Please help

Jess.skelton

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Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
1
So I got my chin before Christmas of 2019 and by now I think she’s used to all the new sounds, smells, etc. but when I try to get her out of the cage she runs and when I catch her she bites me, and I know I’m not squeezing her but she just don’t like me to touch her. So I block off the bed so she cant go under because I can’t catch her when she goes under there, and I open the cage and just sit on the floor doing whatever and she comes out and runs around but when I move she runs back to the cage. I just want to be able to interact with her, any suggestions?
 

Amethyst

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It can take a chin a month just to settle in, then once settled in they can start to bond with you, so you just need more time, building trust can take months. Try just sitting by the cage and talking, reading aloud, or even singing to her. Have the cage door open and let her sniff and come to you on her own terms don't grab her, you can even offer her a treat, or hand her pellets, hay, or chew sticks, you are building a friendship, which doesn't happen over night. You can also try every time you enter the room give her a treat (no more then one a day), chew stick, or something, so she starts associating you coming in and to the cage with good things. If you are chasing her at all you are actually hurting your bond, so if you have to chase her when out of the cage it's best to just stick with in cage bonding for now.

Some other things to keep in mind are, where she came from, if she came from a bad situation with poor treatment (like at a pet store or previous home) she will remember that and be that much slower to trust. Also most chins don't actually like to be held or petted, most will learn to tolerate it over time (sometimes months to years), they are more a pet that likes to hang out with you not on you (unless you count on your head because they seem to love to do that, lol). I know it's a horrible tease, they are so soft and cute, but hate being touched, lol. Most do have a spot they like to be scratched and petted though, so you'll have to learn where that is for your chinchilla, for example just under the jaw/cheeks is a common place a lot of them like.
 

Dragonflye

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I have one chin that came from a bad situation and hates being handled. Over time, he has made some improvements.
Hang in there. Things should get better with time and persistence.
 

hedgewitch

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Messages
14
Sorry - this is going to be long but hope it gives you some inspiration. I’m involved with hedgehog rescue. Have been for 24+ years. I have a friend who does Greyhound rescue but also takes in a variety of other critters. We know sometimes the effects of mistreatment due to lack of knowledge, abuse and neglect can create barriers hard to break through. BUT we believe ANY critter should be given the opportunity to learn there is such a thing as genuine care and love and they can learn to trust some humans again! Each critter is independent of the next and will need his or her own time. The key is patience and persistence on your part.
I had a hedgie where his first human, 10 year old boy, brought school friends in to pull quills from his back. Mom caught them, returned hedgie to store telling son he didn’t deserve a pet. An adult couple got him next and either didn’t know how to socialize him or just accepted his agressive actions (running from or biting them). When they needed to rehome him and another hedgie they had I was called. First boy was pretty calm and social. But Henry was a ball of quills, uncurled only long enough to bite and draw blood and curl back up tight! I asked hubby to sit Henry on the sofa each night when he watched Jeopardy (I worked evenings), not to make any contact but let Henry make the first move. The goal - let Henry learn human contact did not have to equate pain. It took a full week before Henry would uncurl and even sniff around hubby. Then gradually he would climb over his lap and stretch up his shirt to lick at or tug on his beard. But he’d curl up if hubby moved suddenly and if opportunity allowed Henry would nip. Within three months he came to trust we would not harm him and hedgie experienced friends could handle him if quiet and no sudden moves. By the end of the forth month Henry allowed, with caution, anyone to pet him. Before he passed away he was our #1 snuggler and even took a few ribbons in hedgie shows!
My next favorite story is of Roxie who can to me by way of a dog breeder/trainer. Roxie and a male hedgie were being sold as a “breeding pair” at a livestock auction. This lady knew nothing hedgies except they deserved better than what she was witnessing - dirty, quill loss, skiddish. It’s been over a decade since Roxie passed and I still don’t know what this lady paid in her final bidding for the two hedgies. “Sonic” was outgoing, curious and other than needing better food quality, a bath and treatment for mites he was healthy. Roxie however was malnourished, had lost almost all her quills and her will to live! I bathed her gently, treated her for the obvious case of mites and told her she was beautiful and special. Everyday I cleaned her condo, gave her fresh food (which she wasn’t eating for two whole days!) and water and repeatedly told her she was beautiful and special. Day three she finally began to eat and later that week she played on her wheel and with other toys in her condo. I tried “talking” with her and I’d get images of a wall going up between us, her way of saying I’m not telling you any more. But I did know she suffered pain and fear in her past. At a hedgie show I had occasion for a professional animal communicator to talk with Roxie. I told him nothing than she was a rescue from a bad situation. Roxie opened up to him that she had given up her will to live and thought “here we go again” when she was handed over to me thinking she’d be put in a breeding for profit situation with another human. She told him I kept telling her she was “beautiful and special” and on her third day with me thought “maybe this human really means it”. I had not told the communicator any of that! But it was on that third day Roxie decided to give me a chance and took back her will to live! Roxie was never fully trusting of adult humans but was a wonderful liaison with children and enjoyed many educational outings. Three days of persistently doating on her, telling her sincerely she was a beautiful and special soul before she would attempt to eat again. Three months of gentle handling, bathing before her quills came back thick and luxurious. And at least three more years to share this beautiful and special life. A lifetime of fond memories.
Patience and love will win in the end. Don’t give up on your little chin. Tell her every day how special she is and let her know she’s loved. She’ll come around to trusting you and showing affection.
Teresa
 

