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Hello,

Forgive me for my long message but I have a few questions that have been percolating in my mind.

My hedgehog's name is Chuck and I got her August 28th around 6 weeks old (by my calculation she was born mid-July). I was reading on the this site that hedgehogs typically get their adult quills by 12 weeks of age, however, Chuck is still much sharper than my friends' hogs. Their hogs are a bit older than her (they are about 2 years old) and I was curious if I should expect Chuck to go through another quilling or if she is just a sharper hog.

Additionally, I bond with Chuck every day for at least an hour. She gets at least an hour in her playground area and whenever i watch television/Netflix (which is quite often) she hangs out on my chest. She is still very anxious whenever I come in the room, talk, turn on/off the lights, any form of movement, etc. Sometimes I'll even hear her from the room over huffing with no known provocation. Is it possible she will grow out of this and be more friendly or to I just have a forever anxious hog?

Finally, I have been very diligent trying to teach Chuck to go to the bathroom on the puppy pad. Whenever i pick her up she tries to make herself poop and I think she has gotten in the habit of when I hold her she goes to the bathroom. I try and break this pattern by first placing her on the pad but no such luck (I believe it's escape/avoidance behavior of being held) but after she goes to the bathroom I pick her up again so she knows she can't just get out of hanging out with me. Anyone have any tips for training their hog to go in a specific spot or is it too late for the Chuckster?

Thank you for your help!
 

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Quill sharpness just kind of varies by hedgehog. They can be sharper when they're babies, but she's just generally sharper than your friend's hedgies. She may get less sharp over time, she may not. At this point, she won't go through any more major quillings.

That's about par for the course for hedgehogs, honestly. Think about it from their point of view - they're a small prey animal that depends on hiding & their quills for protection. You're a large predator. Even as she gets used to you handling her, your movements will sound like something that wants to eat her. Quick movements tend to make them flinch & duck for cover, as does movements in their room when they're out & about. Some hedgies are braver, but really, most of them are pretty skittish like this. The huffing you hear may be that she had a nightmare or she heard something you couldn't hear, etc. that alarmed her.

Also pretty typical of hedgehogs. Most won't be potty trained & quite a lot will pee & poop on you without really thinking twice. You can keep trying if you want, or you could also get in the habit of giving her a foot bath pre-cuddle time, as warm water typically makes them poop. Otherwise, the usual suggestion is just to keep some paper towels or tissues nearby so you can clean it up without having it be a huge production.
 
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