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Parental bonding

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Parental bonding

Post by Admin/arthur on Mon Aug 09, 2010 2:15 pm

This bonding approach mimicks what the parents do to the baby joeys that are probably weaning. They don't all do it this way and sometimes a sharp tsst type of sound and the babies stay or stop what they are doing. Mom and Dad sugar gliders also use it(as I have witnessed it) to stop nipping, to stop them from climbing out of the nest pouch.



Pouch Bonding Steps:
When you start pouch bonding/training you should of gone through a few days of letting your baby get use to his/her environment and new home. You sit and talk to baby at night and try to offer it treats or have sugar glider move toward your hand. There are certain behaviors you look for while doing these steps so you know when to go forward in bonding. Let’s say your glider is hiding every time you come into the room and as you are talking to him/her all they do is crab. Then one day/night you see that your glider is looking at you and comes out from their hiding spot to investigate and interact with you. This is a behavior change and is a positive one almost like saying “hey you don’t look scary anymore and I think I want to be friends”. Behavior changes even very slight changes are very important in knowing when to move on to the next step in bonding or when there are the start of negative changes while bonding and how to correct these before the biting gets too bad. Also know what kind of bite or nip is and what it means. Whether it’s a first contact dominant(challenge) nip or I’m hungry nip or I love you grooming nip. When sugar gliders meet when doing that first intro I believe there is suddle behavior and a hierarchy established within the first few seconds of their initial meeting, what looks like playing or a greeting may indeed be deciding who is gonna be boss.




Step One:

When you put your glider in the pouch the reaction you get from him/her will determine what you will do next. When you go to put your hand in pouch the first time make a crease down the middle of the pouch(that blocks glider in the other side of the pouch) so the glider doesn’t see your hand coming into the pouch. After your hand is in the pouch slowly release your other hand off of the crease in the pouch. Leave your hand still for a second and if suggie doesn’t crab or lunge at you then slowly slide your hand over to the glider and you can either cup your glider or arch your hand over the gliders body. Also at this time you can talk to him/her and every so often pet them with your thumb or finger. Your hand over the glider is how he would be sleeping with the parents as he/she would be underneath them for protection. If your glider doesn’t protest your hand arched over them you can sort of lay your hand on top of them so your hand is in contact with the baby sugar glider. Or relax your hand beside them with your fingers draped over baby. I like to have my fingers laying over the top of the baby sugar glider and pet them on top of the head and down their back at different times. You should sit with your hand in the pouch for an hour or two at a time, the more time you have your hand in the pouch with the baby the faster the baby will get over the fear of the human hand. You can open the pouch up a little and look at baby and talk softly to them, if they crab or lunge up then just continue to rest your hand over their body.

If your glider is crabbing and lunging when you put him/her in pouch it maybe too early in bonding to use the pouch. This is why I don’t like to pouch bond in the first week of owning a sugar glider. While you are carrying the glider in the pouch sit down and be very still(if they crab and/or lunge) and firmly but gently place your hand over the glider with your fingers spread out, so that the pressure is distributed evenly and not directly on gliders body. You are not grasping the glider through the pouch. The behavior you want is for the tension or being scared to a calming relaxing security under your hand. You can actually feel their body go like limp or calm down immensely. It may not work first time so if they squirm out from under your hand just repeat the process until they calm down. Do this for a few days to a week or until the crabbing and/or lunging fits stop or the intensity of the crabbing changes as he/she is in the pouch.
Then you can try putting your hand in the pouch as stated above.
What’s funny is you can have your hand in pouch and rest over baby and when you talk or look in at them they start crabbing and may lunge up out of pouch but yet will still go back under your hand for security. There are different ways to hold your hand in the pouch with your sugar glider.
1) Hold your hand over the glider.
2) Put your hand under the glider.
3) Hold your glider in your cupped hand and against the side of the pouch.


When you first put your hand in the pouch you should crease the pouch down the middle and slide your hand in the pouch on the side opposite from the sugar glider. If he/she doesn’t crab after you release the crease in the pouch and the glider sees your hand then slide your hand over toward the baby suggie. The glider may even come over to your hand to investigate this new thing in their nest.
If your sugar glider buries up toward the bottom of the pouch when your hand is in the pouch or when you open the top of the pouch, you should start out with just laying your hand with your fingers on top of your suggie. This will give them some security and you can pet them with your fingers. If they taste nip you, you can place the palm of your hand over their head with your fingers over their behind. It makes it harder to get a grooming nip from the palm of your hand as opposed to a nip on your finger. If they do nip at your hand make a noise such as Tsst, hsst, or say no followed by a firm petting on their shoulder and/or a slight pressure on their back every time they nip you. You also can pet their behind and start to slip a finger(s) under them to get them use to being picked up in your hand, if they are not nipping you. When and if they will sit in your hand or sleep in your hand you can start to lift them toward the top of the pouch. If they jump or crawl out of your hand let them get settled down and re-place your hand over the top of them. Then in a few minutes place your hand back under them until they get comfortable. If they stay in your hand when you raise it up out of the pouch you can hold them up against your chest for a few minutes or until they want to go back in the pouch. When they get restless from being held on your chest kind of guide them back to the pouch by keeping your hands just over top of them and directing them into the pouch. Always follow your sugar glider into the pouch with your hand over the top of them and rest your hand over them while they are in the pouch. Another way to get your suggie use to being held is to cup them in your hand against the side of the pouch about half way up to the top of the pouch. The same way you would hold them against your chest but keeping them in the pouch so they feel secure. When they are content to sleep in this position you can just raise or slide them up the side of the pouch and out on to your chest. It is an exercise and practice to get your suggie use to being held and picked up so they overcome the fear of the hand. If they are really relaxed and comfortable with your hand you can try to pick your glider up by placing your hand over them and your fingers under them(they usually will grab on to your fingers as you lift up) and just raise them up and give them a well deserved kiss on the nose and then hold them against your chest with cupped hands over them with your thumbs facing your face so suggie can look up at you. If they bury up in your hands they are not comfortable in your hands yet, if they are comfortable they should just look up at you and be very calm and may fall asleep as you hold them. If your suggie keeps trying to bury up in your hands then let them go back in the pouch so they will feel secure and shorten the amount of time you hold them until they are secure and then slowly increase your holding or picking up time. Sometimes if they are restless you can apply a firm but light pressure by holding your two hands closer together, so your hands rest on your sugar gliders back to help them feel secure on your chest, it doesn’t always work. When it works you will feel your glider get calm very quick if they are responding to slight pressure, if they still are wiggly then let them go back in the pouch by shadowing them with your hands as a guide. Try not to be jumpy when you move your hands over your glider as you are just trying to guide them, just kind of block the escape routes except for the direction you want the suggie to go.
When you first start hand in pouch bonding and you have your hand over the top of the sugar glider they may try and root through your fingers to sit on top of your hand. This is ok as long as they don’t nip at your fingers if they do nip at you, then you need to be in control and have your hand over them with a slight pressure on them. If they squeeze out from under your hand then just keep replacing it on top of them if they nip you and remember to be verbal with Tsst, Hsst, Psst, or NO just before you place your hand over them. If they don’t nip you then just let suggie calm down and find a place to relax and then slide your hand over them or close to them with a couple of fingers touching them, until they trust your hand enough to be over them or right next to them in the pouch. Do not take your hand out of the pouch if you get nipped, if you have to just slide your hand to the other side of the pouch for a break. If you must take your hand out crease the pouch so the glider doesn’t see you removing your hand after a bite. But make the verbal negative noise before you leave the pouch, don’t let them win by chasing you out of their nest.
When you have your suggie out on your chest in your cupped hand(s) you can give them a treat to eat which enforces that being held and being relaxed is a good thing and brings a yummy treat. I do this when I hold my moms and babies and when the mom chirps I have seen the baby suggie stop nursing and come smell my fingers. It is so cute when the baby does that and I think it is wonderful that baby gets my smell with a positive sound from mom or mom and dad( you can pouch bond mom, dad, and baby together) instead of being scared and crying for mom as they smell a human for the first time. Since I am writing about hand in the pouch bonding I want to put out a “New” way of taming joeys, it is about taming the baby with the family of sugar gliders.
If you can’t hold mom and babies then I believe this is the next best way to tame baby sugar gliders. Here is a statement that I tell people all the time about bonding babies: Why do we scare our baby gliders before we try to tame them. The cry for mom and the skunking smell from the baby is a defensive mechanisms to scare you away from the baby and a distress call to the parents. The cry is the same cry you would hear if baby is being rejected and/or if baby got dropped off in the cage.

Hopefully your suggie will chirp as you hold them on your chest and they are eating their favorite treats.
Written by daddyglider/Art
New Age Sugar Gliders

Update:
This is how I bonded to Majesty. She was so stressed and after she calmed in her cage our first contact was a hard nip to the end of my finger. Since she came and was bred and raised in a pouch for sleeping I worked with her in the pouch. I went through some nips and at the beginning as I talked to her as she slept in her cage she crabbed and lunged at the pouch. I didn't even open the cage door. I touched her pouch as it hanged in her cage about three times a day until her crabbing was less intense and would quiet down. Then after this I took her sleeping pouch out and sat down with her, I gradually slipped my hand in and held it near her and then over her. She liked to squeeze through my fingers and get on top of my hand and give me a nip. Kind of like she wanted to be boss lovingly I would slide my hand back around and over her. She wouldn't crab just liked being on top. After she accepted me she would actually rub her head and back through my fingers and against the iunderside of my hand. She loved being petted during that time. I finally knew we were family when one night she crawled out on my arm and sqwaggled on my shoulder and like the other momma sugar gliders that dance. She gave me a little light nip on my ear and purred and then went to eat dinner. I melted and when she had babies she actually ran down and onto a cross beam in her cage and nudged the baby to climb up on me. Here are a few pictures of her with Jester her baby.

http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n13/daddyglider/MajieandWHITEFACEboy006.jpg
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n13/daddyglider/MajieandWHITEFACEboy005.jpg
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n13/daddyglider/Majestyandbabiesinpouch02-10-08006.jpg
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Admin/arthur
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