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#634171 - 09/12/08 08:59 AM Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help

Okay glider folks here's another new behavior that I am not sure how to deal with.

So Yoda is SO sweet in the pouch, wants his neck scratched belly rubs, very cute very sweet... awwww... you are picturing it cute and nice he is....

Then you get him out to play...and the nightmare begins, JK.... sorta.
My sweet little "OM" glider Yoda turns into the nipping maniac when you go to remove him off your body and especially if I go to move him off my husband. We were told he likes men more than women. 1st time he met us he jumped on Adam and rubbed himself all over Adam's neck and ears and stuff. But he hangs his penis out at me and marks/pees on me.... he actually rubs on and grooms Adam to the point of Adam hollering for me to come save him from being "loved" on any more. LOL, I am laughing at this even though I might sound like I am not, it is all quite funny, in a painful sort of way, LOL.

Anyway, the ONLY time he actually bites is when we have him out of the cage and on our shoulders, he could be out for 5 minutes or 2 hours, it doesn't matter, when you go to scoop him up off whoever he is on he will cling to their shirt and not let go and turns into "I am going to eat you if you touch me" monster.

I could simply be trying to put him back on MY shoulder so he will stop "grooming" Adams ear off and he doesn't just nip, he does the violent "buzz" sound and the "cobra" attack and bites you! Hard! He only broke the skin at the beginning, and no longer does the "bite bite bite" more than about 3 times in a row thing, but man it still smarts and I am just not sure what to do.

Since he VERY rarely breaks the skin the first time he bites I now just take the "bite bite bite" (it is always more than once or more in a row), scoop him up and put him back in his cage but this is not really the solution we want because I don't think he is learning anything by me putting him back in the cage, and I am just getting bit and frustrated.

The biggest problem is once he does the buzz-lunge-bite once, it's like he suddenly "sees red" and for the next 5-15 minutes you can't touch him, even if you try to pet him and talk softly to him to calm him down he sometimes seems to get more stressed, not less, and biggest problem of all.... I am afraid to let the kids play with him! Because once he is upset he will bite anything that smells like skin, your neck your ear your back, whatever....

How can we get rid of this behavior? I want to be able to "handle" Yoda any time, and we are GREAT in the pouch, he even grooms you and everything, perfect little pouch Angel.... but once he's out playing around OMG watch out, he's like a totally different Yoda.

FYI - I did JUST get a can of mealies we are going to start doing some "come when you are called" games and try to make out of cage time less stressful, so any behavior modification someone can offer involving treats obviously helps.... I hav no problem bribing with food, lol.


PS: In SO many ways I feel like a total Newbie, lol, even though I have had two gliders in the past Yoda is SO different than my other two were!

Edited by Nihm (09/12/08 10:35 AM)

#634178 - 09/12/08 09:08 AM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]
Their_mommy Offline
Glider Guardian

Registered: 11/07/06
Posts: 767
Loc: Canton Tx
Ouch ouch and more ouch:)
Sorry to hear your having so much trouble with him.
Try this, give him a puff of air when he goes to bite. Blow in his face, not a huge puff, just enough to where he feels it.
Or, give him a licky treat on your finger first. Then scoop him up while he is licking it off.
You can try yogart, that works well.
He needs to know that you are boss and he has to follow along
with what you want him to do.
I have never had the problem that you are having but have heard of this happening before.
You can also make a psssst sound to distract him from biting.
So give those a try and see what happens.
You need to take his mind off of biting at the exact second he is going for it.
Good luck and give that little man a pssst for me smile
As time goes by and my loves pass. I will forever be greatfull for the time we had together. I will see you soon my loves.

#634265 - 09/12/08 10:52 AM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: Their_mommy]

Oh and as a side note.... Yoda is 6.5, and his original owners used to put him in a plastic run about ball for out of cage time... now we said we were NOT going to do this and threw the ball out because I personally HATE those little things and have never had a pet that actually liked them or learned to use them. A good bond is far better than a plastic ball.

