Grouchy Hedgehogs

May 27, 2013 by

Are Hedgehogs Truly Grouchy or Are They Simply Misunderstood? Understanding Hedgehog Behavior “I’d rather be alone.” One of the biggest misconceptions about the hedgehog is that this naturally shy animal is “grumpy” or “grouchy”. The reality is hedgehogs are simply fearful of changes in their environment (i.e.: Being handled by a new person). “I heard that!” Hedgehogs have poor eyesight, but heightened senses of hearing, motion detection, and even emotion detection. This makes them very sensitive to changes in their environment, and changes in your approach and mood.  The way in which hedgehogs are approached and handled can determine their reaction. “Trust takes time.” You must to prove yourself trustworthy before a hedgehog can completely relax and enjoy being in your company. To do this, you must be persistent, patient, and relaxed. If your pet senses you are scared to handle it, then it will most likely react defensively. “Take a step back, please.” When hedgehogs are nervous or scared they will ball up, becoming a handful of prickly quills. This natural defensive mechanism is not a sign of aggression. They are simply protecting themselves from the unknown. “I don’t feel so good.” Hedgehogs with health issues may be less responsive to handling due to pain or discomfort, and may prefer to be left alone. Quilling is an example of a normal process that can be very uncomfortable for a hedgehog and can impact...

Behavior Changes & Adjusting to New Homes...

May 25, 2013 by

Behavior Changes It is common for a hedgehog to exhibit changes in its behavior between the time it is purchased and the time the hedgehog is settled into its new home. These changes can occur for many reasons. By understanding these reasons, you can help your hedgehog transition smoothly into your home. With patience and proper handling, you and your new hedgehog will be the best of friends. New Surroundings Keep in mind that your hedgehog is leaving familiar surroundings. It is leaving its cage mates and home and entering into a strange new world. A change in environment and its associated affects is often called “shipping stress”. All animals react differently to changes. This is proven by the fact that differences in stress levels between animals are noted at the time of weaning. Handling Techniques Handling hedgehogs is prickly business. A hedgehog owner’s confidence can range from having no fear of getting pricked, to being very scared of his or her new pet. Remember that hedgehogs have great emotion detection. If you are nervous, your hedgehog is likely to be nervous. Proper handling is something that is learned and perfected with practice. Read and review the tips outlined in our other guides to make sure that you are doing what is best to encourage a good response from your pet. Quilling The quilling process is likely to have started or will soon start...

Personality Of Hedgehogs When Making Your Purchase...

May 22, 2013 by

Overview Each hedgehog will have its own personality. That personality can be shaped and molded through proper handling. The personality you see at the time of purchase may change and develop over time depending on how you handle your new pet. Most hedgehogs will be a little nervous when a strange person handles them or when they first wake up. The hedgehog should come out of a ball fairly quickly so that you can see its feet and nose. It may cover its forehead when it is nervous. You should be able to be visually inspect your hedgehog to ensure good health. Some hedgehogs will completely lay down their spines, while other hedgehogs may keep their quills somewhat erect due to nervousness. Huffing is okay because that is part of hedgehog nature and communication. The hedgehog should not click, jump, or pop. This behavior means that the hedgehog is trying to defend itself by threatening you. Keep in mind that most babies go home right around the time of their first quilling. This will make the hedgehog more agitated and uncomfortable than when it is not quilling. Selection Considerations  Choosing the right hedgehog for your pet can be hard. Every hedgehog has its own personality. There are several key things to keep in mind when you first meet your prospective hedgehog. Are they quilling? This may make even the sweetest hedgehog grumpy. It is...