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#1094576 - 04/02/11 11:41 PM Out for blood - PART ONE
NaeJ
Unregistered


I've had Smith and Wesson since about the end of October. I got them as joeys. Around Christmas I successfully introduced them to Chloe and Jasmine and now I have a happy little quad. They have access to their own glider-proofed room that has toys and fleece all around it to play on. I go down there and feed them and play with them every night. Well Smith and Wesson have been biting a lot. I do not chase them or do anything threatening. When I walk into the room, they stop whatever they're doing and run over to me and jump on me and crawl all over me. But they won't stop biting. Wesson bites more than Smith. He bit my ear twice tonight and I was bleeding all over the place. I don't know if they like the taste of blood or what, but I'm to the point where I can't take it anymore. I thought they'd grow out of it, but they haven't. No amount of hissing at them, pushing them away, yelling, telling them "no", blowing in their faces, etc will get them to stop. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my temper and really hurt them. How do I get them to stop biting me? It's not a fearful thing because I'm not chasing them... it's completely their choice whether they want to come over to me or not. And they don't bite when they're sleeping in my shirt, it's only when they're awake for the night. What do I do? I'm running out of patience (and blood)... I'm not using any different lotion, shampoo, laundry soap, I don't think I smell any different than I usually do... I've gone down there after I've showered, when I haven't showered, with clean clothes, with clothes they've scented thoroughly, the result is always the same and it's *very* painful!

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#1094581 - 04/02/11 11:53 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
glidermom71 Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 08/22/10
Posts: 734
Loc: Wisconsin
I am so sorry to hear that they have not grown out of the biting. I am sorry I can't help with any suggestions but I am sure someone with more knowledge about biting will be here soon to help you. I am also sorry to hear you are getting bit all the time, I know that can't be fun.
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#1094611 - 04/03/11 03:46 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
How long have they been biting?
Is this a newish thing, or has it been since they first came?
Are their times that they do it more or less?
Have you spoken to Bourbon about them?
Are they neutered?
Is it worse at different times of the month/week that they do it more/worse?
Does it seem totally random or do they have specific areas that they bite regularly?
Do they seem upset when they bite, or does it seem to come out of the blue?
Do they lick at all when they are biting, could it be grooming?
Do the bites start with nibbles, or just firm bites?
Do you know the girls' heat cyles? Do they bite more when the girls are in heat?

Answering these questions will help me (and others who can help) determine what is going on and how to fix the situation.
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#1094626 - 04/03/11 05:16 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11943
Loc: Wisconsin
Lonea,

I am sorry those little stinkers haven't quit biting. I think it might be best if you try taking them off of you and not letting them even get to the point of starting the behavior that leads to the biting.

I think that when they are playing in the room and are all wound up is when you are having the biting issues.

They are still sweet bra babies aren't they?

If you put them off of you (use a piece of fleece so they can't bite your hand) and not let them on you to start the biting behavior it may make them think that if they bite they do not get to play on you.

Just curious where are the girls when the little scamps are on you?
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1094645 - 04/03/11 07:33 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28202
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
I agree with Kimberley on this one...I think you are going to have to be consistent and take them off you at this point, so that they learn they can't be on you and bite. If they're good in your shirt or bra, it's not a "you" thing. If this was the case, they would be biting no matter WHERE they were. Again, I agree that it's something that's happening when they get wound up and they haven't learned to come down from that high and don't know how to behave. I know it's difficult to have biters...but please, don't raise your voice at them. And honestly, since they're still young, it's very possible that right now, when they do this, they're looking for attention (just like little kids) and hey, even negative attention will work. Do you get what I'm saying? They bite, you holler. Huh...if I bite, she'll pay attention to me! Children, as I'm sure you know, will look for attention, even if it's negative, just to get you to know they're there. So, my advice - if they bite. Gently pick them up with a piece of fleece and set them elsewhere. Don't say a word. Don't make an issue of it. Just move them - each and every time!
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#1094706 - 04/03/11 11:23 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: wildlifeangel]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Nadine, thank you for your response. Here are the answers to your questions:

1) They've been biting since December or January

2) They've been doing it since about the time I put them all together, but before that, I didn't spend a whole lot of time with the boys in the tent because they were still pretty fearful and I had a hard time catching them to put them back in their cage.

