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Our first sugar gliders

Posted By: Klasha

Our first sugar gliders - 10/24/17 04:15 AM

Hi! We got our sugar gliders about 3 weeks ago. So far everything is going well, just a couple of questions.

We got 2 girls 8 weeks OOP.
They are not the type that we could just pick up right away. We got them from a local breeder who seemed very knowledgeable and started us with bonding pouch, sleeping pouch and week of food (TPG diet I think). I mistakenly assumed all small breeders hand trained their babies. But looking back now, I realize that was naive/foolish on my part. Also it probably should have clued me in a little when she wouldnít let me hold them when I went to see them before purchasing them. She just scooped them out quick showed me as she was cupping them and them put them back in pouch. I also didnít not see what type of housing they were in. Which I should have asked. Maybe this is all normal, not sure.

We left them alone first few days and then started to carry them in pouch and once more comfortable moved up to tent time. I carry them in pouch around 4 hours a day. They are very quiet and only crab occasionally, I think when something startles them. With tent time they are starting to climb on us and one will even let us briefly pet her and take treats from our hands. The other girl is a little more skittish, but has come a long way since first day.
We can only tell them apart by personalities they look identical, will this change as they get older?
They wonít let us pick them up or stick our hands in the pouch. One seems to be much more aggressive (or scared) than the other. I have read here about fist training or hand training. Can anyone give me more advice on how to go about this?
It seems as if most people suggest to keep both of them in same bonding pouch as opposed to separating them when bonding. Should I try to put my hand in pouch with just the one who is more comfortable with us in it? I hate to separate them and donít want the other one to be left behind. She is just slower to come around I think.
I donít expect them to just sleep in my hand. I would just like to be able to pick them up to put in the bonding pouch or back in the cage. Right now I am kind of putting the partially rolled down sleeping pouch next to bonding pouch and kind of nudging them into it. They donít seem to mind because they donít even crab when i do it now. It can be tricky though.

OK so sorry for the lengthy post. This site has been so extremely helpful and everyone seems so nice and non judgmental of us newbies.

We are so excited to have our girls and love them so much we want to be doing all the right things and have them bond with us.

thank you
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 10/24/17 03:12 PM

Originally Posted By: Klasha
Hi! We got our sugar gliders about 3 weeks ago. So far everything is going well, just a couple of questions.



We got 2 girls 8 weeks OOP.
They are not the type that we could just pick up right away. We got them from a local breeder who seemed very knowledgeable and started us with bonding pouch, sleeping pouch and week of food (TPG diet I think). I mistakenly assumed all small breeders hand trained their babies. But looking back now, I realize that was naive/foolish on my part. Also it probably should have clued me in a little when she wouldnít let me hold them when I went to see them before purchasing them. She just scooped them out quick showed me as she was cupping them and them put them back in pouch. I also didnít not see what type of housing they were in. Which I should have asked. Maybe this is all normal, not sure.

Some gliders you can pick up right away and some you cannot. It really depends on the glider, its age and how much it has been handled in the past as well as how it has been treated by any previous owner/s.

Most reputable breeders will let you interact with any glider before purchase unless they are shipping to you, and it is not possible for you to visit their facility. Not letting you see how their gliders are housed might be a red flag for me IF it were possible they were Mill Breeders. I don't believe that was the case in your situation based on the diet they were fed.


We left them alone first few days and then started to carry them in pouch and once more comfortable moved up to tent time. I carry them in pouch around 4 hours a day. They are very quiet and only crab occasionally, I think when something startles them. With tent time they are starting to climb on us and one will even let us briefly pet her and take treats from our hands. The other girl is a little more skittish, but has come a long way since first day.

Things seem to be going very well with tent time. I would continue with the routine :thumb2:

We can only tell them apart by personalities they look identical, will this change as they get older?

It will get easier to tell them apart the longer you have them and the more their personalities come out. Some people, though,
do always have a hard time telling their gliders apart IF they do look identical. Look for differences in their stripes, eye shape, length of their noses or differences in their ears. That may help.


They wonít let us pick them up or stick our hands in the pouch. One seems to be much more aggressive (or scared) than the other. I have read here about fist training or hand training. Can anyone give me more advice on how to go about this?

If 'fist training' is what I think you are talking about, it is a method to keep the glider from biting and one frowned on by most of the glider community.

Hand training is getting your glider comfortable with being in your hand. That takes time and is usually started in the pouch while they are asleep. Simply inserting your hand in the pouch under the glider, gently petting and letting them sleep. Once they are bonded with you, most will let you do this anytime they are with you.


It seems as if most people suggest to keep both of them in same bonding pouch as opposed to separating them when bonding. Should I try to put my hand in pouch with just the one who is more comfortable with us in it? I hate to separate them and donít want the other one to be left behind. She is just slower to come around I think.

As long as you don't have one lunging/trying to bite, you an try to slowly put you hand in the pouch with both of them. Be sure to put it under them not over them. This seems to make a big difference to gliders. Take it very slow, and you may find that both gliders will accept your hand.

I donít expect them to just sleep in my hand. I would just like to be able to pick them up to put in the bonding pouch or back in the cage. Right now I am kind of putting the partially rolled down sleeping pouch next to bonding pouch and kind of nudging them into it. They donít seem to mind because they donít even crab when i do it now. It can be tricky though.

Seems you have found a system that works for both you and gliders for pouch swapping. I really don't think it is going to be that long before you can scoop them out of their sleeping pouch and into the bonding pouch.

OK so sorry for the lengthy post. This site has been so extremely helpful and everyone seems so nice and non judgmental of us newbies.

