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Hi everyone, I'd just like to start off by saying hedgehogs are wonderful creatures! I had no idea what I was in store when I got my baby Bella. She's the grumpiest thing I've met! And yet I adore her still. :) Before purchasing Bella from a breeder, my partner and I read lots texts, did lots of research on Hedgies, and bought her many toys to play with. When we first got her she bit and puffed up a lot, twitching to try and poke us. But I knew it was normal because she was quilling. She's gotten a lot better since we got her around 1 1/2 weeks ago, doesn't hiss when we walk by her cage, talk to her, or even puff up. She just gets angry when we wake her up or try getting her out of her cage or towel. I just want to know if it's still normal that she tries to hurt us whenever she has the chance? Such as when she's on our tummies in a towel, we peek at her and say hi or try to pet her gently so she could get used to us, she puffs up and bites us- hard. She is also an escape artist. When she's in her towel out of her cage, she tries to crawl away so we end up having to put her away early. It makes the bonding process even harder. Can anyone give us some tips on how to socialize her better and stop her from biting us (even though our hands are free of food scents.) and get her to settle down in our laps? Thanks a bunch. :)

Sincerely,
Jessica
 

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She just might be an explorer, as far as trying to crawl away. Try hedgie-proofing a room or setting up a small play area and putting her down in it (making sure that the chosen room is warm enough and has dim lights) and sitting in the area with her. She might like the chance to move around on her own and play and explore, and if you're sitting there with her, it still counts as bonding time. Besides, she might get tired and come curl up next to you! :)
I'm not sure about the biting, she could just be a biter. :? Maybe someone else will have some suggestions for that. :)
 

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Oooooooooooh sounds like you have a biter.

The puffing up is perfectly normal. My hedgie can tell if you move his cover/hedgie bag the slightest little bit to peek in and he'll puff up and start hissing. It's because they feel safe under the cover--then something starts moving it! They have no idea what that something is for sure so it's best to play it safe and hiss and puff and do their little hedgie thing. That's typical hedgie behavior, especially since you've had her less than a month. You've got real progress there--some people have to wait months or even years for the hedgie not to be shy.

Some hedgies will never settle down and lay around with you. They always want to be off exploring. Mine stays in my lap if he's in a hedgie bag, but if not he wants to go do other things. You might try putting her in a hedgie bag, or just leave her on your lap under the blanket like you've been doing. She'll do her own thing no matter what you intend, though, so if she's an explorer you'll just have to accept it because she won't change. :)

As for the biting, that's aggressive. You've got a little rebel on your hands! Some people have success with gently puffing air in the hedgie's face when it bites. You could also try sternly being like "NO", which could work/could not. Either of these can make the hedgie associate biting with something that they don't like. Whatever you do, don't put her right back in the cage after she does it because she'll associate biting with going back in the cage (maybe that's what she got accustomed to with her first owner?). Also, don't jerk away because you might hurt her mouth. Just let her let go in her own time. You may just have to grow accustomed to not putting any skin near her mouth and being careful.
 
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