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Aggressive Sugar Glider Behavior

Know what to do if a sugar glider bites.

By Audrey Pavia

Sugar gliders are naturally fearful of humans, even hand-reared sugar gliders. Sugar gliders tend to bond with one person but can learn to recognize other people and tolerate handling.

Sugar gliders bite if they haven’t bonded well with their handler, are afraid or are feeling stressed.

If you or someone else is bitten or nipped, do not put the sugar glider down. This teaches your pet that biting ends handling. Instead, gently roll the sugar glider up by putting its face toward its stomach and hold it quietly without movement until the sugar glider settles down. Cup the sugar glider with both hands until it relaxes and goes to sleep. Avoid quick, jerky movements as this will only excite the sugar glider more.

Handle your sugar glider daily so it becomes used to being held and is less likely to bite.

If a sugar glider nips you often, handle it wearing a pair of cloth gloves. Avoid wearing white gloves as these might frighten a sugar glider.


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Reader Comments
I have a pair of Gliders that are about 11 weeks old. They are brother and sister. I have had them about 3 weeks. When I first got them they wouldn't even let me hold the pouch without crabbing. Now during the day they let me cuddle them in my hand in the pouch and pet them as much as I want. My problem, however, is at night time. They get really nervous anytime I take them out of the cage. They squirm out of my hand and run to my back where I can't reach them. Or try to jump away onto anything thats nearby. If I try to hold them in my hand they nip me. They don't bite hard or hurt but I can tell they are irritated with me. Should I just be persistent even though they are annoyed and stressed when I hold them?
Marissa, Merritt Island, FL
Posted: 4/5/2015 12:22:07 PM
I'm Using a few methods, my Gliders or four months oop, I wear them around with the bonding bag a few hours a day for the last week. I've had them for three weeks now. I also saw a vet use the hand cupping method until they relax and fall asleep. I use that but I have stopped temporarily to make sure that was an excepted l method. They have drawn blood a couple of times not recently. My mail gently nips. And the female will try biting down harder, I handle them 2,3,4 times a day.
I put Lauren T-shirts of mine in the cage.
I actually had the mail in my shirt pocket today while I was wearing it for about an hour. They have plenty of toys plenty of areas to sleep a great variety of food. I just want to make sure that these methods or correct to ensure shrunk bonding
Any comments welcome thanks so much
Chris, Marshfield, MA
Posted: 9/13/2014 7:46:45 PM
I have 2 three year old female gliders, born and raised together. I adopted them 6 months ago and am still unable to handle one of them without getting bitten. I've tried all the usual trick with no success. Now, if I put my hand near the sleep hammock, she not only crabs, but actually lunges for me. I've had enough. Her sister is sweet and loving, never an issue. Ideas?
Cathy, Milton, DE
Posted: 4/24/2014 5:58:29 PM
Naturally Sugar Glider's are aggressive when they are not bonded to you, it takes time, patience and persistence during the bonding process, continue to offer treats on your hand while petting it in time you will see that your Sugar Glider will be less agressive i hope this helps you !
SAL, Columbia, SC
Posted: 1/30/2014 7:00:32 AM
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