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Old 03-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Grumpy hedgehog

Hi

I bought my hedgehog in October, and have taken her out of her cage and played with her and tried to bond with her every day. She will huff when you try to pick her up, as expected, but will never go into a ball. Having said that, she never seems to be very friendly towards us. We try to be quiet and keep the room dim so as not to scare her, we've even tried bribing her with food but this hasn't worked. She only ever wants to hide away in her igloo, even at 12am when she should have been up. If I leave the room I can hear her moving around in her cage, but she will never come out if she knows someone is there. Sometimes she will come out for food but as soon as she realises I'm in the room she runs straight back into her igloo.

I'm wondering if she just doesn't like people or if we are scaring her. She doesn't seem to be afraid but we don't really get to do much with her as she always wants to hide.

If anyone knows how we could maybe get her to be a bit more friendly, or what we could to fix things I'd appreciate any advice

Thank you
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

You just have to keep at it, it could be her personality but you've only had her for probably 3-4 months and it can take a while for a hedgie to trust you. My little one has been here 3 months and shes a bit of a grump ball still, its only once shes out and about that she chills out because she is quite adventurous and instead of being angry with me she just focuses on all the smells in the house :P

Give it some time, maybe sleep with a fleece fabric and put it in her cage with her so she can smell you and get used to you, its something youre supposed to do in the beginning but I have done it a few times since then. Cant hurt :P
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

Melly,
Please don't give up your hedgie. My little girl gets huffy and grumpy and I got her in December and the other nite I have her out and she did something she has never done. She curled right up on my lap and fell fast asleep. I wanted to just squeeze her for that, she was so cute. I did not dare move. She has her days and she is getting better as each day goes by. I am sure with your patience and love she will return it 3 times over even if it is just a day here and there.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

The behavior you described is perfectly normal for a hedgehog. A hedgehog that would rather hide and sleep than hang out with it's owner is simply acting like a hedgehog. It actually sounds like your hedgehog is pretty socialized since she doesn't ball up. As far as the cage behavior goes, it's very rare that a hedgie feels comfortable doing their thing when someone is in the room. Hogs like it dark, and they like their privacy. That's why we don't see many pictures of them running on their wheels - that is behavior most exhibit while alone, in the dark. She isn't being "grumpy" or unfriendly - she is being herself. I know it can be hard to accept a hog for who they are, especially when you go into the process of getting one without gathering much info on typical behavior, but please try to keep in mind that hedgies are the way they are for a reason and it's the fact that they aren't like other pets that makes them so special.

With that said, you are on the right track. If hiding is what she likes to do, don't try to change her - adjust what you're doing to make your relationship with her grow. Hedgies are stubborn and WE are the ones who need to change, not them. It sounds like she is a cuddler rather than an adventurer. If she likes to hide, provide her with snuggle bags/blankets while you have her out. If she chooses to curl up in some fleece, just put the fleece on your lap and rest your hand on top of her or next to her. I personally like to hold my hedgie against my chest/stomach with one hand, then cover her up with her small fleece blanket and rest my other hand on top of the fleece on her back/butt. Sometimes I also lay in bed with my hog while I watch TV. I put her in her snuggle bag, then hold her against my stomach and tuck the blankets in around us. Once in a while she'll burrow around in my bed, but for the most part she likes to be all snuggled up in her bag under the covers.

Keep spending time with her regularly. Most hogs are never too thrilled with spending time with their owners, but in a lot of cases, we can teach them to tolerate us & suck it up.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

My little Lewie is the save Melly love and I have had him for 7 months. I am resigned to the fact that he is huffy and still love him to bits. There are some who are more friendly than others, but as my hubbie says, he is just being a hedgehog.

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Old 03-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanhan27
The behavior you described is perfectly normal for a hedgehog. A hedgehog that would rather hide and sleep than hang out with it's owner is simply acting like a hedgehog. It actually sounds like your hedgehog is pretty socialized since she doesn't ball up. As far as the cage behavior goes, it's very rare that a hedgie feels comfortable doing their thing when someone is in the room. Hogs like it dark, and they like their privacy. That's why we don't see many pictures of them running on their wheels - that is behavior most exhibit while alone, in the dark. She isn't being "grumpy" or unfriendly - she is being herself. I know it can be hard to accept a hog for who they are, especially when you go into the process of getting one without gathering much info on typical behavior, but please try to keep in mind that hedgies are the way they are for a reason and it's the fact that they aren't like other pets that makes them so special.

With that said, you are on the right track. If hiding is what she likes to do, don't try to change her - adjust what you're doing to make your relationship with her grow. Hedgies are stubborn and WE are the ones who need to change, not them. It sounds like she is a cuddler rather than an adventurer. If she likes to hide, provide her with snuggle bags/blankets while you have her out. If she chooses to curl up in some fleece, just put the fleece on your lap and rest your hand on top of her or next to her. I personally like to hold my hedgie against my chest/stomach with one hand, then cover her up with her small fleece blanket and rest my other hand on top of the fleece on her back/butt. Sometimes I also lay in bed with my hog while I watch TV. I put her in her snuggle bag, then hold her against my stomach and tuck the blankets in around us. Once in a while she'll burrow around in my bed, but for the most part she likes to be all snuggled up in her bag under the covers.

Keep spending time with her regularly. Most hogs are never too thrilled with spending time with their owners, but in a lot of cases, we can teach them to tolerate us & suck it up.
Thanks for taking the time to reply guys, I appreciate it

Han, I've done all of the above. I wear t shirts and put them in her cage every now and then, which seems to entertain her for ages. The main problem that I have is that she will pee or poop when I take her out. I just had her on my bed for about 15 minutes until she peed all over it. I have tried waiting a while for her to come out of her bed herself and go potty but she wakes up ridiculously late at night and I've got work in the morning. It's stressful because I want to make the time to get her more used to me but she ruins it by pooping! When I put her in her play pen (she is litter trained) on the floor, I will put her litter box in, but she will still do it on the carpet. She never does this in her cage so I can't see how I can work around her toilet habits when it's play/snuggle time!
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

The way I like to think about it is this:
When you wake up in the morning, what is the first thing that you do? Go to the bathroom, right? But no one goes potty right after the alarm goes off in the morning, or you would have poo and pee all up in your bed. That's pretty yucky, and hedgehogs are the same exact way (: Let your little one get it all out of the system, and then proceed to cuddle. I usually wait about 20-30 minutes, and then know it is pretty safe to assume that she's gotten it all out hahaha (:
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, hedgehogs - like all living creatures - poo and pee, and that is something that we simply have to accept haha. I don't really think they think about it too much, they just do what they gotta do when they gotta do it. I promise she isn't doing it to spite you or because she doesn't want to be with you (:
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Grumpy hedgehog

Are you waiting for her to wake up before you take her out? If you do, you will probably continue to wait until midnight or later.

Hilde's light turns off automatically at 6:30, then I usually take her out at around 8. She is usually still pretty sleepy, but doesn't take long to wake up and become active.

Then I let her eat a little bit and relax on the floor on a fleece blanket. Then (usually) I give her a foot bath unless somehow her feet aren't that poopy. And she usually poops in the tub a couple times. After the short bath, I wrap her in a towel and sit on the couch with her in my lap. She usually curls up right away and goes to sleep. This continues for about 2 hours and during that time, she will change positions in my lap or burrow somewhere in my robe. This is pretty much what we do together. I have found she is not the explorer type.
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