So glad we have been able to help, and we are glad you are here clap

We are so excited to have our girls and love them so much we want to be doing all the right things and have them bond with us.

thank you
Posted By: Feather

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 10/24/17 10:28 PM

I agree with everything Karen posted.
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 10/25/17 02:28 AM

Originally Posted By: Feather
I agree with everything Karen posted.
:yes: rofl
Posted By: Terry

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 10/25/17 03:03 AM

:welcomegc:

Karen, I was thinking that the fist training she was talking about was the same as hand training. Most people say start by placing your hand in the pouch in a fist position to help prevent them from biting. But, when I read your answer to this, I remembered that horrible exercise of placing your thumb in the mouth, ewe, I can't even type the description, it was so horrid.

So, if you mean by fist, being placing your hand in the pouch as a fist, rubbing them gently. Then gradually work up to opening up the hand, then I believe the final step is to cup/scoop your hand under them and just hold them. NOT ALL GLIDERS LIKE THIS, do not take it personally.

Each glider is individual and will bond at their own pace and to their own capacity. Just accept them where they are, respect them, but never, never, ever give up on them.

As far as the breeder, I wouldn't care too much right now to worry about what their housing was at this point. The most important is now, and it sounds like you're doing it the right way.

I personally don't really recommend separating them for bonding. When You begin to start nail trims, you will have to, so you can take advantage of that time, one on one.

It takes time, sounds like it's going well, but don't rush it, just enjoy every step forward, it's great! You will learn your gliders, they will learn you, time, consistency, patience, love, and bribery, all you need.
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 10/25/17 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Terry
:welcomegc:

Karen, I was thinking that the fist training she was talking about was the same as hand training. Most people say start by placing your hand in the pouch in a fist position to help prevent them from biting. But, when I read your answer to this, I remembered that horrible exercise of placing your thumb in the mouth, ewe, I can't even type the description, it was so horrid.

So, if you mean by fist, being placing your hand in the pouch as a fist, rubbing them gently. Then gradually work up to opening up the hand, then I believe the final step is to cup/scoop your hand under them and just hold them. NOT ALL GLIDERS LIKE THIS, do not take it personally.



Terry is correct. I completely forgot about that fist method, and it is effect for some gliders. You can even use your thumb for petting if they will allow you to do so, but for nothing negative shakehead

Thanks so much for the reminder, Terry.
Posted By: Klasha

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 10/25/17 04:23 PM

Yes I meant hand training, but closing your hand into a fist so the bites didnít hurt as much. Thank you for clarifying. I should have been more clear.

Thank you for everyoneís replies.

the one really lunges at us when in the pouch. But since things seem to keep improving daily we are going to keep going with our routine.

I was able to pet them in the bonding pouch yesterday when they were sleeping. I feel like that is progress😊

Two more questions.

1. I have a bonding scarf, i have been using both. What is the consensus on bonding scarf? I feel like they are closer to my heart and that soothes them.

2. I have a stealth wheel, which they LOVE!!! They are so funny to watch in it. Is it ok to use the trim trax with it for their nails?

Thanks again for all the helpful information.
Posted By: Klasha

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/16/18 01:07 AM

Just an update. It has been almost a year. our 2 girls are doing great.

One is more comfortable with us than the other.

After months of tent time we now let them out in a small room to run around. The friendlier one will come sit with me, take treats and let me pet her. the other will take treats and run away. I am able to pet them in the pouch and put my nand in the pouch and they will sleep in my hand. This was after lots of tries, bites and patience. They will not let us pick them up. we can only get them back in cage with treats.

I need to cut their nails but don't know how to do it without being able to hold them. I don't want to ruin all the progress by grabbing them.

how many people can actually hold their sugar gliders?

This has been a wonderful place for advice and hearing other experiences.

Thank you
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/16/18 09:07 AM

There are a couple of ways to clip nails. All of them disassociate your hand from them.

A handkerchief size fleece blanket is a start. You can place it in your hand and get a hold of them in the pouch and pull them out. They will bite the fleece. I wrap mine burrito style in the fleece and pull 1foot out at a time and hold it still to clip the nails. I have also used their pouch rolling the top over and dig out a foot. Close the pouch around the foot.

I learned from watching my vet do it too. I won't say they did it the best way but it gave me a place to start. Once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. I hope this helps.
Posted By: Claralice

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/17/18 02:01 AM

I am no expert but I use a bonding pouch and zip to almost the end and use a fleece blanket to reach in and get one foot at a time. My spouse helps me-at least this is what I did until I added tree limbs and now that seems to do the trick.
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/17/18 03:17 PM

Here is a video from the Pet Glider on how they trim nails.



Luck Glider Rescue video which is probably more realistic
rofl He doesn't have his in a true burrito wrap but close.


Posted By: Klasha

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/18/18 02:36 AM

What kind of tree limb? That sounds easier

Thank you
Posted By: Klasha

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/18/18 02:37 AM

Thanks for all the advice. very helpful
Posted By: Claralice

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/18/18 03:25 AM

I use Crape Myrtle but you have to make sure their are no pesticides or fertilizers used. I live out side of town and have many that grow here. It has to be a limb from a glider safe tree - no peach etc.
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Our first sugar gliders - 09/18/18 03:00 PM

Tree limbs is a way to keep their nails down naturally IF your gliders will use them and IF you keep limbs in their enclosure as pretty much their only way to climb.

I was fortunate enough to have apple branches on the property so my gliders had them in their enclosures all the time.

You also need to make sure as mentioned they are pesticide free and non toxic to gliders.

Be sure to check This Sticky for safe woods and plant toxicity.
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