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Mentoring Program

What is a proper mentor?

Qualifications

  • Proper mentors will have a minimum of 3 years of hedgehog breeding experience and will have produced a minimum of 30 litters, giving them the necessary experience to properly assist new and inexperienced hedgehog breeders.
  • Proper mentors have educated themselves extensively about the hedgehog species, its health, habits, needs and requirements.
  • Proper mentors have interaction with a network of experienced hedgehog breeders to further learn and share their knowledge about the species.
  • Proper mentors practice husbandry standards that are ethical, humane, and more stringent than the minimum regulated guidelines as well as take into consideration the current widely accepted practices of the hedgehog breeding community.
  • Proper mentors practice breeding choices and methods that are ethical, humane, and focused on the health and well-being of their hedgehogs and the offspring.
  • Proper mentors work with a licensed veterinarian and will seek professional medical care for their animals whenever necessary.
  • Proper mentors will fully understand the value and use of pedigrees as well as utilize a licensed pedigree program to track all data.
  • Proper mentors will fully understand how to track and verify hedgehog lineage.
  • Proper mentors have educated themselves about possible issues that can arise with even the best breeding practices.
  • Proper mentors have clear, concise, and fair business policies.
  • Proper mentors are confident in their ability to instruct and guide others.

Proper mentors agree to

  • Be approachable and respectful to their apprentice(s).
  • Invest personal time into building a working relationship with their apprentice(s) and whenever necessary will travel to, meet with, or communicate electronically.
  • Invest time into researching pedigrees, lineage and potential pairings and purchases for their apprentice(s).
  • Assess and discuss topics such as ethics, motives, goals, business policies, and realistic capacity, as it pertains to the number of animals in the apprentice's care.
  • Ask questions that may make their apprentice(s) uncomfortable when it relates to what is in the best interest of the hedgehogs or the apprentice's goals.
  • Tactfully confront their apprentice if it is learned that the apprentice is operating unethically or inhumanely.

Apprentices agree to

  • Set realistic and measurable goals for their breeding programs with guidance from their mentor.
  • Keep and update proper records so that they may assess their progress toward their goals on a regular basis.
  • Practice husbandry standards that are ethical, humane, and more stringent than the minimum regulated guidelines as well as take into consideration the current widely accepted practices of the hedgehog breeding community.
  • Work with a veterinarian and seek professional medical care for their animals whenever necessary.
  • Give serious consideration to advice given by their mentor, ask questions if the advice is unclear, and accept feedback in a respectful manner.
  • Address any misunderstanding with their mentor directly and constructively.
  • Only purchase breeding hedgehogs that have been deemed beneficial to their goals by their mentor for a period of no less than 1 year.
  • Consult their mentor before any/all pairings or breeding of hedgehogs for a period of no less than 1 year.
  • Sell all offspring produced by their breeding program to only pet homes for a period of no less than 1 year; when they qualify for assigned herd initials by AHC.
  • Notify their mentor should they decide to no longer breed hedgehogs within the first year.
  • Find a proper replacement mentor in the event that a working rapport cannot be developed with the originally chosen mentor.
  • Participate in at least one discussion group regularly for continued learning opportunities.

U.S. breeders interested in applying to be on AHC's list of qualified mentors¹ or
U.S. breeders looking for assistance with locating a proper mentor contact AHC.

¹ To protect the privacy of our mentors, the AHC list of qualified mentors is not published.