Re: Behaviour expectations
I too think many people have unrealistic expectations of hedgehogs and how they will interact with us. Many people seem to get the impression they are little tiny cats and dogs with quills rather than fur. These ideas mean that many hedgehogs end up being re-homed for behaviour issues when they are doing nothing other than being a hedgehog.
Many hedgehogs, even those that never huff or raise a quill will not interact with us like a cat or dog. Rarely do they come when called or come out to great us when walking by their cage. A few do, but those are few and far between.
Sometimes people want a hedgehog that will cuddle but if a hedgehog does not want to cuddle it will not cuddle. Hedgehogs usually do not conform to us, we conform to them.
Many people seem to think when a hedgehog is shy, usually the term they use is grumpy, they think the hedgehog has not been handled as a baby and that is why it is the way it is. This simply is not always true. Hedgehogs are born shy just the same as humans and with all the handling in the world some hedgehogs will still react to sudden movements and sounds. It is their personality the same as a shy human is not going to be comfortable getting up in front of a bunch of strangers and give a speech.
Often when someone brings home a new baby they are disappointed because the baby that was outgoing and friendly at the breeders is a ball of quills at home. This is totally normal as that baby has left everything that was familiar to him. This is a scarey time for them and they need quiet gentle handling to get accustomed to their new home. Some will be comfortable in hours, some days, and some months.
We have had a wide variety of hedgehogs here from petstores, other breeders, our babies, rescues and rehomes and with probably 100+ hedgehogs there is only one that I could say hated us and I'm not sure she hated us so much as hated human contact. She wanted no interaction with us what so ever and when we had to pick her up to clean her cage, she would retaliate by trying her best to bite. She was a sweetheart as a baby but quilled into a girl who wanted nothing to do with anyone.
* * * Nancy * * *
Retired from breeding
Rescue contact for both the Hedgehog Welfare Society and the IHA
Rescued over 70 (and counting) hedgehogs needing a new home