BellaBella

Let me OUT
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Jan 30, 2009
Messages
187
Location
MD
Sorry - this is going to be long but hope it gives you some inspiration. I’m involved with hedgehog rescue. Have been for 24+ years. I have a friend who does Greyhound rescue but also takes in a variety of other critters. We know sometimes the effects of mistreatment due to lack of knowledge, abuse and neglect can create barriers hard to break through. BUT we believe ANY critter should be given the opportunity to learn there is such a thing as genuine care and love and they can learn to trust some humans again! Each critter is independent of the next and will need his or her own time. The key is patience and persistence on your part.
I had a hedgie where his first human, 10 year old boy, brought school friends in to pull quills from his back. Mom caught them, returned hedgie to store telling son he didn’t deserve a pet. An adult couple got him next and either didn’t know how to socialize him or just accepted his agressive actions (running from or biting them). When they needed to rehome him and another hedgie they had I was called. First boy was pretty calm and social. But Henry was a ball of quills, uncurled only long enough to bite and draw blood and curl back up tight! I asked hubby to sit Henry on the sofa each night when he watched Jeopardy (I worked evenings), not to make any contact but let Henry make the first move. The goal - let Henry learn human contact did not have to equate pain. It took a full week before Henry would uncurl and even sniff around hubby. Then gradually he would climb over his lap and stretch up his shirt to lick at or tug on his beard. But he’d curl up if hubby moved suddenly and if opportunity allowed Henry would nip. Within three months he came to trust we would not harm him and hedgie experienced friends could handle him if quiet and no sudden moves. By the end of the forth month Henry allowed, with caution, anyone to pet him. Before he passed away he was our #1 snuggler and even took a few ribbons in hedgie shows!
My next favorite story is of Roxie who can to me by way of a dog breeder/trainer. Roxie and a male hedgie were being sold as a “breeding pair” at a livestock auction. This lady knew nothing hedgies except they deserved better than what she was witnessing - dirty, quill loss, skiddish. It’s been over a decade since Roxie passed and I still don’t know what this lady paid in her final bidding for the two hedgies. “Sonic” was outgoing, curious and other than needing better food quality, a bath and treatment for mites he was healthy. Roxie however was malnourished, had lost almost all her quills and her will to live! I bathed her gently, treated her for the obvious case of mites and told her she was beautiful and special. Everyday I cleaned her condo, gave her fresh food (which she wasn’t eating for two whole days!) and water and repeatedly told her she was beautiful and special. Day three she finally began to eat and later that week she played on her wheel and with other toys in her condo. I tried “talking” with her and I’d get images of a wall going up between us, her way of saying I’m not telling you any more. But I did know she suffered pain and fear in her past. At a hedgie show I had occasion for a professional animal communicator to talk with Roxie. I told him nothing than she was a rescue from a bad situation. Roxie opened up to him that she had given up her will to live and thought “here we go again” when she was handed over to me thinking she’d be put in a breeding for profit situation with another human. She told him I kept telling her she was “beautiful and special” and on her third day with me thought “maybe this human really means it”. I had not told the communicator any of that! But it was on that third day Roxie decided to give me a chance and took back her will to live! Roxie was never fully trusting of adult humans but was a wonderful liaison with children and enjoyed many educational outings. Three days of persistently doating on her, telling her sincerely she was a beautiful and special soul before she would attempt to eat again. Three months of gentle handling, bathing before her quills came back thick and luxurious. And at least three more years to share this beautiful and special life. A lifetime of fond memories.
Patience and love will win in the end. Don’t give up on your little chin. Tell her every day how special she is and let her know she’s loved. She’ll come around to trusting you and showing affection.
Teresa
Beautiful story, Teresa. I fully agree! Love and patience, patience, patience is key!
My first chin, Bella, was a rehome. They never named her or the boy they also had (I assumed they were attempting to breed) and she was clearly terrified of people. After a few months, she let me pet het her only on her head, and only while in her cage. It took 6 years before she would let me touch her while she was out for playtime, but she would climb on me during that time. Now she’s older, has teeth issues and arthritis, but is always very happy and excited to see me. Still doesn’t like being touched down the middle of her back though!
 

BlastingFonda

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
9
Still doesn’t like being touched down the middle of her back though!
Same with my male chin Gandalf. I personally think many (most?) chins have a natural tendency to distrust any petting on their back, though they will often learn to tolerate everywhere else, as they regard it as a possible dominance humping situation. If I pet him back there, Gandalf'll make a yip or bark, spin around, see it's me, make an expression like "Oh, cool, it's you, my bud who I trust!", and be fine with me petting him. Then I'll try his back again and he'll react the same way! He just has a hardwired dislike of anything touching his back because it means he may be dominated and put lower in the pecking order!
 

tunes

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Chins are prey animals and, like almost all prey animals, they get taken from top/behind. Ever see a dog cower when you try to pet them on the top of their head? It's always recommended to come at an unfamiliar dog palm up at the front of their head so they know you're not a threat. It's the same thing with a chin. Coming at them from the top/behind makes instinct kick in.
 

hedgewitch

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Messages
14
HeHe I’m the same... don’t like folks sneaking up from behind! Most hedgies don’t like being approached and touched near the face. Makes people look at me funny when I do educational events. Folks are only allowed to pet the hedgies we are holding, no reaching into the play pens. I tell them “start at the middle of the back and pet towards the butt”. When I do have one who will let me stroke around the ears and chin I am so happy at that kind of trust.
I think for hedgies it’s the bad eyesight, incredibly near sighted, that they get skiddish when approached head on. Too many humans move too fast and they must perceive that as a frontal attack and are startled.
And yes about approaching canines. A slowly raised hand held out open is a good approach. Sometimes squatting or stoping helps as you don’t look big and threatening. I had a chance to visit a wolf rescue and walk into several inclosures. In one three stood watching myself and a friend. We stood still with our hands held out, got sniffed and next thing I know they were all in play mode like we were part of their pack. Awesome experience!
Teresa
 

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