Introduction Process Tips

Posted By: Xeno

Introduction Process Tips - 02/09/19 01:31 AM

My two new gliders showed up and I thought I was perfectly ready. I figured they were young and could probably adapt easily. I set up introductions during the day when both the girls and the boys were tired and they seemed fine. Went in in the evening and Dobby threw a fit and balled up with Eilonwy and made very aggressive noises. I quickly pulled him out of the cage and put him in the spare cage. While I was doing that the other three all escaped. Then I found out that the spare cage I had (used to use it for another pet) had bars too far apart and Dobby also made his escape.

I caught Dobby and put him in a small travel carrier. Then Elric and Arwen started hissing at each other. Luckily Arwen bolted and I distracted Elric by offering him a ride. I put him in the tent. I caught Arwen easily and she went quietly back to the cage. Eilonwy proved to be a master at escape and it took me ten minutes to get her back in the cage.

I looked at trying to mod the cage I have but realized that there is no way it could hold a glider. I rushed out to the pet store and got the largest cage I could find that could hold them and got Elric and Dobby (Dobby did not go quietly).

I feel horrible as the cage is really small for gliders. On the bright side no one was hurt. Well, except for my ego and my confidence that I can handle these guys and gals. I ordered another big cage but the weekend will probably slow shipping. I will have to let the boys out a lot to play.

Anyways, any good tips on setting up better introductions? I figure I will keep the cages in close proximity once the new one arrives and start switching pouches. How do you do the actual intro?
Posted By: Feather

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/09/19 05:43 AM

You need to do some pouch swapping and introductions are best done around 10 am when they want to sleep. Here is my article on introducing gliders: How to introduce gliders to each other.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/09/19 05:49 PM

Thanks. Is it better to introduce one on one or are group introductions workable?
Posted By: Paani

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/10/19 02:59 AM

I love that you named one of them Eilonwy. Not many people know of Prydain.
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/10/19 10:29 AM

Originally Posted by Xeno
Thanks. Is it better to introduce one on one or are group introductions workable?

It depends. I had better luck one on one. Starting with the less dominant one first.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/11/19 12:03 AM

Originally Posted by Paani
I love that you named one of them Eilonwy. Not many people know of Prydain.

Eilonwy was one of my first fictional crushes as a boy when I first started devouring books.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/26/19 01:29 AM

Well, I tried another intro in an enclosed space on Saturday morning. Elric seemed to get along with the girls okay but Dobby and Eilonwy were not happy with each other. Both went into the pouch with Arwen and it sounded like World War 3. I opened the pouch and helped Dobby get out. Elric went in and the three of them seemed fine but I felt bad. Dobby really needs his brother and I do not want to separate the two so I enticed Elric out and put them all back where they were.

Failure stings.

A shame. Elric and Arwen are my intrepid explorers and I think the two of them would love to hang out together. Eilonwy is still a grouch and Dobby is just placid.

I am going to wait a few months before trying again. It was stressful for them all. They were pooping everywhere and Dobby ran into the water dish and was miserable afterwards. Another reason I felt he needed his brother. Going to try a more low pressure meet up next time in a larger area but like I said, months away. On the bright side no one seems to be holding any grudges towards me over the meetup except for maybe Eilonwy but she is always crabbing about something.
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/26/19 05:52 AM

Looks like you started having questions about combining your 2 groups as the same time as me!
What I've been doing is pouch swapping with fleece squares inside that have my scent (mainly to help the lil ones also bond with me and get used to my scent).
Toy swapping as well as swapping food bowls.
I would take them out in thier sleeping pouches and just have the pouches together while I did treats and lovin but I didnt let them interact for a couple weeks.
And just recently I purchased some gutter guard plastic mesh and zip tied it together and put it inbetween the ladies cages and thier cages are now touching. The mesh was to prevent them from being able to reach threw the bars and fight/hurt themselves or one another.
About 3 days ago I started having success with everyone getting along!
Keep it up, you'll have them all together soon smile
Posted By: Feather

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/26/19 06:55 AM

If he gets along with everyone but the one glider, I would let the one glider live alone for a week or so. Continue to swap pouches and try introductions again in two weeks.

It is amazing how they decide to get along after living alone for a couple weeks.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/26/19 03:33 PM

Thanks, if that happens again I will set up a trio. Going to give them two weeks to unwind and try to help Eilonwy get over her constant jitteriness with a lot of tent plans and will then start swapping pouches and moving the cages closer again for another try.
Posted By: Hutch

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/27/19 02:36 AM

Short one-on-one meets might also help. Less stress when there's less activity around. Just another thought.
Posted By: BYK_Chainsaw

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/27/19 03:05 AM

I'm not the biggest expert on this but it kind of sounds like you are doing some things wrong.

