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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm a first-time hedgehog owner. I've had Neville for 10 months now, and he's actually a pretty tame hedgehog. However, he bites when he doesn't get his way (like when I try to clip his nails). He also bites sometimes when I'm just holding him for no apparent reason. This is why lately when I pick him up, I immediately put him on my arm and I have him stand there instead of holding him in my hands.

His biting makes me nervous every time I pick him up, even though he's actually very sweet otherwise. I take him to a specialized vet to have his nails clipped, and all the people there can't get over how tame and sociable he is. He only curls up into a ball when I first pick him up from his cage, and he puts down his quills fairly quickly after he wakes up better.

How can I keep him from biting me? I know I can't punish him, and I don't ever "reward" him for it by putting him back in his cage so I don't know why he won't stop. He's going to be 1 year old in 4 days, and biting is his only downfall and I don't know what to do :confused:
 

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Biters are not fun! My little girl seems to like the taste of human flesh, but we've been working on it and have seen a significant decrease in the biting.

There could be several reasons why he's biting, or there could be no reason at all. But there's some things we can look at to see if they'll make a difference.

The biting during nail clipping is likely a fear response. The clippers probably scare him and he wants them to go away. I know you take him to the vet to get them clipped, but in the situations where you end up doing it, you might reexamine how you're going about it and see if you can find a different way of doing it.

Now, as far as the biting out of the blue, I would start looking to your surroundings and his body language. Are you washing your hands to remove any food smell that may be on them? Are you hand feeding him treats? Are there any sounds or smells in your home that could be upsetting him? Is he trying to move around and explore but you're continuing to hold on to him right before a bite?

While you examine the above and see if there are any changes you can make I would start handling him using a piece of fleece. Basically be sure to keep any exposed skin away from his face altogether. He's made a habit of biting and not giving the opportunity to bite will help break the habit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! I'll start trying to use one of his fleece pieces when I want to hold him in my hands. I really don't think there's a particular reason for his biting except for when I'm clipping his nails because he's obviously annoyed. Hopefully if I just prevent him from having the option to bite in the first place, he'll eventually forget that he can do it to get his way.
 

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I've seen posts here about clipping hedgehog nails by sitting them on a C&C grid so their legs dangle through. They don't like it but you might have to consider it if taking them to the vets every time they want their nails clipped is hard work. You might also consider involving a second pair of hands to try and redirect the bites onto fleece while nail clipping.
 
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