3)No, they bite all the time, not just certain times of the month, but only when they're awake

4)No, I have not spoken to Bourbon about them. I've been talking to Feather about them because I got them from her and she has their older brother. She says their older brother also bites.

5)Yes they were neutered as soon as I got them (at about 9 weeks oop--was a pom-on neuter with no complications)

6)I have not noticed any change in frequency corresponding to the days of the month or week.

7) Wesson mostly bites my ears, wrists, hands, fingers, nose, chin. Both he and Smith bite at my clothes too but when I have 4 critters crawling all over me, I don't always notice them biting my clothes.

8) No, they don't seem upset when they bite. It's completely out of the blue. When they jump on me, I pet them and talk to them and try to keep them away from any exposed skin. It's interesting because sometimes they'll crawl up the sleeves of my sweatshirt and they don't bite my arm or skin when they're under my sweatshirt. I thought maybe it was a light thing, but I keep the lights in their room quite dim when I'm in there.

9)Wesson does not lick when he bites. He just comes up to me and chomps down. Smith crawled onto my hand once and started licking. I praised him and told him what a good boy he was and he reached over to another finger and bit it. Then he started licking again and I told him what a good boy he was and then he reached over and chomped my little finger again. He bit the same finger both times and it was not a finger he had been licking.

10) Nope, they do not start with nibbles, it's just an all-out bite. And I can feel the effort they put into biting down so hard. It's like they're putting all of their strength into their bite.

11) No, it's strange... they don't bite at all when the girls are in heat.

The girls don't bite at all... they're sweet girls that love to lick and lick. Chloe likes to lick my ears and hands while Jasmine likes to lick my face. Jasmine gets a bit rough sometimes when she grooms, she doesn't draw blood and stops nibbling when I hiss.

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#1094710 - 04/03/11 11:34 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: DCMuffin]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: DCMuffin
I agree with Kimberley on this one...I think you are going to have to be consistent and take them off you at this point, so that they learn they can't be on you and bite. If they're good in your shirt or bra, it's not a "you" thing. If this was the case, they would be biting no matter WHERE they were. Again, I agree that it's something that's happening when they get wound up and they haven't learned to come down from that high and don't know how to behave. I know it's difficult to have biters...but please, don't raise your voice at them. And honestly, since they're still young, it's very possible that right now, when they do this, they're looking for attention (just like little kids) and hey, even negative attention will work. Do you get what I'm saying? They bite, you holler. Huh...if I bite, she'll pay attention to me! Children, as I'm sure you know, will look for attention, even if it's negative, just to get you to know they're there. So, my advice - if they bite. Gently pick them up with a piece of fleece and set them elsewhere. Don't say a word. Don't make an issue of it. Just move them - each and every time!


Aimee, I *do* pay attention to them when they're not biting. It's interesting because they'll jump on me and crawl around and sniff my hair and jump off of me and jump back and then all of a sudden, they'll run up and bite my ear. When I came into the room last night, I walked up to Wesson and was talking to him and telling him how handsome he is and asking him very nicely to not bite me. I didn't touch him or go after him. He was on a piece of fleece on the wall and I just stood there and talked to him. Then he came over to me and I pet him and rubbed his back. After he jumped off of me, I went out of the room, got their food together and got some mealies and came back in. I gave them their mealies and after the mealies were gone was when he started biting my ears. He had jumped off of me and was running around the room and then he came back, jumped on me and bit my ear immediately. It all happened so quickly, I didn't have time to react. Sometimes I yell out in pain but I don't make it a habit to actually yell at them. I push them away and they come right back. And keeping them off of me is difficult. I was pulling them off of me last night, and the funny thing was, they didn't bite my hands when I did that....

Sometimes when the girls are grooming me, the boys will come over, smell whatever part the girls are grooming and then bite. And it's never just a little nibble... they almost always break the skin.

I just keep hoping they'll grow out of it. My friend Sarah tells me about her sweet little boy who rubs all over her and never bites. I love Smith and Wesson and wish they would rub on me and snuggle with me instead of biting. I try to keep them away from exposed skin, but it happens so quickly that most of the time, I don't see it coming.

