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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry for the game of "20 Questions".... but this new behaviour is bothering me.

My hedgie is still getting use to us, but about a week or so ago she was getting better.... we were giving her baths, she was allowing us to pick her up {depending how you approached her! :lol: } and even after she had a bath and was lying on my lap in a jearsy, she would let me stroke her quills {and she even let me stroke her one evening without having taken a bath}.

Every night I try to take her out of her cage at the same time so she can get into a routine. If you did something she didn't like, she would spike and hiss a bit then go back to sleep and when she was ready she would come out and venture about on the bed.
But now, anything..... try and touch her, pick her up, etc. not only does she spike and hiss and sit still like she use to - now when she spikes, she goes crazy and moves her entire body around in like a circle...... as if she is deliberately trying to spike you :(

We generally take her out between 7:00-7:30pm..... but when I am awake in the middle of the night around 1-2am and I sit by her cage with her - then I can touch her and pick her up and she has no problem with it :shock:


Does anyone know what is going on please ??? This has really upset my boyfriend and I, as we thought that we were making progress with her.... :(
 

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It sounds like she's trying to scare you away and get you to leave her alone. Is it just when you wake her up? Because I know I'm grumpy when someone wakes me up, and if I were a hedgie I'd probably try to stab them too. ;) (My boyfriend hates to wake me up because I guess I say mean things to get him to leave me alone and then don't remember saying them later.)
Also, do you stop trying to wake her up when she does that? Because if so she's probably figured out that it will get you to go away. Put your hand down there and let her smell you--but don't let her stab you, move your hand back a little if she tries, and then move it back to let her smell you again. If you can, try to scoop her up anyway. Because it really just sounds to me like the way my hedgie used to act before he realized that trying to stab me wasn't going to make me go away, and if it's only when you wake her up and no other time it's probably just an "I'm sleepy, leave me alone" response. I don't think she's being unusually aggressive or anything. Most hedgies are pretty grumpy when you first wake them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
haha! I know what you mean.... I also tend to be like that when my boyfriend wakes me up! :lol:

It is possible, but like I said - she has never done this before.... even after being woken up. If your finger is there, she will smell it, but she won't try and spike you. Only if you try and touch her or you move around too much.
Also what I noticed tonight - trying to pick her up won't work; it use to, she would just ball up quickly and then it was easier.... but I saw now that she does then the same manoeuvre {"jumping" when spiking} and she doesn't ball up anymore, so it is much more difficult to try and handle her while she is pricking your fingers to death :shock:
 

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Is there more light in there when you wake her up in the evening? Or is there more noise? Light and noise differences could make her a little more jumpy.
My hedgie still does that to me occasionally. He'll stop doing it long enough to smell me (when he does it) but then when I go to pick him up he'll try to stab me--then after a minute or two he'll be fine. You could always try moving just a little slower when sliding your hands over to pick her up. But it really does sound like she's just trying to get you to leave her alone (something to which you shouldn't oblige). I don't think you've had any set backs or anything. Just keep working with her. :)
 

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How old is your hedgie? If she's quilling, she can be quite grumpy. There's not a lot you can do except be patient and try not to let her discourage you.
 

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Mina has started doing this too. She's 10 weeks old and I've had her for about a week. She'll quill up and then try to 'attack' me. :roll: Too bad I think it's kinda cute! She looks like a little bull with her forehead quills down while she is charging toward my hand. If I try to scoop her up, she 'side charges' toward my hands. I've developed a little routine:

  • -Let her smell my hands, which usually causes the 'bull routine'
    -Remove both her igloo & cat bed (that the igloo sits in)
    -Let her smell my hands again
    -Talk to her while I tidy her cage liners
    -Let her intermittently smell my hands while picking up her quills

By the time that I've gotten to cleaning up her poos, she's poked out of her quilly ball and is 'investimigating' me. :p

Once she's done sniffing me, she'll usually just crawl into my open palm and I can scoop her up for play-time. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
drowsydreamer said:
How old is your hedgie? If she's quilling, she can be quite grumpy. There's not a lot you can do except be patient and try not to let her discourage you.
She is about over 2 months now, and yes she is quilling.... we got use to her behaviour during this time, but this "new thing" that she is doing really confused us :shock:

Zalea said:
Is there more light in there when you wake her up in the evening? Or is there more noise? Light and noise differences could make her a little more jumpy.
No, it is pretty much the same as normal... we even tried to make the room darker to see if that would help a bit.

