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Old 12-17-2012, 11:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

I have a new hedgehog, and while he is still skittish, he is adjusting well as far as I can tell. The problem is that I know I'm supposed to handle/hold him for at least 30 minutes a day to get/keep him socialized and friendly as well as used to and bonded to me, but all he wants to do is run and climb up my shoulders! This makes handling him in a way that is conducive to bonding very hard as I feel that he would much rather spend his free time out in a playpen or a ball which I don't see would be very helpful to keeping him used to being held and handled. Any suggestions on what to do?!

He also likes to poop and occasionally pee (rarely, he usually just sticks to pooping) on anything and everything when he's out, any idea why? I think it may be stress because this is still a new environment to him (just got him this past Friday night). Is there any way to tone down this habit?
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

Congratulations on your new baby. How old is he? Most babies sleep and poop - a lot! They will outgrow it. Running and climbing all over you is part of the bonding. If he is climbing on you - it doesn't sound like he is stressed. He smells your scent when he is on you; whether it is your lap, chest, or shoulder. Enjoy his activity.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

I like to do this thing where I have my hedgie in my hand, I put my other hand in front of her to climb onto, then put my newly empty hand in front of her, repeat.
Like the never ending game of step up, used it on birds to get them used to hands, I have fun, hoggums gets a run.

Something I do.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

BTW, while writing that last bit my little hedgehog pooped a big ol'poop on me for the first time.
Yup, so cute.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kam
BTW, while writing that last bit my little hedgehog pooped a big ol'poop on me for the first time.
Yup, so cute.
Babies do that. We had to wash our sheets constantly when we first got Houdini, because he'd poop/pee on them. We naively thought it would be a one/two/three time thing. Learned our lessons right quick. The pooping at random stops, I promise.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

Kam, I use that walking technique with my crested geckos.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to handle a hedgehog that only wants to run!

We did that human-hand treadmill thing with Satin too. She used to use the litter box that way... Run from hand to hand, then lift her tail as a sure sign she was ready to go potty. We'd make sure she was positioned over the litter box and then let the poo and pee fall into the litter box while still holding her.

Little girl just wouldn't go unless it was during this activity or on her wheel overnight. Found out there were a lot of benefits to this activity:
1. when she was sick, we could easily collect poop or pee by putting a little jar in the litter box and letting the messies fall right into the jar and bring the jar to the vet
2. by doing this (we called it "the pooprun") at the beginning of each snuggle time, she was then empty / "safe" to snuggle for about an hour before she'd make another poo or pee
3. by doing this each playtime, she'd have less to poop & pee out over her wheel each night. Certainly didn't mean her wheel was spotless... far from it. But it was a lot better than the occasional nights when we couldn't do the pooprun.
4. When she wasn't allowed to use her wheel (small cut on foot, sprained her foot/leg), we could still safely do the pooprun.

It also influenced our vocab in odd ways; eg, Hedgiedaddy, "Did you poop the hog?" <-- meaning "Did you and Satin do complete the pooprun yet this evening?"
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