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Old 08-17-2016, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Alternatives to gloves

I just got my hedgie a couple of nights ago. The first night it was easy to pick him up and he spent time exploring the couch with me. Last night was a different story, lots of huffing and puffing and popping. I know they need out of cage time and bonding time every night, so I tried to pick him up anyway, covering my hands with a tshirt (which didn't work). I spent time talking to him and offering some mealworms first, so he'll learn to associate being picked up with GOOD things. Anyway, I ended up using gloves just to carry him over to the couch. After that he was fine and explored for a while until he snuggled up next to me. I was able to move him back to his cage without gloves.

I don't want to use gloves all the time because I don't think they'd be helpful with bonding. How do you pick them up without gloves? I read that it's not a good idea to teach them that if they huff and puff they don't have to be picked up. What's the best way to coax them to stop puffing and get them to settle down? Or is it just going to take time for him to get used to me? (I put one of my Tshirts in his cage as well).
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It may sound strange or cruel, a lot of more experienced owners just don't care if they huff and puff they aren't hurting anything or scaring anyone. They get picked up.
If you have wood or paper bedding like carefresh, you can scoop him up with some bedding. Or you can use a blanket to scoop him up.
The gloves can actually create more problems. They encourage biting. He needs to learn that your hands aren't reacting to his antics.
You mentioned in another post having a grey. Let's assume for theory that he has recently developed cage aggression when he didn't have it before. But he's just doing that eagle wing and opening his beak at you. He isn't moving towards you, his eyes aren't pinning, if you move towards him he backs away, and you still can touch everything in the cage. If you make the decision to not react to his bluffs and threats he learns that it just doesn't work and his behavior will either stop where it is and he just puts on a show, or he will decide it's not worth it at all. But, if you react and pull away, make a big stink, leave him be and basically give in to his antics, he's won. The problem is, you still have to clean his cage feed and water him. All involving touching his cage. His antics don't work for those things, but did for inside his cage. So what does he do? He's going to get bigger with his threats and potentially carry through with him.
Your hedgehog right now is just trying to say, "I'm big and scary and oh Jesus please don't eat me." Your job is to tell him, ok your big and scary and I'm not going to eat you, but I am going to pick you up.
I hope that makes sense.
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Old 08-17-2016, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobytwopets View Post
It may sound strange or cruel, a lot of more experienced owners just don't care if they huff and puff they aren't hurting anything or scaring anyone. They get picked up.
If you have wood or paper bedding like carefresh, you can scoop him up with some bedding. Or you can use a blanket to scoop him up.
The gloves can actually create more problems. They encourage biting. He needs to learn that your hands aren't reacting to his antics.
You mentioned in another post having a grey. Let's assume for theory that he has recently developed cage aggression when he didn't have it before. But he's just doing that eagle wing and opening his beak at you. He isn't moving towards you, his eyes aren't pinning, if you move towards him he backs away, and you still can touch everything in the cage. If you make the decision to not react to his bluffs and threats he learns that it just doesn't work and his behavior will either stop where it is and he just puts on a show, or he will decide it's not worth it at all. But, if you react and pull away, make a big stink, leave him be and basically give in to his antics, he's won. The problem is, you still have to clean his cage feed and water him. All involving touching his cage. His antics don't work for those things, but did for inside his cage. So what does he do? He's going to get bigger with his threats and potentially carry through with him.
Your hedgehog right now is just trying to say, "I'm big and scary and oh Jesus please don't eat me." Your job is to tell him, ok your big and scary and I'm not going to eat you, but I am going to pick you up.
I hope that makes sense.
It makes perfect sense, and my Grey did have cage aggression (he was a rescue). When he got grumpy I'd take him away from the cage to a playstand in a different room, use a stick and make him do "step ups" which got his mind off of his aggression and taught him I wasn't going to take his nonsense. I had to do this every day for a while before he started to settle down.

I'm glad I was on the right track about picking hedgies up whether they like it or not. I mainly wanted to make sure I wasn't going to make him scared of me, and of course I was thinking of safety. I was concerned that he might prick me while I was handling him with bare hands, possibly causing me to drop him. For the time being I'll use a blanket and see how it goes from there.
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm having an issue with this as well, my hedgie is about 7 weeks so his quills can be kind of painful if he starts freaking out and puffing while I'm picking him up. If he's in his igloo, I'll remove it and let him walk around and whatnot before I attempt to pick him up. Honestly, the faster you are, the better it is. I've noticed my hesitation/worry really does Impact his reaction to me, so if you need to give yourself a 5 minute pep talk before grabbing them, do it. on his particularly grumpy days (he's quilling), I'll turn his igloo upside down, put a shirt with my scent from his cage in it, tip It so he can walk into it and I'll lead him inside of it with a mealworm and then use this to get him out of his cage and I'll lead him out of it and onto my lap with the same method.
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