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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is not really a question, just a plead for support. I am a new owner of a baby hedgie. Super cute. I just feel like the bonding keeps getting further and further away instead of making us closer. Every time I pick up Indiana Jones (I hope he is a boy, or I will have to change his name.) he just squirms constantly and doesn't relax. If I hold him too long he will bite me. (Not hard just a little nibble, but this is definitely not a habit I want him to pick up.) I have even tried putting him in my soft beanie hat, which makes the perfect size pouch, and he just freaks out, squirming and trying his hardest to get away. Should I hold him for an hour as he freaks, or am I better just picking him up and then putting him down multiple times so he gets use to me? The more I hold him the more scared he seems to be of me. I have even tried offering him a meal worm and he just hisses at me and throws his quills up. I also have my t-shirt in his cage that I wore for 3 days to get my smell on it good and he just stays as far away from it as he can. Also, I think he may be quilling. Do they scratch a lot when they quill? I noticed he was scratching and a few quills were flying as he did so. It is hard being a new mommy, I keep reading and researching and my head is just spinning. I just want to make sure I am doing the right things by him so he can be happy.
 

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He doesn't sound like he is afraid (usually they roll up in a prickly ball and hiss) but just trying to run. Some hedgies just have that personality, they're not the cuddly type. Can you describe more of how he/she is acting when you are holding them?

Very cute hedgie, and welcome to HHC!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I first try to pick him up he will hiss and jump at me, when I do pick him up he runs from hand to hand and will not sit still for an instant. If I hold him close to my chest he will squirm out of my hands and run up to my shoulder. He just will not sit still. It's like he is trying to get away from me.
 

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like lg said, you have you a little explorer on your hands....it could be much worse trust me...lol
 

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How bright is the light in the room? If you haven't try sitting in a dimly lit room or holding a blanket over him. There are plenty of hedgehogs that don't like bright lights and will act "freaky" when in bright lights but will settle more when in the dark.

Also it could be a security issue, he may be trying to find a place to hide, again try a blanket over him to see if he will feel more secure and settle down. I've also had some that didn't like to be stuck in a bag, but a larger blanket over them was fine.
 

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You say "he just stays as far away from it as he can." from the t-shirt. I am wondering if you use a strong smelling soap, deodorant or after shave. Hedgies are very sensitive to smells.
 

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We have a 3-1/2 year-old male named Geoffrey. He is an avid runner and climber. While he splats on me or lies on his back to let me gently massage his belly for an hour, he will not stay still in my hands even for a few seconds. He will squirm like crazy and get away from me, much like your baby. I used to feel pretty sad about this because I loved him so much and wanted to feel "close" to him by holding him.

What you should know is that a bond between you and your hedgie cannot be measured by human terms. In other words, you shouldn't judge the progress of your bonding based on whether your hedgie lets you hold him or not. You should realize that you're forcing him to engage in a particular human act just to let you know how he feels about you, when in fact he doesn't even know hugging or cuddling is a sign of affection in humans. You should know that some hedgies including our G will never warm up to being held. It's just not their thing.

This does NOT mean your hedgie won't bond with you. It doesn't mean that your hedgie won't let you hold him forever either. Who knows, your guy might just once day decide being held in human hands is nice, so don't give up hope (I haven't for G after 3 years :D ). But I'm suggesting to modify your attitude rather than forcing your way on him.

Patience is the key. Try to give him time [FYI: G took over a year to feel comfortable with us]. Dim the lights and lie on the floor with him under a blanket. I used to set up a giant play pen, lay in it with a blanket, turned the lights off, put soothing music on very low, and just let him explore my body under the blanket. It took him a while, but he started to explore in the pen freely in the dark while getting used to my voice and scent.

Good luck and keep us posted with your progress! :)
 
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