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Hi everyone, I am new to this forum. I have read some of the threads on hedgehogs biting, but I never felt as if they compared to my situation.

My boyfriend and I have had our hedgehog since November 4th, so she is very new to her environment still. Each day seems like she is in a totally different mood.

Day 1 (Day we brought her home.): We let her sleep for the most part. The first time I held her at the breeders, she was good for about 15 minutes and then she bit me. It didn't draw blood until the next day, and I didn't even realize that she had bit me, I thought it was just a very pointy quill that broke through the skin. She was grumpy, which was to be expected since the place was new to her and we only held her at home for around 20 minutes and let her sleep.

Day 2: She still didn't like to be held, but our breeder had strongly encouraged that we interact with her everyday. She was grouchy at first, spiking up into a ball and then after a few minutes she relaxed and walking on our hands and forearms, trying to burrow her head into my stomach. We actually pet her a lot that day and she was very relaxed.

Day 3: Extremely grouchy. My boyfriend had a roast beef for dinner and had forgotten to wash his hands. When he carried her, she licked, nibbled, and bit him very hard. We chalked that up to her tasting the meat on him. Next, when I held her with clean hands, she sniffed and licked her nose a lot before just very lightly nibbling my hand. Honestly, I was a little scared she was going to bite so I handed her back to her dad. Even though his hands were clean however, she nibbled him once and then bit him and clamped down again. He got in her face and firmly told her "NO!" and she stopped and didn't curl into a ball but started walking on his hands again. We didn't play with her much this day.

Today is Day 4 of having her. I am wondering what we should do. I know she is quilling which makes her extremely grouchy. I also know that nibbling for her, since she is a baby still, is her exploring her environment. However, why does she bite and clamp down? Is this still her exploring or is it that she might have associated his hands with the smell of good food? I am hoping she was just in a mood that day because of quilling, because I do not want her to get into the habbit of biting. Every time she bites hard, he brings her face to level with his and tells her no, as instructed by our breeder.

I know we've had her less than a week, but any advice would be appreciated. I don't want to have her think this is okay if there is not a good reason for it. This is our first baby hedgehog and I want to see what other owners have to say about this behavior based on their experience. Thank you in advance!
 

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Not to hijack your thread, but experiencing something very similar and I was just coming to the forum to seek the exact same help. My baby is the same age and only has one eye (birth defect, not from fights or anything.) I assumed the biting was that she was just a baby and has a limited means to explore her world with only one eye and all. I have another hedgie who nibbles from time to time so he can annoint, so I do have a good comparison about what a biter is and is not.

She bites, clamps down, pulls, and shakes her head like a rabid german shepard. She will not let go once she gets ahold of you and has broken my skin twice (small, but definitely there!). I can't get her to let go when she clamps. Nothing seems to deter her.

Her mannerisms were very similar to yours from day to day - a bite when we first met, a good day, and now it seems like all **** has broken loose.

So it's not just you! I need help, too! :)
 

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The only way to stop the biting is to not give her a chance to bite. When you hold her keep a blanket between her and your hands. Babies often bite as a way to explore their surroundings, just like human babies put everything in their mouths. Never punish for biting as this can make them more nervous and aggressive. Never put them back in the cage right away after they bite. If your baby is around 9 weeks old they are probably quilling and that makes them very grumpy.
 
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