Why It's Important to Participate in Hedgehog Shows


Lovely contestant at the Budapest 2023 show.

Hedgehog shows are events where hedgehog owners can showcase their pets, meet other hedgehog enthusiasts, participate in community and educational events, and compete for prizes. There are many benefits to participating in them, for both pet owners and hedgehog breeders. 

1. Socialization: Hedgehogs may be solitary creatures, but we, the people who love them, are not. Hedgehog shows are an opportunity to build community, share information, make new friendships, and catch up with old friends. It is also a chance to talk with newcomers to the hobby and curious folks who wander in. Having a strong community around our hobby helps ensure that it will continue.

A young enthusiast meets a hedgie,

2. Education: Hedgehog shows often include educational seminars and workshops for owners. These sessions cover a variety of topics, such as proper care and handling, health concerns, color identification, and breeding. By attending these events, owners can gain valuable knowledge and skills to take better care of their hedgehogs.

Petting a hedgehog for the very first time.

3. Community: Participating in hedgehog shows can help owners feel like they are part of a larger community. Hedgehog ownership can be a niche interest and it can be hard to find others who share the same passion. By attending shows, owners can connect with like-minded people and build relationships with others who share their love for hedgehogs. Shows are the place for those of us who love to talk hedgehog all day long.

Some of the award ribbons from the Tulsa 2022 show.

4. Recognition: Winning a prize at a hedgehog show can be source of pride for owners. The NAQA show system is based on points ranking and not relative ranking, so all hedgehogs will receive recognition for their points. This allows for recognition of the hard work and dedication that goes into caring for a hedgehog. Winning a competition can be a great way to showcase a hedgehog's special qualities and unique personality.

A proud prize winner.

5. Exposure: Hedgehog shows provide breeders an opportunity to showcase their breeding program and the quality of their animals. It gives hedgehog related business owners a chance to introduce their products to potentially interested customers. This exposure can lead to increased interest in their hedgehogs/business and potentially more sales. It can help establish a breeder's reputation within the hedgehog community by building personal connections, by allowing people to see your hedgehogs in person., and by demonstrating the quality of your hedgehogs on the show table.

Photo of part of a vendor table at the Budapest 2023 show

6. Networking: Hedgehog shows allow breeders and business owners to meet other breeders and enthusiasts. This networking can lead to valuable connections within the hedgehog community. Breeders can also share their own knowledge and experiences. For someone considering beginning a breeding program, shows are a great way to network and connect with a potential mentor.

Katee from Urban Hedgehogs evaluates a participant.

7. Feedback: Hedgehog shows provide an opportunity for hedgehog owners and breeders to receive feedback on their hedgehogs from judges and other breeders. This feedback can help breeders to improve their breeding program and to produce higher quality hedgehogs.

A breeder talks with participants about their hedgehogs.

8. Competition: Hedgehog shows include competition for various categories such as color/pattern, gender, and age. Points are awarded for conformation and personality. NAQA shows include separate categories for pet and pedigreed hedgehogs. Winning these competitions can be a source of pride for breeders and pet owners. For breeders, it also helps to establish and demonstrate the quality of their hedgehogs. 

In conclusion, participating in hedgehog shows provides numerous benefits for hedgehog pet owners and hedgehog breeders. From exposure and networking to feedback and education, there are many reasons to consider attending hedgehog shows. If you're wild about hedgehogs, why not give it a try? 

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