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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So.. I have tried looking around. and I can't find this anywhere.

I went to a pet store today that was selling these 11 week old babies, and they told me that when a hedgehog licks you, it means they are warning you to leave them alone, and that if you don't, they will bite you...

Is this true? o.o

Cause like.. most animals.. when they lick.. they are kissing you.. :]
 

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Yes
There is truth in this
If they lick you they may very well bite you
when they lick just remove what they are licking on
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

I just bought my little guy Sniffles today, and I was just worried.
I'm already afraid to touch him cause hes makes this evil little hissing noise, and balls up and starts jumping. I don't know... I was told he was a very mellow fellow. But now I'm thinking otherwise. I guess it's just.. hes nervous, new place and all. I tore up an old shirt, and I put it in there for him, I heard that was a good thing to do. I keep checking on him, cause I leave him alone for a bit in my room, to see what he gets up to while I'm gone, and for the first 3 hours.. he just.. sat inside the hut I got him. When I came upstairs about a half hour ago, he was out, but I guess I startled him, and he ran back in his house. I examined his cage, and he had some food, water, and took a few steps into his litter box. The strips didn't look touched. Untill.. I saw the other side of his cage, and noticed a few peices sticking out the back of his hut. That got me all excited!!! :]

But erm.. I was wondering.
Is the huffing and puffing and grumpiness usual?
Will he always be like this?
When is a good time to start trying to handle him?
Is there anything to be afraid of when he starts with the huffing, puffing, and balling up, or should I continue to try and touch him? >.<

He scares me.. but he is so cute at the same time. >.<
I can do this. I know I can!!

XD
 

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Yes, it is very normal. You were right, everything is new to him, so he's very on edge right now. No, he will not always be like this, he'll come down eventually and start letting you hold/touch him. :) and remember, like you said, YOU CAN DO THIS!!! :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the encouragement. XD

I feel so stupid though.. theres people here who are 12 and are super brave,
I'm 17 and amazingly scared of my little Sniffles. :[

I hope this gets better.
We are both scared and nervous, so maybe as I work up the courage, he can too. >.<
 

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I will say it again: You Really Can Do This!! :mrgreen: You both will grow and learn together, and gradually trust and form a loving bond. It will take a little while, but soon you two will be acting like this never even happened. :)
 

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Hi Emily,

Don't worry too much about Sniffles. I'm sure he'll adjust, it will just take time.

All except one of our hedgies makes the hissing noise that you refer to in your messages... we call it "tea kettling". They also make little "chuff" noises when they blow air and jump up with their quills out. Those are perfectly normal noises. The "tea kettle" noise is kind of like a little kid not wanting to get out of bed--"mom, do I HAVE to....", and that usually goes away after they've settled down. The "chuff" noise is more one of either being scared or a perceived danger. Once he gets more used to you, the chuffing will probably drop to a minimum, and he'll spend less time as a prickly ball and more time as a happy, inquisitive hedgie.

As for the licking behavior, my experience with 10 different hedgehogs is that for most of them it's finding out whether or not you're tasty. Keep in mind that most of them have horrible eyesight, so they do depend on their other senses a LOT. Of the 10, I've dealt with 2 real nippers--pretty much a lick is a warning that you'll likely be nipped or bitten. Usually the nips are not a major thing, more like a check to see if you really are food.

However, sometimes it can be a real serious chomp that breaks the skin. I've had terrible luck trying to break this habit (if a hedgie bites and won't release a puff of air in the face usually does the trick to get them to release--whatever you do, don't pull... it will make the bite worse). So far, the best thing I've found is to wear disposable rubber gloves with the nipper we have now... she hates the taste, so after a lick or two, she's not interested.

For most of our hedgies, their licks mean that we have some taste to our skin that they like. Most of ours will lick without biting. Two of them, though, cannot resist my deodorant. They will do almost anything to wiggle under my shirt, and after a lick or two, they always nip in the underarm area if they can get at it. Also, if you have food smells on your hands, that can be a little hard for them to resist licking and possibly trying a taste--make sure to wash your hands if you'bve been working with food or eating.

But, in any case, my point in all this is that once you get to know Sniffles, you'll learn his behavior and it will probably be pretty consistent. The most important thing for you right now, though, is to handle your new hedgie as often and as long as possible. This is a time for you and he to start bonding--remember, the only times he's probably been handled at the pet store have been times his cage has been cleaned and times when he's been handled out of curiousity (and who knows if it's been rough or gentle with pet store patrons and employees.) The sooner he learns that being handled can be a good thing, the sooner he'll calm down.

I like to watch TV "with" my hedgies. I'll get a clean old towel, and drape it on a lap or shoulder, and let a hedgehog rest on/play in that, folding it in half over them, while I'm watching a program. That's usually a good time to relax together.

Oh, and with the cage boredom... most hedgehogs are nocturnal (hedgehog party time at our house tends to be around dusk, and at about 4 a.m.), and they're happier with lower light. (We drape a clean, old towel over the tops of our guys' cages to give them extra shade.) Most hedgies really need an exercise wheel or disk to keep from getting bored and overweight. Also, they're really bright creatures, so we make sure to give them a variety of toys--things from the cat and bird aisles at the pet store, generally. They will play with some things, or at least check them out--things that rattle or jingle seem to be big favorites.

