Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

For other than life threatening medical situations with your flyer.

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coryandgracieforever
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Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby coryandgracieforever » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:32 pm

Hello, I have had my flying squirrel for almost three months now(he was about 5 weeks old when we saved him from my girlfriends cat). This may be typical flying squirrel behavior but I don't know as this is my first flying squirrel. He has a large cage, a constant supply of water and nut n berry bird seed, a deer antler for him to chew on, a little house for him to sleep and hide in, and all that good stuff. In the past month, he has started to become pretty aggressive at times. He's been doing a lot of biting in an attacking manner, when I go to pick him up, he will run up and bite my fingers, when he's on my shoulder, he jumps and grabs my face and bites it, and stuff like that. I've tried disciplining him; I tried yelling no when he would do it then I tried putting my finger in house mouth so he would associate that with discomfort but neither has helped and honestly, I just feel bad doing stuff like that. I was just hoping someone could tell me if this is normal behavior or not and if it isn't if you could tell me ways to help. His nails are also really sharp, I constantly have about 50 little scratches from him running around on me. I put a piece of sandpaper under his food and water bowl but that didn't help, is there anything else I could try?

Thank you,

Cory Cox

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby coryandgracieforever » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:43 pm

He also has a constant supply of acorns and other nuts in his cage to gnaw on. He used to just nibble on my fingers every once in a while like he thought there was food on them but this is totally different from that. He has also become very aggressive toward other people. He has bitten two of my family members, he has been around them once or twice before, but for no longer than 2 minutes at a time; so they were basically strangers. Thanks, again.

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby coryandgracieforever » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:46 pm

When I said he bit two of my family members, I mean he latched on to them and wouldn't let go, it was very, very aggressive.

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Laurak » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:58 pm

I'm not sure about the aggression - I know that sometimes they will just bond mostly with one person, and not be friendly with anyone else. Perhaps that is the case here?

As far as their little claws, that is just part of being a HOF (human owned by a flyer) - they need to have some claw at least to climb properly. So you will just have teeny scratches as long as you have him :) I have heard the look of it as being compared to 'being attacked by a tiny bear.' They are just love scratches ;-)

If you want to clean off your scratches, my fiance and I use rubbing alcohol to wipe the scratched areas down if they are getting itchy (sign of infection).

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Joan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:57 pm

coryandgracieforever wrote:... In the past month, he has started to become pretty aggressive at times.


Cory, he may be going thru puberty. Flyers are considered adult at 3 months. viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6582 Have his "puffs" started showing :twisted: My Chuck went through an attacking stage that was due to a surge of hormones. I would put him in jail ... a 7"H X 11"L X 4.5"W cage every time he "attacked" and would leave the room for at least 5 minutes letting him stew before releasing him. You must be consistent with "tough love".
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby coryandgracieforever » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:40 pm

Yeah, they did but they went back down a few weeks ago. I thought something was wrong before doing some research on it and almost took him to the vet. When it first happened is around when it started happening though so hopefully it will pass because he is too darn cute to be mad at! Thanks for your help, I feel much better now!

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Joan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:02 pm

coryandgracieforever wrote:Yeah, they did but they went back down a few weeks ago. I thought something was wrong before doing some research on it and almost took him to the vet. When it first happened is around when it started happening though so hopefully it will pass because he is too darn cute to be mad at! Thanks for your help, I feel much better now!


Chuck straightened with "tough love". :D Be glad you don't have a female as some of them never get over PMS. :twisted:
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby coryandgracieforever » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:42 pm

Oh my, that doesn't sound fun at allxP Thanks for getting back to me, again!

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Cams » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:17 pm

HI! I also am having trouble with my squirrel. She is almost 2 years old and her behavior has recently changed drastically. I got her when she was 11 weeks old and she came to me pretty traumatized. She is my first (and only so far) flyer so I was pretty much glued to the bonding pages of this site for months. It took me a while to figure out her "prey" mentality but we ended up at a pretty good place. She would jump to me all the time and sit in the crook of my neck to eat nuts. She has never been ok with hands or being held. That used to be the only time she would ever bite. She eventually got over all of her fear of us and everything was fine.
Then more than a month ago, she started throwing herself against the bars of her cage when we put out fingers on it. She grabs at them through the bars. She started attacking my boyfriend's hands randomly. She is sweet one second and chittering/attacking the next. The other day she was doing her own thing a few feet away and I took off my jacket--She attacked ME! I had to shake her off. But I obviously had never actually been bitten by her before because yesterday she latched on and wouldn't let go. I was offering her a nut and she was really sleepy coming out of a cardboard cylinder that she has made her new nest. I legit screamed. She seemed really timid and contrite afterward but I wasn't feeling very forgiving and she didn't get any outside time.

