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Old 08-29-2012, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

We have had Waffles since about March of this year and he is always huffing and curling into a ball. Sometimes he'll unball and you can hold him but he is always huffing and quacking it seems. My wife will get him out and just a little bit ago had him on the couch cuddling with him and he bite her on the stomach through her shirt. This is making her not even want to get him out of his cage anymore. Any insight on what to do to stop this biting and get him to stop being so defensive would be a Godsend.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

Some hogs are just not friendly... every one has their own personality.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

Your hedgie is one of the most beautiful hedgies I have seen; absolutely precious. I have read often that it sometimes takes a long time for some hedgies to "come around." Perhaps one of the members might have some discussion about that to go along with Christemo's reply.
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Old 08-29-2012, 10:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

He may just be a grump. Where did you get him? Typically, hogs who haven't had a lot of human contact as young babies are more nervous. I handle my babies from when they're a week old and you can flip them upside down and poke their face and kiss their tummies and they're just like "whatever man ." That's the only thing I can think of Bummer though. The best thing I can think of you to do, is hold him every day/night and eventually he'll come around. Talk to him sweetly and get him used to your voice, and pet around his face and chin to desensitize him a bit. Don't be nervous, because hedgies can sense this too, and also become nervous. Just relax with him and be sweet and hopefully he'll realize you're a nice person
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

Ditto what Tabi said - where you got him from could have a lot to do with it. In my experience, hedgehogs that aren't well socialized or frequently handled as babies (2-6 weeks) are usually noticeably less friendly and less willing to be held. There are also hedgehogs that have good temperaments but just aren't crazy about cuddling or being held. Our girl Harley has a very gentle demeanor, but she doesn't like to be in our hands. She'll crawl all over us happily explore when she's out of the cage, but she just doesn't like being held, much less cuddled.

Try to find interaction that he isn't as bothered with. Put him on the floor in a playpen, and sit in there, but don't actually pick him up - see if he'll explore or use you as a jungle gym. It's important to understand that hedgehogs can have a range of personalities, and love your boy for the personality he has, instead of wishing he was different.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

If you haven't tried it already, try keeping something that smells like you or your wife in the cage, like a t-shirt that has been slept in a few times (and then rotate it out for another one every few days). Also, when he is out cover him with a light blanket and let him cuddle or explore under the blanket instead of feeling exposed. Those are the two things that helped Thistle come around. Stay patient with the little guy and don't give up on him! Some take a very long time to come around, and some seem to just not want to be handled by annoying humans.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

Lots of good suggestions so far. I just wanted to add some tips for combating the biting. I actually disagree about petting him around his face and chin, for biters this is a good way to get your fingers chomped . I would wait until you trust each other a bit more before you try that. If you don't already use unscented everything switch to it. Hedgehogs are very sensitive to scents and often bite because they like or dislike a particular smell. Unscented soap, laundry detergent, and deodorant are the most important IMO, but if possible also switch to unscented shampoo and conditioner. Wash your hands with unscented soap before handling your hedgehog, this will help you not to smell like food. Giving treats while he is out is a good idea but don't feed them by hand. If you sit in a playpen with him keep a little dish of treats on the floor near you. If he's on your lap you can try feeding from a fork, or tweezers, some people use chop sticks. You don't want him to associate your fingers with food. Never put him back in cage immediately after he bites, this just encourages the behaviour. Stay calm until he lets go, then continue to hold him you can scoop him with a blanket and hold him in a ball on his back, if you're worried about biting this is a good way to hold a hedgehog.
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgielover
Lots of good suggestions so far. I just wanted to add some tips for combating the biting. I actually disagree about petting him around his face and chin, for biters this is a good way to get your fingers chomped . I would wait until you trust each other a bit more before you try that. If you don't already use unscented everything switch to it. Hedgehogs are very sensitive to scents and often bite because they like or dislike a particular smell. Unscented soap, laundry detergent, and deodorant are the most important IMO, but if possible also switch to unscented shampoo and conditioner. Wash your hands with unscented soap before handling your hedgehog, this will help you not to smell like .
Lol! People control your hedgies not the other way round!
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurentj23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgielover
Lots of good suggestions so far. I just wanted to add some tips for combating the biting. I actually disagree about petting him around his face and chin, for biters this is a good way to get your fingers chomped . I would wait until you trust each other a bit more before you try that. If you don't already use unscented everything switch to it. Hedgehogs are very sensitive to scents and often bite because they like or dislike a particular smell. Unscented soap, laundry detergent, and deodorant are the most important IMO, but if possible also switch to unscented shampoo and conditioner. Wash your hands with unscented soap before handling your hedgehog, this will help you not to smell like .
Lol! People control your hedgies not the other way round!
I don't know exactly what that is supposed to mean but if you've never had to deal with a very antisocial biter then you don't know how necessary the steps I outlined can be.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why does our heggie not seem to like us?

We got him from a breeder locally here in NC, he didn't seem to be so defensive and quacky the day we got him from her. I just wish I knew how to understand him more...I can put him on the table and he'll run around and usually won't ball up unless you make fast movements or some loud noise. I've got him in my lap as I type now and he's balled up and doing his kangaroo kicking/huffing/quacking in a ball. My cat even wants to love him...she comes over and tries to rub against him till he huffs and pokes her. When I hold him I can rub his chin and by his ears and he seems to like it then all of a sudden its like he says "hey wait I can't let them know I like that" then goes defensive.
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