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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good morning hedgies forums,

I find myself with a bit of an issue and I'm hoping for some insight from those of you with more long term hedgehog knowledge than I have.
My tiniest hedgie, Gabriel, has begun to exhibit some rather aggressive behavior lately. The past couple of weeks that I have noticed and perhaps a little longer that I may have not noticed.
Gabe has taken to biting, which is the most obvious issue. Jason and I are both sporting pretty nasty bites on our fingertips where Gabriel has bit down as though we were personal chew toys. And trust me much that this really hurts.
Ok ok I know we need to not be feeding him or any of them treats by hand. We are on this and last night while holding him in the perceived safety of a snuggle sack watched the little guy practically attack the feeding tongs to get his mealworms.
Biting and aggressive eating patterns. Those are one and two.
When he was done eating he turned on the inside of the sack, chomped down and seemingly tried to kill the sack, twisting and shaking his entire head and body in a similar fashion to a predator making a live kill of small prey.
Truthfully I watched this in fascination. It was surreal to see a 9.5 oz hedgehog behave like a big dog or cat.
But still this isn't all of Gabriel's story.
When the babes all first "came of age" Gabriel was the boy who got most aggressive with the other boys and hastened the eventual requirement of separation of the 3 boys even during play time. One evening he just started acting all aggressive and pissing like crazy and in that moment we knew our little Gabe was the most territorial of the 3 boys.
So... might he be at an age? Might his teeny little body be coursing with testosterone? Could part of this be repressed err... "maleness" as it were? Does my tiny boy need boy time? Or maybe I should get him a stuffed toy?
When Gabriel isn't trying to bite the hand that feeds or kill his snuggle sack he is actually the sweetest and most loving if the three boys. He loves to snuggle close and cuddle and be pet and I swear the little guy sparkles like a Japanese anime boy. He is really just plain awesome.
But I need help to help him get through this phase of aggression. I don't really know how best to help him or how to best provide a safe outlet for him. I'm sure as heck not going to allow him to breed and that is the only thing that comes to mind.
Gabriel and his siblings were born February 10th so they are all adults now. But still young, like in their 20s. I know I did some kinda dumb things in my 20s.
How can I help my boy? And how best to circumvent this behavior if his bigger pokier brothers decide they think it's a good idea as well?
Your ideas are all welcome.
 

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Some hedgehogs are very oral and love to chew and tug on fabric. Often they will annoint afterwards, but not always. When you have him out, provide him with a hedgie safe cloth to chew on and until his biting you phase is over, keep that cloth between him and you.

When you first get him up, give him something to eat, even if it's just his own kibble. Often they are hungry when first up so having food available is a good idea.

Don't allow your skin to be near his mouth. He can't bite it if he can't reach it.

At his age, he could be going through puberty and some of them do have a bit of an aggressive period. Have you noticed increased boy time? Is he quilling, or just finished quilling?

His chewing and tugging is probably just him and he may always enjoy chewing and tugging. Biting you may be a phase, may be hunger, may be age related. Keep handling him but keep exposed skin out of the way.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I am thinking puberty may be a culprit given his age but he is the only boy exhibiting these particular behaviors so I only have instinct to go on. I have never actually caught him during boy time though I'm sure they all have it. I have noticed recently his "not a belly button" has been more obvious to both touch (when I pick him up) and visual inspection. Also his testes are quite obvious on a visual inspection.
~snicker~ He would never lack for female companionship if hedgies worked that way.
As for quilling everyone went through their first major quilling phase late March through early May. Beauregard actually had the hardest time of it but everyone made it through ok.
I have noticed more dropped quills in Gabriel's cage though than in anyone else's the past 3-4 cage cleanings. It is quite possible he is going through a second quilling. This doesn't surprise me because he has the most delicate quills of all the kids. Shorter, narrower, and much sharper at the tip. They are almost silky. For quills.
Also. I won't be neglecting his cuddle time even though it has the possibility of danger. If I did this whole situation would get even worse.
I'll designate holding fleece for Gabe time and hope he gets past this quickly. Be it puberty or quilling or sexual repression or just a grumpy 3-4 weeks.
I feel bad for him really. He's probably is just as confused as I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update

I just wanted to offer an update to this thread. It's been about a week now since I began the changes put in place for Gabriel.
There have been some positive results. He is still biting when he gets the opportunity but the bites are much less vicious and seem to be more exploratory at this point. Like -bite- no, you don't taste good, nevermind.
He is still attacking and biting designated fleece though and the more he does that, the less he bites me. There are some photos and a video of Gabriel and his fleece over in my Pet Journal thread.
We played tug last night with his fleece. Him on one end and me on the other. Of course the Great Hunter defeated me soundly and carried his kill away with well earned pride.
It's so funny to watch. And it makes him happy, I can tell. It's the closest to playing I have seen any of the hedgies do and I want to encourage it and find what interests the rest of the kids.
Thank you, Nancy, for the wisdom. Not only am I no longer bleeding but my babes life has officially been enriched.
 

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Hi everyone I'm new to this and we have had our baby Headgey since December of 2013 and she has been a great pet . She got used to us really quick and loves to snuggle . This month she has been acting aggressive when we want to hold her she put her spikes up and all defensive and making noises like DONT TOUCH ME !!! . I don't know why she is acting like this , does anyone know why they do thighs and how can I handle her . Thanks ��
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Tiberius began showing this behavior as well several weeks ago. The first thing I did, since he actually wasn't hurting me, was to look around for what had changed in his environment. I found a couple of things and they were/are unresolvable so the next thing I did was to change nothing. Yep. Nothing. I treat him exactly the same way I did before. Sure, he is a bit pokier and now he does this funny little huffy dance sometimes. But for the most part he is settling down and adjusting to whatever it was that upset him in the first place. Everyone but Sebastian has gone through this actually and I expect they will all go through it again. As long as no one is broken or bleeding everything should work out.
 
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