Hi, I'm new!

Posted By: JazP

Hi, I'm new! - 06/29/17 01:26 AM

Hi everyone! This is my first time on here. I am really excited to be part of this forum. We have one sugar glider, Gizmo, that we got April 19th. We got him from the pocket pets. They said he was about 8-9 weeks old. He is such a good glder, I just need some advice. I often feel like the worst glider mom because we're having bonding and holding issues. If he is asleep under his blanket, I can grab him easily and hold him. But, when he's loose in his cage, I have problems trying to catch him while he runs ALL over his cage. My husband can, but I have problems trying to. I know it sounds stupid, I'm much bigger, I shouldn't be scared, just gently go in there and get him. But, I can't. I just can't do it for some reason. My husband is really great with him, though. According to the pocket pets guy, it could take one to two months for him to fully bond, and by then you should be able to hold him with no problem, and let him run around with you. But, we are so far from that step, I feel like we're not even close yet. I just don't know. I don't feel like we're making progress with him.
And to make it all a bit more frustrating, my mother in law was with us when we got him, so she sat and heard the 1 long speech about how to take care of him. She doesn't say much, but she doesn't have to. The tone in her voice says it all. I know she's disappointed because he isn't where the pocket pets guy said he should be by now. We have a 7 year old daughter. We have decided that she can hold Gizmo once we get him used to us holding him. I don't want her to try to hold him early, and have a traumatizing experience. But, because she heard the whole spiel on how it should only take 1 month, sometimes 2, for him to get fully used to us, she gets bothered because our daughter hasn't held him yet, other than in the bonding pouch.
I apologize this is so long, especially for a first post lol
I just want to know that I'm not completely screwing up with Gizmo.
Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

*side note-my mother in law is really a great person, she means well. She just wants to see Gizmo grow up right and happy smile
Posted By: JazP

Re: Hi, I'm new! - 06/29/17 01:27 AM

*sorry-one more thing. When I talked about going in to get him out of his cage, we are both gentle and careful at doing so. I understand he's scared, and that's why he's running. We do take his feelings into consideration smile
Posted By: Terry

Re: Hi, I'm new! - 06/29/17 02:30 AM

:welcome: we're glad you found us!

Continue to be patient, it's good you understand he's scared, cause that's the plain truth. Each glider has an individual personality, they each have their own capacity on how fast and how deep they learn to trust, but much still is up to your approach. I'm on my tablet now, so unfortunately it's not easy for me to link info at this time. Please continue to read as much here as you can on here on bonding and building a relationship with your glider. It's all about building trust! You can learn much about steps and strategies to build that trusting relationship with your glider. Doing so with one glider is possible, but in many cases having another glider buddy for your glider is helpful, so please read up on how to go about that also.

I'm not sure how long you have had your glider, but ther is no timeline on how long it takes. Mone to two months might happen with some gliders, but not all.

Here are some basic tips
During the day, spend some "pouch time" with your glider. This would be taking him gently out of his cage while he's in his sleeping pouch. If he doesn't use a sleeping pouch at this time, place him in your bonding pouch. Gently hold him, fro outside the pouch, caress and rub him while speaking softly to him. If keeping the pouch open, have some treats handy to offer if he pops his head out the top. Give him the treat, and when he begins staying at the opening, give gentle petting on his head with your finger while softly talking to him. This is a great way to start. You can progress with other steps as he becomes accustomed to your handling him from outside the pouch and offering treats.
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Hi, I'm new! - 06/29/17 05:29 AM

Terry has given you some great advise.

Just keep in mind while they are completely awake, they do not like to be held. As they get older, they tolerate it some. If your glider gets loose or you have to catch him, use a large piece of fleece, at least 12" 12". So he will not associate your hand with being caught. Makes it much easier on you and your glider in the near future. It also prevents him from biting you. They can bite the fleece all they want.

Please keep us posted, and any words that appear in blue is actually a link to more info on that topic. Please keep us posted.
Posted By: Hutch

Re: Hi, I'm new! - 06/29/17 08:02 PM

BLUF: You are not screwing up with Gizmo. Pocket Pets are infamous for these says pitches that makes everything sound so quick & easy-peasy. I'm sorry to say, while they aren't by any means trouble, its not the rapid transitions he gave in his sales pitch.

Okay, that said, here a more complete answer, if a little long. I have four who all took different amounts of time before I considered them 'bonded.' I still don't consider any of them 'fully bonded' considering some of the relationships I've heard from others & I've had my quartet 18 months now. I don't share that to discourage you, but as expectation management. Keep handling your boy regularly & you'll see some real progress soon, but this is a journey, not a drive around the block.

Gwynevere is my most bonded. She will come find me if she's out & I'm not paying her enough attention, & gets annoyed if I don't play with her as often as she believes is her due. I'm able to scoop her up without protest & has become much more coopertive when it's time to go back in to the cage. Yet, she still won't sleep on me (not sense she was little) or in my hands (ever), & she's quick to jump off & explore if I'm not being interesting enough. Also, we're still working on leaping to me on command (her sister is better about that).

Constrast that my my least bonded whom I've had just as long. He is finally to a point where I'm able to reach in & pet him without him running from my hand, he will show interest in me instead of hiding when I come near, but hardly comes out of the cage, gets anxious being picked up, & gets upset if I keep him out of the cage without a pouch for more than about 15 minutes. My other two fall between these extremes.

There are several of us that keep running stories going in the 'Talk & Travel' section. Check some of them out, it'll give you a better picture on life with gliders. Mine are easy to find (Gliders of the Round Table). ComradeFluffy/TwoDogs is another regular poster who you can find stories from his beginnings with gliders & a great sense of humor to keep things interesting.

So, in short: Welcome to the craziness! It'll take time, but is totally worth it! Be patient, & forget the sales pitch. I look forward to hearing your stories & seeing pictures of Gizmo.
Posted By: Stef333

Re: Hi, I'm new! - 07/02/17 02:21 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum!

I adopted my two gliders from Pocket Pets as well, back in October. I know what you mean about PP's sales pitch, which I think is irresponsible for setting expectations that lead to some folks giving up when bonding isn't as quick and easy as expected. It takes time and effort to earn a glider's affection, which is true of building a relationship with any semi-wild creature.

My critters have been with me for almost nine months now. Yoda, the more outgoing one, was interested in me from the first night they came home. He has been consistently happy to see me and usually jumps to me when I invite him. I never reach out to grab him, except on rare occasions when I use a fleece over my hand. Sometimes he'll perch on my hand while nibbling a treat, but he has never slept in my hand. He still gives a few exploratory bites (not aggressive) now and then, so I'm careful with my bare hands around him.

Winky is much more shy and cautious. (I named her Jabberwinky because she was so incredibly crabby in the beginning, but she has mellowed over time.) A couple of weeks ago I forgot my manners and got a little grabby with her in the pouch. She has been shying away from my hands ever since. Now I'm going back to quality pouch time, keeping my hand still in the pouch with them while they sleep to help her feel safe with me again.

She jumps to me a lot during out of cage play time, but she never stands still, and she never hangs out anywhere near my hands. But when she's in the cage and I come close, she moves to a perch near me and gives me her full attention. (I am so in love with that furry little face staring at me that way!)

Bonding is about getting to know each other. He needs time to get to know you - to learn that he can trust you. You need time to get to know him - to understand what he needs and wants from you so that you can strengthen your bond. The relationship between person and glider just continues to deepen over time, and it is so worth the effort! These two are an amazing source of joy and laughter in my life. smile

Good luck and keep us posted!
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