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Sugar Gliders
Advice Please for New Owner Jitters
Advice Please for New Owner Jitters
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Jul 11 2017
10:32:10 PM
Heya. Long story short, I ended up inheriting some gliders after my great aunt's death, and I am determined to keep them successfully. They are 2 years old, and the male is neutered. They are a brother/sister bonded pair. I know she got them from a responsible breeder, from what I remember her saying (I don't know who though). I took them to the vet and they got a clean bill of health. I have them on BML, they got the Madagascar cage, all the toys and the good stuff. I got the technical issues taken care of. My great aunt knew her stuff and left a whole care packet in case of a situation like this, thank god (something I have realized is a great idea, and have now done for all my pets in case something happened to me).

However, I have never interacted with an animal so tiny before, so I am a little fearful of hurting them. Did any of you feel that way? What did you do/you suggest to get over that fear? I handle dogs, so I am just used to having control (relatively) over an animal. So I feel that I also think the fact that I don't have control over the gliders in the same way is a part of it. I am scared they may get loose or get somewhere dangerous and I can't save them.

To help with a part of that, I glider proofed the room they live in, so if they do get loose, they can't get anywhere destructive or dangerous. I sleeved all the wires, covered the sockets, made fleece ladders to make a safe obstacle course around the room, nothing light enough they can push over, no other animals in the room ever, etc.

I have been doing all the bonding stuff, and am committing to however long that may take to make them comfortable (we have just hit the 2 1/2 month mark), but I am hitting a bit of a snag (if its a snag? I'm not sure). They refuse to go into a pouch when offered and heavily bribed enticed with treats. So I try with their sleeping pouch in the middle of the day, and they immediately wake up and get out of the pouch. I am scared grabbing them and forcing them in a pouch would break trust, so I haven't attempted that/want to resort to that. The way I see it, when I train dogs, I would never force a dog into a situation he was uncomfortable with (except emergency situations, obviously), especially if he did not trust me yet to have his best interest at heart. What do you recommend?

Sometimes the female stays in the pouch, and I was wondering if you think I should just pull it out anyway and at least hold the female? I was thinking that maybe it would help the male trust me, if she started trusting me first.



They are relatively calm, all things considered, and even the vet was impressed by their behavior, other than the male being hyper vigilant. They have never once bitten me other than a quick nip when I accidentally scared and they are genuinely rather well behaved.

Any advice you can give would be appreciated!
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Jul 12 2017
12:05:59 AM
minime3 Glider Visit minime3's Photo Album USA 50 Posts
Sounds like your on the right path. I'm also fairly new to gliders myself. I rescued a Leucostic female, Minnie in October. I got her a friend, Maximus in January. I don't know what I would have done without this site. There is a lot of good information on here. Like you I have always worked with dogs and have had lots of experience with other types of animals but Minnie was my first glider. They are such unique and amazing animals! I also had to overcome my fear in their size and quick movements.( still a work in progress)
I'm happy to say We all get along very well and have a blast together. one piece of advice I can offer is to relax and enjoy them. They will teach you what you need to know about their personalities. learning how to listen is the hard part I'm still learning all the time, some from this site but mostly from Minnie and Maximus.
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Jul 12 2017
09:43:04 AM
BennyNace Glider Visit BennyNace's Photo Album 89 Posts
I would suggest going thru the bonding process. Hold them while their in their pouch, give lots of mealies,and do tent time. They were bonded to your aunt, so now you need to let them bond with you. I have 6 gliders and none like to be held. Its more like they hold you lol giving chase does set the process back some. That's why a tent is very helpful. They will end up coming to you and no need to chase. Be consistent and create a routine.

I actually put my gliders in my shirt. They get used to your smell and voice, and they like the warmth. Eventually they'll see u as a safe place and climb in on their own. (keep their nails trimmed and wear an undershirt lol) good luck
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Jul 12 2017
01:08:52 PM
trying Starting Member 3 Posts
Hey Bennynace, thank you for taking the time to reply, but I am looking for applicable advice. I am not at all trying to be rude/aggressive/assertive/etc., so I apologize if I come off that way, but I am confused by your reply. As I stated in the original post, I am going through the bonding process depicted on this website and other sources, I know they need to get used to me and that they were bonded to my aunt, and I know I need to hold them close to me, but as I said, I am unable to get them into a pouch or carry out their sleeping pouch. So saying I need to carry them on me when I can't even get to that step does not help whatsoever.