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#1094754 - 04/03/11 01:04 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Hold up! I think I see a pattern! You said they were biting AFTER the mealies were gone! Is this the norm, or just a coincidence? When I got my first gliders, they were fingertip biters because their breeder fed them mealies through the bars.

My solution for that was to either use a tweezers to feed their mealies, or usually I leave the mealies in the food dish for them to grab.

This sounds like a food related behavior. It couldn't hurt to stop with the mealies by hand, use yogis or licky treats for bonding and teach them slowly how to be gentle with your fingers (and the other body parts should follow). Licky treats work wonders!

Let me know if you try this, you should see results after a few days IF that is the problem.
_________________________
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#1094767 - 04/03/11 02:15 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
danileigh Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 05/10/10
Posts: 596
Loc: La La Land
out of curiousity do you by chance where your hair in a ponytail or something similar when you play with them? i have 2 males who bite me when i wear a ponytail they attack the back of my neck where the little hairs arent long enough to stay in the ponytail and my ears for the same reason

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#1094817 - 04/03/11 05:24 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Nadine,

They bite regardless of whether I'm giving them mealies (I don't give them mealies every day because I'm afraid they'll get overweight so I give them about twice per week). And yes, I knew they were not careful where they were grabbing when I feed them mealies, so I put the worms in a shot glass and let the boys and girls grab them out of the shot glass. I rarely feed the worms by hand because of the accidental bitings by both boys and girls.

I've been using licky treats since day one... and they've never bitten with the licky treats.

Danileigh, sometimes my hair is in a ponytail, sometimes it's down. They bite through my hair into my scalp sometimes regardless of the hairstyle. The last time Wesson drew blood, my hair was down. But yes, they also will bite the back of my neck when my hair is back.

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#1094828 - 04/03/11 06:45 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11943
Loc: Wisconsin
Lonea,

In regards to their brother biting, Tobin only bites when he is marking me, he would bite and then scoot his but and chest all over me.

With the boys biting after they have run around it sounds like they are all wound up and excited.

Are they marking you with urine at all? Tobin would bite, drip then rub always on bare skin. Their sisters don't do it at all. Tobin, Smith and Wesson all have pom on neuters so there is some residual testosterone production.

I feel it is a marking and excitement thing and keeping as much skin as possible covered.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1094833 - 04/03/11 06:53 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Kimberley,

They bite bare skin, but don't try to rub on it. I usually wear sweat pants and a sweat shirt when I go in to see them. The only thing that's left uncovered is my head, hands and feet. They don't bite my feet but will bite my wrists, hands, ears, head, etc.

They don't mark as much as Chloe and Jasmine do. Chloe and Jasmine leave behind little dots of urine all over my sweatshirt, but the boys don't seem to do that. But with all 4 of them crawling all over me, I might be wrong.

I have Smith and Wesson sleeping in my shirt today. I thought maybe we needed some more bonding time together. They don't bite when they're sleeping.

So if it's an excitement thing, how do I teach them that I don't like being bitten? It's easy to say "keep them off of you" but it's harder to actually *do* when you have all 4 of them jumping to and from you. There's really nowhere in the room I can go where they can't jump on me. I try to keep them from my ears and face, but I love it when Chloe and Jasmine lick my face and ears and I want to encourage them while discouraging Smith and Wesson's biting...

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#1094848 - 04/03/11 07:29 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Ok so it's not an excitement thing... Smith and Wesson were sleeping in my shirt all day and I felt them start to wake up so I took them downstairs to put them back with the girls. As I was holding my shirt open for them to climb out, Wesson sleepily poked his head out, climbed up on to my hand, chomped down and then jumped into one of the hammocks in the cage to finish waking up. *sigh* I'm getting so tired of getting bitten. I love them so much and just wish they weren't demon possessed... maybe an exorcism might be in order??

