The unfortunate truth is that all animals — no matter how cute or friendly — can bite. But hedgehogs are not naturally aggressive, and usually don’t bite unless provoked. Even then, they’re more likely to just roll up into a ball, and huff and puff in an attempt to sound tough.

Pet-store hedgehogs that have been neglected, or hedgehogs that haven’t been properly socialized, are prone to biting. But hedgehogs from smaller breeders that handle and socialize their hedgehogs from a young age are much friendlier, and less prone to biting.

Our favorite New England hedgehog breeder has a great article covering hedgehog socialization, and what to do if your hedgie companion nips you: