I adopted a glider about 5 months ago. He was traumatized by his previous owners. They had dogs that would constantly go after the cage, let their kids hold him in his pouch and did not monitor them, had him in a room isolated by himself, and hardly paid any attention to him. They were giving him apple juice to drink, and a basic kibble that wasn't even ment for gliders. I have him on the critter love diet along with a fresh salad (following one of the critter love recipes), kibble for gliders, a couple of mealworms and a yogi treat. He has hi choice of what he wants each night. He goes for his nectar and salad first and sometimes ignores the treats so I'm not worried about him over eating. My daughter and I have made a lot of progress with Duckie. He no longer crabs and lunges when he hears us (he would attack the sides of his cage if we got to close). He let's us pet him and give him treats now as well as pick him up if he is in his pouch al long as we don't close it. He will let us pet him while he is eating as well. He doesn't let us pick him up yet and that is fine (baby steps). He is about 1.5 yrs oop. He recently started bitting for no reason and no warning. It started as little nips but now it is getting painful. He took a chunk out of my husband's finger a week ago. I noticed last night after he bit me a few times that he didn't seem annoyed or anything and he would look at me expectantly after bitting me. At one point he bit me particularly hard then went over to his pile of fuzzies. When I moved one of his fuzzies he started to bat at it like a cat and would nip it. He didn't Crab at me while he did this and he would leap on to the side of his cage then look at me like he was waiting for something. So I "played" with him using the fuzzie. Is his new bitting behavior his was of saying "Hey Play with me?".
The biting could be a stage, or maybe your hand soap smells like food. Offer a toy to bite or your fist (the tight skin will keep him from latching). And Don't flinch. They learn it makes you go away. Also when he bites, say "Sst, Tsk, or Sshht". It part of the glider talk for i don't like what you are doing. Only pick one, and be consistent.
It's normal for them not to like to be held. They prefer sitting on your shoulder or back. Tent time would be helpful.
I am not sure if he is neutered. Yes I do want to get him a friend but first a bigger cage. I normally make a fist or have my sleeve pulled over my hand. I tsk at him when he bites. I have tried a bonding pouch but he gets very aggressive if we zip the pouch shut and he stays aggressive for the rest of the day/night. I make it a point to use unscented soap before handling him.
Foraging things like plastic cup with a treat or a fav fruit or veg in bottom stuffed with pieces of fleece. Easter eggs work as well. Plastic drinking straws woven in and out of cage bars are a hit with mine.
Also, you may have to back up a few steps . If he has been tormented in his past life, he may need more space from you. Get to know you mean him no harm. I had one who came from a similar situation and used to just sit by her cage. I would read things to her softly, and sing her lullabies . One of my fav TV shows at the time was Big Bang Theory. And I would sing "Soft Kitty" to her. I sang it so much I made up my own lyrics for gliders. If you've never heard the song, you can Google it.
My lyrics to the song went something like:
"Soft glider, Warm glider, Little ball of fur.( "teeth" sometimes ) Grouchy glider, Sleepy glider, Crab, crab, crab..."
I had several different words i used, but that really doesn't matter. It's the quiet lull and tone to your voice(I can't sing, but the gliders don't care ) that calms them. They like high and low notes put together.
I also talked to them when I entered the room. If I bumped the cage, I would softly apologize. I still let them know I'm entering the cage for whatever reason. Cleaning, taking out or putting in dishes. If they crab, I would cup the underside of the pouch and rub them till they stopped. I always get the last word. If they started in crabbing again, I'd rub again. They learned if they stop crabbing, I will leave them alone.
Once you start earning some trust, and since he depends on you for company, there are a few more steps you can do once he stops doing the above.
Since he is older it may take longer, but be consistent and patient.
I do have a glider safe wheel. I had to get rid of the toys he came with as they smelled of smoke (previous owners smoked in the house). Im slowly getting him more toys. He comes up to the side of the cage and greets me in the morning before I leave for work. He doesn't Crab if I pick him up in his pouch as long as I don't zip it shut. He will climb on the back of my hand and let's us pet him. I've been going at his pace for the most part. He let's us know when he has had enough of us by going back to his sleeping area. The bitting is new though. He doesn't Crab or anything before biting.
It sounds like you have a great start. If you can post a picture of his head and his tummy we should be able to tell you if he is neutered.
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