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#1094856 - 04/03/11 07:53 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
AnBglidermommy
Unregistered


Hmm.. So I just posted something simular to your problem. I didn't read this before I posted it. My male who is nuetered (pom off) does the same thing. Its on bare skin, except for me its mostly my arms and it happens randomly. Tonight in the tent he was having fun jumping around and then he randomly started biting me and drew blood for the first time. I hope we can find whats causing this!

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#1094884 - 04/03/11 09:08 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11943
Loc: Wisconsin
I wonder if they are biting you were they smell the spots where the girls have left their scent?

As far as waking up and biting you like he just did, pick them up and put them down.

I know how everyone else will take it but if it were me I would try gently pushing them down and hissing at them when they bite, like their parents do to them.
_________________________
Kimberley
Feathers-Sweetie, Sklyar Blue, Mister Peanut, Big Mack & Ibo
Fur-Widget, Guinan, Mr. Spock, T'Mir, Micheal, Stevie, Cho & :bb: T'Pol, Elizabeth & Curzon :wfb: TY, TJ & T'Pring :rtmo: O'Ryan :leu:
Forever in my heart, Gizmo, Tucker and the rest of my babies over the :rbridge:


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#1094920 - 04/03/11 10:12 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
sorry hun... I have already given all of the advice that I know to give... I will try to call Bourbon tomorrow and have her look at this thread... maybe she will have some ideas that we haven't come up with yet!

Don't give up on your boys! hug2
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#1094921 - 04/03/11 10:14 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
GliderGuy540 Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 513
Loc: Vancouver, WA
Dunno if this is appropriate since I'm a newbie to all of this, but it sounds like this happens when all 4 are playing with you. Have you tried limiting the variables to see how they do if it's just the two of them with you? Also, with just the two of them it might be easier to keep them from biting. I would think 4 at once would be confusing to keep track of who is biting.
_________________________
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#1094929 - 04/03/11 10:25 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
Megs
Unregistered


I don't think so Kevin. She recently said that she had just the two with her and he started biting. So I don't think your theory is quite right.

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#1094930 - 04/03/11 10:26 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
angelic4296 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 09/06/05
Posts: 3264
Loc: Northeast U.S.
I only got halfway down reading the thread, I have to read the rest of it, but if you got them at about 9 weeks, they should be right about now be at that "adolescent" bitey stage. Lots of gliders go through this at about this age, and the way they demonstrate their rebel-ness is to BITE.

Whatever you do, you cannot lose your patience and yell (or God forbid hurt them like you mentioned). If you've read Bourbon's article on bonding, http://www.glidercentral.net/ubbthreads/..._wit#Post933759, you'll know that gliders bite in reaction to us. I know I re-read this article every so often to remind myself of THEIR perspective and how THEY must feel.

A thought: you mentioned the phrase "when I walk into the room"....first, are you leaving them alone in a glider-proofed room to run around by themselves? If so, not recommended, no matter how safe that room is, they should NEVER be un-supervised while out of their cage. Second, and this is something to think about, if you are walking into the room they're playing in, think about how you must look. They're in the room, playing happily. Out of the blue, a huge massive giant (you) comes into their territory. My instinct if I were them? Bite the heck out of you. Besides, beyond exercise the whole point of playtime is to be WITH them as a way of further bonding.

Try being in the room WITH them during playtime, before they even come out of the cage, and in a SITTING position so that you become a non-threatening fixture, part of the room so to speak. As of now, when you come into that room, you're introducing yourself as something new and could be viewed as a threat by them. Just something to think about.


Edited by angelic4296 (04/03/11 10:34 PM)
Edit Reason: Typos
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#1094931 - 04/03/11 10:28 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Good thought, Kevin. it's sometimes hard to tell what is causing things. That is why I started up top asking all the questions I could possibly think of to find the cause of the situation... and I am currently stumped on how to fix it.
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#1094944 - 04/03/11 10:52 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Jess, I've thought of that too, and I've spent hours in there sitting on the futon and letting them run around and investigate me at their leisure. I also come in while they're sleeping and give them treats and just talk to them. They don't *always* bite but when they do, it's quite deliberate and out of the blue. When I come in, they run over to me. They can jump to me and jump off of me. They do not seem threatened when they bite... like last night, Chloe and Jasmine were grooming me and Wesson came over to investigate what they were licking and just bit my hand and then ran away.

