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Old 11-21-2012, 03:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

I've owned animals all my life and a handful of them. I've owned pets typically from pets stores and pets that are exotic. I also understand how the type of pet I have behaves which I never had difficulty about. Some pets should't be held or held often such as amphibians, some will tolerate being held like some reptiles, and some need to be held/shown affection for their healthy such as rats. I never figured my hedgehog would be affectionate, I assumed it would just tolerate being held and have normal behaviors of a hedgehog. He trusts me and is nice, but he wants completely nothing to do with me or any human.

Newton is 8 months old and when I first brought him home he'd ball up, puff, etc. Now he never goes into a defensive mode. I can wake him up whenever and he puts his quills down and I can pick him up anyway possible since he wont do anything aggressive. I can stroke him anywhere, pet him anywhere, and pet him when he's eating, but only if he's in his cage. He's friendly so that isn't my complaint; he doesn't want anything to do with me. He wont accept treats regardless of what they are from me. He will only eat them in his dish when I'm not around. He sleeps all the time in his cage and will sleep more if he knows i'm up and haven't gone to bed yet. If I hold him he squirms and when I try to place him on my lap he runs away even if I provide I hidey place on my lap. All he wants to do is run away from me, but if I'm away from his playpen or cage he will be his normal sluggish self.

Why does he not like me? He is the only pet I had that has ever dislike handed treats so I have no idea how to get him to like me. Porcupines are easier than him! (I'm a volunteer at a wildlife clinic, I've handled an array of animals)

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Old 11-21-2012, 04:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

Bump, any similar issues out there? any suggestions on changing his behavior at all?

He seems to be super shy, and wants to hide if I watch him

Thanks for any input
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

It sounds like you have a hedgie who wants to explore. Some hedgies like to be cuddled, and some just love to run around. As with the being sluggish in his cage, it's probably because he's not out at the momment and there's nothing exciting going on. Lily refuses to come out during nighttime if I'm still up, even if the lights are off. With the treats, are they in your hand when you feed them to him? If so, he might be a little reluctant to take the treat directly from your hand. You might want to try and use tweezers or put them on the floor next to you. That way he can associate treats with being out and being around you. How long have you had him? It might just be he hasn't settled down and gotten used to his surroundings.
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Old 11-22-2012, 03:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

I've had newton since May 2012 and I've tried tweezers, baby spoons, etc., but they don't work

I've tried to give him chicken flavoured baby food and meal worms. He will eat the meal worms if I'm not in the room and he doesn't like the baby food. What treat would you recommend? Maybe I just haven't found that one amazing food he dreams of yet.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

The only treats Lily will eat are mealworms and crickets. There is a great treat sticky in diet and nutrition on fruits and veggies that are safe for hedgies. I know that many hedgies like the fruit and veggie baby food more than the meat ones. You may just have a picky hedgie. Are the lights on when you give him mealworms while he is out? Turning out the lights may give him a little more sense of security and he may eat when he feels you can't see him.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

Here is the link: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=19408
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

Okay thank you so much for your advice! I'll try some of these foods and hope he likes one of them
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgehog doesn't hate me; he doesn't like me.

some hedgehogs are just more private than others so it could just be that he doesn't really want to be held and doesn't like being watched. It sounds like he's already come a long way though since he doesn't huff anymore. I'd say just keep doing what you are doing and hopefully he'll start to want to stay around you more, it might take another 5 months though.

You could also try taking him out at different times, you might find a time that works better for him. If you only ever take him out in the evening try taking him out during the day. Maybe he'll fall asleep on or near you if he's more sleepy. If you don't handle him that late at night pick a night one weekend to stay up late and sit in his playpen with him, see if he eventually gets out to walk around. Sometimes it might take a few hours of you sitting near by before they decide you're not going anywhere and he may as well get up. Since he's not afraid of you more handling is not going to stress him out just keep handling as much as you can multiple times a day. Good luck!
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