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Old 10-16-2009, 01:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

Okay! So after thinking about it on and off for over 2 years I finally got a hedgehog. He is still unnamed due to the fact that I'm waiting to see his true temperament once he becomes fully calm with his new home and new owner! (Me!)

So long story short I had a few questions!

First question is about his current temperament. So far I think were making good progress he was very grumpy and scared the first day he got to my apartment (this past sunday) and then started to explore and run all over the place although there's one problem still....everytime I go to talk to him or speak or put my hand near him or to try to pick him up he spikes up and stops moving, he shields his eyes and won't come out for a minute if I leave my hand there or comes out if I move it away.

So my question is will this stop? Cause I can barely pick him up like this and deff can't really pet him either.

He'll be 7 weeks old this sunday.
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Old 10-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

It might stop. I've had my hedgehog for 10 months now and we are still working on petting. Never take your hand away when he balls up because it will just teach him that to get you to leave him alone he can huff and ball up.

Hedgehogs naturally shield their faces or partially ball up when they are approached or hear a scary noise. Since he is not used to you yet your voice is a scary noise to him. If you keep talking to him he will get used to it. My hedgehog how opens when he hears my voice so there is hope.

He may never stop balling up when approached but you can just be patient and leave your hand there until he unballs or scoop him up in a fleece blanket.

Good luck I hope everything goes well with little unnamed hedgie
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

The fact that he's running around on his own rather than freezing in one spot and staying there is great news. I think he'll eventually come around to being okay with you too. He's just so young and the environment is so new to him... it'll take awhile.

One thing I've noticed with my hedgie that, perhaps is true for yours too, is her response depends on my approach. If I move in quickly or from the front, she'll raise her visor quills for awhile, but if I approach slowly or from the back, there isn't the same problem.
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Old 10-17-2009, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

So it's better to approach them from behind? Maybe I'm doing this all wrong, then, because I NEVER "approach" Whiffle from the back - my thinking was that (since they can't see what's coming from behind) it would SURELY startle her, so I always put my hand where she can see/smell me. Is that a bad idea?

I hope you enjoy your little unnamed guy. Sorry I can't be more helpful with suggestions... I'm still new at this, too!
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

I think how you approach depends on you and your hedgehog. I also try to approach my guy from the front and I try not to be too much above him. It's hard because he is so small but I try to bring my hands closer to him at his level. that way I'm less like a predator trying to grab him from above. If it works for you keep doing it. As long as you are persistent with handling then your hedgehog will get used to you.
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

Congratulations on your new little hedgie!

It's completely normal that he is hesitant and skittish, especially that young after moving into a new home there is lots for him to get used to! Learning to handle them when they are prickly does take a few tries but it will get easier for sure.

At the beginning with mine I was so nervous and they would make me jump a little when they huffed and spiked up! This would make picking them up a bit harder with me being so nervous and I would get pricked more. After a little while I realised that if I did it with more confidence it was easier for both hedgie and me. One of my girls is still quite huffy with me and will raise her quills which makes handling her a bit tougher. This is what I've found works best for me and her. I use a little hedgie blanket or hat to lift her up, figure out where her little head is if she's balled up and maneuver her so that I'm holding her bum side down. I then offer her the palm of my hand to step down to in front of her and lean her into it. (hope that makes sense!) She always unballs and steps onto my hand when I do this and pretty quickly also, 3-4 seconds max.

For this girl, it takes a while cuddling and petting her to get her quills down flat. She's very sweet and mellow otherwise, just likes trying to look scary I guess! She's a pretty big girl too, I've gotten more than a few good pokes from her huffing and puffing but it got a lot easier with time and practice. I noticed that when I stopped being so skittish myself it got a lot easier!

You'll get the hang of it quick and figure out what works best for you and your new little guy. With my one prickly puffer I can't pick her up barehanded without getting pokes, my other two girls are much mellower, they huff a bit but don't raise their quills as much.

Good luck and welcome to HHC!
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Old 10-17-2009, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

Some hedgehogs are completely relaxed when their owners take them out of the cage. Some are more shy and will ball or partially ball every single time they are picked up. My little guys is the latter. I've had him for 2 1/2 months but he still shields his face and huffs when I take him out of his cage or his hedgie bag. I've noticed that if I present my hand and give him a chance to sniff and see that it's me that he doesn't react as strongly, but he still huffs and shields his face. It took me a while to realize that it's just his instincts from millions of years of evolution and I shouldn't take it personal. So as long as your hedgehog un-balls or lays his quills flat after a minute or so of handling, then I wouldn't be worried. Truthfully though, you may never be able to pet him. Quillbert will let me pet his skirt, the area where fur meets quills on his sides, or his forehead but if I try to pet his back too much he gets upset and nervous.
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Old 10-17-2009, 06:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

I didn't read through the whole post so sorry if this is repetative info. When I let my hedgie out to run around I sit on the ground and let him approach me and sniff my hand, then pick him up.
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

Sylvie & I have been together for a year now, & she's just over a year & 2 months.

She still quills up when I pick her up. I find that scooping her from the sides towards her neck & front legs works well for me to get my hands under her. If she's really quilled up so I can't pick her up, I find once my hand is under her chest/neck, I can guide my hand towards her face which causes her to unquill & I can pick her up.

I have definately noticed however that over time being quilled doesn't hurt nearly as much. My advice would be to try to use your hands instead of fabric whenever possible.

As for petting. Sylvie will sometimes let me pat her back if she's really calm & sooky. No touching her belly or face though. She also seems to enjoy a toothbrush brushing every once in a while.
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proud New Owner!!!...and a question!

Sweet, thanks for all the tips everyone, hes already starting to calm down even more....he still gets scared of noises...but hes getting used to my loud music :-\...the weird part is, i think he actually likes the loud music he goes TOWARD the speakers when i play it! hahaha hopefully that doesnt mean hes trying to shut the music off! lol

But yea
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