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#145868 - 09/13/06 05:49 AM Licky fingers and biting question
Anonymous
Unregistered


Ok - I've been working with Lucy to let me get my hands around her and in her pouch to pet her by using the licky stuff on the fingers method. She doesn't crab and licks my fingers - and of course I'm careful that she doesn't get to the point where it's all gone and she "bites" trying to find more.

Here's the issue, this morning, she was awake and I put my hand in the cage with no licky on them - I just wanted to see what would happen.... no problem - in fact I placed my hand palm up and flat and she came to me! I was in heaven until she started checking my fingers and biting them.

Do you always have to have licky on your fingers in order to reach your hand in the cage to pet? If not, how do I stop her from automatically looking for a treat and biting to find it?

When I say her name she sticks her head out of the pouch to see me. And every day when I come home from work I take her in her pouch and carry her around the rest of the day and evening until feeding time. There is no crabbing except for maybe a short crab if I jostle her too much in getting her out and wake her. She quits right away and goes right back to sleep until feeding time.

I just am concerned that I won't be able to simply reach in the cage to pet her without her biting and I don't want to start a bad habit. What do I need to be doing?

Thanks!

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#145869 - 09/13/06 07:08 AM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Eventually you will be able to reach into her cage and pet her without her biting your fingers looking for food. What you did by constantly giving her a licky treat every time you put your hand in is make her expect this. All you really need to do is put your hands in a few times without a licky treat. You can give her licky treats once in a while but not all the time so that she begins to wonder where they are when you don't.

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#145870 - 09/13/06 08:10 AM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I was under the impression from everything I read that doing that was part of the building trust thing and should be done every time. Guess not - can someone tell me now what is going to be the best way to break this "expectation" without me removing my hand every time she bites and thus creating another, bigger problem.

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#145871 - 09/13/06 08:23 AM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Paula0442 Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 3008
Loc: Williamsburg, VA & Whg, WV
Next time you try sticking your hand in without a licky treat go in palm down. I've done this with biters in the past and it always seem to work for me.
_________________________
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming
WOOOO HOOOO, WHAT A RIDE!!!



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#145872 - 09/13/06 08:26 AM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Carrie T Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 4049
Loc: Doniphan Mo
I would keep up with the licky treats, she'll quit biting when she trusts you. Every glider is different so there is no way to give you a time limit but the more time you spend with her the quicker it will go. Do you spend alot of time carrying her around ? It helps to hold the pouch close and pet her from the outside while talking to her. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />

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#145873 - 09/13/06 08:53 AM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Slickable3 Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 2262
Loc: Cortlandt Manor, NY
Also make sure you don't have any scents on your hand that smell tastey to her! Lotions, food etc.
_________________________
~Christine~
SLICK-RIP 4/16- You took a part of my heart with you
Guato OOP 11/20/04 & Lexi OOP 3/15/05 -2 daughters Aiella and Nutmeg OOP 11/9/05
Toby & Tori
Squirrly & Dexter-their 2 handsome boys Nemo and Romeo
My Gallery: http://www.glidercentral.net/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=30175

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#145874 - 09/13/06 04:22 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks for the help - and yes, I carry her around with me as much as I can. I work days but as soon as I get home I change and put her in my shirt (she's still in her pouch) - I constantly rub the pouch and talk to her.

I will alternate and not always have a licky - more licky times than not, but so she'll learn that not all the time will there be something to lick.

This weekend will make a week that I've had her and I see progress....... so my patience is not too bad. And this weekend will be a tent time trial to see how that goes - hopefully that will further build trust and bonding. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/muchlove.gif" alt="" />

Thanks again all!

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#145875 - 09/13/06 04:58 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Carrie T Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 06/10/01
Posts: 4049
Loc: Doniphan Mo
My Goodness, for only having her a week you are doing wonderful. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#145876 - 09/13/06 05:33 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Her breeder seems to be pretty awesome. She spends a lot of time with the babies to make them used to humans before they go to a home. She even takes them to the Senior Center where she works sometimes.

I'm thrilled with my progress so far and anxious for the days to go by so I can say we have really bonded well.

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#145877 - 09/13/06 05:42 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
StitchsMom Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 10569
Loc: IL (St. Louis area)
If she does decide to nibble when you don't want her to, make a "Psssst!" sound at her. It corrects the behavior and works pretty well from my experience. You're doing great!
_________________________
~*~Jenny and the fur kids~*~

:grey: :grey: :grey: :leu:

>>> Sugar Glider Slave <<<

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#145878 - 09/13/06 05:48 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh wow! Thanks StitchsMom - I can Pssssssssst with the best of them. I'll let ya know if it works for me -

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#145879 - 09/13/06 05:55 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
misa Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 66
Loc: Across the Universe
Here's what I do with my glider -- whenever she bites (we should call these 'love bites' <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ) just gently tell her no, no, no and keep repeating it until she stops. She'll learn to not do it when she hears your voice. Gliders do tend to bite the area of the skin every once in a while -- it doesn't mean they're scared, they're just curious and well, they love taking a nip out of their favourite "tree". But they need to be stopped before it starts to really hurt. I hope this will work for you. Let us know.

