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#44605 - 04/30/05 10:12 PM help! biting!
kitsune Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 1889
Loc: Springfield/Eugene, OR
saffy has never bitten me much, she's always been pretty much acquiescent, but today i had her in my shirt to bond a little one-on-one and she bit my fingertip. i didn't show a reaction, let it pass, and then she did it again. it hurt...a lot. very hard biting, i was bleeding. she didn't crab, she didn't seem upset. i have heard that when you have a biter you have to teach them that biting isn't going to change anything or make anything better, there's no effect, so i took her out and offered her my knuckle. she bit it, tore a lot of skin off, but i didn't show a reaction. i offered her another knuckle. and another. and another. i ran out of knuckles and found other places on my fingers for her to bite, but she just kept biting. it wasn't a scared bite, she didn't lunge or crab or anything. she just casually took whatever piece of skin i offered in her mouth and clamped down as hard as she could. i had to stop--i ran out of places on my fingers for her to bite. she hasn't shown any change. she won't bite anything other than my fingers...and i have a feeling that if i let her chew on the same place for long enough she would start to eat pieces of my finger. please help, she was so sweet before, and i don't know what to do! my hands are nearly too swollen to type.
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Beth

mlove Glide free :rbridge: :bb: Dimitri and Tegan :wfb: :rbridge: and right-side up! mlove

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#44606 - 04/30/05 10:39 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


ok cant hand ya proven help on this one but i can throw out a suggestion. Let me guess pretty smelling soap or lotion?? many smell like fruit to us maybe they smell like fruit to our critters too. Maybe you could try bitter apple. I dont know if it works on gliders as much but if she is determined to bite i cant think of anything else. It worked with my ferret that liked to bite. If any veteran glider parents say this is a no no please respond and say so. This is just a thought and maybe an option.

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#44607 - 04/30/05 10:43 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
kitsune Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 1889
Loc: Springfield/Eugene, OR
well, i heard bitter apple wasn't the best idea, but i do know it's not smell on my hands. i have unscented soap for that very reason and i just smelled them...they smell like hands. i'm really beside myself at the ferocity...i hate to ask, but should i be doing something unpleasant to make her associate biting with bad things? or will it just scare her into biting more? because if she's just biting for the sake of biting, offering her another knuckle isn't going to do any good.
_________________________
Beth

mlove Glide free :rbridge: :bb: Dimitri and Tegan :wfb: :rbridge: and right-side up! mlove

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#44608 - 04/30/05 10:55 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Judie Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 10/25/01
Posts: 9173
Loc: Edwardsville, Kansas 66113
Well, my suggestion is not to offer your fingers for her to munch on. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />

Just how long have you owned, and how old is Saffy?
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#44609 - 04/30/05 10:57 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
gliderdad79 Offline
Owner

Registered: 02/19/04
Posts: 15514
Loc: Long Island, NY
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Well, my suggestion is not to offer your fingers for her to munch on

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

To funny Judie <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roflmao.gif" alt="" />
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#44610 - 04/30/05 11:08 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered



Mine like fingers. They like stranger's fingers, actually. It's kind of hard to show them off too much since when people pet them they carefully sniff the petter and then casually see if they taste any good. Never bloody, but pretty firm.

I found the PSSSST sound works rather well with mine. They'll bite my finger if I stick it in their pouch, and they'll keep going until I'm bloody, but I sharply PSSSST them and they stop.

I wear boots all day so I have rather calloused feet. I was asleep one day and one of them decided to bite on my foot. I didn't feel it until he'd managed to bite himself a half-inch bloody hole. OW. They bite there too, but I pssst them ... when I'm awake, that is.

--fje

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#44611 - 04/30/05 11:19 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />



I found the PSSSST sound works rather well with mine. They'll bite my finger if I stick it in their pouch, and they'll keep going until I'm bloody, but I sharply PSSSST them and they stop.