Hang in there--you'll do fine! You wouldn't have posted your concerns if you weren't responsible and on the right track to being a great parent for your hedgie!
 

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Emily said:
I just bought my little guy Sniffles today, and I was just worried.
I'm already afraid to touch him cause hes makes this evil little hissing noise, and balls up and starts jumping.
Emily,

I was told to not try to handle or even visit my new baby for about 2 days except to clean the wheel if she was using it and to feed/water. This gave her time to acclimate to her new home and actually to my scent. Then very slowly I would handle her more and more. It took about a week for her to come around. Don't get upset if you always get a few huffs and pricklies when you first enter their domain. Hedgies are very protective of their space, even when it's "Mama" entering.

I was also given the t-shirt suggestion, just make sure there are no strings dangling that can be knawed on or caught in your hedgie's nails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello everyone!

It's been two weeks now since I got my hedgie, and well..
Everything is going great!

I'm not as afraid of Sniffles as I was when I first got him. I got him a new cage and a wheel,
cause I felt he was kinda cramed in his old environment.Daily, I go in his cage around 9pm cause I don't wanna wake him earlier >.<, and take him out with a towel. I use the towel cause well.. hes a big boy... with big prickles! >.< But after the whole balling and such, the towel goes away, and I set him onto my bed with me. I just love to watch him. I talk to him, and he looks at me and crawls around. Yesterday I put my shirt over his bum when he was rolled up, and he came out of his ball and bit my shirt! It was really funny. I grabbed part of it, and went to take it away, and it grabbed the shirt and backed up all funny like. It was like playing tug-of-war with my doggy. >.<

But yea I pet him now, and lay with him, play with him, watch him. The huffing and puffing still happens, but only when he first comes out. He is really growing on me. :]

Thanks for all of the helpful little hints and tips!
~Emily & Sniffles! <3
 

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Emily said:
Yesterday I put my shirt over his bum when he was rolled up, and he came out of his ball and bit my shirt! It was really funny. I grabbed part of it, and went to take it away, and it grabbed the shirt and backed up all funny like. It was like playing tug-of-war with my doggy. >.<
That is hilarious! :lol:
 

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Sniffles sounds just like my little Kipper. Rough start, but after the first couple days he got so much better. Now he just loves to run around everywhere and burrow into whatever he can find :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm still terrifide of my Sniffles. But we are getting better together... slowly... as time goes by. xD

I gave him a bath yesterday, which was fun. xD He likes to follow the toothbrush I use to wash him with. xD *scrubs quils* <3

Anywayysss, after I bathed him, and took him out, I was holding him in the towel I usually hold him in, cause I'm a chicken and don't want to get poked. ( What does everyone else do??? O.O ) And well, he was all hyper and happy, and I was happy cause he was happy, and well, it was the first time I held him, and he came out of his ball for me, usually I put him down, and he just rolls over and sniffs EVERYTHING, but this time he was in my hands. On his back. And he was just sitting there like a turtle that had flipped over. He was trying soooo hard to flip over, it was amazingly cute. While he was trying with alll his mite, He flailed his wittle hand over, and he used my finger to help him flip over, and it was the first time he ever touched me! Like, .... gah, it was just this amazing feeling. Then he FINALLY flipped over, and he was soo cute, and his quils were down, and he seemed so relaxed... and yesterday, was the first time I got to hold him, without the towel, and feel his soft little belly. >.<

I think we both love bath time now. <33

~Emily & Sniffles.

I have pictures of him doing his little flailing arm thingy on his back XD Roflss.
Ohh... Erm.... Please ignore all the messy background crud you may or may not notice. <3




AND Don't forget, Him hiding like a little chicken. <3

 

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What a precious little baby. <3 I love the mask on him, nice and dark.

As for the towel thing, it probably isn't all that necessary to hold him in it all the time anymore. If he's still got his quills sticking out every which way when you hold him, it may be time to break out the bribes. Some well-cooked, unseasoned chicken (white meat ONLY! Dark meat is too greasy) always goes over well with my Loki, and you certainly can't go wrong with a mealworm or two. You might also try some fruit, maybe a tiny slice of watermelon, apple, or a little bit of banana. No citrus fruit, and absolutely no grapes, those are very dangerous for a hedgehog, so make sure to keep them far, far away from Sniffles.

It might also be a nice idea to get him his own blanket. Or, if you happen to be skilled with a needle and thread, you can do as I did and make him one. If you do this, make sure to choose a nice, soft material. Towels, I find, tend to be a little on the coarse side, and therefore probably aren't all that pleasant for him to sit on for too long. (This may just be my experience, I could be wrong; maybe he likes it.)

Lastly, if you think him putting his little paw on your finger was cute, wait until he takes a treat from you for the first time. Nothing quite compares to that, as I'm sure you'll soon see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the advice Sela for the advice and encouragement. xD

And I know.. He is sooo cute. <3
 

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And don't forget: the more you trust him, the more he'll come to trust you :]

Ahh, I can't see the pictures. Silly school computers with their picture block <_<
 

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He looks a little like my Quillamina, actually, but with a darker mask. ..And, you know...male.
 
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