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#125812 - 07/29/06 11:29 PM When grooming turns to biting...
Anonymous
Unregistered


What does it mean when your gliders are grooming you, and then they take a bite?

None of my gliders have EVER been biters. But lately, my two joeys have been nipping me. They never crab at me, I carry them around in the bonding pouch without a peep, they always act excited to see me and run to the front of their cage...but lately they just walk down my arm and CHOMP my elbow, or my leg, or my shoulder!

Tonight they were grooming me, and the grooming would every once in a while turn to biting. Do they bite when they groom? Or is this the famed "teenage" stage? They weren't pitbull bites, and they didn't draw blood. I wasn't really paying attention tonight, but I think one of the ones who was grooming/biting me was my sweetheart neutered male Alistair, who should be well past the teenage stage by now. I don't even want to get them out right now; this really makes me sad! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/upset.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/needhug.gif" alt="" />

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#125813 - 07/30/06 12:00 AM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Aw, <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" /> How old are they? They could be in their nippy phase. Are you wearing something—lotion, perfume, body oil—that is masking your normal smell?

When they turn from licking to biting, tell them a firm, "NO!" or make the "tssst!" noise. You can also have licky treats or a toy handy to divert their attention.

You can at least take (small) comfort in knowing you're not alone. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> My three sweeties all went through this phase as well.
_________________________
Owned by my :grey: "Eight is Enough" colony:

• 2003: Hiroshi (M)
• 2009: Herbie (M)

:rbridge:
• 2002-2004: Keiko (F) and baby Tomoki (M)
• 2009: Sammy (F), Charlie (F), Murray (M)
• 2010: BJ (M)
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#125814 - 07/30/06 07:31 AM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


The babies are about 3 months OOP. I always make it a point not to wear anything scented (aside from my usual soap) on the days I take them out. I was working outside, so I could have had dried sweat on me, but otherwise nothing different.

I was doing the "tsst" noise, and it works really well - except one of them was on my back, underneath my shirt, grooming my shoulder...so I couldn't really get to him. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Nor could I get him out to divert his attention...I ended up just ending playtime.

And yes, it IS comforting to know I'm not alone - I just don't want my babies to hate me! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

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#125815 - 07/30/06 04:55 PM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Aw, they don't hate you. They wouldn't be climbing on you if that were the case. You're their human tree! And they are sap suckers, after all, so it's natural for them to want to bite. You will eventually be able to discourage them from biting into you, just hang in there. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hug2.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Owned by my :grey: "Eight is Enough" colony:

• 2003: Hiroshi (M)
• 2009: Herbie (M)

:rbridge:
• 2002-2004: Keiko (F) and baby Tomoki (M)
• 2009: Sammy (F), Charlie (F), Murray (M)
• 2010: BJ (M)
My gallery

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#125816 - 07/31/06 01:26 PM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Katty is right, they don't hate you at all. When some gliders groom they can get carried away and try to clean the fur you don't have <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />. The licking turns to nibbling and more licking. This can feel very uncomfortable. You can gently rub under their chin when get to nibbling to distract them or like suggested do the 'Psssst' noise. You need to be consistant every time so that they can learn.

I think it was Gina who at the SGGA this weekend had a glider groom her so well that she had a big red mark left on her skin.

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#125817 - 08/01/06 12:45 AM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
KattyM Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 12/24/02
Posts: 9910
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Yes, remember, too, that when a glider has a wound, we recommend separating them because the other will groom, and overgroom, and the wound could get worse. They don't intend to be mean and nasty; they're actually "helping."

So, you actually can rest assured, feel honored your baby loves you enough to groom you, and just work on trying to redirect and extinguish the biting behavior.
_________________________
Owned by my :grey: "Eight is Enough" colony:

• 2003: Hiroshi (M)
• 2009: Herbie (M)

:rbridge:
• 2002-2004: Keiko (F) and baby Tomoki (M)
• 2009: Sammy (F), Charlie (F), Murray (M)
• 2010: BJ (M)
My gallery

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#125818 - 08/01/06 11:48 AM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hehe, thanks. You guys have made me feel better. I was feeling pretty bummed because I took out the pouch to say hi to Matthew yesterday (the other gliders were all shoved into my coco fishy, haha) and he CRABBED at me. And not just a little crab - a big, loud, long crab. He just kept on doing it. It was very odd! I just gave him a treat and put him back. He's done this since he was a little guy, though. He has no problems when he's with his family, but when he's alone in a pouch or a tunnel, he crabs VERY loudly at me. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

So, next time they get a bit rough with their grooming, I'll just take it as a compliment. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#125819 - 08/01/06 01:02 PM Re: When grooming turns to biting... [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I think I need to print KattyM's and Chaungo1's posts here and post them where I will see them frequently. It's sometimes hard not to take the bites personally even though the suggies don't mean them that way. As to crabbing, I was advised to not reinforce crabbing and to wait to offer a treat until the crabbing stopped. This is kind of hard because the treat definitely stops the crabbing but it makes sense. Do any of you do this? Or do you think it matters? Thanks!

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