However, much to my dismay..... we did resort to the plastic ball up until now for a couple of reasons:
#1 he did AWFUL outside of the cage not only is it the biting but he tried to run EVERYWHERE, the floor, the couch, he'd get in your shirt and scratch you up and then not come out and bite and get in your beer/soda, the trash, whatever he could find to get into, he had no sense of outside the cage manners and would NOT stay on us or even near us, and it was chaos, and he NEVER went for the "highest" object in the room, just the best smelling or most interesting, including chasing the cats....
#2 we did not have the time or resources at the time to get him trained to be a bit more "clingy" during out of the cage time and have a few more manners, i.e. NOT running down peoples shirt and UP Peoples pant legs, and NOT biting everyone when they tried to stop him from doing these things and NOT chasing his kitty siblings down the hallway as we run after him....
He does legitimately seem to like the ball, he will follow you around the house and everything.... but that was before NOW, and NOW we have the time and the resources and are ready to start some behavior modification and would like to teach him to glide between us....but he keeps trying to EAT us! LOL.

Long story short, I am not sure how much of his out of cage time was actually spent "out" before he came to us. I have a feeling they just stuffed him in that evil little plastic ball all the time, so he never learned what being "out" of the cage was really all about? I just don't know...

#634282 - 09/12/08 11:15 AM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]


Well, first of all...Gliders tend not to just sit on you and cuddle. They want to explore everything, and go everywhere. Why dont you get a tent, so he stops chasing kittys? He could get seriously hurt by a cat, and I know you wouldnt want that. If you have the room, even get a large tent.

My little Zira likes to bite. She bites my cloths, she bites the ribbon on my pants. She tries to pull everything in with her and make her own pouch (She does this in my pant leg, and tried to pull the pant leg in to curl up in, lol.). She also started to bite, to try and taste everything. When she does it, I offer food and she eats that instead. Sometimes she just gets nibbly, but if i offer her a finger full of BML or a little worm guts she'll be happy and stop.

Her mother on the other hand is not very friendly. She will bite you no matter what. Sometimes if you offer her a worm shell ignor eit, and go for your finger anyways. I've tried making the 'pst' noise at her, and she freezes, then bites a different finger. I've just gotten used to it from her, and expect it.

I know Edward on here said he tried blowing on his little girl because shes a biter, and she LUNGED at his face and started getting really mad at him. So beware of that!!

I would just offer lots of treats, and distract him. Maybe get him a branch to chew on or something?

#634332 - 09/12/08 12:24 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]

sounds to me like he may be overwhelmed by the amount of freedom he has outside his 'lil plastic ball shell'. Try the tent time or glider proof a bathroom or other small room so that his area is more limited and he doesn't have so much good/bad stuff to get into. If food bribes aren't working try a feather or one of those crinkly sounding baby toys to get his attention and distract him right at the moment of the bad behavior.

#634409 - 09/12/08 02:10 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]

I am not so much worried about our cats hurting him as I am him hurting the cats to be honest. Our cats are VERY small animal friendly, not that I would leave them all alone for long periods, but in my house I know for sure that no escapees are ever going to be "eaten" or mistaken as diner, we have done A LOT of socialization, desensitizing and behavior modification in our house due to the number of small animals I tend to keep, our cats are completely safe and act more as tattle tails than anything else cause they are the first to come and tell us when someone is out of a cage, lol.

I thought about a tent and the reason we haven't done that is that our apartment in CO was pretty much glider safe once we shut all the bathroom and bedroom doors, outside of the trash, which he actually only found and jumped in once, but right now we are living with my dad and step-mother until we finish signing on our first home, and there is barely room for us and the cats and the small cage Yoda is temporarily in until the final move this month, so a tent is not going to happen.

A glider safe room at the new house is a wonderful idea but ideally we'd like to get him trained to go between me and my husband and stay with us as we walk around the house and do stuff. I know it can be done, my other two cooked dinner with me, did dishes with me, all kinds of stuff and it was just a matter of bonding and training.... the real problem with Yoda is that to train him to stay on one of us we have to "man-handle" him and put him back on our shoulders whenever he jumps off and he seems to have a problem with it. The repetition is what worked best for my first two gliders and it literally only took a week to start seeing behavior changes and they were both really mean gliders who had been handled VERY little when they came to me. Within months they were both masters at staying on mommy and only jumping away when daddy walked by. So I know it can be done.

I did the "blowing a poof" on my last male Jaxom, and it worked great, just a little puff worked wonders for Jaxom..... Yoda only gets more upset.... I psst at him too... this also only seems to make him more upset... I scoop him gently under the chest, again, more upset....

