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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody! I'm new here, and just last week I got a new hedgehog who I named Quilliam Thatcher. He came from a loving home who could not keep him because the owner was moving away for college. His owner was the only member of the family that could handle him and he loved her very much. As for me? LOL... He balls up and huffs every time I move a muscle. And when I speak, even if it is very softly, when I say "t" or ch" he huffs and becomes very afraid. He will not let me pat him unless he is busy munching on a mealie, and even then he raises his quills. I have tried a lot of different things, but I wanted to know if anybody had any tips or tricks to bonding with my hedgie. Thanks in advance!
 

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It'll probably take him awhile to warm up to you. One good way to bond with him is just to sit and read/watch TV with him on a fleece blanket in your lap. You can cover him with part of the blanket to help him feel more secure. He may unroll after awhile and explore your lap under the blanket. I've had my hedgehog, Lily, for about eight months now, and she's comfortable with me, but she still jumps a bit when I saw a 't', 'ch' or 's' sound when talking to her. Maybe it's just how they sound a bit like a hiss or something?
 

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Some hedgehogs are slower to trust. If he was very bonded to his former owner or had bad experiences with other humans, it may take him a while to determine you are trustworthy. Sit with him in a quiet environment, offer him meal worms as encouragement, and be extremely patient. I've had a couple of rescues who were mishandled by their former owners that turned out to be be some of the most loving hedgehogs I've had. One of them took over 6 months before the trust started to build... by the time he had spent a year with me, he stopped raising his head quills to sudden movements. So you can see that for some it can take a lot of time, but don't lose hope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice guys! I really appreciate it! I will keep trying and be patient with my new guy : ) I just picked up a new batch of mealies for him today : )
 

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My breeder explained this to me. They get scared when you make those sounds because when hedgies go into defense mode they ball up and when they go into super defense mode they ball up and make a clicking noise. If you make a clicking noise to your hedgie then they interpret that as being a hedgie in defense mode and startles them. Ironically this is a noise that a lot of people make to pets like dogs and horses to try to calm them down so sometimes you need to explain to people handling your hedgie that it doesn't work with them.
 

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I noticed this when I went to an exotic pet store. They put a hedgie on the counter for me to play with and my first instinct was to click my tongue like I do with other pets. Every time I "te te te'd" the brow quills came up. Been doing that for over 40 years, hope I can break the habit my I get my critter in June.
 

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The other sound that I noticed I do to calm pets is a "Shhh" like you do to hush a baby. And Lily hates it too, lol, she puts her forehead quills up if I forget and do it. I'm trying to break myself of that habit too, now.
 
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