Hedgehogs are smart. They will know when you are trying to chase them back into their cage or trying to pick them up. These negative experiences have taught the Hedgehog to react in ways that avoid human interaction.
Hedgehogs typically run away from people because they are afraid or angry. The Hedgehog has learned from past experiences that humans will chase, pick, or trap them in a small cage. Naturally, their instincts will see people as dangerous predators that need to be avoided.
You can help your Hedgehog overcome their wary instincts by teaching them how to trust you.
By offering your Hedgehog treats and companionship, you can slowly gain their friendship so that they no longer see you as a threat.
5 Top Reasons Your Hedgehog Runs Away From You
In general, Hedgehogs are known to be skittish by nature.
Today, domesticated Hedgehogs are often friendly and trusting towards humans as long as they are socialized at a young age.
If a Hedgehog is not properly socialized, it may learn wrong lessons about humans.
If your Hedgehog has a bad experience, then instead of learning trust, your Hedgehog will learn that people are scary.
Most of the time, we accidentally teach our Hedgehogs to fear us. Without understanding your pet’s mindset, we interact and cuddle with our Hedgehogs in a way that upsets them and makes them run away.
After you’ve learned why your Hedgehog is running away from you, you can make changes to improve the relationship you have with your little pet.
Your Hedgehog Does Not Want To Be Held
Even though many people consider Hedgehogs as cuddly animals, most hate being held.
Being carried can be a scary situation for Hedgehogs. Their first line of defense is to run as fast as they can and hide.
When you hold your Hedgehog, they feel trapped in your arms. There is no way to get out and run if they sense danger.
If you try to pick up your Hedgehog every time you interact with them, it will quickly learn to associate you with the fear of being held.
They won’t want to be picked up, so they will naturally start to run away from you every time you come near. At this point, your Hedgehog is afraid and does not trust that you will respect its boundaries.
Your Hedgehog Feels Concerned
If your Hedgehog feels cornered, their instincts as prey animals kick in.
They will try to run away as quickly as possible to avoid feeling trapped. This could mean that they run to the opposite end of the enclosure as soon as you open the door, running away from any reaching hands.
If you try to corner your Hedgehog to pet them or pick them up, your actions are likely causing this fear reaction for your pet.
They like to always have an escape route, just in case they need one.
If you make a habit of cornering your Hedgehog, maybe put them back into their enclosure, then the Hedgehog will learn always to run away from you to avoid being cornered.
Your Hedgehog Does Not Want To Return To Their Enclosure
Your Hedgehog will probably take note of the signs when you are trying to get them back into their enclosure.
Hedgehogs are actually incredibly intelligent animals, and they’re good at recognizing patterns in your behavior to protect themselves.
A Hedgehog who does not want to go back into its enclosure will learn to run away from you whenever you try to chase them back.
Usually, Hedgehogs don’t want to go back to their pen because they don’t like it. Most cages that are marketed toward Hedgehogs are much too small. These cages make Hedgehogs feel cramped and trapped, naturally trying to avoid going back.
Your Hedgehog Is Mad At You
Hedgehogs often run away because they are mad, not because they are scared.
Hedgehogs know how to hold a grudge. You may have done something to offend your little pet in these cases.
Maybe you refused to give them a treat or didn’t pay enough attention to them. Your Hedgehog will stay out of reach to ensure you know that they are upset with you.
Eventually, your Hedgehog might forgive you on their own.
You can also try to appease your little pet by offering them a treat or trying to pet them. In these cases, your Hedgehog probably won’t run away from you all the time, only when you’ve done something to make them mad!
Your Hedgehog Is Just Playing
In some cases, Hedgehogs will sometimes run away as a form of play.
Young Hedgehogs, especially, will like to play a form of tag. They’ll come up to you and then run away.
They’ll stop looking behind them and see if you are following and still show confident body posture.
Feel free to play along with your Hedgehog until they get bored of the game. When a Hedgehog plays with you like this, it’s a sign that they like you and are starting to trust you.
So, if you pay attention to your little pet’s body language when they are running away, you might find that your Hedgehog is not afraid after all. Maybe they just want to play.
How To Gain Your Hedgehog’s Trust?
You need not be upset if your Hedgehog runs away from you. There are a few things you can do to change the situation.
You can teach your Hedgehog to trust you and form a bond with them. With a little bit of time and patience, your Hedgehog will stop running away from you. Instead, they will be happy and friendly around people.
Get Down On The Ground Level
Hedgehogs are tiny creatures, and for them, we humans are just a pair of feet if we place them on the ground.
Therefore, it is best to get on the ground or crouch low on the ground whenever you are playing with your Hedgehog.
This will help your Hedgehog feel more comfortable and at home. You will not be accepted as a tall and arrogant animal.
The goal is not to force your Hedgehog to come up to you and interact but to give them options.
By sitting quietly on the floor in a place your Hedgehog has access to, they will eventually get curious and come up to you all on their own.
Some Hedgehogs are very shy, they might not come up to you at all the first couple of times you hang out with them, and that’s okay. They’ll still be getting used to your presence little by little.
Offer Your Hedgehog Treats
Treats are an amazing way to entice your Hedgehog to bond with Hedgehog. You can use your pet’s favorite treat to get to them.
Hedgehogs love to munch on worms and insects. However, do not serve them too much at a time. Excessive consumption of treats could easily upset their sensitive stomachs.
When you reward your Hedgehog, they will be more likely to come to you again and gain.
Pet Your Hedgehog Without Picking Them Up
If you want to bond with your Hedgehog quickly, you must avoid cornering them or picking them up for the first few weeks.
Most Hedgehogs do not like to be held. If you try to get hold of your Hedgehog all the time, then they will start to associate you with the feeling of being trapped and scared.
Most Hedgehogs will avoid anyone who comes and tries to pick them up all the time. However, your Hedgehog will be more likely to confidently approach you and bond with you if they feel they have a choice in the interaction.
You should avoid picking your Hedgehogs up most of the time if you want to have a happy relationship with them. However, there might be some emergency cases where you want to pick your Hedgehog, okay.
Avoid Lound Sounds And Fast Movements
Hedgehogs can easily get scared by loud noises. If you are making a lot of noise, then there are rare chances that your Hedgehog will approach you.
It is important to maintain silence whenever you are around your Hedgehog. Try to keep the sound to a bare minimum.
Whenever you are around them, speak in a soft and gentle voice. Try reading a book or other quiet activity while sitting on the floor with your Hedgehog.
Spend A Lot Of Time With Your Hedgehog
The best action you can take to gain a Hedgehog’s trust is to spend a lot of time with them.
Let your Hedgehog hang out with you while you watch TV, and make a habit of sitting with your pet every day. You can spend this time getting to know your Hedgehog.
As your Hedgehog feels safer around you, they will naturally trust you more and run away from you less. The two of you will develop a closer and closer bond.