I did not refer to actually holding them, my original post was focused on getting them in a pouch and on my person with them in that pouch. I have not chased them at any point because I feel that would be detrimental to the bonding process.


Hey minime3, thank you as well for taking the time to reply! Yeah, they move like little squirrels! Their speed surprised me when I first got them. I'm doing my best with the relax part. I make sure I never go in there/interact/show anxiousness when I'm anxious so I don't freak them out even more.

Referring to my original post and one of my questions, do you think I should bring the female out and at least hold the female on my person when she stays in the pouch? As I stated, the male always jumps out of the sleep pouch when I try to pull it out since I can't get them into the bonding pouch, but sometimes the female stays in.
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Jul 12 2017
01:46:29 PM
kidqwik Joey 16 Posts
I've had my first two gliders since February. At first they were afraid and crabbed all the time. Now they hardly crab at all and at night when they wake up, I open the cage and they jump out and climb all over me. In the day time it's a different story. They prefer to be friendly and outgoing when THEY want. During the day they don't want to be bothered unless you feed the two of them yogies. My second two that we got in May are coming along at their own pace too. The first two were sisters and the second two are also girls but not sisters. One crabs all the time still but she's not as skittish as the other one. She's more inquisitive and sweet. The other is afraid of hands and crabs in fear and doesn't want to be by your hands normally. Buuuut, last night I opened the cage door and for the first time, all four of them crawled out onto me. Even the one that's afraid of hands wanted to be with me. It takes time. What I've done with all of them is try to take them out when I'm watching TV in the day time and just put my hand in the pouch with them when they sleep. Sometimes one will start licking me. Sometimes they'll hear something on TV and get startled and jump out of the pouch. Mostly though I just put my hand in the pouch and give them little rubs n pets here and there with a finger. I do tent time with them here and there during the day. They used to be afraid of me in the tent and stay away from me. Now they'll run around the tent sometimes, but they'll always come to be and be on me. They want to mostly try to get in my pockets and fall asleep there. It's all a matter of them getting used to your scent and fearing you less. At night I wake them up and take them out to "go poops n peeps" over the bathroom sink. They're terrified still of this and just sit on my hand or shoulder while they poop n pee in the sink. Then I put them back in the cage and go and make their food. When I come back with the food and open the cage they're like "heeeey, wassup, let's play daddy!!!" and jump out of the cage onto me and run all over me and give me little love bites n nibbles(or they're trying to eat me.. not sure). Just go slow with them with movements and talk gently to them. They're afraid of paper rustling sounds and quick movement and loud noises. Be reassuring to them that u won't eat them and talk to them in baby talk alot. It's been working for me. :)
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Jul 12 2017
02:31:07 PM
redfoxx Starting Member 1 Posts
Advice for OP trying -

I think I understand your issue, and I would suggest not separating the two gliders. If they are bonded and comfortable with each other, then it could be traumatic to separate them and put them with a giant stranger (you). All three of you will bond easier as a group (or colony) than you with them as individuals. Also, I think it's best in the beginning to get them into a bonding pouch without touching them directly. Here are the steps I've taken to get them into the bonding pouch without them actually seeing me at all! (Basically, you're going to move the gliders from their sleeping pouch to the bonding pouch as though you have an inside-out sock.)

1. Start during daylight hours when they are sleeping.
2. Have your bonding pouch open and ready.
3. Take the sleeping pouch from the cage and hold the top of it closed.
4. Grab the outside of the sleeping pouch where the gliders are and hold them in your hand (you may need to do this one at a time). Remember there is a pouch between you and your hands are not against the gliders' fur.
5. Put your glider-holding hand inside the bounding pouch.
6. Like an inside-out sock, roll back the sleeping pouch and push your hand through, so that the glider is transferred from one pouch to the next.
---You may want someone to help you. You will need to keep the bonding pouch closed while transferring the other glider, and it sounds like your male will try to flee the pouch.---
7. Keep blankets in the bonding pouch with them. Gliders like to snuggle and bury themselves, so it's best to transfer them and their blankets at the same time.

I do this to bond with new gliders, and it works every time. The only concern is that in the beginning, there's some fear. Keeping the pouch between you and them should help your confidence - they aren't going to bite through the pouch, and if they do, it's padded.

