Pet Hedgehog Spotlight: Acorn + Owner Justin

Justin and His Pet Hedgehog, Acorn!

Justin, a hedgehog owner from Massachusetts, has been kind enough to share a comical take on the potential not-so-glorious side of hedgehog ownership – caring for a grumpy hedgehog.

While it’s important to know that many hedgehogs are gentle, warm, and cuddly pets, their personalities can fall on the opposite, grumpier side of the spectrum, like Justin’s hedgehog Acorn.

So, here are some tips from Justin about caring for a grumpy yet still adorable pet hedgehog!


hedgehog care - grumpy acorn


Where are you from, and what do you do?

I currently work at the Simmons College Archives and am also studying archival theory & practice in the college’s graduate program.

My wife, Elise, works with developmentally disabled folks and teaches them art/craft skills to help them make a living for themselves.

We live in Salem, MA, with our hedgehog Acorn and two bunnies, Yoshimi & Clarence.


How long have you owned Acorn?

We’ve had Acorn for 5 or 6 years. He was about a year old when we got him, so I assume he’s learned all of life’s secrets by now.


Why did you decide to get a hedgehog as a pet?

I always wanted one because they’re just so adorable. I never thought it was a good idea to buy one from a pet store, as I didn’t really want to support the exotic pet industry, so I waited until I saw one up for adoption.

We found some young tween trying to get rid of him on Craigslist (because “he smelled too much,” which is true but come on), so I seized the opportunity and gave him a permanent home.


Hedgehog Acron playing outdorrs with Justin


How would you describe Acorn’s personality?

We use a lot of negative words to describe Acorn. Hateful is the most common one. And grumpy. Spartan. Spiteful.

We did our best to socialize with him and to get him to like us but to no avail. Either his first family scorned him, or he was just born full of rage.

It’s entirely one-sided, though, because we love him dearly. He’s insanely cute and would probably be content if the world was forever cloaked in darkness so he could run on his wheel as long as he wanted.


What’s your favorite part about being a hedgehog owner?

Since Acorn would much rather live in isolation, we don’t interact with him too much other than the usual bathing, cage cleaning, & such.

For the most part, we both keep to ourselves, so we make fun of how much he hates humans. He’s basically the butt of our jokes. That’s how he earns his keep.


That and by being SO ADORABLE.


When he was younger, we’d take him outside and do stuff like let him sniff around an enclosed herb garden.

Putting him in whatever (safe) situation that would strike our fancy also helps make up for the fact that he’s the most curmudgeonly pet ever.


Any tips or comments for future hedgehog owners?

Be prepared for terrible smells. Acorn’s poop is as rank as it gets. And make sure you’re okay with a one-way relationship.

It’s entirely possible your hedgehog will wish the worst upon you.

I have heard stories of friendly hedgehogs who enjoy being around people, though. I don’t know how common that is, but I think knowing the worst-case scenario is helpful.


Acorn playing with water, even if grumpy


Hi!, I'm Megan from Hedgehog Care 101. I started this site after seeing a friends looking after a baby hedgehog and how interesting was to care for it. HHC101 is a source of information for people looking to adopt a hedgehog as pet.

3 thoughts on “Pet Hedgehog Spotlight: Acorn + Owner Justin

  • April 11, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    My hedgehog Frost is an Albino Pygmy. She is also very scornful, but as you said I love her anyway! She’s about 10 months old and she loves to crawl around on the bed and sleep underpillows but she hates being handled.

  • August 7, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Most hedgehogs do not act this way and are very friendly with humans.

    • August 23, 2021 at 6:02 am

      Hi Pablo, thanks for sharing.
      Different behaviors and personalities, so yes they act in different ways.


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