I have been trying to figure out why she is acting this way. That last one may have been an accident but there is definitely some escalating aggression. I wonder if we aren't giving her enough attention? We let her out in our room for at least an hour every night with occasional exceptions. But she isn't interested in us very often anymore. She runs around and a lot of our interactions with her are telling her not to chew the doors or furniture. I also wonder if its because she destroyed her cage cover and I haven't been able to make a new one yet. It seems like she might be feeling territorial. But I really need to be able to reach into her cage so that behavior is frightening.

We spray her with water when she attacks in any way. Is that the right way to go? I would put her in a small cage for a few minutes as punishments if I thought I could get her into it. I don't want to chase her so that limits our ability to get her to go anywhere we want. I need some advice. Should I try to bring her to the vet? Can you even give squirrels mood stabilizers?

Thanks!

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Joan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:51 pm

How long as this been going on? She might be a late bloomer hormonal wise. As fas as the time out cage, you have to get bite and trap the flyer inside both hands as she continues to bite. Put her in the cage, leave the room and put bandaids on. It has to be done each time you're attacked; so stock up on Johnson & Johnson products.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Cams » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:17 pm

She has been doing it for at least a month and maybe as much as 2.5 months. Recently she has attacked us less, but more aggressively. I confirmed that she definitely doesn't like my hands anywhere near her newest nest. I want to take it away from her but she loves it so much. I may not be cut out for squirrel discipline. Her last bite is ridiculously deep and still hurts. I have managed to hold her with gloves on and all that biting would be too much for me. I'll ask my guy if he will do it but I am guessing he is a bigger coward than I am. Also spraying her with water hasn't curbed any of her naughty habits. Do you think its ok to put her in her little cage with gloves? I can do that.

(Thanks for getting back to me!)

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Joan » Sat Aug 31, 2013 10:38 am

Cams wrote:... I confirmed that she definitely doesn't like my hands anywhere near her newest nest.

Females are fierce about defending their nests. I NEVER stuck a finger in a female's nestbox ... even the sweetest frmale will protect her nest with her life. It's just their nature
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Nativeprincess » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:07 pm

My female squirrel didn't start giving me attitude until she was about 1.5 years old and I'd say she throws a temper tantrum every month or so now. She has become more territorial about her cage but we've found that regular cleanings and emptying her stash of nuts seem to limit that a bit (maybe it has something to do with washing away her sent? or less need to defend?).

I've found that she is really sensitive to out-of-the-cage-time and if she doesn't get enough she gets testy. Also diet, weirdly enough. She tends to get pissy around the time we start running out a variety in her veggies and shes had to eat the same things 3 days in a row. When things have gotten real bad, a few days of shirt time has fixed it.

Honestly, the most important thing I've found for dealing with her is to try very hard not to become afraid of getting bit. Most of the time its an aggressive lunge designed to make you pull back but she doesn't actually intend to bite. Ya'ya has never drawn blood though, so its easy for me to leave my hand in the cage while she is having a hissy fit (though the first few times were *terrifying*).

I don't know if others have seen this, but the one thing that has *not* worked is certain types of discipline. A loud clap or spritz of water is fine when trying to get her to stop chewing on my bed, but when she starts lunging to getting aggressive, such actions only serve to wind her up more.

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Re: Help with taming my Southern Flying Squirrel

Postby Joan » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:35 pm

Nativeprincess wrote:... I don't know if others have seen this, but the one thing that has *not* worked is certain types of discipline. A loud clap or spritz of water is fine when trying to get her to stop chewing on my bed, but when she starts lunging to getting aggressive, such actions only serve to wind her up more.


Anything that is like flyer aggression will set them off. Drumming/tapping your fingers is just like their "war dance". Scratching on the cage wire is another aggressive act.
"A lot of people spend time talking to the Animals, but not that many people listen. That's the real problem! ... Winnie the Pooh


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