-2019, 07:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am a brand new member of Hedgehog Central, and I came seeking advice about the same topic--timidity. I have adopted a young female hedgehog after her previous family decided they couldn't keep her. She is extremely timid, and for about a month, I never even saw her face. I still see it very rarely. When you say "spend time with her" could someone please elaborate?

I hold Penny with gloved hands for about half an hour or so every night... during which time she "sea urchins" and I feel her poor little heart racing as she huffs and bristles. I take her outside every afternoon/evening and put her in a rather large enclosure I used to use for tortoises. She seems to love it in there, and it's the only place she seems to trundle around a bit and do hedgehog things. Does anyone have any advice for helping her adjust?

I have been reading various reference books, and there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Some sources say hold her regardless of her fear or her attitude, she'll get over it. Others sources say to take my time and gradually she'll adjust. The first approach seems rather cruel to me, and I am wondering how long it might take to make the poor baby comfortable.

Thanks for your help!

Last edited by Kfidei; 10-26-2019 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Forget the gloves. She needs to get used to your smell. You should at least be able to get her to lay on your belly or what not and gently stroke her quills at least.

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Old 10-26-2019, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Timidity

I have to wear gloves because she bristles whenever she's handled and it is far too painful for me. She sleeps in a nest made from my old yard work tee shirts, inside her hide, and she is held very close to me, but any movement at all makes her pretty panicky.
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Old 10-26-2019, 10:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would stop taking her outside every evening. With new hedgehogs, you want them to get familiar with their environment for them to get comfortable, and eventually more relaxed with being handled - this is even more crucial with adopted hedgehogs, who have already been passed around a couple times and dont know who they can trust. Outside has lots of smells, and it is a forever changing environment as a result. There is always going to be a new smell in the grass, and in the air and while this is a great form of stimulation & enrichment for a hedgehog who already has a stable relationship with their human, i do not believe it is good for a hog who does not. She needs to get more comfortable & trusting of you first.

Spending time with a hedgehog can involve having them beside you (or on your lap) in a snuggle sack/blanket during the day, and spending time with them at night also while they go about their usual routines. For the latter, ensure the room she is in is pitch black and just talk to her (even if she never leaves the comfort of her hide during this time), and let her know that youre there - this is important to get her comfortable & familiar with you just being about.

With hedgehogs, although it sounds mean and unfair, you really do just have to handle them regardless of what kind of show theyre putting on. It is the only way they will get used to handling. Some hedgehogs never tame but for those that do, they only become so from persistence. These guys are not a naturally sociable species and so, naturally, do not want anything to do with you and will do anything in their power to deter you from picking them up; its just their instincts. With a hedgehog who is so terrified of being handled, start off slow. Pick them up, and place them in your lap instead. She doesn't trust you yet, and will feel more comfortable having all four paws on a solid surface; being your lap. Eventually she will build trust in you, and should relax more being handled - but we have to work to get to that stage.

You really have to lose the gloves though. As you start of taming her, prolonged handling should be at a minimal until she builds up her confidence. Pick her up with your hands, and place her in your lap. Put a blanket over her even to help her feel more secure. Talk to her, try to offer her more snacks. Eventually you will also get used to her quills but the gloves will only hinder any progress shes capable of making.
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