I didn't realize it was unsafe to leave them alone in the room. From now on, I'll only let them out when I'm in there, but they've had run of the room for so long now, I don't know how I'll get them back into their cage when I leave...

I appreciate all your thoughts in trying to help me figure this out. I love my little guys and would never intentionally hurt them. But when they bite, my first reaction is to eliminate whatever is causing the pain. And as for yelling, I tried it *once* when I lost my patience and nothing else was working. I don't make it a common practice to yell at my babies. I love them far too much and don't want to be a big scary thing to them. I just wish they would hurry up and outgrow this stage and become as sweet as my little girls are...

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#1094967 - 04/03/11 11:24 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
GliderGuy540 Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 513
Loc: Vancouver, WA
Just a random thought... since they have run of the room I wonder if the biting may be somewhat related to the room being their "territory." Eventhough they may be showing no signs of being threatened by you, maybe it's them trying to let you know it's their space.

I notice my fuzzies are much more nippy when I interact with them in their cage cause it's their territory, but when in the tent biting rarely happens because it's more of a neutral zone.

Maybe try putting them back in their cage whenever they bite so that they make the association that playtime is over when they bite you?
_________________________
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#1095019 - 04/04/11 02:41 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
Honey, I sent you a LONG PM about this... take the time to read it and respond to me.
_________________________
Nadine

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#1095092 - 04/04/11 09:37 AM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Nadine,

I read it and responded. Thank you very much for your insight and advice. I will start over with them from scratch and hope I'm able to undo my mistakes. :-(

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#1095386 - 04/04/11 07:50 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


FYI... those of you having the same (or similar) problems with your gliders, this is what Bourbon (aka the Glider Whisperer) said. I'm basically going to start over again with the bonding process and hope that Smith and Wesson can forgive my mistakes.

Bourbon has been following this thread, and she called me tonight to discuss what to tell you.
This reply is divided into sections on the environment, what you have done to be threatening, and what they are doing to defend themselves, their environment, and their “happy little quad”. There is also a section on where to go from here and Smith.

PLEASE do NOT take offense to what is being said, it is for your information and to help you. Don't feel like a failure or a bad glider mom... we have ALL been there, and we ALL made mistakes at some point along the way, thinking we were doing the right thing when we were totally wrong.

INTRODUCTION:
I've had Smith and Wesson since about the end of October. Around Christmas I successfully introduced them to Chloe and Jasmine and now I have a HAPPY LITTLE QUAD. They have access to their own glider-proofed room. They've been biting since December or January.
I didn't spend a whole lot of time with the boys in the tent because they were pretty fearful.
I'm not using any different lotion, shampoo, laundry soap, I don't think I smell any different than I usually do... I've gone down there after I've showered, when I haven't showered, with clean clothes, with clothes they've scented thoroughly, the result is always the same.

They went from your environment into their OWN environment in their OWN glider proof room where they now have their OWN colony (the happy little quad) and their OWN territory to defend. You are telling us that there were no changes with the smells, but you also told us that you have not given them a chance to learn YOU.


WHAT YOU HAVE DONE:

I do not chase them or do anything threatening.

These are the things that you have told us about that the gliders perceive as threatening.

No amount of hissing at them, pushing them away, yelling, telling them "no", blowing in their faces, etc will get them to stop.

This is ALL negative reinforcement.

I go down there and feed them and play with them every night.

You are entering their domain.

...because they were still pretty fearful and I had a hard time catching them to put them back in their cage.

This is where you first established the relationship with them. They were initially fearful of you, and you were forcing them to go into an area that you wanted them to go into. By chasing them, you reinforced their fear of you and they perceived your actions as predatory (you were gonna have them for a snack... or so they thought.)

and try to keep them away from any exposed skin. Sometimes I yell out in pain. I try to keep them away from exposed skin, I push them away, And keeping them off of me is difficult. I was pulling them off of me last night.

These are ALL things that can be perceived as a threat to them. A moving hand, a loud noise, and any other quick movements are things that they see as threatening, and they will defend their colony against it. They use their teeth to defend themselves (see defenses below).