I hope this is what you were needing. Good luck!
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Jul 12 2017
03:33:31 PM
jdching Face Hugger 807 Posts
Another thing you might try is leaving the bonding pouch inside the cage and remove their sleeping after they leave it. Or, hold the sleeping pouch closed and remove the whole thing and stuff it into the bonding pouch.

I always keep a square of fleece or a spare pouch near their cage. If they escape it is easier to grab them with fleece than your bare hand because they are not afraid of fleece.
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Jul 12 2017
03:35:09 PM
jdching Face Hugger 807 Posts
Another thing you might try is leaving the bonding pouch inside the cage and remove their sleeping after they leave it. Or, hold the sleeping pouch closed and remove the whole thing and stuff it into the bonding pouch.

I always keep a square of fleece or a spare pouch near their cage. If they escape it is easier to grab them with fleece than your bare hand because they are not afraid of fleece.
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Jul 12 2017
05:38:11 PM
BYK_Chainsaw Face Hugger Visit BYK_Chainsaw's Photo Album BYK_Chainsaw's Journal USA 689 Posts
I would suggest,

1. get the sleeping pouch and hold it closed so they cant get out, disconnect it from cage and take to a small glider safe room. let them out, nicely force them out, sit in room with them and let them be for 30 to 60 minutes, take them back to cage. After days or weeks they should start to explore you.

2. Do what you need to do, put them in a bonding pouch wear it on you with them in it. they are not domesticated dogs, they may need to be put in a bonding pouch for awhile.

I have done different things with different gliders. With Link I made him get on my arm for a treat, slowly step by step and day by day a little more. then I pulled away from cage so he was stuck on my arm for treat time. Now he is stuck on cage wall waiting for me to come at night for treat time.
But sweet pea did not respond to be put on my arm, doesnt like hands, but will come right to me in cage with door open, just isnt a fan of hands and being on me. so I'm slowly working with her a different way, just sticking my arm in front of her, so far she has gotten on me once the other day and started to groom me.

I haven't seen gliders (we have 11) lose trust because you pick them up for a bonding bag time. they come back to you quickly, just watch how they act and adjust your actions to best suit them. but they may need a PUSH to get them started.
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Jul 12 2017
10:51:13 PM
trying Starting Member 3 Posts
Hey BYK_Chainsaw, thank you for the response! My issue is that he is immediately up and out the moment I open the cage door. He's hyper vigilant. I've been able to pull it off a couple of times (that's how I got them to the vet the first time), but he is on top of his watch, so to speak. I've been testing different hours during the day to see if there is a particular time he sleeps deeper. I never try at night cause he's up and running as soon as 9:30 hits.

I know they aren't a domesticated dog, which is why I get a little nervous. I am out of my element. I agree they need to be in a bonding pouch for a while; I want to be able to get them in one.

Hey jdching, thank you for your reply as well! That's a great idea, I will try that tonight! I just hope I can be fast enough to zip it before he bolts.


Hi redfoxx, thank you for answering! You totally got me here. I actually have done a "sock-grab" as you described it, so I could take them to the vet for a second time, to get their nails cut (I had forgotten to remind the tech to do it the first time). I was worried doing it constantly would be an issue if I did it, but I'm glad you gave your insight. I will try tomorrow when my friend comes to visit so she can supervise me.


Just for some more background: I treat them and pet them now when they are treated, and they are ok with me at night. They come to the door to get treated and are not fearful of my hands. I read to them when I'm doing my daily/nightly reading, so they can get used to my voice. They grab onto my hands when I treat them and do not seem to overtly fear them, as long as I go slow, which I do.

I am doing the bonding stuff and I know it takes time; I am fully committed to all that time. I go at their pace. I just don't want the fact that I can't get them into a pouch without a struggle to be a detriment and was looking for ideas on what to do about it.
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Jul 13 2017
01:46:51 PM
kidqwik Joey 16 Posts
quote:
Originally posted by trying
ertly fear them, as long as I go slow, which I do.

I am doing the bonding stuff and I know it takes time; I am fully committed to all that time. I go at their pace. I just don't want the fact that I can't get them into a pouch without a struggle to be a detriment and was looking for ideas on what to do about it.



