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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is your definition of handling a hedgehog?

(And is it different than what you mean by bonding time?)

I know that every little hedgie is different, and so I would imagine too that everyone's definition of handling a hedgie would be different. I am just curious to know what everyone means by that very vague term. (I've been reading a lot of threads where the advice recommends you continue to handle your quilly friends. To me though, the definition can mean many different things depending on the question being asked by the original poster, ie: biting vs. bonding vs nail clipping. I'd just like to get a general consensus).
 

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One of my hedgies is an explorer and I let her run around the apartment while I sit on the floor and watch. She will run around me for a bit and come and go. I consider that our bonding time. While our other one likes to sleep pretty late so I just let him him sleep on my lap. I consider that our bonding time. I think it really depends on your hedgie's personality.
 

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To me, handling is holding the hedgehog and bonding is having the hedgehog out of his/her cage.

When I hold them and check their skin, feet, nails, ears, eyes, skin, etc. To me, this is handling. I'm getting them use to my touch. But bonding depends on the personality.

For cuddlers, bonding is letting them sleep on my lap. During this time she is getting use to my scent and presence.
For expolorers, bonding is letting them explore the bed, floor or desk where I am sitting. During this time they are getting use to my scent and presence.
For anti-socials, bonding is either sitting next to their cage talking quietly or letting sit, covered up, on my lap. During this time they are getting use to my scent and presence.

I think letting them sleep on your lap during the day is good for bonding, regardless of the personality. Unless of course you have one that is so adventurous that he/she won't sleep when he/she is outside of the cage. Generally they sleep during the day though, so it's good bonding time. So I do that in the day. Then at night I handle them, like I wrote above, then bond with them more letting them do whatever they want, in my presence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So even if they don't like being held, and they try to get out of your hands, you still hold them for at least 30 minutes a night?
 

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My hedgehog is an explorer. Sometimes I can get him to sleep on my lap, but usually he just wants to roam around. I take him out every evening (at least I try to) to let him explore my room, or I set up some card boxes for him to play in. And if he wants he'll sleep on my lap afterwards.
 

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I think handling also applies to holding them and getting them used to hands by touching their feet, belly, face, etc. Squiggy is a cuddler and explorer, so bonding time is napping together for a while until he wakes up and wants to wander around. But despite handling him daily, he still hates his nails trimmed and doesn't like me touching his face.
 
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