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Sugar Gliders
Bonding process
Bonding process
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Apr 18 2017
01:04:37 PM
So we've had our two guys for over a month now. They were both just over a year old when we got them. They seemed somewhat use to humans, but hadn't bonded to anyone before. We're at the point where they easily come up to us, from the cage, for treats. But they're still pretty skittish of us. When we let them out for play time, they'll climb on us, but run away from any perceived hand movement. My question is how do we move forward from here? We're pretty much staying at the point of them taking treats from us, but wanting nothing more to really do with us. And we've been here for about three weeks. How do we move along the bonding process? Because to me it's looking like it might not progress from here unless things are helped along.

We do have the gliders in a pouch with us pretty regularly. Not every day, but pretty constantly. And when we do have them with us, it's generally for pretty long periods of time. We feed them food/treats in their pouch, etc. And they do really well in pouch (though getting them in pouch is another matter, haha). I've tried putting one glider in my shirt, but that didn't seem to go too well. So I'm just trying to figure out what I can do to move the bonding process along.

One of the gliders is super calm and sweet but way more timid. I think he'll be such a cuddle bug, but I just don't know how to make him feel safe. I don't know how to get them to associate any "safety" with me. If they're on me at all, they'd just run away. And I don't want them to been terrified by me trying to force them to stay on me, etc.

I know most people will say that they just need more time and I agree. But things have been like this since I first got them. They were pretty socialized from previous experiences, but never bonded to anyone. And that seems to be where they are at and have been since they came home. I guess my question is how do you go from them feeling safe around you, to being safe with you? The process just feels a bit in a rut, and I'm unsure what is needed here. First time glider mommy here! Thanks!
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Apr 18 2017
01:06:57 PM
HoneyB33 Joey Visit HoneyB33's Photo Album 42 Posts
Oh, and I'm struggling with what to do about my more active one, Orville. Any time we have to grab him for nail clipping, or getting him out of the cage. It just seems to set him back, and make him more skittish of us. Should I just keep grabbing him and letting him figure it out? My best method is trying to trick him into the bounding pouch with treats, haha.
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Apr 18 2017
01:38:22 PM
BennyNace Glider Visit BennyNace's Photo Album 89 Posts
I know how discouraging it can feel. I have 4 gliders and they all have different personalities. There are a few things u can try. 1. Cut a square piece of fleece., maybe 1' x 1'. During the day when they're sleepy, wrap them in the fleece and hold it against you. After a few days hold the fleece over them with them against you. (no fleece between you). That will help them feel safe when they wake up and realize u havnt eaten them. :) 2. I don't know if you have tried the tent time, but you can take a good book in and some teaser toys (don't forget treats) and wait for them to come to you. If u can't get a tent, a small glider proof room will do. Just be sure to remove the dangers.
I have a baby girl whom I was sure would run away when I got her out,but after bonding for a while, I let her do her thing and she actually didn't stray too far away from me. I guess she was more afraid of other things than me.
Hope this helps some :)
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Apr 18 2017
01:54:52 PM
lilsistar Super Glider Visit lilsistar's Photo Album 285 Posts
It's hard especially since every glider is different. All of mine are shirt trained. They associate my shirt with safety. I did this by always putting them in the shirt. If I'm holding them, it's in the shirt. I nap with them, I play video games with them, I watch TV with them, they are always in my shirt. If they try and leave I scoop them up and put them back. This way also allows them to smell you and stuff.

When people say they grab their gliders I always imagine them going from the top and gripping them with their hand. Much like a bird picking up their prey.

I have found that that is a horrible way to pick them up... At least it is for my babies. I like to scoop them. I put one hand in front of them and use my other hand to nudge then on to my hand. Even if they don't end up on the hand they tend to end up on my arm or something. I admit it can be tricky at times especially if the glider is scared of hands.
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Apr 18 2017
03:29:41 PM
HoneyB33 Joey Visit HoneyB33's Photo Album 42 Posts
Thank you for all the really good advice. This is definitely the tips I was looking for.

With putting them in the shirt--is there a good way to do this so that it doesn't irritate your skin too much? That's another thing I have been trying to figure out. I definitely want the guys to be able to stay in my shirt, but their claws really do irritate my skin, and sometimes really hurt. Any advice on this? Also, thank you for the trick about picking them up. It'll take practice to get them to go on me, but this sounds way better.

The fleece tip is a good idea. I'm remembering now seeing someone do that. Practicing them being against me that way sounds like will be a good idea. I've been having my guys sleep in a blanket in their cage, that way they're already curled up in it when I open their cage, and I can just pick them up in their blanket. It's worked pretty well. But I'll try more with them being against my body.

And yes, we do bathroom time with them. That's been good, but they pretty much forget us and run off somewhere, haha. Trying to figure out how to get them to stick around. They like to climb on us, so that's good. Making progress at least. But if we even move they're off somewhere away from us, haha.
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Apr 18 2017
08:18:03 PM
lilsistar Super Glider Visit lilsistar's Photo Album 285 Posts
If my sugar gliders nails are too long it begins to irritate my skin. This is another reason to keep their nails trimmed. I also use it as a way to tell if there nails are too long. If they are like little needles stabbing into my skin, it's time to trim.

Only one problem is that they can't actually hold on to my skin right after I trim them, so I'll have to help them if they try and walk on skin and not cling to my bra.

It really helps having a bra for them to cling on to. This way they are digging their nails into fabric, not my skin.

When I first got my gliders I didn't know how to trim nails. At first it hurt like hell when they walked on me. I would also break out. Strangely enough after a few months it stopped bothering me. Yes I had scratches, but they weren't bothersome. Then I learned to trim nails and now I very rarely get scratches.
Hope that helps :)

Edited by - lilsistar on Apr 18 2017 08:23:19 PM
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Apr 19 2017
03:36:05 PM
HoneyB33 Joey Visit HoneyB33's Photo Album 42 Posts
Thank you lilsistar for all the tips.

Yeah, I think we're not cutting their nails too well. I'm always afraid to cut too much, haha. But it's good to know that that irritation can go away. I definitely want to allow them to be in my shirt, but it has been rough on my skin!
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Apr 19 2017
06:16:10 PM
lilsistar Super Glider Visit lilsistar's Photo Album 285 Posts
My sister keeps her gliders on the long side too. Difference is that I already had experience with triming nails on my lizard. What makes gliders more difficult is that they move.

When you look at their nails you'll be able to see a little pink thingy like in the picture. You don't want to cut the pink thingy so you cut right under it.



Over time you'll be able to see where you cut on the nails making trimming easier. It's finding the correct spot initially that's difficult.


Edited by - lilsistar on Apr 19 2017 06:21:28 PM
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Bonding process

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Bonding process