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#1404973 - 10/31/16 11:41 AM Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders
teffer87 Offline
New Member

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 1
Loc: Mcleansville, NC
Hello,

I have five sugar gliders (two are babies). In a month I will be getting a husky puppy. I was wondering is there away to introduce them to each other. Where eventually the husky will see them as family not food.

Thanks,
Stephanie

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#1404974 - 10/31/16 12:31 PM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
TwoDog Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 12/28/15
Posts: 459
Loc: Pacific NW
Teffer hi! Welcome to the boards.
It can be done--though most people will tell you a hundred reasons not to do it. Very risky--especially with a young dog.
One playful swat and you have a tragedy on your hands.
I would start by just observing how they interact through the bars of the cage--and not even think about letting them get nose to nose for a long time.
You want to start from a place of boredom. And the dog has got to have good impulse control. Remember, just one playful swat...

Opinions will differ, but that's my take on it.

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#1404979 - 10/31/16 03:59 PM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
Pixel Offline
In Pouch

Registered: 10/30/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas
This is a really delicate situation that could go horribly wrong for the gliders. Siberian huskies generally have high prey drives in addition to being a more primitive, stubborn breed that responds less reliably to training.

I know because I currently live with a Siberian husky and an Alaskan malamute x German shepherd. My previous rescue Siberian husky did not grow up around small animals and could not be trusted around them including cats. We made a single mistake and lost a beloved cat to this dog 5 years ago - it was one of the lowest moments of my life. Please do not take dog/small animal and cat/small animal interactions lightly.

My current two were raised with small animals from 8 weeks of age on. My female is bombproof around any small animal, my male however is trustworthy around the parrots but is always under direct supervision with any other animals smaller than our ferret. This is a difference in age and personality, not in training.

Huskies also play rough and are massive animals compared to a tiny sugar glider. Even if the dog is playing or just careless, it could easily crush a glider before you can intervene. And with how fast and jumpy our gliders are, they are the perfect animal to activate a dog's prey drive.

Even though I know that under my supervision my female husky could interact safely with my gliders, I keep my gliders' cages in a separate area of the house and do not allow my dogs in when I have out of cage time. The only interactions my dogs have had so far with my gliders have taken place through a bonding pouch - for the safety of my gliders.

If you are absolutely set on introducing the puppy to the gliders, please establish a 100% reliable "leave it" beforehand and start very gradually when the puppy is still young. And if you're going to let your gliders and dog interact without a barrier between them, prepare yourself for the worst because so many things can go wrong. Remember I couldn't stop my husky before he damaged my cat beyond saving and that is a significantly larger animal than a glider.

If you want details on how I work with my dogs from infancy to be trustworthy around small animals feel free to send me a message.
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#1404981 - 10/31/16 04:34 PM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: Pixel]
KarenE Offline
Owner

Registered: 03/25/00
Posts: 40984
Loc: LittleRock, AR USA
They simply are not going to play together as two gliders would or two huskies would so what is the purpose of the introduction? You could never trust the glider/s alone or IMO even supervised with the puppy or adult dog.
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#1404985 - 11/01/16 12:25 AM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
Pixel Offline
In Pouch

Registered: 10/30/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas
The only good thing about introducing dogs to small animals versus only using separation is in instances where accidents occur and the animals find themselves together. No matter how careful you are, there's always a chance your glider gets away from you, gets out of cage, etc. If your dog has spent time with your glider and learned to be calm - even under direct supervision - there's a better chance the dog will ignore the glider than if the dog has never been allowed to meet and interact with the glider.

That said, accidents can also easily occur during supervised interactions. Your goal should never be to teach dogs to play with small animals! You want to teach the dogs to ignore and respect your other pets. As I said above, I do not tolerate any play behavior from my dogs toward pets smaller than my ferret.
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#1404995 - 11/01/16 06:06 PM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
Feather Offline
Administrator

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 11820
Loc: Wisconsin
I have to agree with KarenE, any interaction should be with a cage or walkabout between them.

Let them sniff each other but then tell the dog to back up.

