Re: Question for past breeders and current ones.
It's a combination. Some of it seems to be genetic, some of it is innate but not necessarily genetic, and some of it comes from socialization.
We haven't kept any of our own babies yet (first litter is due at the end of the month) but we actually have three generations of hedgehogs included in our herd right now. Anubis and her brother Xeno (who belongs to Nick's sister and isn't technically a VVH hedgehog), then we also ended up purchasing their grandfather (Oleander) and then their father (Datura, Oleander's son) from our mentor. Datura is a very very chill hedgehog, and it's obvious that Anubis and Xeno inherited the quality - however, they were from a litter of 9 (7 survived) and some of the other babies weren't inherently so pleasant. Anubis was completely relaxed from when we first met her at 3 and a half (ish) weeks; socialization obviously had nothing to do with it, she's just naturally like that. Oleander, on the other hand, is comfortable with us but he's a complete spaz and doesn't care much for being held, prefers to run around like a little nutter, which is a lot different from the personalities of Datura, Anubis, and Xeno.
Since our mentor is 40 minutes away, we've been lucky in that we've gotten to visit and handle all of our new babies from her at least twice before bringing them home, starting with Archimedes, but that's not the only variable that matters. Archimedes will never be like Anubis, even though he was the only hedgehog we had for months before we got Anubis and Zombie, and he got an excess of socialization. He's a good boy, but he always is a little disgruntled in his own way. Obviously he'd be a lot more grumpy and antisocial if he hadn't gotten the socialization from us, but no amount of socialization is going to make a natural grump into cuddly little lover like some of our others.
USDA licensed breeder in Port Orchard, WA.
Volcano View Hedgehogs