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Kdlm05 09-26-2019 01:10 AM

New hedgehog from previous owner
Hello, I recently purchased a hedgie from a co-worker a week ago, because I felt like he needed a better home. My co-worker is younger, just finishing highschool, and purchased the hedgehog a year ago. He didn't do his research, but I did.
He claimed they never bonded, but he didn't even name the poor guy. He was fed well, kept clean, but never socialised. Didn't even own a wheel. He sold him to me, new enclosure and all, for 20$. I've spent more on toys and accessories to keep him happy and stimulated, than I did on him. Its a shame really, because he's a great addition to the family.
My 3 year old daughter named him Bozzly 😊. I changed from the paper bedding he came with to fleece blankets, and only took 2 days to litter train. We talk with him every day so he learns our voices. I bring him out every day, once during the day so he can sleep near me and we can bond, and again at night to explore and get used to my scent and movements. I even bring him with me in his cuddle sack for my daughter's bedtime story. She loves that. There is still a lot of improvement to be had in the trust department.
He has begun to explore more freely on the couch and sniffs me, but he doesn't like when I move, at all, and if I put him in my lap he just curls up and huffs and puffs at me. To be expected I know, and I'm not discouraged in any way. We are making progress.
I know it's going to be a long road to build trust and respect between us, but I would like to know if I'm on the right track. Any tips are appreciated, and if anyone could give me a general time frame, or milestones to look for, when I should begin to see improvement, I'm looking forward to that as well.
Thank you,

Kalandra 09-27-2019 10:58 PM

You are on the right track. Really there are no timelines, or milestones other than just be patient and appreciate the small things. Each hedgehog is their own individual. Some become more trusting than others and some never fully relax. But you'll find small things, sometimes its just getting to see their face, or their back quills relax for a moment. Or they sprawl out on their tummy while in a snuggle bag. Or better while laying on you out of the bag.

I find that creating a set routine and sticking to it daily works well with rescues who have been mishandled or unsocialized. They learn what to expect and when to expect it. Take him out daily. I spend 2 hrs daily with even the newcomers. That time may be spent in a snuggle bag while I reply to emails, but they get used to my movement and sounds and learn that you aren't going to hurt them.

Keep doing what you are doing. Don't get disappointed if he always huffs and puffs when you pick him up, even some of my friendliest always told me off when picking them up. These little ones have a ton of personality, just pay attention to him, learn what he likes and dislikes, he will tell you what is allowed and how he wants you to interact with him.

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