Training the dog to back down will take a lot of work and you really want that dog to listen if you have a loose glider.
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#1405071 - 11/05/16 02:26 AM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
the gliders angel Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 08/08/01
Posts: 3057
Loc: u.s.a.
just a paw can kill a glider the weight of any dog is like a giant to a glider and pups jump also dogs especially a husky has an extreme prey drive I would never let my 2 shepard s near my gliders even when they get near the cage I chase them away from the cages don't risk your gliders life I wouldn't with my gliders

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#1405072 - 11/05/16 03:33 AM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
Pixel Offline
In Pouch

Registered: 10/30/16
Posts: 26
Loc: Texas
While I know my dogs and I've had them around countless small animals from 8 weeks of age, I don't trust any other dogs I know to be around my gliders even when I am wearing a zippered bonding pouch. Forget about letting dogs meet them while they are out playing.

Most dogs are very intrigued with sugar glider smells and noises. It's too easy for dogs to jump up on me or grab their pouch, and gliders are so fragile. If you are absolutely set on this husky meeting your gliders, I would establish a 100% reliable "leave it". Practice with wildlife (squirrels, cats, etc.) outside and with ignoring high-value treats. I don't mind saying that I proof my dogs' "leave it" commands with positive punishment. Leave it is the most important thing I teach my dogs, up there with an emergency recall.

This sort of self-control is not something you can expect from a puppy and not something to expect from most huskies.

I may allow my female husky to spend time with our gliders while we have bathroom/closet time, however this will be closely supervised and she has been around many small animals including orphaned wildlife and short tailed opossums. There's still an element of risk involved.

Katara is definitely a special case and a product of years of training. I still don't completely trust her and keep a constant eye on her around tiny animals.
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#1406342 - 01/07/17 07:39 PM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
Cori Offline
In Pouch

Registered: 08/14/16
Posts: 23
Loc: Arizona
I'd never trust a husky around anything besides another dog. My boy grew up around cats as a young puppy, but once he got more mature his prey drive kicked in and now cats are food to him.

I'd teach the dog a good leave it command and keep it to that.

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#1407476 - 02/24/17 09:59 AM Re: Husky Puppy Meets Sugar Gliders [Re: teffer87]
onetruth Offline
In Pouch

Registered: 03/18/16
Posts: 25
Loc: Florida
I always let my dogs "meet" my little guys (rats, sugar gliders, etc.). I let the dogs sniff the cage as much as they need to at first, always supervised. Usually after a week or two, they are fine to be around the cage, at least as long as I am home. It's no longer new and exciting, and they are used to the scent. A couple months in, I'll usually introduce the little guys to my 2 pit bulls. The dogs are always lying down, and my hand is always near their mouths.

I don't introduce them to my husky mix - his prey drive is too high. I know my dogs, and I know how to read them to see if they are calm enough for a quick introduction, and as soon as they show any sign of excitement, the meeting ends. By this point, the gliders and the dogs are used to interacting through the cage, so they are familiar with each other.

I do this in case of an emergency. I want them to be familiar enough with each other that my dogs hesitate long enough for me to jump in if necessary. This saved one of my guys last month. It was the middle of the night, I was fast asleep, and my dogs went crazy. I heard one of the gliders hissing at them. It was nothing unusual, so I ignored it. After one or two hisses, the dogs usually back off. But the hissing went on for longer than usual. I yelled at the dogs to leave the room, and they did. And then I felt something jump on my face. I freaked out, thinking it was a giant spider, but somehow in my grogginess and from the charging light on my phone, I saw a bushy glider tail.

If my dogs weren't used to my gliders, they would've killed my escapee in a heartbeat. And if my dogs weren't trained well enough, they wouldn't have left the room. Training is vital.

I wouldn't introduce dogs to gliders unless you absolutely know how to read your dog, probably after decent training sessions with a professional trainer. I also don't do introductions outside of the cage with my husky mix. It took just one time with him snapping a tortoise in half, completely out of the blue, for me to realize how strong his prey drive is. He was walking, completely ignoring it, and then half a second later, the tortoise was in pieces.

Side note: That was actually a great bonding experience for that glider and me. He has been standoffish since I got him last year (partially my fault for not spending more time with him). But he jumped on my face, I saved his life (although my dogs were out of the room by then), and he's been super sweet with me ever since. lol

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