Mine don't always want to get out of their cage pouch. They want out when they're afraid or want to explore. If they don't want out and I need them to get out I try to gently scoop them up out of it and loosen their hands if they're holding on. If that doesn't work I invert the pouch. To get them into a bounding pouch from their cage pouch when they don't want to come out, I unzip the bounding pouch and put the opening next to their cage page and gently push the cage pouch from the bottom and they usually crawl from the cage pouch in the bonding pouch. Have you given the bonding pouch your scent by sleeping with it under your pillow, keeping it on you, or throwing it in with your dirty laundry? Mine are more receptive of going into the bonding pouch if it smells like me or has a fleece blanket in it that smells like them. When they're freshly clean they're hesitant.
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Jul 13 2017
03:29:18 PM
BYK_Chainsaw Face Hugger Visit BYK_Chainsaw's Photo Album BYK_Chainsaw's Journal USA 689 Posts
quote:
Originally posted by trying


Just for some more background: I treat them and pet them now when they are treated, and they are ok with me at night. They come to the door to get treated and are not fearful of my hands. I read to them when I'm doing my daily/nightly reading, so they can get used to my voice. They grab onto my hands when I treat them and do not seem to overtly fear them, as long as I go slow, which I do.

I am doing the bonding stuff and I know it takes time; I am fully committed to all that time. I go at their pace. I just don't want the fact that I can't get them into a pouch without a struggle to be a detriment and was looking for ideas on what to do about it.



Sounds like you are making some great progress.
I tried to pick up one of my gliders and put them on me, they got a little nervous and I let them walk down my arm and back to cage but they still dont like my hands much, but are right back to front of cage for next treat. So If I make the effort to pick up a glider that doesn't like it I would make it worth the effort and keep them with me for awhile 1 or 2 hours, apple slice in pouch.

So I would just grab the guy with a covered hand (bite protection), put them in pouch or in glider safe room, I have not seen this effect the gliders in a negative way. they have lots of curiosity and will come back to you SPECIALLY for a treat.
My wife's best buddy Gizmo was bonded this way, pick up put in bonding pouch. Repeat next day.
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Jul 16 2017
07:24:41 AM
TJones09 Goofy Gorillatoes Visit TJones09's Photo Album 3370 Posts
quote:
Originally posted by jdching

Another thing you might try is leaving the bonding pouch inside the cage and remove their sleeping after they leave it. Or, hold the sleeping pouch closed and remove the whole thing and stuff it into the bonding pouch.

I always keep a square of fleece or a spare pouch near their cage. If they escape it is easier to grab them with fleece than your bare hand because they are not afraid of fleece.




I hold the sleeping pouch closed when I remove it from the cage. I've always done it that way, at first I had to because of my Lulu's behavior, but now it's just so routine, and safe so I continue to do so. I hang their pouch in a front corner, I just use one hand mostly and press th top of pouch closed, and unhook one side. Next, I gather the top in my hand as I move over to the second side, and remove clip fro cage wall. By this time, I'm holding the top completely closed, removing it from the cage. Through this whole entire process, I am talking so fly to them, saying "it's okay, it's mommy, mommy loves you and takes care of you, you're okay, you're safe". I just usually say that, they may not understand the words, but they have become so familiar with the routine, I believe it helps.

To answer your specific question, if the female is the only one staying in the pouch, and you cannot get the boy to come out, after trying above suggestion (holding the pouch closed), then yes, just get the girl out for pouch time. Maybe her brother will take note and queues from her trusting you.

I've read a few more replies, sorry, sometimes I jump to chime in. Try to establish a routine as best as you can, use the same words, spoken the same way. I know it sounds crazy, but they get used to tones and inflection in your voice. There are certain words and phrases I use repeadidly with my gliders. I'm not saying I never speak randomly to them, cause I do, but for routine purposes I greet them, remove them fromvarious situations. For example, besides the sleep pouch removal I already gave, when placing sleep pouch close to me, I say "it's okay, mommy just wants to hold you for awhile". When cage cleaning I place them in their canvas travel carrier and I say "it's okay, mommy has to clean the cage", I do the same on nail trim day, if I'm not cleaning the cage. I always start off with "it's okay" , I tell them "it's mommy", then tell them what's happening now, and what's going to happen.

Edited by - TJones09 on Jul 16 2017 07:43:39 AM
Advice Please for New Owner Jitters

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Sugar Gliders
Advice Please for New Owner Jitters