Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

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johnny
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Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby johnny » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:50 pm

I'm sure if I knew flyers well it would all be obvious.

I have a 7 week old male, perhaps slightly older, he has been with me 2 weeks and likes to play, which includes wrestling and chase and tag. At certain times he will approach my finger and initiate wrestling, but then often flips on his back and goes into a defensive mode where he vocalizes and seems ready to nip hard, although he hasn't done so, in part because I back off when the aggression seems to be mounting.

At these moments, I sometimes just keep my hand still and rest my fingers away from him - then he comes up and tries to get the same dynamic started again.

He also sometimes vocalizes as he runs past or one me while we hang together on the couch, presently the place where I am allowing him to run free. These vocalizations can be barely audible, not squeaks but not sure how to describe, just a one syllable sound, as opposed to his chirping/churring/buzzing that seems more excitement than warning, although in finger wrestling seems a warning.

Can anyone clue me into what his perceptions are? I want to give him the play he wants while encouraging positive interaction and inculcating good habits.

Sometimes I wonder if he gets a bit overwhelmed being out of his cage too long at this point. Often, when I round him up, he seems relieved and excited to be back in the cage - or am I just reading something in him that isn't there? He has a largish cage which he has seemed to enjoy from the start.

Along the same lines - sometimes he genuinely seems to want to be in his own space in the cage and doesn't need me, which is fine and great - I just want to make sure he's getting what he needs to grow into a healthy adult.

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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby Joan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:37 am

johnny wrote:...At certain times he will approach my finger and initiate wrestling, but then often flips on his back and goes into a defensive mode where he vocalizes and seems ready to nip hard, although he hasn't done so, in part because I back off when the aggression seems to be mounting.


Just like puppies and kittens, they learn from mama and siblings when play is too rough and like all babies they explore with their mouth. As long as he doesn't bite hard, it's OK. When he's too rough say NO! and stop playing.

These vocalizations can be barely audible, not squeaks but not sure how to describe, just a one syllable sound, as opposed to his chirping/churring/buzzing that seems more excitement than warning, although in finger wrestling seems a warning.


You will learn his vocalizations once he gets you trained. :twisted: They also speak ultrasonically where you can't hear, but you will see the mouth and/or throat move.

Can anyone clue me into what his perceptions are? I want to give him the play he wants while encouraging positive interaction and inculcating good habits.

As long as he's not drawing blood, it's fine. As far as his perceptions go I know they think we are stupid at times and slow to be trained. :twisted:

Often, when I round him up, he seems relieved and excited to be back in the cage - or am I just reading something in him that isn't there? He has a largish cage which he has seemed to enjoy from the start.

His cage is his home and he likes it there. Once he gets a wheel in there he may go back and forth. I always kept the cage door open when mine were out and they would go back to nap or run the wheel.

Along the same lines - sometimes he genuinely seems to want to be in his own space in the cage and doesn't need me, which is fine and great - I just want to make sure he's getting what he needs to grow into a healthy adult.

Don't worry about him ... you are doing great and he will have you properly trained in no time. :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

johnny
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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby johnny » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:03 am

TY, Joan -

johnny
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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby johnny » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:19 am

I did realize after posting to stop playing - I just stayed still and he calmed a bit - I'm still not sure if he thought I was the one who had the issues, not him. His play shifted either because of me being more passive, or more likely because he is growing and changing rapidly. His movements are rapid now and he works f huge amounts of energy running around me me on the couch and on me. he explored his exercise wheel immediately but hasn't run on it that I know of - but he runs back and forth on the couch, on me, into my shirt, out. He is adult size or close to it.

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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby Joan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:29 am

They do have energy. I call them Jack Russells on cafiene. :twisted: They reach adult size fast but bulk up later. The two of you are getting to know each other better and this will continue. These little furballs are very smart.
"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: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby johnny » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:25 pm

He's 3 months old now and I think if I had not been careful he could have become a biter with me. I think he misinterprets, and is afraid of attack - I resolved things by stopping my hand immediately every time he flipped on his back and seemed to be in a defensive posture. Within a few days to a week, he stopped doing that behavior. He has evolved to loving jumping on a couple of my fingers and play throttling them with play nips on hands, but never piercing the skin. Sometimes he will latch on with his teeth and increase the force but lets go when I yell "Ouch - that hurts!" It's one of the times he seems to understand exactly what is in my mind and respond as I wish. he throttles my fingers dozens and dozens of times a day, and loves when I pretend to fight back. He's even reached a point where he feels safe if I occasionally rough him up, but he seems happiest when I pretend to rough up his feet and legs while he lies of top of a few fingers, then he goes back to throttling those fingers.