Annabeth said:
Once she's done sniffing me, she'll usually just crawl into my open palm and I can scoop her up for play-time. :D
hahaha! I have tried to let her get use to walking onto my hand so that I can pick her up..... but she took a nice bite out of my hand - she didn't nip, she actually hung on and wouldn't let go! :lol:
 

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Ash88 said:
Every night I try to take her out of her cage at the same time so she can get into a routine. If you did something she didn't like, she would spike and hiss a bit then go back to sleep and when she was ready she would come out and venture about on the bed.

But now, anything..... try and touch her, pick her up, etc. not only does she spike and hiss and sit still like she use to - now when she spikes, she goes crazy and moves her entire body around in like a circle...... as if she is deliberately trying to spike you
I think, perhaps, by letting her go back to sleep after the spike & hiss routine, she's learned that spike & hiss means those humans will leave me alone now. And current quilling probably adds to her feeling rather ouchy, huffy, and out of sorts.

What I would do is let her know you're going to pick her up before you do it. Talk to her... sing to her... let her know that it's wake up and play time soon. Then spend a little time cleaning up her house... changing her food & water dishes... she'll feel you rustling around in her home so she'll know it's getting even closer to the time that her humans will pick her up. Then when you're ready, scoop her up gently, and just let her sit with you. For now, she might be too ouchy from quilling to want to be pet on her back. But you do want to keep her used to the routine that she'll be picked up. You can try to rub her tummy, under her chin, play wiht her feet, wherever there aren't new quills poking through her skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
smhufflepuff said:
But you do want to keep her used to the routine that she'll be picked up. You can try to rub her tummy, under her chin, play wiht her feet, wherever there aren't new quills poking through her skin.
I don't know if it is the fact that she has been woken up, but my boyfriend has tried to rub her tummy.... and she didn't seem to like that very much :?
Haven't really tried anywhere else, like her chin or ears.... but honestly, since that night she hung onto my hand for dear life, I have been a little sceptical on how to handle / touch her. Thank goodness though where she bit me didn't hurt, but I'm just worried that next time might be a different story :oops:
 

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Don't let the bite discourage you, or else she might pick up on the fact that it can (and as a result more than likely WILL) be used against you. I swear these little guys are smarter than any other pet I've owned.

You should try rubbing behind her ears too. My little guy loves it so much and hes another one of those who isn't a fan of a belly rub. Chin rubbing is great too though, and I think it helps them get use to you moving around their face and such so they aren't quite so jumpy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tristen said:
Chin rubbing is great too though, and I think it helps them get use to you moving around their face and such so they aren't quite so jumpy.
It's quite difficult when she spikes up the entire time when you move a bit too suddenly for her :roll:
 

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It takes time. Don't be discouraged. Keep your hand near her face anytime she balls up, and wait until SHE comes out to sniff YOU. It will help her get used to you.
If she bites you again, you should sternly say "No!" It will freak her out because of the sharp noise, but that can help teach her that biting is a behavior that doesn't affect you and will just scare her.
She's still really young; mine took a month to a month and a half to get relaxed enough not to jump at every little thing. Just be patient and keep working with her, and hopefully she gets used to you soon. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Zalea said:
If she bites you again, you should sternly say "No!" It will freak her out because of the sharp noise, but that can help teach her that biting is a behavior that doesn't affect you and will just scare her.
Does that really work ??? :shock:
 

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I think it depends on the hedgie--and how stern you are when you say it. I've heard some people say it works. Other people do the puff of air in the face thing. Doesn't hurt to try. ;)
Keep in mind though, that a lot of times you can prevent being bitten (like if they start licking you to anoint) and if you can do so that's always the best policy. :)
 

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A sharp "No!" or other noise works well with dogs I know, and I don't really see where it wouldn't work with a hedgehog... unless they just love to be startled :p

And I do agree that patience is a big thing here. If you can deal with it for just a few months things should start to steadily improve from there. :)
 

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Ash88 said:
smhufflepuff said:
But you do want to keep her used to the routine that she'll be picked up. You can try to rub her tummy, under her chin, play wiht her feet, wherever there aren't new quills poking through her skin.
I don't know if it is the fact that she has been woken up, but my boyfriend has tried to rub her tummy.... and she didn't seem to like that very much :?
Haven't really tried anywhere else, like her chin or ears.... but honestly, since that night she hung onto my hand for dear life, I have been a little sceptical on how to handle / touch her. Thank goodness though where she bit me didn't hurt, but I'm just worried that next time might be a different story :oops:
Herisson wouldn't let me touch his tummy in a million years! :lol:
 
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