Posted: July 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My new sugar gliders are 8 months old. One of them is friendly with me, but the other does not like it when I get near her. How can I build her trust in me, and is it just personality differences why she isn't as trusting as her sister?
A: One of the most endearing qualities of a sugar glider is its unique personality, and every sugar glider is different. Before you can begin to bond with your sugar glider, you must earn its trust. One of the most common ways to begin bonding is to carry your sugar glider with you during the day in a bonding pouch. Adding an item in the bonding pouch with your scent on it will also help it recognize your scent.
In the beginning, pet your sugar glider from the outside of the pouch while talking softly to it. Eventually, you can offer treats, such as applesauce or yogurt on your finger for the sugar glider to lick off. Be sure to re-dip your finger before the treat is gone! This will teach your sugar glider that your hands offer only good things.
Another wonderful tool for trust and bonding is to interact with your sugar gliders using a small tent. A tent provides a safe, sugar glider-proof environment. During their awake hours, take them into the tent and initially let them just explore. Eventually, they will come to you in the tent and at that point the bonding process has begun.
Every sugar glider loves routine. Being consistent in your trust building speeds up the bonding process. Good luck with your little ones!