I do wonder if maybe, since I am the one who always puts him back in the cage if he gets mad because he has now associated me with going back in the cage, also, the original owners said that he liked the husband more and the wife less because she gave him "baths" and clipped his nails (you DO NOT want to know what the "bath" entailed)

So I feel like I need to disassociate myself from all those bad things he associates with the wife...

we are starting with treats and making the play area smaller.... both great ideas... any other behavior modification tool suggestions?

Positive reinforcement and prevention, those are really the keys here.

Edited by Nihm (09/12/08 02:14 PM)

#635162 - 09/13/08 04:16 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]

Thats good about the cats then! All of ours are the same way. They will all get really upset and start meowing, and one will follow whoevers out so mommy can find them. I'm more worried about my puppy trying to get a hampster if they get out, just because shes so silly. Anywho!

I think it would be a good idea if your husband put him away and such for a while, and see if it will make a difference. I'd suggest you offer him more treats then he does, since he might have something against women. Does he act differently around your husband?

Whenever Zira bites me now I just give her something else to bite on, and she doesnt do it anymore. If the 'punishments' arnt working, and if the ymake him more upset, then leave them out. Is he responding at all to treats and such? Also, when he DOES start coming when you try to get his attention, make sure he gets LOTS of praise! And well, mealies of course ^_~

#635168 - 09/13/08 04:26 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]
Gossamer Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 11/22/06
Posts: 1667
Loc: Long Island, NY
Originally Posted By: Nihm

I did the "blowing a poof" on my last male Jaxom, and it worked great,

Jaxom from "The White Dragon'?

My suggies don't bite, but I do make it seem like it's their idea to come to me. I offer my arm, tap on it, then waggle a yogie at them. They jump to my arm to get the yogie. I think you said you were going to start doing the come when called trick - I think that is a good idea.

3 Cats (Spike, Kismet, Honeycat)
1 understanding Husband
1 WFB Neutered Glider boy - Grissom! (oop 8/7/06) :wfb:
1 BB Glider girl- Willows! (oop 1/7/07) :bb:

#635260 - 09/13/08 06:55 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: Gossamer]
23Paulette23 Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/03/06
Posts: 450
Loc: Florida
What is the "buzz" sound and describe the "cobra" in detail.

#635637 - 09/14/08 11:40 AM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: 23Paulette23]

I have discovered, having had many people friendly gliders, that they have different personalities, and like children, some are more strong willed. Add to that one with a"no fear" attitude, and you have what you have. I also have an entire family of "nippers", who behave exactly as you've described. In their case, I live with it, because they are a family and either learned it or inherited that personality from their parents. The whole family has Yoda's personality of adventure and nipping, lol!

Sorry, that didn't help much, just wanted you to know they are very much individuals.

Also, when you mentioned that he chases the cats? He probably doesn't like them. If you try taking him from your husband with the scent of the cats or any other glider on you, he could be reacting to that.

#635669 - 09/14/08 12:24 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]
suggiemom1980 Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 13746
Loc: Vincennes, IN, USA
Originally Posted By: Nihm
.and NOT chasing his kitty siblings down the hallway as we run after him....

Oh, the visual image that popped into my head when I read this! LOL!

I notice in your signature, you're looking for a cage mate for him. Perhaps getting one will change his behavior. Has he ever been with another glider? Does he KNOW he's a glider? I have one who is terrified of other gliders and is totally happy to be with, on and near me all the time. Maybe Yoda tries to dominate you and your husband because he has no other gliders to socialize with? Just a thought.

812-890-9734, 24/7 Emergencies/Joey issues


"The greater the challenge, the sweeter the reward"

"Glide free :rbridge: Silly "Ozball" Ozzie. You left us 11/21/12..way too soon. You're forever loved, remembered, missed."

#635857 - 09/14/08 05:47 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: suggiemom1980]

LOL, our cats do that too! "meow meow meow someone is out mommy!" LOL we have nick named Azhure "Lassie" because he's always like "The glider fell in the well!"

Since we have had Yoda he has not really gotten the attention he has needed from us and we haven't really had the chance to learn about who HE is much until now... and YES, he does have his own unique personality, I am definatly realizing this now....and it's really cute sometimes, and really not others, lol.

