Okay, now for the stressful part. Intros can stress you out mainly because you are always watchful of injury to your gliders. No matter how bonded they have become to you, there is no way to know how they will be to each other. There are times I wish I could see how this happens in the wild, but as you know there is no recorded data. So, we will work them into it, I have found this works best. Some are easier than others to intro. A lot of this has to do with the fact that gliders are territorial.
The best way to start this process is pouch swapping. This simply means, taking the pouch from one and swapping it with the other. This is one of the easiest ways to help them get used to each other scent. I recommend doing this daily, and should be done for a week or so. Do not wash the pouches. You want them to mark them so they smell like the other.
Another thing that helps intros, is to place the cages next to each other about 6 inches apart. This way they cannot reach each other through the cage. Placing a towel or sheet over both cages when you go to bed will help. This will take out other outside distractions, and will also keep both scents in the cages.
If you can spare the extra coin, I use a double bonding pouch. This is the best way for both bonding and intros. This is a bonding pouch with a piece of pet mesh between the two gliders. This allows them to smell, see, and hear each other without touching each other. When you put them both in for the first time, they will crab and spit each other. But they will settle down with time. But, when you put them in and there is no more crabbing then they are ready for their first intro.
Do not get discouraged with this part this can take days, weeks, or even months. It all depends on the personalities of the gliders.
Intros can be very tricky. I always recommend a tub to do your first intro. This allows you easy access to stop a fight, if it should arise. Keep a piece of fleece handy to reach down and separate them if this does happen. A permanent colony may take several intros so, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work the first time. That being said, it is possible that some gliders just can’t be put together (though rare). You really have to learn their personalities to find this out.
How do you know if they are fighting?
Gliders will pull on each other, rub on each other. and even rough house. None of this is fighting. They will jockey for dominance, play rough, and even ride on each other’s back. In a true fight they will be balled up, eyes closed, ears close against their head, and paws out in a bear posture. These are the signs of a real fight. If you hear spitting, that is okay as well. This is just them telling the other one to stop or “no”. If they fight, then go back to the pre-intro routine and try again in a couple days. Unless the intro goes perfect, I still put them back in their original cage after the first intro.
Remember to have a neutral sleeping pouch and clean cage for their first night together. This is very important. You don’t want any glider to feel like this is their territory. You want each to feel like this is a new home and these are their new roommates. This way no one has the need to feel possessive over anything.
What a fight looks like