I'm to the point where I can't take it anymore. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my temper and really hurt them. I'm running out of patience.

They are going to feel every tiny bit of apprehension and fear that you have of getting bitten. Those negative emotions are something that they will defend their colony and territory against. Is it not true that the biting gets worse when you get more frustrated and angry with their behavior?

We MUST remember that we are a giant in their little world. Please read this thread, it will help you get into the mindframe of your glider, and see life through their eyes: http://www.glidercentral.net/ubbthreads/..._wit#Post933759
Remember, basic animal instinct is fight or flight when they are afraid. Before the introductions, they resorted to the flight behavior because it was NOT their environment or territory; AFTER the introductions the only defenses that they have is their teeth to defend their territory and their “happy little quad”. Below is a list of ways that they have used their defenses against what they FEEL is a threat.

THEIR DEFENSES:
They've been doing it since about the time I put them all together.

BECAUSE they now have their women and their own room to defend.

When I walk into the room, they stop whatever they're doing and run over to me and jump on me and crawl all over me.

They are automatically going after what they see is an intruder to their territory, and you MUST remember that you had to CHASE them in order to put them into their cages. They look at you as trying to take them away from their “happy little quad” or have them as a midnight snack.

Wesson bites more than Smith.

He is the top dog in the cage, and it is his responsibility primarily to defend the colony. Smith will follow along, but as detailed below, his issues are quite different.

Wesson mostly bites my ears, wrists, hands, fingers, nose, chin.

That is what was exposed when you were chasing them around the tent and using the above negative reinforcements.

Both he and Smith bite at my clothes too.

The clothes have your smell, and it is another part of the intrusion to their territory. We still cannot eliminate smells as a contributing factor.

And they don't bite when they're sleeping in my shirt, it's only when they're awake for the night.
They bite all the time, but only when they're awake.

(Bourbon joked that her and her husband only fight when their eyes are open.) The fact is, whenever they are awake, he will protect his territory and colony. When he is awake, he can see you and recognize/remember you as a threat. When he is inside your shirt, he is in YOUR territory and it is not his to defend.

You said they don't seem upset when they bite. BUT, you also said: And I can feel the effort they put into biting down so hard. It's like they're putting all of their strength into their bite. Wesson does not lick when he bites. He just comes up to me and chomps down.
They do not start with nibbles, it's just an all-out bite. Obviously they ARE apprehensive and/or afraid. Because they initially reverted to flight, and then changed to fight, I would ascertain, based on everything you wrote, that they are biting out of apprehension and fear.

WHAT TO DO NOW:
Basically, the first thing to do is work on trust issues. They need to trust you, but you also need to develop trust in them. For this to work, you need to start at ground zero... which is where the next paragraph begins. PLEASE do NOT take offense to what we are saying, we ALL have to start somewhere, and this is where we think you need to start.

As Angelic4296 said: Try being in the room WITH them during playtime, before they even come out of the cage, and in a SITTING position so that you become a non-threatening fixture, part of the room so to speak. As of now, when you come into that room, you're introducing yourself as something new and could be viewed as a threat by them.


The first thing you need to do is get a flannel shirt. Call that THEIR shirt. Do NOT remove their shirt from their room. That shirt must also become a part of their environment, the shirt will NOT be perceived as a threat as it will always have their smell... do NOT wash that shirt for a month (when you do wash it, wash it without any detergents or fabric softeners so it retains some of their smell), it needs to be stinky and smell like them. Take that shirt after they mark it and urinate on it, and wear it every SINGLE time that you walk into that room. Rub the shirt on your hands, face, and ears so that they ALL smell like them. Take a shower before this with NO soap, NO shampoo, NO lotion, NO bodywash, NOTHING that has an odor on it. (and NO deodorant!!!) Tide, Gain, and Era are the WORST for gliders as they have very pungent smells to them. Ivory Spring, floral soaps, body washes, fruity shampoos, and ANY other scents that you put on your body MUST not be present. That way, we can distinguish whether or not the smells are a contributing factor to their behavior.

