Dogs and Hedgehogs: Teach Your Dog to Acclimate to Your Pet Hedgehog

Dogs and Hedgehogs: 5 Methods   by Glenn Anderson  |Published 11-09-2022

Hedgehogs are now becoming incredibly popular as pets in the United States. Many dog owners are questioning whether their dog can be trained to coexist happily with a hedgehog.

To assist dog owners who want to acquire a hedgehog but are unsure how their dog will adapt, we will cover 5 tips to train them to live with a hedgehog.

We recommend that you begin socializing your dog at an early age. This includes introducing them to a wide range of people, animals, and circumstances so they may figure out how to deal with changes and unfamiliar experiences. You must also be patient when teaching your dog.

A dog watching a hedgehog

Can a Dog Be Trained to Live With a Hedgehog?

Even though dogs and hedgehogs are not natural friends, they may be trained to coexist. Choose a peaceful and non-aggressive dog breed, such as a cocker spaniel, golden retriever, or pug. The dog also needs to be socialized early to feel at ease with other animals.

If your dog is gregarious and friendly and quickly makes friends with anyone, becoming buddies with a hedgehog shouldn't be too difficult. Regardless, no matter how wonderful your dog is, introductions should be calm and deliberate.

If your dog seems to have a high predatory drive and chases after small creatures such as squirrels, this may not be a suitable fit. Remember that many dog breeds were designed for hunting and killing animals.

Therefore, the first and most crucial step in introducing your dogs and hedgehogs is to ensure their safety. You should also remember that hedgehogs are solitary creatures and will not always establish friendships or wish to hang out with a dog. However, your animals should be acquainted with one another.

If you’re worried about raising dogs and hedgehogs under the same roof, know that the two may coexist peacefully if time and patience are given.

Dogs are often lively and excited while discovering strange stuff in their environment, which might frighten your hedgehog! Begin the acclimation process gradually.

You can always talk to the lovely folks at if you’re still not sure whether your dog can be taught to live with a hedgehog.

Methods for Training Your Dog to Live With a Hedgehog

Here are five ways you can help your dog and your pet hedgehog happily coexist.

Dogs and Hedgehogs:  Socialize the Dog

When introducing a new pet into your house, you should always ensure that they are appropriately trained. This includes socializing them with other animals and humans so that the new animal does not confront other pets.

This is especially crucial if you intend to welcome a hedgehog into your house or if you currently have one. You should socialize with your dog before exposing them to one another. It is recommended starting the puppy socializing as soon as they are able.

This way of educating your dog about living with a hedgehog will assist in preventing your dog from being aggressive. Suppose your dog is unfamiliar with being around other animals. In that case, it may react aggressively when they encounter a hedgehog for the very first time.

Interacting with your dog will aid in the prevention of injury. Your dog may not understand how to communicate with other animals if it is not accustomed to being surrounded by them. This might result in your dog inadvertently harming a hedgehog.

Finally, socializing your dog will aid in the formation of a link between your dog and the hedgehog. If your dog is familiar with being around other creatures, it is more likely to consider a hedgehog a buddy. This will help ensure that the dog and hedgehog can coexist harmoniously.

Create an Enclosure

Two hedgehogs and in an enclosure

When you initially purchase a hedgehog, you should build a habitat before bringing it into your house. This is because hedgehogs are tiny, sensitive animals that require a safe spot to hide and sleep.

Hedgehog enclosures should be constructed of durable material that will not crumble or collapse. It ought to be large enough to accommodate the hedgehog and have a lid to prevent it from escaping.

Keeping warm is essential for your hedgehog to live a better, more extended, and more pleasant life. If your hedgehog becomes cold, it may be grumpy, refuse to mingle with you, and ultimately go into hibernation.

Your hedgehog's habitat should be in a somewhat peaceful environment, distant from loud noises and boisterous family members like barking dogs. Because hedgehogs are nocturnal, they are awake at night and attempt to sleep during daylight hours when your house is the loudest.

The cage will also be crucial in protecting the hedgehog from danger. Your dog may not intend to harm the hedgehog. However, the dog’s size and power might easily damage or kill the hedgehog.

