To make the first days as easy as possible, we give a number of tips. This is done through a step-by-step plan and you can actually use the step-by-step plan for any hedgehog that is not so tame or very anxious and it almost always works! Follow the steps as best you can, paying particular attention to how the hedgehog reacts. Going too fast can be detrimental to your band.
Give the hedgehog a steady rhythm. A set time of feeding, any lighting on a timer and in a later step use at set times. A steady rhythm gives the hedgehog peace of mind and little unexpected happens, so little to be really afraid of. For example: 9:00 am light on, 10:00 pm light off, 10:30 pm handling and 11:00 pm feeding. Keep that up for a few days. You can of course omit the handling at first, although it is not always necessary to omit it with a young hedgehog. Always handle before feeding, otherwise he probably won't accept the treat in the next steps.
Handling often requires some challenge with a scared hedgehog. So start very slowly by offering something nice from your hand. That can be a mealworm or a piece of fruit, but in any case something he / she likes very much and cannot resist. Let the hedgehog slowly come to you and eat from your hand. Repeat for a few days until he comes to you without hesitation when you have a treat with you.
Now you are going to combine the treat with the handling, so that handling becomes something fun. Lure the hedgehog with a treat, let him / her eat and then gently pick him / her up with both hands. For example, put the hedgehog on the couch with a shelter. He / she will undoubtedly go straight to the hiding place and stay there, but feel free to put something tasty on a dish on the sofa to lure the hedgehog out. This will take a little longer than the following steps, but just repeat it every night until he / she actually comes out. Let the hedgehog walk around quietly without paying attention.
If the previous step is successful, you can add something extra to the rhythm. While walking around on the couch, put the hedgehog on your lap instead of on the couch. For example, he / she is forced to be with you. Provide treats and treat regularly. If the hedgehog bites, DO NOT tap his nose as this will aggravate the behavior. Provide a teething toy (for example the sniffer mat) and try to be one step ahead of him / her. Offer the hedgehog the teething toy before he / she bites you. This does not immediately solve the problem, but it does move it to a point where it does not bother you. When the hedgehog takes the toy, let him / her rage and then reward the hedgehog with a treat again. In this way the hedgehog learns not to bite you, but the toy.
Once the hedgehog has learned not to bite you, you can start picking up and handling the real thing. Keep the teething toy handy so that the hedgehog has the opportunity to relieve his stress for a while. If you keep this up, you will notice that the biting behavior decreases a bit because the hedgehog gradually learns to trust you and he / she gets to know a steady rhythm.
Once the hedgehog is completely used to the rhythm, it is important to stick to that rhythm as well. Don't be afraid of relapses. You have been just a little too fast with the steps. Feel free to take a step back and take it easy!