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Trust and Bonding Info


    Do you have a glider that you just can't seem to get near without it crabbing, fussing, and making all kinds of fuss? Do you have a glider that bites or nips? Are you finding that your glider doesn't want anything to do with you? Are you wanting to possibly pocket train your glider? This is the section that covers these areas. Lets start at the beginning..  The first thing we need to do is try to understand how the glider feels. It is a tiny scared little child, and when young children get scared they react adversely.  They scream, cry, bite, kick, throw tantrums, run away and hide.  Well, that sounds very similar to what a glider does.  So what would we do with a child that is scared? Of course we would try to comfort it. Now what would we do if this child wasn't ours? Now lets say it had been abused, neglected, and really didn't know what love or trust was?  We would TRY to teach it what love and trust was. Now the question is how? A bonding pic (click here)


     What I recommend for this, is a pouch ,a Ferret Couch Pouch  or one of  Betsycc's or Clara's  , instead of a nest box, I have found they tend to be more protective over a nest box than a pouch, I also recommend, hanging it on the cage door, being careful the pouch doesn't get caught in the hinges. I recommend these, because they are big and roomy, they each can attach to the cage and be taken out quickly and easily. Wear a cover shirt for a day and night (yes, sleep in it). lay it on top of the cage the next morning. This cover shirt will belong to your glider at this point. Don't wash it or clean it.
     The first thing we would do is give it time. Time to get used to its new environment, scents, sounds, and new home. We would try to protect it from ANYTHING that may scare or frighten it. Since we don't know this glider, we have no idea as to what will startle it or make it feel uneasy in any way, shape or form.  So we would go about this, by just having it associate you with only good things.
     There are many things you could do to accomplish this, the more you do the better your chances are of building a trust. The one thing you need to always remember is that gliders are very fragile and have a very tender heart. They cannot be trained with any negative feedback. NEVER do anything to your glider, that may make it feel that it wasn't totally safe with you. Some methods that have been suggested, that I feel, would be detrimental to the bonding process is: hitting, popping, tapping the glider, placing it under running water, or confining it and wearing gloves (they can't get used to your scent if they can't smell it).  These things only make the glider feel more and more defensive, and that is not what you are trying to accomplish. There are some very good suggestions and ideas that have been proven to work. We will go into total detail for these proven methods.  Remember what we said....Time. In some cases the trust starts building immediately, in other cases it may take a long time.  It all depends on you, the gliders history, disposition, and personality.  Consistency is very, very important.
     If you can't approach the glider without it's crabbing and lunging, leave it in it's cage for the first 3 days, let it get used to it's new home, let it learn to trust it's new home. Talk to it often softly, give it a treat, every time you talk to it.  This teaches it to associate your face and voice with good things (treats). If it crabs, let it.  Stop what you are doing and wait for it to stop, but don't move.  Just continue to talk to it.  Don't show it you are afraid, remember you are trying to gain it's trust. I have found that the chicken with apples baby food, or something that is smooth and requires them to lick it is by far the best thing for this training. Dip your finger tip in it and offer it to them in their pouch, a lot, the more often the better. Meal worms, veggies, pieces of fruit. do this as often as possible for the first 3 days. Do NOT try to remove them from the cage or disturb them for any reason for these three days. As they are licking your finger pet them with your other fingers. You will be done with the basic trust process, when you can place your hand into their pouch and eventually just let them lay in your hand.


        Wear a cover shirt for a day and night (yes, sleep in it). lay it on top of the cage the next morning. This cover shirt will belong to your glider at this point. Don't wash it or clean it. After the initial waiting time, 3 days to a week, this training will start. The first chance you get, to spend time with your glider in the day or late afternoon, put on a pocketed shirt, put on the gliders cover shirt,, remove the pouch, glider and all,  as gently as possible to avoid startling them or scaring them. Wear the cover outer shirt that buttons down, under that wear a pocket tee. Button the bottom 3 buttons and tuck them both in, place the pouch in between both shirts on the front of you and button another 2 buttons.  This acts as a pouch to hold their pouch for you. Continue doing what you have done the days before, treats, talking softly and letting them see you.  Start the first day at about a half hour, the whole time talking gently to it, humming to it, offering it treats, rubbing the outside of the pouch. If the glider does well continue to do it as long as possible, DON'T leave the house with the pouch and glider, till you know that glider is not going to move all day and till they feel safe with you. Each evening place the pouch back into the cage and lay the cover shirt on top of the cage again. Do this till you know the glider bonds. It is imperative that daytime, and  early evening hours are spent with your glider as much as possible.  I say this often DAY TIME is bonding time NIGHT TIME is play time. During this period, as few people as possible should come in contact with your glider till it feels totally safe with you. I suggest getting some pics  and showing them instead of the glider, at least for awhile. This is the longest process. Once you have gotten to the point where if something scares them or startles them, they come running to you.  You will enjoy you pet like you never thought possible. The more time you spend working with it, the better off you are. You NEED to dedicate at least an hour to 3 hours each day with your glider, not just playtime, during playtime, they won't be spending much time with you. . 


