It’s important to remember that patience is absolutely vital when bonding.
Go slow, go at their pace, don’t force them or push them too far too fast.
Bonding can take weeks, months, even longer. It is very much different for every person and every glider. If you take it slow and go at their pace you’ll have a much better chance at success.
Remember that if they are “crabbing” they are not trying to scare you, THEY are scared. Don’t jump, don’t pull back or freak out. Just be calm and show them you’re not afraid but you’re not going to hurt them.
Some people think it’s easier to bond to one glider at a time, this isn’t true. Having two gliders together can actually help bonding in some instances. Please don’t let this be a deterrent against getting a second glider. The sooner they have a buddy the happier they’ll be.
Below are just a few very basic tips to bonding with your glider when they first come home.
1. Speak softly, move slowly, and give them space. (ie. Do not pet or pick them up.)
2. Let them have a chance to adjust to their new home, by keeping them in their cage for the first few days.
3. After week one start spending at an hour or more per night with your glider out of their cage in a glider proofed area. (Keep step 1 in mind)
*Tip: Try to stay in one position, see if they come to you. When it is time to put them back turn the lights on, offer them a pouch with treats in it, and use a signal word to help them know it is time for bed.
4. Try to make playtime and feeding happen at the same time nightly, this gives them a routine to count on.
*Tip: If you notice them taking an interest in you give them a treat.
5. Be prepared for crabbing, biting, and lunging during the first few weeks or months. This is perfectly normal, gliders are vocal animals.
*Tip: It’s actually helpful for you if your glider is vocal because you can easily find out what makes them scared, happy, afraid, angry, etc.
6. Encourage good behavior with treats and never discipline they just do not get it instead they become forever hateful.
*Tip: They may not take treats from your hand right away, so instead make sure they see you sitting treats down, walk away, and let them come to the treat on their own time.
7. Whenever you open the pouch during the day hand out treats. Even if you are greeted with crabbing, remember you disturbed his/her sleep.
8. Don’t try to pick up or hold your gliders, it makes them very uncomfortable and slows the bonding process.
*Tip: You maybe able to pet them, start getting them use to being pet by touching their tail, do this only when they have started to come to you on their own or while taking treats from your hand.
9. It is best to bond with gliders in pairs or more because they are colony animals. Being together makes them feel more secure, comforted, and relaxed during bonding. Lone gliders will be more insecure, lonely, and anxious.
*Tip: If you are planning on getting a second glider later research quarantine and introductions.
10. You may start wearing a bonding pouch or sitting his/her sleeping pouch on your lap during the second week while they sleep. This will help them get use to being on you.
*Tip: Be considerate he/she is sleeping after all, you wouldn’t want to get them angry.