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Old 10-21-2019, 08:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi All!
Recently I have been interested in adopting a hedgehog of my own and in the midst of trying to find a baby near me I stumbled across a pet store that had a hedgehog that someone had abandoned. When I spoke to the store they informed me that they had no idea how old this hedgehog was nor did they know the sex but he had only been there a few days. Come to find out he had actually been there for a month or more. I did fall in love with him but I’m very worried because he does not seem to be adjusting well. He hasn’t been eating, when he wakes up all he seems to do it scratch and I’m trying to get him warmed up to me but he’s constantly puffing and charging at me. Any advice?
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Old 10-21-2019, 10:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you brought him to the vet for a check up? Hedgehogs are notorious for having dry skin, but excessively scratching is not normal - it could be a sign of mites. Not eating is also extremely worrisome. Do you have an extra set of hands that could help you get a good luck at his teeth? Theyre also prone to an array of oral issues - and not eating is very concerning.

Rescue hogs also require a lot more patience than hedgehogs from ethical breeders. They are often hedgehogs who have been mishandled, or even not handled at all, and have no reason to trust people - including you. You are not working with a blank canvas like you would be if this was a little baby; there is a lot of unknown history here that will require a lot of work & patience to overwrite. Huffing & puffing is totally normal for a hog who has been practically ignored his whole life - so dont fret! Pick him up with confidence (they will sense your fear, and it will fuel his distrust in you!) and pop him in a snuggle sack and go watch a movie, or do some work on a computer while having him near you. Bring some snacks for him (like chicken, turkey, insects, whatever his favourites). He'll learn to associate you with being a safe place to sleep, and that you bring him nice things and the hope is that your relationship will blossom from there.

Taming a hedgehog, particularly a rescue, is not something that happens overnight. You are looking at likely 3 months (+) of regular interaction before you really see any major progress, and thats why so many people give up and think their hedgehog "hates them". You need to be handling him (even if for the first few weeks its literally chilling with him while hes in a snuggle sack) for a minimum 6 days out of the 7 every week. Again, many people are inconsistent with this and their hedgehogs behaviour reflects it.

Some hogs are naturally anti-social regardless of what you do. Sometimes that's just who they are. But many a times, these are just hogs who need a little more attention and a little more patience and who just take longer than others to come around. Just be patient. I didnt see you mention how long youve had him, but I myself too have an adopted hog. I've had her a year next month, and with daily interaction i am still seeing progress in how tame she is becoming - and she is a total cuddlebug.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you brought him to the vet for a check up? Hedgehogs are notorious for having dry skin, but excessively scratching is not normal - it could be a sign of mites. Not eating is also extremely worrisome. Do you have an extra set of hands that could help you get a good luck at his teeth? Theyre also prone to an array of oral issues - and not eating is very concerning.
Rescue hogs also require a lot more patience than hedgehogs from ethical breeders. They are often hedgehogs who have been mishandled, or even not handled at all, and have no reason to trust people - including you. You are not working with a blank canvas like you would be if this was a little baby; there is a lot of unknown history here that will require a lot of work & patience to overwrite. Huffing & puffing is totally normal for a hog who has been practically ignored his whole life - so dont fret! Pick him up with confidence (they will sense your fear, and it will fuel his distrust in you!) and pop him in a snuggle sack and go watch a movie, or do some work on a computer while having him near you. Bring some snacks for him (like chicken, turkey, insects, whatever his favourites). He'll learn to associate you with being a safe place to sleep, and that you bring him nice things and the hope is that your relationship will blossom from there.

Taming a hedgehog, particularly a rescue, is not something that happens overnight. You are looking at likely 3 months (+) of regular interaction before you really see any major progress, and thats why so many people give up and think their hedgehog "hates them". You need to be handling him (even if for the first few weeks its literally chilling with him while hes in a snuggle sack) for a minimum 6 days out of the 7 every week. Again, many people are inconsistent with this and their hedgehogs behaviour reflects it.

Some hogs are naturally anti-social regardless of what you do. Sometimes that's just who they are. But many a times, these are just hogs who need a little more attention and a little more patience and who just take longer than others to come around. Just be patient. I didnt see you mention how long youve had him, but I myself too have an adopted hog. I've had her a year next month, and with daily interaction i am still seeing progress in how tame she is becoming - and she is a total cuddlebug.