--fje

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

you gave your glider a pap smear, id bite ya too. Hey i wonder if i could just bite my OB-GYN for doing a pelvic exam. that would be funny

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#44612 - 04/30/05 11:22 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
kitsune Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 1889
Loc: Springfield/Eugene, OR
ah, i wish pssst worked. tsst tsst tsst doesn't either. now...why do they do that? what's the point in biting a hole in your foot? the foot wasn't threatening. it doesn't make any sense for them to just wail on any skin they find unless they're scared or think it's food.

judie, this is one of my colony, she's the little girl that had the respiratory infection and has lost 3 joeys. i don't know her age but she is an adult. this is the first time she's bit me, and i've been handling her the most of all of them. she's also the one with the least staining and that seems the least damaged psychologically of all of them. even indigo hasn't bit me like this. if i were to stick my hand in her pouch right now she would wait for my fingers to still, grab one, and bite down...but if i were to pull her out and put her somewhere, handle her but not keep her still in close reach of my fingers, she won't bite me at all. she does wonderfully in my bra, won't bite my skin.
_________________________
Beth

mlove Glide free :rbridge: :bb: Dimitri and Tegan :wfb: :rbridge: and right-side up! mlove

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#44613 - 04/30/05 11:25 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
kitsune Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 10/18/03
Posts: 1889
Loc: Springfield/Eugene, OR
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />



I found the PSSSST sound works rather well with mine. They'll bite my finger if I stick it in their pouch, and they'll keep going until I'm bloody, but I sharply PSSSST them and they stop.


--fje

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

you gave your glider a pap smear, id bite ya too. Hey i wonder if i could just bite my OB-GYN for doing a pelvic exam. that would be funny

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

lol, i think they meant their sleeping or carrying pouch, not the one they keep joeys in. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Beth

mlove Glide free :rbridge: :bb: Dimitri and Tegan :wfb: :rbridge: and right-side up! mlove

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#44614 - 05/01/05 01:13 AM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Dancing Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 22746
Loc: 80 acres of paradise in KS
You might try a gentle puff of air (blow on her). I for one won't take a bite. Just doesn't make sense to me to have blood drawn. I don't let them stop me from what I am doing but I also don't take the bites.
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But I'd of had to miss the dance


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#44615 - 05/01/05 05:09 PM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

Mine like fingers. They like stranger's fingers, actually. It's kind of hard to show them off too much since when people pet them they carefully sniff the petter and then casually see if they taste any good. Never bloody, but pretty firm.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

I found the mental image of this funny. sounds like something my two would do. They don't really bite firmly though just a quick nip but jump back to me then yell at me and bite me. Although it's not a constant occurance.

