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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, so my little Charlie's just a little over a year now (I got her when she was 8 months old) and at the beggining we were doing very well, never got bit and calmed down pretty fast. A few weeks ago I went to pick her up and she bit me hard. I've been nervous ever since and slowly trying to pick her up again thinking she might not just wanted to get hanndled at the time but now, she's bitting me everytime I pick her up with my bear hands. I'm trying to kinda train her not to, so if/when she bits I'll punish her (put her back in her cage without a treat). I'm not sure i it's maybe the way I pick her up? How exactly in detail do you pick a heggie up? (I always let her sniff me first so she's aware I'm close then go with 2 hands on either side and since her feet don't cooperate I lift her from the belly... is that spot sensitive or something? she is female) I hangout with her every other day for a minimum of an hour, she'll mostly chill with me on my desk and I'll play with her, or i'll put her in a blanket on my lap. Am I doing something wrong? help!
 

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So what type of biting are we talking about. A quick nip, a lick then nip, or a serious bite where she chomps down and hangs on (possibly even grinding teeth)? If its a quick nip, its a little warning. A lick then nip, you likely have something on your hands that smells interesting. Washing your hands with unscented soap before picking her up can help with this. If its a serious bite, where she latches on and won't let go, then you may have a harder behavior issue to deal with.

(put her back in her cage without a treat)
If you are immediately putting her back, in my experience, this is actually likely to encourage her biting. Most hedgehogs want to go back to their homes and will quickly learn that if they bite they get exactly what they want, to go back to their homes, or to not be bothered. When she bites, spend a little more time with her, don't immediately put her back in her cage, even without a treat.

Punishing hedgehogs does not work. Don't blow in their face, push your finger in their mouth, or any other method you come across as punishment to make them stop. Many of these will actually cause the hedgehog to fear you, and to bite more often.

Next, if you are nervous, she is going to sense that and is more likely to react accordingly. This person is afraid of something, therefore I need to be afraid too. Relax, take a deep breath and just pick her up.

The best method I have found to break the bad habit is to avoid being bitten. Watch for signs that they are about to bite, and move your fingers away from their mouths. I know, that sounds far easier than it really is, but quite often you can find a pattern to the biting and once you find it you can try to avoid it.

For help with picking her up, use a fleece blanket. It is perfectly acceptable to use such items to aid in picking up hedgehogs if you need the help, especially those that bite. That way if she bites you have a buffer between your fingers and her mouth.

Another trick I use is to place a hand on each side of the hedgehog, with your palms toward their head and then scoop both hands under them at once. I usually use my palms towards their head as it seems to be harder to bite there than to bite a finger.
 

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I second the idea of using a fleece blanket or even several fleece scraps--use them like potholders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She definitely bites hard- often it breaks to start bleeding kind of bites. Although often she will just sniff my hand lots and nip but i usually just back away out of her reach to bite. I always sanitize my hands before interacting with her so hopefully she's used to that same smell and know it's me and to not be afraid kinda thing, but hasn't seem to been doing that. Also, I don't think I can read very well when she is about to bite since the last time it happened I was just putting my hand on the edge of the table so she wouldn't fall out and she was all happy sniffing and looking around when all of a sudden she bite hard and held on for quite a while. Does this mean she has a behaviors issue? or does she just have an attitude problem ;p

I will definitely always pick her up from now on then with a blanket unless I see a big difference with her. As well as I'll try to ind more patients and keep interacting with her after she bites.

Thank you!
 
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