A cage helps you to adequately supervise your dog's interactions with the hedgehog. This is critical because you must ensure that the hedgehog is not tormented or mistreated. You can intercede and segregate the two animals if you notice any symptoms of violence.

Get a Feeding Station

Hedgehog at feeding station

A feeding station is necessary since it makes your hedgehog feel secure and at ease when eating. It will also prevent your dog from accessing the food and becoming unwell. Because dogs consume meat, it's no wonder that the same meal appeals to them.

When a hedgehog is having a delicious meal, they may not be as attentive to dangers as they are during other times. Putting your hedgehog's meals in a feeding station will provide some protection from a curious or hostile dog.

Dogs are curious creatures who prefer to inspect new things by sticking their noses and tongues where they don't belong. Nearly every single dog owner has experienced a few food fights with their pets.

A feeding station is essential if you don't want your dog whining for hedgehog food. Your dog will soon understand that hedgehog food is off-limits, and you will no longer have to deal with fights or begging.

A content hedgehog is a thriving hedgehog, and a feeding station will assist you in keeping your hedgehog content. A cheerful hedgehog is more active and lively and less likely to be anxious or frightened. This will make training your dog to coexist with a hedgehog easier.

Having a defined spot for the hedgehog to eat also teaches your dog to respect this as the hedgehog's domain. It makes it less likely to annoy or disturb the hedgehog when eating.

A feeding station can also help prevent your dog from mistakenly consuming raw meat left for the hedgehog, which might make your dog unwell.

Introduce the Two at Night

dogs and hedgehogs being introduced at night

Nighttime is the most incredible opportunity to introduce a dog and a hedgehog since both creatures become less active and more likely to be relaxed. This will assist in minimizing stress levels in both animals and increase the likelihood of them getting along.

Before you begin the introduction, make absolutely sure all animals are well-fed. Having a full stomach will assist in settling them back down and reduce their chances of becoming irritated.

Before bringing the hedgehog inside the room, put the dog on a leash. This will assist in keeping the dog in control and prevent it from becoming overly enthusiastic. Allow the hedgehog to survey the room at their leisure. Try not to coerce it into interacting with the dog.

Allow the hedgehog time to acclimate to the unfamiliar setting if it appears timid or scared. It may take several days, if not weeks, for the hedgehog to feel at ease around the dog. Increase the time the two creatures spend together gradually until they get accustomed to each other.

Dogs and Hedgehogs: Supervise Playtime

dog and hedgehog

When teaching your dog to coexist with a hedgehog, it is critical to monitor them during play. Hedgehogs are tiny, sensitive animals that can be easily hurt by a naughty dog.

Even the most well-mannered dog can inadvertently harm a hedgehog, so it is critical to be there while they play to ensure everything runs properly.

Make sure that the play space is secure and protected. Hedgehogs are tiny and may rapidly flee an unprotected place. Begin with brief play sessions and gradually expand the time as the dog and hedgehog grow better acquainted.

Keep a close eye on the dog's nonverbal cues. If the dog seems to be playing too harshly, or if the hedgehog seems terrified or upset, stop them immediately.

Keep a few toys available for the dog and hedgehog to enjoy. Ensure the toys are modest enough so the hedgehog does not swallow them. Prepare to step in if required. Intervene promptly if the dog becomes too harsh or the hedgehog is uncomfortable.

Final Words

Hedgehogs can make excellent pets, but it's essential to train your dog to live with them safely. That’s why we have covered the 5 tips to train your dog to live with a hedgehog which should make the process easier for you.

While it’s okay to be apprehensive about the two pets, we recommend you start the process with an open mind and be patient with the training. Otherwise, you won’t get the expected results and will have a crisis on your hands.

Pin for Future Reference

A small dog is holding a small hedgehog on his head

Author Bio

Glenn Anderson has been a freelance writer for years. A pet enthusiast and a flag-bearer of organic eating, a fitness freak, and obsessed with all things food, plants, and animals. He also loves writing and discussing things that make him happy.

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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, beagles, English bulldogs, carin terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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