1. we do pouch swapping for a FEW WEEKS, then cages 8" apart and continue pouch swapping for MORE WEEKS.
so before we even think about an introduction the gliders have each others scent for a month.

2. "Both went into the pouch with Arwen and it sounded like World War 3". was this a clean unscented pouch? if this pouch was
dirty and scented it was some gliders territory and the other glider was invading that territory.

Our introductions usually happen with ALL the gliders going into the tub, sometimes it's one glider added at a time, other times it
has been all in at one time.

the last intro we did was 4 glider with one added. We had two pouches in each cage, did a single pouch swap every 2-3 days.
I notice that the gliders would sleep in the scented pouch that has the other gliders scent on it, NOT the second pouch that was not
being switched. So after about 3 weeks the wife put them together and all was fine.

we have a colony of 6 and just got 2 return gliders. we will start pouch swapping in a few days, the 2 gliders go into a big cage soon,
once they have had a few days in new cage and are less stressed in their new home, we will start swapping, in a few WEEKS to a month
we will try intro in an unscented bathtub with unscented pouches. we will do some cleaning on the 6 colony area so they hopefully
won't feel the two are intruders once they go pack into their cage/room. (I have a glider room, and the gliders get free roam most of
the night, so the whole room is scented, hopefully they will be fine if tub intro's go good.)
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/27/19 05:48 AM

1. I had been doing a lot of pouch swapping beforehand but perhaps not long enough. I had been swapping for two weeks. The cages were also put close together a week before I tried the intro.

2. Yeah, it was an unscented pouch I had just washed.

I will try pouch swapping for a longer duration next time. I also need to figure out what to do with Dobby. He has been cleverly pulling the cage liner out from the bottom tray and building a fort out of it to sleep in. I am impressed but not sure why he is doing it.
Posted By: BYK_Chainsaw

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/27/19 06:17 AM

well that sounds better. Just give them some time then.

if the cage liner is safe, maybe just give him one of his own. or maybe try the sleeping pouch lower to the cage bottom.
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 02/27/19 07:45 AM

Sugar did that a few times when I was doing pouch swapping. The lil ones both also did that. They all stopped when I made very sure there was a neutral pouch in the cage. It was hard keeping track of the neutral and cage swapped pouches for a while but I made a system.
It's very important to do as much scent swapping as you can while also finding a balance where the gliders aren't stressed out and feel like there is an invader.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 01:38 AM

I have been swapping pouches for two weeks again. Usually they will sleep in the scented pouch but not always. Moved the cages about a foot apart last night. They are interested in each other and occasionally run around a bit trying to find a way to get to the other but I am not sure if that is friendly, curious, or hostile interest. Going to try intros a week from Saturday.

No one has pulled the liner up either. I did give them some eucalyptus leaves. When I swapped pouches the boys climbed over to find the girls had stuffed a lot of theirs inside the pouch,

Tent time is going well with both groups and crabbing is continuing to drop off. Feeling good. Now if I can just get them integrated so I can play with them all at once. That is my main motivation. Splitting time means they only get play about every other day.

I read that swapping cages can help but that seems like it would stress them out. Anyone have any experience there?
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 03:37 AM

My experience with cage swapping was marking... It is a good experience, but they mark over each other's scent... So the smell might get a little much if you're sensitive to their smell. I did keep them in their own pouch while I swapped cages.

For me it was cleaning the main cage while they were sleeping. You have to wash everything. They stayed in a travel cage while I did this. Intros almost failed because my little boy(the new guy) Stewie didn't like the travel cage and the girls fussed while he was in and out of the sleeping pouch. He hated small spaces. Plus it is was new to him. But he's a bit hyper... I lied... He's super hyper... But it worked out in the end...
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 05:16 AM

I personally haven't tried it. I thought about trying it with my girls but decided it would probably stress Sugar out. I'm not an expert on merging groups, but I do feel like my introductions went more successfully when I allowed my more accepting/curious glider (spice) to hang out in the same pouch with my lil ones for a few hours and then putting her back with her sister.
My theory was Sugar became more accepting and less threatened by the lil ones scents because her sister returned smelling of them and she was ok. After a couple days of that Sugar actually wanted to meet the little ones and only had a small squabble the first time. The next day I let her decide if she wanted to be in the pouch of 3 or by herself and she chose to be with everyone. The next day they were all together in one cage with zero fighting. I also chose to do any intros around the middle of the day or early evening when they should be sleeping.
I also swapped more than just pouches, I swapped foraging cups, tunnels, food bowls, anything I knew that they loved playing with or would definitely go to, I did that very slowly, like once a week when I rearranged thier cages and would watch thier behavior.
Also, do they talk threw the cage bars? Barking, fussing, chatter? Or are they more silent watching?
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 04:41 PM

I am not worried about smell so I think I will do it. I have also been moving hammocks back and forth and have been switching feeding trays and bowls.

