• Temperament Testing II- The Test

    Written by Laura Tong

    To administer this test you will need a relatively quiet area where you can work with the hedgehog(s) you are wanting to test. You will also need someplace you can safely set the animal(s) down, a book to drop, or even better a pan you can bang, (something to make a startling noise), and you may prefer a chair to sit in for part of the test.

    The order of the test is as follows:

    * A. Pick animal up from cage
    * B. Hold in hands or lap while sitting quietly until animal unrolls or for up to two minutes.
    * C. Stroke animal gently on back while in hands or lap
    * D. Carefully roll animal onto back in your hands
    * E. Set animal on floor
    * F. Touch hedgehog on back while on floor
    * G. Drop book or make other loud noise about 18-24 in from hedgehog while it is on floor
    * H. Pick hedgehog up from floor

    A. Pick animal up from cage

    1. Brief huff, if any, does not ball.
    2. Minor huffing, may ball or partially ball briefly.
    3. Minor huffing, balls tightly, but unrolls within 10 seconds.
    4. Huffs and pops when picked up. Balls tightly. Calms some within 10 seconds but does not unroll.
    5. Huffs and pops extensively. Stays in tight ball.

    B. Hold animal in hands or lap until animal unrolls or for up to two minutes.

    1. Does not ball. Minimal or no quill erection. Animal is curious and eager to explore
    2. Unballs almost immediately, quills are relaxed if not perfectly smooth within 10 seconds. Once settled animal is curious and eager to explore.
    3. Unballs within 10 seconds but keeps quills semi erect. Animal is curious, but raises quills and lowers visor somewhat at any unexpected movement or noise.
    4. Takes some time to unball, and even when unrolled does not relax quills. Very quick to ball at any unexpected movement or noise.
    5. Does not fully unball within given time. Huffs and pops at any unexpected movement or noise.

    C. Stroke animal gently on back while in hands or lap

    1. Animal shows no concern at being stroked 2. Minor quill reaction to being stroked, little or no audible reaction.
    3. Animal partially raises quills and may huff briefly or partially ball.
    4. Animal huffs and may pop some. Returns to or tightens ball.
    5. Animal huffs and pops extensively.

    D. Carefully roll animal onto back

    1. Does not ball, but may struggle and wave feet
    2. Rolls into loose ball, huffs some, but unrolls within 10 seconds
    3. Rolls into tight ball, may huff and pop, but begins to unroll within 10 seconds. May not ever fully unroll while on back.
    4. Rolls into tight ball, huffs and pops. May peek head out slightly, but does not attempt to unball.
    5. Animal huffs and pops extensively. Makes no move to unroll at all.

    E. Set animal on floor

    1. Animal immediately begins to explore, quills are relaxed but may be partially raised when a new sight or sound is encountered.
    2. Animal partially raises quills and looks around, then begins to explore. Quills are kept partially raised and are raised further at any new sight or sound.
    3. Animal raises quills and may partially ball. After a few seconds begins to cautiously explore. Never fully relaxes quills.
    4. Animal balls, but at least partially unrolls within ten seconds. Animal is extremely cautious about starting to explore and may ball again at any surprise.
    5. Animal stays in ball and makes no move to explore. May continue to huff and pop even after no longer being touched.

    F. Touch hedgehog on back while on floor

    1. Animal may slightly raise quills or make a minor noise of surprise. No other reaction. Does not stop exploring.
    2. Animal raises quills somewhat and may huff slightly, but quickly goes back to exploring.
    3. Animal raises quills and may partially ball. Minor huffing, may pop, but then goes back to exploring fairly quickly.
    4. Animal balls and huffs, may pop some. Goes back to exploring after a short time of waiting to see what will happen.
    5. Huffs and pops loudly, most likely actually hopping off of the floor.

    G. Stomp foot or drop book about 18 in from hedgehog while on floor

    1. Animal may slightly raise quills or make a minor noise of surprise. No other reaction. Does not stop exploring.
    2. Animal raises quills somewhat and may huff slightly, but quickly goes back to exploring.
    3. Animal raises quills and may partially ball. Minor huffing, may pop, but then goes back to exploring fairly quickly.
    4. Animal balls and huffs, may pop some. Goes back to exploring after a short time of waiting to see what will happen.
    5. Huffs and pops loudly, most likely actually hopping off of the floor.

    H. Pick hedgehog up from floor

    1. Brief huff, if any, does not ball.
    2. Minor huffing, may ball or partially ball briefly.
    3. Minor huffing, balls tightly, but unrolls within 10 seconds.
    4. Huffs and pops when picked up. Balls tightly. Calms some within 10 seconds but does not unroll.
    5. Huffs and pops extensively. Stays in tight ball.

    After administering the test, add the total of the scores (ie. 1+3+2 etc.) and divide by the number of questions (8). This will be your hedgehog's temperament score.