Thank you for your insight! I’m just so worried that we aren’t the right parents for him. I have tried the snuggle pouch but he refuses to stay in it and if we let him out he just runs around the cage trying to get back in. We have never owned a hedgehog and being that we’re first timers is it better for us to find someone that understands them better?
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Beginners can totally tame a rescue hog - to be perfectly frank, it really depends on what youre willing to deal with.

The hog you rescued could be under 1 year old, he could be 2 years, he could be 3 or older. There is potentially a whole lotta history you need to overwrite. It's not going to happen overnight, it's not going to happen next week, it wont be next month or even a couple months after that. There are many hedgehogs who only open up after 3 months, and there are even more who may take longer. If you are not willing to deal with that (and let me make it perfectly clear; there is no judging on my end, they are not suited to everyone!) then perhaps a hedgehog isnt the pet for you and it would be in his best interest to find someone who is.

He may just not be comfortable with being in a snuggle sack, and needs a slower approach. Does he have a favourite sleeping house/hide? You could put a liner on your bed, and place his favourite hide on it and just chill out with him beside you for a while. Even turn all your lights off (hogs are more comfortable when the room is completely dark) and just sit and talk to him at nighttime.

Pardon if you mentioned it already and i missed it; but how long have you had him? Maybe you are prepared to deal with the anti-social nature that hedgehogs just naturally possess, but hes just not the one for you. Some hogs also dont click with certain people, and thats also okay - but i would also stress caution with giving up too soon, as oftentimes these things just take time and patience.
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Old 10-21-2019, 12:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Emc View Post
Beginners can totally tame a rescue hog - to be perfectly frank, it really depends on what youre willing to deal with.

The hog you rescued could be under 1 year old, he could be 2 years, he could be 3 or older. There is potentially a whole lotta history you need to overwrite. It's not going to happen overnight, it's not going to happen next week, it wont be next month or even a couple months after that. There are many hedgehogs who only open up after 3 months, and there are even more who may take longer. If you are not willing to deal with that (and let me make it perfectly clear; there is no judging on my end, they are not suited to everyone!) then perhaps a hedgehog isnt the pet for you and it would be in his best interest to find someone who is.

He may just not be comfortable with being in a snuggle sack, and needs a slower approach. Does he have a favourite sleeping house/hide? You could put a liner on your bed, and place his favourite hide on it and just chill out with him beside you for a while. Even turn all your lights off (hogs are more comfortable when the room is completely dark) and just sit and talk to him at nighttime.

Pardon if you mentioned it already and i missed it; but how long have you had him? Maybe you are prepared to deal with the anti-social nature that hedgehogs just naturally possess, but hes just not the one for you. Some hogs also dont click with certain people, and thats also okay - but i would also stress caution with giving up too soon, as oftentimes these things just take time and patience.
I’ve had him for little over a month, and I’ll be honest he’s extremely squirmy anytime he’s out of the cage and near us, he really just wants to go back. I am realizing that they need patients but I’m worried as a beginner a baby would have been better, I do work full time as well as school so to rewrite all that history I worry I won’t do him justice.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Squirmy is better than a constant, tight huffing ball of spikes. It really sounds like he can be tamed down. When you have him out, try and see if he'll take some snacks from you. If he doesnt, keep trying - as he gets more comfortable with being near you, he'll eventually accept snacks too. Remember; hedgehogs are not naturally social animals. They are naturally anti-social. So to get them to trust you (regardless of the age of hog), you only get back what you put in.

Babies can also be difficult. They are quilling, and they dont want to be touched during that time - and they quill multiple times. They arent just squirmy, but they'll curl into the tightest ball and their quills will be full on defence mode. To be perfectly honest, the boy you have right now does not sound bad at all for a rescued hog. Oftentimes you literally never see their face for weeks because theyre so terrified - so the fact that he is at least confident enough to open around you is already a step ahead of many.

If you work full time and have school, a baby is likely going to be even more work than the boy you currently have - just a word of caution. All you need to do is keep spending time with him and eventually he will learn to trust you. There is no average hedgehog who will be trusting of their human in a month. They are very personable animals, and require a lot of time and effort to tame - baby or rescue.

Like I said, there is no judging from me if you decided you two arent a perfect match - it happens. I just dont want you to make a decision that you may possibly regret. A baby is not going to be a walk in the park either, and a month is honestly really not enough time to see much if any progress at all.

Last edited by Emc; 10-21-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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