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Sandy Duncan

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So, one thing new (and expecting) suggie owners always have questions about is bonding with their new glider. Well, this is a little method I wrote out that has worked for EVERY one of my suggies. Even my rescue gliders who were thought to never bond with people.

    The First Few Days

    When you take home your glider for the first time, leave him/her alone for at least 3 days (other than feeding in the evening). After he has had the time to calm down and adjust to his surroundings, start sitting by the cage and talking to him. Do not try to handle him at all. Just sit and talk. Do this until your glider feels comfortable enough to come out of his pouch and sit by the cage door.

hint: when I did this, I read, sang (quiet lullabies), or told stories to them

    Taking it a little further

    Now that your new glider seems to be comfortable with your voice, he needs to feel comfortable with your scent. Sleep with pieces of 1x1ft fleece each night. Every morning, put that fleece in your glider's cage.  Every day, move it just a little bit closer to his sleeping pouch until he feels comfortable with it inside his pouch.

    Remember to continue sitting and talking to your glider. Offer treats through the cage bars until he feels comfortable around you. 

hint: still, DO NOT try and touch your glider. This will freak him out and could mess up the bonding process

    Almost there...

    Your glider should now feel very confident around you. He should be exited to see you at his cage and be awaiting treats. Now you are ready to begin the steps towards trying to pet him. When you go to feed him in the evening, hold the food plate in your hand (keep it close so his body is still in the cage).  If he freaks out and doesn't want to take the food, get one of the fleece sheets and put the food in the cage on top of it. Continue this each night until he feels comfortable eating with you nearby.

    Each night, move the food plates further and further from the cage until your glider is eating in your lap.  Don't try and pet him just yet. 

hint: take these steps VERY SLOWLY! Don't stare at your glider, this could scare him/her


    By now your glider should come and sit on your lap during feedings and maybe for pleasure. Begin putting your hand close to his food plate and over his lower back. If he freaks out, slowly back away and give him his space. Don't try again for the rest of the night. 

    If repeated each nigh, your glider should start to feel comfortable with your hand around him. Begin to lay your hand on your glider while he eats.

hint: I love petting my gliders. They are the softest things I have ever felt

    Holding your Suggie

    By now your glider should feel comfortable, and even enjoy being pet. Now it is time to hold your glider.  Put a treat in the palm of your hand and place your hand flat on the bottom of the cage. Encourage (with a sweet and soft voice) your glider to take the treat. Repeat this several times, each time moving the treat back further. if your glider bites you, ignore him. DO NOT PULL YOUR HAND AWAY! This teaches bad behavior and encourages him to bite MORE!

    If your glider feels comfortable sitting in your hand while it is in the cage, start moving your hane out of the cage and see if he will still want to come and sit. If he does, GREAT! You have successfully bonded with your glider. If not, repeat some steps until he/she feels more comfortable.

hint: good luck! These are the final steps in bonding with your glider

    Keeping the bond

    Too keep the bond with your new glider strong, spend at least an hour a day with your glider. One great thing you can do is to is put him/her in a bonding pouch.  If he is comfortable enough to go in, just give him a treat and wear him in the pouch. If not, place the pouch in the cage with him. Put a treat in the pouch and open it up wide. If he STILL wont go in, take out his sleeping pouch and replace it with the bonding pouch. Let him get comfortable sleeping in the bonding pouch, then simply zip him up and wear him under your shirt.

hint: continue to sleep with the fleece sheets and put them in his sleeping pouch


Below is a photo of the first time my suggie, Spoofio, came out to greet me when I fed her. Getting your suggie used to regular feeding times will strengthen the bonding process. Sugar Gliders are very smart animals, and after a couple of days, don't be surprised if your little one is waiting for you at feeding time  :)

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Hi there, I saw this group had a lot of steam so I thought I would share my sugar glider rescue map. This map lets you know if there is a rescue near you that will let you surrender or adopt some sugars. 

- Happy Gliding! 
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