     ANYTIME that you need to handle the glider or catch it to put it back into it's cage, hold your hand flat palm down, place your fingers together, spread your thumb out, see the V it makes in your hand. Use your right hand for now. slide your hand from the right to the left slowly. When you need to catch your glider, do what I call an interception. get in front of it, place your hand lower than your glider is, slide it under its front feet. It will make the glider walk on your hand. Let your glider hold YOU. When it gets there be sure to give it a treat. The Key thing with this is DON'T try to hold the glider, let IT hold you. Many people have different interpretations of holding their glider. I have found that many of them actually mean they have their hands open and the glider is sitting in their hands. Very FEW gliders like to be confined. They are very independent. If they FEEL they are in control they will learn to trust you more. Providing you have given them ample enough time to get used to their pouch, when you need to get them back into the cage , you can take their pouch and hang it somewhere that they may feel safe. They will crawl into in  then take the pouch and hang it in the cage.


     Biting, nipping, tasting they are all the same thing. They may start just by you thinking they are tasting you, then it turns into a nip, some bite, some bite so hard to break the skin. The most important thing to remember here is that you are doing something, that they want you to stop. I am going to say something here and you are going to think I am totally nuts, and you may be right. You MUST take the bite. Under no circumstance pull away from it. The reason you must take it, is that if you pull away, then the glider has learned that you will stop what you are doing and the bite worked. So in actuality what you have taught it, is that if it bites you, you will stop what you are doing. So you MUST take the bite, but there are things that have worked for others and you will have to try the different things to find out what works best for you. Remember the Key thing here is persistence, patience, and consistency. Try each thing for about 3 days, if you find no improvement, move on to another method. What you first have to do, is make note of what you are doing, that caused it to bite you. If you can avoid those things, of course problem is solved, however there are times when you have to do something, like putting it in it's cage after playtime.
     In that case,  intercept it as explained in the holding section above.  I would suggest putting a tiny bit of yogurt low fat or chicken with apples baby food,, honey, or whipped cream  on your finger tips or where ever it is biting at. In fact, what I suggest is, using it as a training aid at the beginning during the time when you have them in the cage, every time you put your finger near it, have something on your finger tips. It may bite you once, but then it should start licking you. "Warning" This may cause your glider to be a very licky glider. Some people blow in their face to stop it.  Most gliders hate direct air being blown on them. A very good friend of mine once suggested a horn (the bubble bike type) held down to your side every time the glider bit, blow the horn. The sound should get it's attention and make it think that every time it bites you, that it caused the horn to blow, therefore thinking your skin honks when bit.  You can take a piece of cardboard and tie a string on it in the middle to put on your fingers, every time it started to bite place the cardboard between it and your skin. It makes it very hard to bite your skin if there is something flat that it can't bite into.  Some people when they bite, place the glider back into the cage, to teach it that if it bites, they get no outside play time. The one problem, I have found with this, is that if they don't want to leave their cage, they will use the biting to be able to go back in. I have received many letters from people whose glider bites them terribly on their arms and hands, many times this is because of a smell the glider absolutely loathes, like.. other pets, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, after shave, perfume, nail polish, hair spray, cologne, body oils. In most department stores they have unscented soaps and such for hunters, you may want to totally descent yourself and see if that is the cause, An improper diet also will cause this type of biting. Remember you MUST take the bite till you find something that works for you. Remember patience, perseverance, and consistency.


      I suggest for one glider to NOT use a pouch or a nest box for awhile, instead wear a pocket tee each day and hang it IN the cage each night. If you have more than one leave the pouch or nest box in. Still hang the shirt. Be sure you replace it each night with the one you wore that day.  This will serve several purposes :
1.  It will get you glider used to your scent as it will be fresh each day.
2. The only thing for it to sleep in will be the pocket.
3. It will give it something to climb and play on.
4. It will get used to you putting your hands in the cage.
5. By the time you get through this, it will look at the pocket and your scent as a "safe zone".
     After about a week or 2, maybe longer (you will know) you can try to take the shirt out in the morning and put it on, with the glider still in the pocket.  Start off with just a short time each day.
     Another method is to wear your gliders cover shirt   button the bottom 3 buttons and tuck it into your pants,  Scoop your glider gently from it's sleeping pouch, being careful not to get it too excited and pull out your pocket and just guide it in ,  Make a path with your hands so it has no other choice than to go into the pocket. It will come and go often in and out of the pouch, let it. Let it explore just the shirt and your pocket, If it curls up and goes to sleep within your shirt , just scoop it up gently and try again to redirect it to the pocket. Once it goes in and stays for long periods of time, you can then pin a "Crown Royal" bag or a thinner smaller pouch .. smaller than their sleeping pouch, like Betsycc's People Pouch or Clara's Fleece Sleeper inside the left side of the cover shirt. That is strictly a precautionary measure, in case they get startled, scared, or just plain restless, they will go into the pouch.


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