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Old 10-29-2012, 08:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
moxieberry
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Port Orchard, WA
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Default Re: Thinking about getting a Hedgie, but have some q's

Personality varies a lot, but in general babies from breeders have good temperaments - though it may not be apparent right away since when you get them at 6-8 weeks, you'll have to deal with some amount of quilling. If you want to be sure about the personality you're getting, go for an adult. Breeders often will have retired breeding females available for a reduced price, and their personality will already be "set" - you won't have the quilling period. Usually even adults, as long as they're not very grumpy and defensive adults, are just as capable of bonding as babies are. With a baby, a lot of it is the amount they were handled as babies, before going to a new home, but also how much you handle them in the first few months as they're going through quilling and still developing their adult personalities. I like to think of it as similar to socializing a puppy - if you expose them to all sorts of different places, sounds, smells, people, etc, you'll have a much more relaxed and less defensive hedgehog. Some of them will still have a grumpy streak regardless, but for me it's the distinct personalities that make hedgehogs so lovable.

Even "good" temperaments have a wide range from cuddly to insanely active and adventurous, and everything in between. We have 20 right now - five of those are downright cuddlers and never raise their quills, two are very similar but with a little bit of prickle, six are very friendly but more active and less snuggly, two are currently fairly grumpy from quilling, and the others are some combination of friendly and independent - happier doing their own thing but not "grumpy" by any means. Archimedes, my first hedgehog, was incredibly well socialized as well as being from a fantastic breeder, and he manages to be something of an "ambassador" while still being kind of territorial of his cage and having more of a grumpy streak than most of the others. We still adore him, and even he has his cuddly moments and will "splat" and fall asleep on one of us. There's definitely not a single "type" by any means.
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