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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello :D First and foremost, I realize she is nervous/stressed from being in a new environment, and I am giving her a lot of alone time; I only bother her to make sure shes still alive in there because reading about hibernation has made me a very paranoid mama :p.
I got Olive on Friday (the 5th) and she was very friendly while I was with the breeder. Once we got home she became an urchin, which is understandable; however, what I'm worried about is, obviously, biting. She didn't bite me, but I'm pretty sure she tried.
I was reading another thread about biting/nibbling and the responses were pretty much "keep your fingers away from her mouth." Common sense, but, if you do this, how will she ever know my scent? Considering that in order to keep my fingers away from her mouth, I will be scared to let her sniff me lol.
Will she maybe, just learn my voice? or can she smell me without being directly next to me?
 

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From reading other threads in the forum. A lot of people would suggest putting a piece of clothing (such as a shirt) u wore for the day in the cage to familiarize your scent. You can also have her just sleep on your lap while you're watching tv covered with your shirt or blankie.
When I take Stevie out I'll put him in my lap while on the computer with his blankie on top of him or i'll throw on a pull-over on top of my other shirt and stick him in there where he usally naps :lol:
Stevie has yet to bite me but he has licked or nibbled at my fingers but only when I try to feed him his worms. So I suppose just be sure to wash your hands.
 

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I also have a biter. Usually there are warning nibbles so I can move my fingers away. But if I'm holding him and he gets grumpy it's hard to reposition in time to avoid the bite. Usually so he still knows my sent I hold him against my body with my hand on his back. I have to scoop him up with a piece of cloth to keep my fingers away from his face. Once he's sitting in my hand though I can pet his nose and he doesn't try to bite me. Any type of handling and close contact will help with bonding. Good luck avoiding those sharp little hedgehog teeth.
 

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Sylvie has only bit me once. There was a warning lick first & then chomp (OOOOOOWWWW!). I've since learnt what these warning licks are & move away.

If you do get bit, gently blow on your hedgies nose to make them release. Don't put them right back in their cage however. Putting them back in the cage teaches that biting & getting back into the cage go together & risks you getting bit every time your hedgie is done with playtime.

Edit to add: Also, I wouldn't be too concerned about not putting your hands near your hedgie's face. In my experience & forum/article readings, hedgehogs are not usually horribly vicious animals who will bite at any chance ;) Follow the advice for new owners & your hedgie will get comfortable with you as you get comfortable with them
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah I got her from that girl lol, she breeds them. Olive doesnt come out enough for me to take a picture of her like that ><
 

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oh hehe, cool
theres not supposed to be breeders on craigslist but there always is. my girl I got from people who were breeding Pinchita and selling the babys (also on craigslist :(
shes beautiful though :D
 

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My brother's hedgehog was a biter. Funny story...

We both had a hedgehog each about three years ago. I had Ivy, a albino female hedgie who loved to be held. My brother had Cindy... a grumpy hedgehog (and thats putting it lightly). Cindy actually bit him several times. One time in particular though, my brother was dressed up as Darth Vador and being taped as a "spoof" for his English class. He originally taped a scene from Of Mice and Men in a modern setting. Afterwards, he and his friends made the "spoofs". One such random spoof was my brother dressed as Darth Vador, holding Cindy in one hand and a light sabor in the other. Then Cindy bit him. My brother starts screaming... but with the Vador mask and voice changer. :lol:

Well... I thought it was funny. Not that he was bitten, but that the English class video shows Darth Vador being bitten by a hedgehog and screaming because of it.

Do all hedgies have those evil fangs? :shock:
 

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Zee said:
Do all hedgies have those evil fangs? :shock:
That is a funny story. :lol: The image I conjured in my head made me giggle.

Quigley does not have evil fangs. He lost them before I got him but my hedgehog in highschool did have evil fangs. He bit my dad once and made him bleed.
 

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Good advice on blowing on their nosies! That's how I trained Sweet Pea to not bite. If it got REALLY bad and she put to vice-grips on, i'd gently tap her nose. Mika hasn't bitten and doesn't seem to show any interest in it... Nor does she seem interested in being friendly at all! :( lol maybe she's in her angry adolescent stage... =\
 

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I don't believe in blowing in their face or any form of punishment for biting. Often if the hedgehog is biting out of anger and deliberately biting, blowing will make it madder. If the hedgehog is scared, blowing will make it more scared.

The best option is to try and figure out what is triggering the biting and then omit the cause.

You have to learn to read their body language. My Snow would nip when she wanted to be put down. Sometimes babies especially will nip when they first get up because they are hungry. Often very soon after getting up a hedgehog has to go potty and if you are holding him/her, then it's possible to get a nip. When body language doesn't work, nips/bites is often their way of clueing you in.

Some hedgehogs love to chew on our clothing and often mistake skin for clothing. Usually they get it figured out.

Try and figure out the reason for the nips/bites. The majority of hedgehogs will not bite without a reason.
 

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Nancy, I agree that the hedgehogs are probably trying to tell you something when they bite. Other than blowing a breath of air on their faces, what's a good way to get them to let go? I really don't mind biting enough to blow on them each time, but when they chomp and then pull, THAT really hurts! Any suggestions?
 

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The way I get Quigley to let go is just be calm and not move my hand. They usually pull because you've moved and they are responding with instinct (to kill small prey they would shake it or yank it) as least that is what I have read in the past. When Quigley really latches on I talk to him and move my other hand close to him. This is usually enough to make him let go and ball up. For a really determined/focused hedgehog that won't ball up I don't know.
 

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Nancy said:
I don't believe in blowing in their face or any form of punishment for biting. Often if the hedgehog is biting out of anger and deliberately biting, blowing will make it madder. If the hedgehog is scared, blowing will make it more scared.

The best option is to try and figure out what is triggering the biting and then omit the cause.

You have to learn to read their body language. My Snow would nip when she wanted to be put down. Sometimes babies especially will nip when they first get up because they are hungry. Often very soon after getting up a hedgehog has to go potty and if you are holding him/her, then it's possible to get a nip. When body language doesn't work, nips/bites is often their way of clueing you in.

Some hedgehogs love to chew on our clothing and often mistake skin for clothing. Usually they get it figured out.

Try and figure out the reason for the nips/bites. The majority of hedgehogs will not bite without a reason.
Ah, that's another good perspective, Nancy! I'm not sure why Sweet Pea would bite, but she just would. No balling up or anything, just seemed she liked biting people lol. After I got her to stop biting, the only time she'd bite was a nip when sleeping on my bed and had to wake me up to go potty.

I think the punishment thing works because of classical training. Ring the bell, get the food. Bite the finger, get wind in the face. Whether it's ethical is up to you (the pet owner/mom/dad), but it's been my experience that people rarely ever learn without consequences, whether they be good or bad ones. Just my 2c, I claim no expertise in the field, I just know what works for me!
 
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