They look at each other a little and then run all over that side of the cage. Looks like they are trying to get to each other. An occasional hiss but it is not the same sound as when they spit to clean themselves. Not sure how to read that. They seem curious and a little wary but I am not an expert on glider body language yet. They do bark but not really any more then they did before. Sometimes they run for the pouch after they try to get to the other. Two of the gliders seem much more interested. Elric and Arwen. My two adventurers. Elric is known for his jumping onto anything and anyone and Arwen is my sneaky girl who will take any opportunity to sneak out of her cage and run around the room. Eilonwy is always nervous about everything. Dobby occasionally seems interested in Arwen but quickly goes back to his wheel running.
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 08:06 PM

I feel like introducing Dobby and Arwen first would be good, then adding Elric. Eilonwy seems like my Sugar and might take a bit to feel safe with the new gliders and I would add her last and let her have a choice of a safe space to go to (like her pouch) or the other gliders.

When my gliders started being friendly there was 2 very distinct sounds they made. One was a short loud TSSST noise and then there was actual chattering, almost like a clicking noise but it sounded friendly and it only happened in the beginning when they were entering the other gliders pouches. Also, both those noises were only made from my older more dominant gliders, my little ones always kinda chirped clicked. I feel the loud TSSST was like a dominant sound and the chattering was a more of a "ok we can be friends now" sound.

Curious is good! Also, them ignoring each other is a good sign. If the cages can be close together and the gliders will go off and play and eat without feeling the need to hide in pouches or fight threw the cage bars shows they are becoming more comfortable with their neighbors. smile
I would try and catch the hiss and see if that glider is biting the cage bars or lunging or if it's more of a "hey I'm over here" pst noise.
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 08:19 PM

Or if its Elric and Arwin in separate cages and they seem to be the two more friendly and accepting, I would do those 2 first then Dobby and Eilonwy last.

For me Sugar and Storm were the similar personalities from separate cages and they were both my more crabby and cautious ladies. Storm being younger was definitely more crabby and loud but she also wanted to stay with Snow.

Spice and Snow were my more adventurous ones and they were the ones to check out the other gliders and return home to let their sisters know everything was ok and also the ones who did a lot of talking threw the cages. Spice originally was territorial and would bite and hiss the bars and it later became more friendly as I scent swapped.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 09:01 PM

Yeah currently it is Dobby and Elric in one cage and Arwen and Eilonwy in the other. I probably need to spend more time observing them. I have been doing tent time every evening switching back and forth between the two cages and have not been able to devote a lot of time to observing them. When I am in the room and not in the tent I am often a distraction since I am petting them or talking to them or feeding them. I will need to just sit in there read or something to try to get a better idea of what the mood is.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 09:02 PM

I might also try getting each cage in a bonding pouch and wear them at the same time and see what the reaction is.
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/06/19 10:37 PM

Yes! I loved my double bonding scarf! I was able to take all of them out and not feel guilty that one pair was still up. And I was able to keep them safely separated. The first few times there was some crabbing on my little ones part and one of my older girls wouldn't sit still but after a few days they settled down a lot faster and my intros actually happened in the scarf.
And I know, it's so hard to not pay attention to them when they are awake!! But it does help you pick out future toys smile my girls are like cats, just put a box in there and they will play with that vs the new pricey toy that's hanging up rofl
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/07/19 03:28 PM

Okay, moved the cages closer. The girls were chattering with the boys but Dobby was crabbing. At one point all four faced each other directly. There was some paw swiping through the bars and Arwen was biting the bars. When I started worrying about Arwen’s teeth I swapped the sleeping pouches and both sides retreated to examine these alien invaders. In the end they slept in them. So far not convinced they are ready to meet. Dobby and Arwen in particular seem aggressive. Elric took one paw swipe. Eilonwy mostly just watched but backed up her sister. Dobby and Elric were crawling all over each other to get to the edge.

So far the only ones chattering seem to be the girls.
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/07/19 03:51 PM

Arwen wants to meet the girls!

