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Tame bonding approach

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Tame bonding approach

Post by Admin/arthur on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:08 pm

TAME GLIDER BOND STEPS:
The first training/bonding steps that I wrote was steps for un-handled or wild gliders. We go to animal shows and sell our babies(after questioning and talking to potential customers) and we use to get a response that sugar gliders are mean and viscous little animals. When people walking by would say this we always took one of our tamed or extremely bonded gliders out and would show these people that they are not mean animals just that the ones you got were un bonded or not tame. I would ask them did you bond to them and most if not all the time the response was
“what is that or what do you mean”. I also got asked a lot “How did you get your sugar glider so tame”. I told them I hold mom and babies and this would tame them to me quicker without fear. They would say well what about us when we get a glider? We use to give a handout that said after a couple of days of leaving alone put your glider in a pouch and put your hand in there and sit and watch tv or other quiet activity for a couple of hours per day. The problem was that the animals did not go through a scent or voice recognition period and would hard nip and/or crab in the pouch. So I wrote the slow guideline for training/bonding your sugar glider, but now the problem is that some of the gliders being sold are tame and not wild they just need a little time to adjust in their new environment. I have had some people that have gotten babies from me that in 3-4 days they are holding them and carrying around with little or no crabbing at all or after they recognize the owners smell and sound. Not all babies come around that quick but as far as scared behavior if glider was held before it goes to new home you should be able to shorten voice and sound recognition time and go into holding steps and carrying glider in pouch sooner. The following steps are for tame or handled sugar gliders. You should always start out by talking to your baby or adult sugar glider in a soft voice and get them use to a certain tone of your voice(recognition noise). You can even have a certain phrase or sound(kissy, soft pucker kiss,etc) that you use when you approach the cage or when you give them a treat. They will associate this noise with your visit or come to expect a treat.
Then let them see you at night and use same voice or noise, some suggies will crab at your voice and may require a different approach before talking to them.
EX: If you get a new baby and at night the baby comes up to you and jumps on your hand as you feed it but crabs when you talk to it in the daytime while it is sleeping in the pouch. You may need to handle it and then talk to it as it can see you such as opening the pouch then talking to it so the glider doesn’t get upset and scared of your voice, it can see you and talk as it gets a treat, instead of talking first. You do what makes them feel comfortable and secure when they are around you. Sugar gliders can be scared of specific things such as the light that rushes into a pouch as you open it, if your hand goes in directly after you open the pouch then they can associate your hand with bad bright lights. Sometimes delaying putting your hand in their pouch until after they have calmed down and their eyes have adjusted to the light may help in putting your hand in their nest. There is no rush to quickly getting your hand in the pouch or reaching in quickly to give them a treat. If they crab at your voice when in pouch then open the top of the sleeping pouch/or carry pouch and wait a few seconds and then talk softly or use your recognition noise that they respond positively to. Has to be a tone or noise that makes them feel comfortable with, so they will learn that your voice is a positive experience instead of a noise that scares them into crabbing and lunging every time they hear it.
EX: I have a blind sugar glider named Bluee and she crabs loudly when she and her companion are in their box. It is not a grunt crab but a pissed off crab. If I do the Psst or Tssk sharply and a short sound burst she will stop almost like turning a light switch or water faucet off. But if I make a Kissy noise(which is her treat noise) no matter what time of day she will stop and come out to get a treat. She only does the crabbing when we talk normally right in front of her cage, I guess she definitely doesn’t like me talking and waking her up in the daytime. She is very tame and will climb on my arm, she gives a little nip if I approach with fingers out. I have just had to adjust for her comfort and security to do things a little differently. She is six years old and very set in her ways, but we love her for who and how she acts, she also use to blindly launch to my chest when her cage was up on a shelf. She is in a four foot tall cage set up the same as other cages(we put toys back in same spot and her food dish, also water dish and bottle). I lost some trust with her when she launched to me and I was not ready for her, so we don’t do that any more.
EX: I have a cage that is in the same room as Bluee and Fluee that the one parent crabs when I talk going into their cage. If I tssk or psst same thing they quiet right down. But the odd thing is if I don’t talk and open their cage and reach into their pouch they sometimes chirp and there is NO crabbing at all. These sugie babies also have traveled with us out in public and don’t crab at all when being handled.

The point is that I use positive when bonding and try to have the sugar gliders to be comfortable but there is no set ways in what will work for every glider and baby out there. Some things work for some suggies and that same bonding/handling approach may not work for the next glider you get. You have to listen to them, watch how they react(behavior) to what you are doing with them and do what works first then work on hand taming or holding or petting them. Do what makes them feel comfortable and secure while they are in a pouch, box, or playing in or out of their cage.
If they come up to you at the front of the cage on the first night home or jump on you the first night then work with them without scaring them on the first contact with you. Just take a little extra time in that situation and let them feel secure and don’t scare them at anytime especially the first time a glider approaches you. Stay calm let them explore or climb on your hand or arm and if they taste nip you don’t freak out and give them a reason to distrust you. At this time as they have approached you and maybe even take a treat you can try other things after they are calm around you and your hands. Taking them out in their sleeping pouch and petting or rubbing through the pouch is a good start as long as they don’t continue or start crabbing. If you are petting them through the pouch if they didn’t crab at first may be a signal that they have had enough rubbing and are ready to go back to sleep. You can still keep your hand around them(cupped) ot r kind of lying on them from thre outside, they can still smell you. Also scent blankets that you have rubbed on your chest and/or arms and put in the nest area. Even after you start to place your hand in the pouch with them you can hold(loosely) in your hand as they sleep in the scent blanket, later you can move the blanket out of the way or push it to the bottom of the pouch. This may help them feel more secure when you first have your hand near or around them. Don’t force them to sleep under your hand gradually have your hand near them(can have a finger touching them or on them) you just want to have contact with your hand at first, like sleeping next to another glider. What ever makes them feel un-comfortable try to avoid doing that and do a variation of what you are doing first then move forward with getting them use to your hands and sound of your voice, and movement in the pouch. Sometimes if sitting with a sugar glider and you get up they feel in secure so I hold my hand over them so they feel safe and secure until they get use to the pouch moving. On this site there are different experiences with my babies and some may be conflicting or look and read that way but if you think about it the gliders have been raised all differently by the breeders and will react how they have or have not been handled by humans. Whether they were just carried in a bonding pouch, not handled at all, held as babies, carried with mom, dad, and babies. So the approaches and how they respond to us are all different. Some are also influenced by the new sugar glider parents. If they grab, chase, or continue to scare a baby sugie then the glider reacts accordingly. They are scared of you because you gave them a reason to fear you. They are scared of your hands approaching them because you grabbed at them. I believe if we don’t give them a reason to fear us that they won’t fear us and look and act toward us humans as a part of their colony. That is why we get marked, groomed, and they make happy noises when they see us or eat a favorite treat. If you are a new sugie parent have patience, move slow very slow if they are scared or until you know how they are reacting to what you are doing. Also give them some time to get to see you and interact with you in their brand new home that smells very different from where they were born and raised. Don’t give them a reason to fear you. And love them for how they are with all their little quarks good and bad, give them time and work toward a loving pet that is fun to be around.
Written by:
Arthur Gibbons
New Age Sugar Gliders
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