Like Friday night my nephews, 9 & 14, came over and oohhh did Yoda LOOOOVE my 14 yr old nephew Austin, jumped from me to him and RUBBED ALL OVER HIM, I was laughing so hard I was crying, I have NEVER seen Yoda go to town rubbing his scent glands all over someone like that except on my husband... and these days he only tries to groom Adam and mark him a little bit.... Friday he was REALLY getting into rubbing on Austin, must be because he is a stinky teenager, lol. This pretty much confirmed our thought that he really loves men not women, because he has NEVER rubbed on me that way, and I am the one who feeds him and carries him around.

I wash my hands A LOT, you get into this habit when you have small animals, cause you learn real fast that when you smell like something they either want or don't like you usually get bit... so No, the smell of the cats on my isn't the problem.

Our cats are pretty much pansies, the only things they kill is meal worms and crickets.... they LOVE them, Azhure used to hop into the tub with Indie & Jaxom to get crickets, always very funny to see two sugar gliders and a cat chasing crickets around a tub....and he knows the sound of mealies opening as well as the gliders do, lol.

Yes, Jaxom was named after the White Dragon, one of my FAVORITE books smile

And we HAVE found another glider buddy!!! Thanks to Anita with My Sweet Gliders we are making plans to hopfully bring home Sabre, a 7 yr old nuetered male, at the end of this month when we close on our first house! I am hoping this helps Yoda a little, to finally have another glider to talk to should make a big difference in his behaviors, I just hope they are all positive differences!

Edited by Nihm (09/14/08 05:50 PM)

#635906 - 09/14/08 06:42 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]

Originally Posted By: Nihm

A glider safe room at the new house is a wonderful idea but ideally we'd like to get him trained to go between me and my husband and stay with us as we walk around the house and do stuff. I know it can be done, my other two cooked dinner with me, did dishes with me, all kinds of stuff and it was just a matter of bonding and training....

Yes, but you also need to realize that all gliders are different. While your other gliders stuck with you, Yoda may not do this. It is very natural for a glider to run away and climb all over everything at night when it's playtime...a glider that sits on your shoulder at night while you do dishes is the exception rather than the rule.

I have one glider Tanooki who will do this with me as you describe. The other three, forget it. They will either be gliding to the nearest object or scurrying down my leg and out across the floor.

I would also recommend a tent or a glider-proofed room. We use our bathroom. It's big enough that I can read, grade papers, whatever and the gliders can run around, but not TOO much freedom.

As for the biting, that is a bit tougher. I try to wear longsleeves anyways and discourage my glider with a PSSST when they get too carried away grooming. I also sometimes discourage them with a light puff of air from my mouth if they are getting too carried away. This is often enough to deter them. I noticed you said this didnt work...another possibility is to wear a hoodie and when he starts going to town too much with grooming, pull the hood up and put your hands in the hand warmer so he has nothing to groom. With this he learns, "If I groom too hard all the good stuff disappears!" and when he calms down then you could give him some positive attention.

I have also found that scooping them up at this point when they're worked up might get you a good bite as the glider can be frustrated. I think part of your glider's frustration may be if you are trying to have him stay on you all the time but don't want to be are asking him to change two very natural glider behaviors...this may be part of the frustration. I WOULD continue putting him in the cage (or better yet, if you're in a glider proofed room, just leaving him alone for him to cool off) for a while if he gets really worked up as you describe rather than continuing to try to handle him.

Also with my gliders I found that bringing mealies in for playtime whipped them into MORE of a frenzy and they were more likely to bite due to the scent of worms on my skin! Yum! It may be a very different experience for Yoda, maybe they have the opposite effect, but I just thought I'd throw it out there as food for thought thumb

Edited by 7glider7 (09/14/08 06:46 PM)

#636513 - 09/15/08 03:17 PM Re: Another "nippy" behavior I have never seen... Help [Re: ]

Thank Jen, that all helps a lot!

Just to hear other people's experiences is really helping because I have never been through this with a glider so I appreciate any insight into why he acts this way with the nipping & biting and stuff and how to modify it.

We are taking everything everyone says to heart so I REALLY appreciate all the advice. It is already helping me to understand how to approach him better and Yoda is already responding to some of it so that is great!


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