During the first 2-3 days, while the flannel shirt is being marked by them, you need to wear a hoodie, keep the hood up to protect your ears, and keep your hands covered. DO NOT allow them to climb into your shirt to sleep. NOT even the girls! If the girls are sweet, they will remain sweet during this process. You can carry the girls around with you during the day, but do NOT remove the boys from that room. The girls MUST be back in the room BEFORE the boys wake up. The food MUST be present when the boys wake up. At that point, the boys will see that you are bringing the girls back to them, which will help a little with the trust. When you are in the room, stay FAR away from the food. Keep the food dishes next to their sleeping area. That way, when the boys come out, they can eat without feeling like they need to protect the food.
DO NOT try to touch, pet, or reach for the boys AT ALL for an entire week. You can see the boys at all times, YOU avoid THEM. The intent at this point is to become a part of the environment, NOT a part of the boys. If they come near you, hide your face, and keep all skin covered. They will climb around on you, and that is acceptable, but DO NOT attempt to interact with them at this time. DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS! This process is on THEIR timetables, and it must remain that way. It's about what they want and need, not what we want them to be for us.
When they climb on you, you can gently lift your arms to encourage them to jump onto something else, this is NOT about them interacting with you, rather it is about them being comfortable with you in the room and NOT feeling threatened (basically you are a tree). If the GIRLS are inside of your clothes, or the girls are interacting with you, the boys MIGHT consider this as threatening (remember that you are perceived as trying to eat them... so handling the girls is trying to eat their colony).

If you had known, this process should have been done before they got introduced to the girls. But, since they are together, we need to work with them as they currently are. They should have learned to trust you before they were allowed to be with the girls AND before being given their own room. The trust needed to develop before more freedom/space/gliders were introduced. I'm not trying to be harsh, and you didn't know any better at the time, so lets just move forward from here. These boys don't HATE you, they are terrified, and this process with help to mend those fences and create trust between you.

Spend as MUCH time in the room in the corner as you can. During the day as well as at night, you can read a book in the corner while you sit there. As often as possible, and in a non-threatening way to get them used to your presence without feeling threatened.

THIS is NOT the end, they will need work, but they CAN learn to trust you and become your friends.
Please remember that this is all about the differences between intentions and perceptions, you are going in there with the BEST of intentions, but they are so terrified and they don't see you as being helpful.


SMITH:
Smith is a follower, his is more that he sees your pinky finger as an escaped giant mealworm that he REALLY wants to eat. But he is going to follow what his brother does, so as things get better with Wesson, they should also improve with Smith. Smith is looking at Wesson as his protector, but he is also a warrior... Wesson is a leader, and Smith protects as Wesson directs.

In summary:
1.Get the flannel shirt to keep in their room.
2.Wear a hoodie at first to cover your face and hands.
3.Avoid them, sitting at the opposite side of the room from the sleeping pouch and food.
4.Do this for an entire week, NOT attempting to touch them at all. Become the environment.
5.Don't carry the boys around, and always have the girls back when the boys wake up.
6.This could/should have been done before the large room and extra gliders were brought into the picture.
7.ALWAYS take a shower before entering their room, with NO soap, just water.
8.ONLY wash the flannel shirt once a month, and wash it in plain water so it retains some of their smell.
9.Always wear the flannel shirt whenever you are in their room, do NOT remove the shirt from the room, they must trust the shirt.
10.Don't expect your gliders to be like anyone else's gliders, they are all different, learn to appreciate the differences. Don't set your expectations too high, it can lead to frustration. BUT don't set them too low, just work on one step at a time and be sure to love them as they are.
11.Read the article on what bonding is like from a glider perspective, it will give you a deeper understanding of your gliders.
12.Don't feed biting treats from your fingers, it will associate their teeth with your fingers.
13.Resume with the licky treats after the first week.
14.KEEP US UPDATED!!
15.CALL BOURBON! She is awesome and she really wants to help you with your gliders. She can also give additional help with these boys.
16.IF this method doesn't work... Bourbon has MANY other options as to how to proceed with these boys.

NOW... first make sure to read the linked article!! Then, let me know if it would be okay to post this on the thread... then others with this problem (believe me, you are NOT alone) will be able to have this method available to help them as well.