Unfortunately, he has a Jekyll and Hyde personality with my wife and has drawn blood from her 3-4 times. He is aggressive with her often, possibly out of fear. He is also interested in her, loves to jump on her, loves to play in her hair. We do our best to keep him separate from her unless I am a foot away. Because of the serious bites, she is afraid of playful nips, and sometimes as I watch it's hard to tell if he is playing or acting aggressively with her.

Recently, she saw him eat and like his first mustard greens and got him another small piece from the kitchen (the first was from our almost empty salad bowl.) He was on the floor and we were seated near him. She leaned forward to offer him a piece of mustard green and he immediately and lightning fast ran several feet towards and bit her thumb and drew blood, then climbed her and started going towards her face. I quickly headed him off and blocked his path on her neck - it's impossible to grab him unless he stops and lets me - and I chased him as he scrambled around her and he tried to keep doubling back towards her face. I managed to get him to come on to my body and then she left to attend to her thumb. I tried to put him in his cage but he squealed and shrieked and resisted so I allowed him into my shirt, where he stayed for some time. Clearly, he thought she was attacking him and he was upset.

Perhaps this is adolescent behavior, but it's unpleasant for everyone, for him as well, I would think. Anyone have any ideas what to do?

johnny
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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby johnny » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:30 pm

I don't know if this matters - he was originally found on the base of a cottonwood tree (not a den tree species) probably age 4.5 weeks. His eyes were open. He couldn't move well. It was 3 PM. It was an area where neighbor's cats sometimes go and where folks walk dogs all the time. I made the decision to bring him home because I felt it was the way he would most likely survive.. He was weak and began regaining strength by the next morning, and in 2 mornings was up to speed. But he started life in the wild and I would think that makes some difference.

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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby Joan » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:17 pm

Sometimes they take it upon themselves to own only one person and are not nice to others. Another thought is that your wife may be wearing something scented (hand lotion, soap, perfume, etc that you don't). He could also be jealous of her and trying to run her away from his HoF. :twisted: The play fighting is typical of young flyers and something they enjoy. Sounds like he has learned how hard to bite and stops when you tell him it's too hard. This is how they learn. Looks like you are doing a super job with him.
"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: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby poniverus » Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:40 am

I’ve been having some similar things going on with my flyer recently as well. Kent is probably 1.5 years and has started to be a real ass to my fiancé. They got along the entire time I’ve had him and is the last few months very aggressive towards her. Instead of biting her once a month he only lets her pet him once a month, so complete flip flop. I’m not sure what to do as she’s grown tired and scared because it happens so often. I’m thinking of getting a small water spray bottle because voice commands don’t get him to stop. He’s also been nipping at me more often which we’ve already gone thru and he’s knows not to do. His humping phase as also not subsided yet either....is all this just his age? Do I need to adjust my playing with him to slower and softer? We do the normal hide and seek/chase, finger wrestling.

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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby Joan » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:08 am

poniverus wrote:.. Kent is probably 1.5 years ... He’s also been nipping at me more often which we’ve already gone thru and he’s knows not to do.

This may be hormonal and related to puberty

poniverus wrote:.. I’m thinking of getting a small water spray bottle because voice commands don’t get him to stop.

This is a good idea. Also tell your fiance to totally ignore him. Don't even look at him. He may not be able to stand this. :twisted:

poniverus wrote:.. His humping phase as also not subsided yet either....is all this just his age?

HA! That never goes away. It can be about dominance.

poniverus wrote:..Do I need to adjust my playing with him to slower and softer?

Yes as he takes his cue about what's allowed from you.

poniverus wrote:..We do the normal hide and seek/chase, finger wrestling.

These are all good. :D
"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: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby poniverus » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:24 am

My fiancé should ignore him? Wouldn’t that distance her more? Or will that bring squirrel to her? Also. How long do you think does this stage last? Appreciate the reply so much thanks!

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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby Joan » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:09 am

poniverus wrote:My fiancé should ignore him? Wouldn’t that distance her more? Or will that bring squirrel to her?

They can't stand being ignored and unless he's going to be a One-HOF flyer, he'll try to get her attention. This should be done when you are not around to distract him. :twisted:

poniverus wrote: Also. How long do you think does this stage last?

Can't say as it varies with each flyer.
"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: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby poniverus » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:27 pm

We’ll give it a whirl Joan!

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Re: Play Behavior aggressive at times and confusing

Postby Joan » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:46 pm

Good luck :)
"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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