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Old 11-27-2008, 10:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Default New hedgehog owner and forum member here!

Hey folks, my name's Aaron. I'm new to the board and I'm a new hedgehog owner. I got my first hedgehog a few days ago. He's a year old, and not very socialized. Whenever he seems me reach in his enclosure, he tucks up, and huffs at me while he pulsates/thrusts his body. I put on some leather gloves and scooped him up under his belly, and he stays in a ball. I figure it might be better to let him get use to my scent rather than put on the gloves.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can get him to slowly get use to me? Any tips?

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Old 11-28-2008, 12:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default Re: New hedgehog owner and forum member here!

Welcome to HHC. Yes ditch the gloves. Hedgies will teach you the meaning of patience. It takes a while but after you pick up your huffy ball of spines just hold him in your lap for a while. A hedgie bad or a big fleece square over him will help him settle down. Hedgies don't care for light or sudden movements or sound till they get used to you. Persistence and Patience is the key.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog owner and forum member here!

Something you might want to try in order to get him used to your scent faster is put a "dirty" tshirt of yours in his cage. It will give him something to snuggle in and since it smells like you, he will get used to your scent faster. I've been doing that with my first hedgie and it seems to be working pretty well. He still balls up and huffs at me but now he calms down within a few seconds usually.
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Old 11-29-2008, 03:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog owner and forum member here!

Definitely put a used shirt in your hog's cage. I slept in an old tank top the night before I brought my little girl home & then put it in her cage. She has slept with it ever since. Just make sure you wash it every now & then! Also, don't expect your hedgehog to ever be particularly excited about being picked up at first. I have an extremely social hedgehog that loves people & loves to run around my house. Yet, whenever I go to pick her up at night she curls in a ball & hisses. After I pick her up though, so realizes it's just me and uncurls immediately. I don't think she has ever let me pick her up without some sort of action or sound. Give them time! Mine took roughly 2 months to really get used to me.

good luck with your little hog!
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan
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Default Re: New hedgehog owner and forum member here!

Good suggestions have been made. The biggest suggestion I can make is to give it time, be patient, and do not push the hedgehog too hard to be friendly. Hedgehogs will resist you more if you try to force yourself on them. It is their nature to be defensive. Ditch the gloves and do not act scared of the hedgehog.

With that said I have used a few methods to get hedgehogs who were either mishandled or unhandled by their previous owners to trust me. The old t-shirt method works fairly well to get them to recognize the smell of you and your environment. However ensure there are no loose strings on it. Hedgehog legs are notorious for getting string and hair wrapped around them so tightly that it cuts off circulation.

The main thing I usually do is to sit with the new hedgehog in a quiet environment for a couple of hours daily. I don't usually try to touch them, or do anything to them, just allow them to sit on you (often with a blanket over them so that they feel more secure) and let them come out on their own. If they come out and start exploring resist the urge to touch them. It will most likely cause them to curl back up if they are being real defensive. Offer a mealworm or some other treat that they like while they are sitting on your lap. They will start to associate you with good food.

As you feel they are starting to trust you, start to touch them. Don't be scared of a popping quilly monster though. If you act skittish they are more likely to react defensively. Afterall if you are scared, there must be a reason to be right?

Oh and get your hedgehog on a schedule. Feed, take out of cage, etc at the same time daily. Your hedgehog will start to figure out what to expect and when to expect it and most likely will settle in and begin to trust you faster. My newest girl quickly took to our schedule. I have actually witnessed her watching me from her sleeping bag at the time of day when it is time to come out and get weighed or to come out and interact.

Good luck, and remember to be patient and do not act afraid. Those quills don't really hurt that badly.

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