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#44616 - 05/12/05 09:47 AM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have a glider that had done exactly what was described in the original post. She wouldn't crab at me and it was when she was waking up for the night. While in "explore" mode, she would sometimes bite my fingers with no warning. She always runs over to my fingers to inspect them. As I have used yogurt as a licky treat, I attribute her doing that to the expectation that there might be something sweet on my fingers. However, I began to get tentative whenever I saw her approaching my fingers. I never knew if a bite was going to occur after the initial sniffing of the fingers. I read this post about the "Psssst psssst" sound and remembered it when she started biting again. In my opinion, I believe it is a good thing that Chloe was coming to my hand and my fingers to inspect. At first, she wouldn't come to me at all. Don't get me wrong, she won't come and sit on my hand, but just approaching me I took to be a good sign that we were on the right track with bonding. She bit my finger a few times and did it hard enough to draw blood twice. Ouch! You all know what that is like - not pleasant! Anyhow, it didn't happen again until a few nights ago. When she started to bite again, I gave the Pssst sound and she immediately stopped. She tried again in a few moments and I gave the same sound. Again, she stopped. After that, all investigatory sniffs were not followed by bites for the rest of the night. The next time she tried to bite was a few days latter when I got a toy from a glider supply shop. It is a fleece ring with strips of fleece (like a junior pom-pom shape) that you wear on your finger. The instructions said to rub the gliders face with it and entice it to play. I did just that and Chloe started looking for the finger beneath the fleece. When she began to bite, I gave her the sound and she stopped. I think she may have tried one more time that night and quit after the Psst sound was delivered. Last night, I put the fleece ring on and played with her a bit and she never tried to bite. She also sniffed my fingers and never bit me either.
In thinking about it, I believer these types of bites could be the glider's way of playing. It obviously isn't mad (i.e. no crabbing) before it bites. I think it is just looking for some interactive play. I also have only a Wodent Wheel and a hanging fleece knot in the cage. There is a fleece "tree" that is suspended from the top of the cage, but other than that - no toys. I think Chloe just wanted some tug of war fun and was trying to initiate it with the biting. Since there was no obvious agitation preceeding the bite, I don't think it was done out of malice, fear, or anger. Each time I "psssted" she looked genuinely surprised. I know she doesn't like the sound and I believe this has helped with the frequency of bites of this nature to go down in number. I also believe this can help ween her of this habit, but I think it is also a sign that she's wanting some interactive play.
Since my biting incident originally occured, I've also started to bring Chloe and Beau into a glider proofed bathroom for exploration and play time. She was content to crawl all over me and never really left me that much. Last night I also let each glider take turns at checking out other rooms in the house in a clear plastic rodent ball. They seemed rather excited about that. Neither one crabbed while being tricked into the ball nor when they were in the ball. I also reinforce the gliders in the bathroom and in that ball with yogurt drops. As an aside, they love it and that doesn't give them diarrhea like actual yogurt did.
Hopefully this will help in some way. I am going to go out on a limb (mind you, I've only had gliders for about two weeks), but I think some playtime tug-of-war can really help take the bite out of the glider. Just remember to be aware of the glider's demeanor and attitude prior to a bite. I wouldn't administer a Pssst! if it was biting out of sheer fear and self-preservation (i.e. when I had to give them a bath last Sat. because they were covered with diarrhea from the previous night's yogurt feeding). I just put on a glove and let them bite while I bathed them. I'm clearly no expert, but I didn't think it was right to try to use this negative reinforcement on them when they were biting because they feared for their lives. Just like I wouldn't make that sound if they crabbed. I just don't go away when they crab at me.
On that note, perhaps this will encourage somebody else. Chloe used to crab all the time when she was in the pouch and heard/felt me opening up the cage doors. That slowly stopped and then it moved to crabbing when I touched the pouch she was sleeping in. Now I've been able to actually unhook the pouch off the side of the cage and, holding the gliders a cupped hand through the pouch, remove the pouch from the cage without receiving the crabbing. Usually, all I have to do now is speak in a soothing tone once they crab and put my hand on the pouch and they stop. Of course, other times they wait to crab until the moment I peel back the fleece layer to reveal the creamy glider center of the pouch. They, of course, are always intently looking up out of the pouch and sometimes only wait to crab at me once eye contact is made. Funny little guys. Now whenever Beau crabs he never bites at me. I just let him get it out of his system but I never put him down if crabbing. I just soothe it out of him. Chloe might still bite if I handle or attempt to handle her while crabbing, but she's really getting better. So, chin up and keep trying things. I think consistency is a key factor. You might also want to keep a memo pad by the cage and write down what you did and what kind of effect it had on each glider. It will help you see over time that you might be making more progress than you realize.

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#44617 - 05/12/05 10:47 AM Re: help! biting! [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey Great post glad the psssst worked for you. Another thing to keep in mind is that you stated that Chloe had become used to having licky treats on your fingers and then upon sniffing she would then bite. In the wild gliders get "licky treats" or sap from a tree by biting the bark away and exposing the sap inside. Therefore if looking for a licky treat they don't find one their natural instinct is to then bite to get what they are looking for. I imagine that is why Chloe looked surprised when you told her not to do that with a pssst when she thought that is what she should do.

Gliders are smart little critters though and can learn what you like and dislike when you learn to speak their language. Chloe has figured out that the biting is undesirable and has learned not to do that.
The playing is good too. I know they enjoy that interaction that allows them to play with their person.

Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. It is great to hear of success stories like this and is encouraging to those who are still trying to get there.

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