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#145880 - 09/13/06 08:29 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Well - I had her in my sports bra all evening after I got home from work until she woke up - which is always between 8:30 and 9. I laughed at her because she crabbed at me between my .... well you know....

Anyway - I talked to her and pet her and went and fixed her dinner. I put her back in her cage - made sure my hand didn't have any leftover smell from fixing supper - used one hand to put a piece of fruit on it - but this time not in my fingers but in the middle of my palm. She came to my hand and checked out the fingers with a small "love bite" and I did the pssst thing - it was so funny I had to try not to laugh and shake my hand. She stopped took a step back, and looked at me like "I can't believe you just pssst'd me"

Then she came back to the hand and instead of biting, she found the piece in the middle and stepped 2 feet onto my hand to take it.

I tried with a second piece but she was more interested in her bowl with BML in it. Then she wandered off into a corner and started grooming. So I dipped my finger into the BML and she licked it off. I did that twice - hoping she would realize if there's nothing there to lick, she shouldn't bite.

I'll incorporate the "no, no, no" on the next attempt. For tonight I'm thrilled that she took a piece from the middle of my hand - and only one or two "love bites"!

You all are terrific! I appreciate so much all the help and advice. One of these days you will all hear me squeal when she sits on my hand. I won't have to post here in the forum..... I promise you will hear my squeal! LOL

Thanks again!

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#145881 - 09/13/06 09:24 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


You could try to make a fist when you put your hand in the cage. i used to have a biter but he would never bite my closed fist. Once they realize you don't have anythign for them they really shouldn't nibble.

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#145882 - 09/14/06 07:22 AM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
misa Offline
Out of Pouch

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 66
Loc: Across the Universe
According to this site -- it's bad to make a fist at a glider. Well, it might work for some but it's not encouraged.

http://www.sugargliderinfo.com/Bonding/

Also this is a great article about understanding a biter.

http://www.sugargliderinfo.com/Bonding/biters.html

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#145883 - 09/14/06 08:29 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


What great information!

We're having a biting issue with one of the girls. She's fine with fruits,veggies,and applesauce. When we give her the meat, she seems to get more worked up while licking, and REALLY clamps down every time. For now, the meat is being given on a plate....

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#145884 - 09/15/06 05:21 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Part of the nipping is how they explore, much like a bird. My girl was very big on nipping the tips of my fingers and will still do it on occasion. When people say to "take the bite" you should not just leave your finger in their mouth, just don't JERK away (much like a puppy nipping). Simply remove your finger and continue to let her explore. If she keeps doing it you can make a hiss noise right when she nips to let her know that is not ok, if that does not work then a small puff of air on them will get their attention. I handle mine all the time with no treats now and don't get nipped but on the rare occasion, just hang in there, nipping is part of their natural response, so in a way we are working against nature ha-ha. I try to always reward good handling time with a treat at the end <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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#145885 - 09/15/06 05:30 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


when i first gotten Bobuck, he was a bit nippy, so when he gets nippy to the point that it hurts, i would say hey hey hey, in a similar manner to crabbing sound, but psst or hissing works too.. and now i got Ebony she is nippy too, hurts more than Bobuck, so i did the same to her, the hey hey part and the hissing... sometimes it works sometimes it don't ... but when Bobuck hears me telling Ebony hey hey or hissing he comes running to Ebony and sorta push her... like he is telling her take it easy ..hehe.. it was funny! they like my ears for some reason... especially bobuck, he likes to stick his nose in my ear... and Ebony likes to nip my neck, my neck is too sensitve for that and it hurts, they both like to mess with my hair on the back of my head... i have real short hair, it feels almost like they are grooming me...Bobuck likes to pee on me... even tho he already peed before getting on me, he pees on me anyway.. oh well that is nothing new cause my rats does that too...it is like you're mine!

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#145886 - 09/15/06 09:14 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Another thing to keep in mind is that if you give a treat every time you reach for your glider, you are conditioning them to expect it. Thus the response of biting when there is no treat. However, if you want them to not bite at this point you must switch your method entirely. Give them a treat they must take from you like a piece of fruit or a yogie or mealie. If you become inconsistent with giving the treat this will RE-ENFORCE the act of biting to receive a treat rather than stopping it.
Also it is instinctual for them (as sap suckers) to bite when the treat(sap) they are expecting is not there.
You definately want to use the pssst, hissing, or no/hey to discourage biting.

LadyH - that story about the reaction of your glider to the 'pssst' is great! <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

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#145887 - 09/15/06 10:55 PM Re: Licky fingers and biting question [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thanks Jennifer for the advice - I actually kinda figured out on my own that I needed to maybe alternate between something she licks from my fingers to taking a piece of something from between my fingers.... and I think it has worked.

Tonight, I gave her a treat and there was no biting at all, not even a "sniff" like she might try. After our first tent time tonight, she is letting me reach in the cage and pet her without trying to move away or crab or anything.

I'm in sugar heaven right now!

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