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#1095853 - 04/05/11 07:30 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
Bourbon Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 04/01/99
Posts: 5333
Loc: Bee-Bopping round SnakePit USA
Quote:
Maybe try putting them back in their cage whenever they bite so that they make the association that playtime is over when they bite you?


this may work if they actually rationalize, however gliders are creatures of habit, and their mode of thinking is very basic, by removing them from their colony, actually is looked at as a threat to their colony as they are not there to protect them if needed.. now this is based primarily on their own mind frame meaning.. if they are unsure of the safety of the colony and they do not trust, then it is a threat. if they already trust their humans, their environment it is perceived totally different.

I have a colony of 6 that is very trusting, I can remove cage mates, handle them, enter their domain.. no problem, but when I take "Jack" the boss dog out with me.. he is very anxious in a closed environment, he has to see what is going on. in the cage he also has to have an open environment type pouch, with that he has no problem. but Jack had to learn trust before I could colonize him, and had to get the others to trust as well. if not I would be constantly waiting to get bit, and would risk the biting behavior be spread back through the colony, after all if one is afraid, their fear becomes one with the rest.

This is often noted when you have one glider who crabs, and the rest follow, find the crabber, teach them to trust, many times the others are quiet as well
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#1096373 - 04/06/11 07:48 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
NaeJ
Unregistered


Just a quick update for those who are interested. Monday night, I went into the glider room wearing a hoodie and sat on the floor on the opposite side of the room from where their cage is. They came over and started investigating immediately, but I was completely covered so when Wesson (I assume it was him but with my face covered, I couldn't see hehe)started biting me, it didn't hurt (much) and so I was able to sit still and not make any noise. He came back to investigate a few times and bit me on a few of those occasions (only around the head and upper shoulder areas) but eventually gave up. Then I got tired and took my hoodie off and left it in the room for them to scent and slipped out the door quietly.

Last night, I actually talked to Bourbon on the phone for about an hour. She told me to keep him in my sight at all times so I can learn his body language. She told me about a couple of tricks I can use to lure him down below my shoulders (with licky treats) and keep him in front of me so I can watch him. Hopefully, with careful observation, I can learn what triggers his biting. Bourbon thinks he may have a "little man complex" (aka a Napoleon complex). For those who may not be familiar with this term, it is basically when short/small people (or I've seen this in dogs too) try to act all mean and aggressive to make up for what they may be lacking in size.

After I got off the phone with Bourbon, I went to the glider room, put on the hoodie that I had left there the night before, and brought some yogurt with me. Any time Wesson jumped on me, I offered him some yogurt. When he tried to get on my back and my shoulders, I attempted to lure him back to where I could see him with the yogurt. This didn't always work, but at least I didn't get bitten at all last night. YAY! She told me to steer clear of treats that require teeth at this point. So no mealies, dried fruit, yoggies, etc. She wants him to learn to associate licking with me.

Bourbon said she wants to talk to me every night so I can report my progress and see what she has to say. So I will call her tonight after I get home and can get showered (no soap) and change into the clothes I've been wearing into the glider room. She's really sweet and I've enjoyed chatting with her. She really knows a lot about their moods, body language and instincts. I will post updates periodically so that others having the same problem can follow along and try some of Bourbon's recommendations with their gliders.

Wesson may never be as sweet as my girls are, but my goal is to have him be happy and to trust me. I don't want him to be fearful every time I go spend time with them. Thank you, Nadine and Bourbon for all your help!

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#1096418 - 04/06/11 10:19 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
DCMuffin Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/21/10
Posts: 28202
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro Area
This is AWESOME - I'm enjoying reading about your progress and what you're doing with these two. Keep the updates coming...and thank you so much for sharing your experiences with these two little ones! Good luck!
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#1096425 - 04/06/11 10:26 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
GliderGuy540 Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 03/15/11
Posts: 513
Loc: Vancouver, WA
thanks Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have certainly learned alot! I look forward to hearing how things go.
_________________________
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Suggie-Daddy to Willow, Wicket, and Loki
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#1096437 - 04/06/11 10:54 PM Re: Out for blood - PART ONE [Re: ]
wildlifeangel Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1414
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
awesome! I look forward to hearing more about how it goes!
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