My fiance and I just got our first gliders, and are totally in love with them. Ive done my research, etc, but have one question Im pretty sure i know the answer too.
While they were a little over a year old when we got them (1 1/2 weeks ago) and we are working very slowly with them (let them get used to their new home (smells, gave them shirts, etc) and we are being patient, our boy who is very friendly and curious has a bit of what I think is a grooming bite problem.
While he is checking me and my room out he sometimes gets fixated on a spot on me and wants to chew and and won't let go of it with his teeth. Its not aggressive or anything, which leads me to believe its grooming, and I tsk at him but he just stops for a second, then goes back at it. Ive tried to let him do it but he evetually rips my skin open and I just have to put him back in the cage at that point. I really don't want this to be a habit he will do to people he knows, so i was just looking for any advise towards this that I may not have read yet.
Thanks in advance for the help!
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Re: First time Sugar glider parent with a question
#1406871 01/29/1702:14 PM01/29/1702:14 PM
You are correct. That is a grooming behavior that can be painful, and you have found that out
Since the tsk works even if just to stop him in the moment, remove him from where he is at that time so he does not go back to his aggressive grooming. Distract him with a toy or something. If he insists on finding that spot immediately, then a stern NO with a very short time out in the cage might work.
When mine first came to me as joeys, they would fixate on a couple small scars I have on the back of my hands. I never let it get to the point they were tearing skin open. When tssk & 'no!' failed, I picked them up to move. Gwyn was particularly stubborn (& still is), & would try to return to my hands.
The good news is that after they 'learn' you, they'll get use to whatever is attracting their attention just always being a part of you & forget about it. Until then, once one of them doesn't take the hint, remove them from the spot & distract them.
I have the same issue with my little boy, Yoda. I think he is just fixated on exploring the world with his teeth right now. Most of the time he just gives me little exploratory nibbles, but every few days or so he locks onto me and goes into a mad gnawing frenzy. I'm starting to learn his body language for those chomping fits, and to move any of my vulnerable parts away quickly. (He will bite my bare toes when I carelessly leave them on the floor during play time.)
The upside is that he also fixates on chewing my houseplants, which gives me a good opportunity to pet him while his teeth are otherwise occupied.