Dobby wants to protect is territory. He may need to go into time out while the girls introductions to Arwen happens. I would intro the girls to him one on one, see how it goes. Then let him take their scent back to Dobby.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/07/19 04:12 PM

Arwen is one of the girls. Elric is the other boy. I think you are mostly right though. I think when I do intros I am going to start with Elric and Arwen and then add Eilonwy if it goes well. Then give Dobby some time and hopefully reintegrate.
Posted By: TheSGirlCrew

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/07/19 04:42 PM

Sounds a little bit like how my two pairs were. The little ones were very eager to be with the big girls and would chatter and watch them.
But after a few days of the big girls being aggressive threw the bars though, I decided I didnt want any broken teeth or arms.... so I put a very thin towel between the cages and pushed the cages together, I also rearranged the sleeping pouches to be parallel to eachother. That way they couldnt see eachother and want to fight but they were very close to one another scents and sounds.

After a while I replaced the towel with some cheap gutter guard mesh, so the concept was they would be close together but unable to fight threw the bars.
I figured if Spice was willing to bite bars more than once she was stressed out by the girls being close and I didn't want that to fester.
I wasn't in a hurry to get mine together though because my young ones needed to catch up in size and I wanted to bond with them enough that they would be ok with my hand scooping them up.

So I did all my scent swapping and them together in a kind of passive aggressive way. I would take the lil ones out and pet love on them and make sure I smelled like them and then I would take my big girls out, sugar is my chunker and wants treats and a few times she wouldn't take the treat from me because I smelled like the lil ones, she quickly got over that. Spice wants all the belly rubs and there would be a few nips but nothing serious and only the first few times. I tried to constantly find ways to get the lil girls scents on or around the big girls because they were the ones not wanting to be friends.

You mentioned getting bonding pouches and I think that would be a good investment, my advice is maybe try to find a larger sized one so you can still use them when they are all together smile
I love/loved my double bonding scarf and I think that's a great way for you to have them all with you and them close to each other as well.

I think your in the process of bonding with both pairs and trying to get them together right?

I don't know if any of my advice or experience is helping. I just know when I was asking for help on getting mine together I wanted someone to actually tell me what they did and what they looked out for.I read all the articles and many a YouTube videos (where I got the mesh idea from). And I understood the basics of scent swapping and neutral territory and felt like I would have it handled until I got them together the first time and my heart stopped when Spice balled up fought with the little ones, after that I only wanted to do introductions if it was going to be 100% safe or close to it!!!
Keep at it, it's so rewarding having them all together and definitely worth the stress and mini heart attacks. grin
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/07/19 06:42 PM

Originally Posted by Xeno
Arwen is one of the girls. Elric is the other boy. I think you are mostly right though. I think when I do intros I am going to start with Elric and Arwen and then add Eilonwy if it goes well. Then give Dobby some time and hopefully reintegrate.

Sorry I got the names mixed up... Sometimes my reading comprehension is 0%... I didn't read it again after I posted. I usually do, or try not to use names...

But then my mind was putting Dobby as a character in Lord of the rings, not HP... "Precious" kept running through my head...
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/07/19 07:12 PM

I separated the cages a little later on. They are close and can still see each other but I doubt I will see another 2 on 2 pre-rumble standoff. Checked this morning and they were sleeping just switched pouches.

I need to work better on hand training my gliders. Most of them are comfortable climbing on me but have not mastered picking them up. Need to work on that.

I have two small bonding pouches. Might try to get them to sleep in those Friday night so I can wear both of them together.

And no problem with the mixup. Thanks for the advice. Feel like I am getting closer.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/08/19 05:04 AM

Well, got a pre-intro test done accidentally. I took Arwen out to let her run around and she managed to jump behind the boy’s cage and climb it and started a ruckus. Dobby crabbed when she got near but then she and Elric met up and started sniffing and chattering away like old friends. Then I got her out before Dobby could find her and get annoyed again. Going to try intros with Elric and the girls on Saturday. Dobby might need more time.
Posted By: KarenE

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/08/19 02:53 PM

Does seems they are very interested in each other. Good luck.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/09/19 01:49 AM

Took Dobby and Elric for tent time and once I put Dobby back I brought Elric to the girl’s cage. He and Arwen still seem friendly. Sadly Eilonwy seems unwilling to chat. Going to introduce tomorrow afternoon in the tub when they are tired. Plan to put the girls and Elric in. If that goes well I might let Dobby in and see if he is okay with a neutral meeting where he is less territorial. If so I win. If not he goes back and hopefully the trio will work. Then wash the cages before putting them back.

If I only get the trio I will keep Dobby’s cage close and hope seeing his brother with the girls will help him acclimate to them. I will also next week let Elric spend some time joining Dobby in the early evening when they first wake up and he hopefully smells of the girls to get Dobby onboard. Also keep swapping pouches and intro Dobby when he seems ready.

Does that sound good? Or do you think I should just intro the trio and wait on Dobby? Any thoughts?
Posted By: Ladymagyver

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/09/19 03:20 AM

Dobby does need time out. When you put the boys together again, you will see Dobby mark him.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/09/19 06:53 PM

A wild ride!

Last night the girls escaped on their own. I went in at 2 AM (I had to get some remote work done and was up late) to check on some barking. Still not sure how they did it but I found Eilonwy plantitively pleading barking in the closet. I think she was either scared or annoyed she could not jump up to where I keep the treats. Arwen had decided she wanted tent time without me and was running around. The only thing I can figure is that they pulled the bottom cage a bit and slipped out. A tight fit. It is a bit looser on the girl’s cage.

I wore up the girls and put them (lazily kicking) in the tub. I then got Elric out by first getting Dobby out of the pouch by enticing him out with a treat and then taking the pouch. The three sniffed each other and started chattering. I left it for ten minutes. Success. I acted on a hunch that all four would be okay and got Dobby but when I got back Eilonwy had escaped the tub. I tried to get Dobby to jump off me and head into the tub but Elric took that opportunity to jump onto me (like he always does). With the two boys on me I got Dobby into the tub hoping he and Eilonwy would meet while I possibly scoured the house for Arwen (the door was open when she got out). I found Arwen hiding behind the towels hanging way off the floor. Not sure how she jumped that high. She was terrified hanging on and gladly let me take her. Dobby and Eilonwy made common cause (they were friendly when I glanced over) but escaped again.

Note to self: Either this tub is too shallow or my gliders are all the equivalent of pro athletes. I am guessing the former. I never use that tub (it is the guest bathroom but I definitely have no plans to take a bath in there.....especially now,

With the bedlam I realized the only two who had not been introduced were Dobby and Arwen and they were the two I was most concerned about. I put Arwen down by Dobby and they faced off and Dobby crabbed a little but they got along. I broke out the large fresh sleeping pouch that just arrived yesterday so it is beautifully scentless. Eilonwy was terrified of the mayhem so I just held it up to her and she gratefully dove in. I let Dobby in next and then Arwen and finally Elric. I carried it to the master bedroom with the small cage. Both Dobby and Elric jumped out but I turned on the lights and they quickly went back into the cage while I secured the pouch. Dobby dove right into the pouch and there was some crabbing and hissing but no movement so I left them. Elric explored the cage and kept going in and out of the pouch and I was worried he was going to ruin it but he finally settled down and joined the others in the pouch. There were a few hisses from the pouch but I think some of it was the grooming sound and one or two “get your foot out of my face” sounds but nothing overtly hostile. They have been quiet for the last half hour I have watched outside of some contented sleep “clicking”. I put another pouch in in case someone needs to retreat but I am hopeful they are good.

So tentative success. Despite me having to do all the work on the intros I still have to go clean the cages, launder the lining, and wash all the toys. Doesn’t seem fair. smile On the bright side if this works I only have to clean one cage in the future and can let the gliders out to play in the whole room in the future without panicking whenever they jump onto the other cage. And combined tent time will mean more bonding time.

I plan to watch very carefully tonight when they wake up and will try to have food out and in enough places to combat food aggression. I plan to have two trays with Critter Love Complete, two kitchens with salad, and two water bowls. I am hopeful that will cover it.
Posted By: Xeno

Re: Introduction Process Tips - 03/10/19 01:51 AM


After I cleaned I moved the pouch into one of the big cages. Eilonwy crabbed but she always does that whenever she is in a pouch and is moved or I am talking or even too close.

They all woke up and are playing. First there was the mad rush to scent mark the cage which I had cleaned and sprayed some pet safe lemon scent on to make sure no On my way! Elric and Arwen did some play fighting but there was no balling up or aggressive noise and neither was getting hurt so I let them decide who was going to be in charge of the new colony. Dobby and Eilonwy would both get in the wheel and take turns running and spinning the other one. I thought two wheels might be excessive but turns out some times there is a line waiting for the current user to get off. Eilonwy also seems a lot less jumpy. Maybe she was just afraid of the boys even when they were on the opposite side of the room.

I want to bring them out to play but I think other then treats I will leave them for a few days to reacclimate. Then the fun can begin! The room is glider proofed but I might redecorate a bit so they have more to do when they are out. Also need to expand tent toys.

Anyways, absent some disaster, I think this thread is over. Thank you to everyone for your advice. Even though I did not follow all of it it helped me ask the right questions and do the right research.
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