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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 26
What a way to start :P

Hi everyone. I just got my baby girl today. She was fine in the pet store and then when we got in the car I put my hand in so she could start to get used to my smell. That was fine until she realized there was an opening where my hand came from and she pried her way out in. I was afraid she would get loose so I picked her up and she started wiggling so I tried to get a better hold and she bit my finger. Pretty hard too. Drew blood. I 100% know it was an act of fear not aggresion. But regardless I'm terrified of her at the moment . She's been in her cage for about an hour and I'm leaving her alone and letting her get used to it. But I'm nervous. I'm too scared to try and hold her right now and I'm afraid she won't ever get used to me. I don't know what to do. I'm curious...do all PDs start out like this until the get used to their owners?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-12-2009, 10:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Earth
Posts: 3,572
Sorry I have never owned Prairie dogs before, but I think these techniques might still help you.

I think it is very smart to let her adjust to her cage for a little while. Is it a bar type cage? If so you could try feeding her bits of food through the opening in the bars. If you are really scared you could wear thick gloves when you hold her, but that won't really help her get used to your smell. Also maybe rub your hands in her bedding before picking her up and it may help her feel more secure. This trick I know works well with rats and I don't see why it couldn't help you...wear an old sweatshirt and put the prairie dog inside, that can help them get more used to you.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 08:51 PM
Playful Pup
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 39
Smile She just needs to adjust some.

I tried not to handle my little boy when I first got him. Of course I pet him a little bit, but when I held him and he wriggled it scared me too. So, I was always pretty quick to put him down before he got too frightened. And I tried a few things I'd read up on as well, like keeping an old white t-shirt in his cage so he could get used to my smell, giving him at least a day to get comfortable with his new surroundings before really handling him, talking softly to him while he was in his cage, giving treats (most of which he didn't want, lol). It took several days before he and I really had some serious one on one time in the restroom. Just make sure the room you take her to, is prairie dog proofed (no small spaces for her to get herself into), and also it's best if it's a small room (restrooms work well). Take treats in there with you so that she associates you with something positive. Eventually, she will feel confident enough to really investigate the place and you. Do this for a small periods of time frequently (several times a day). Each day, increase the amount of time you spend with her. I know you may be afraid at the time being, but yes, you're right when you said she did this out of fear. With time, she will not fear you; you two just need to bond first. Good luck! I hope you keep us updated on how you two are progressing.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-14-2009, 08:57 PM
Playful Pup
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 39
And let me add something as well. Every pd has it's own personality. My boy, Charlie, for one, is such a brat, lol. At first, I thought he hated me! He would throw tantrums, hit me, bite me (never aggressively, but just out of irritation), throw his bedding at me, lols. It's funny to me now, but I remember how devastated I was at first. I thought I'd done something wrong, but that's just how he is. I've had him since April, so I know the little bugger well. He's my buddy! He has an attitude problem, but he can be super sweet, too. There are certain things that tend to set him off, like the dogs for one. He's not too keen on them. If they're near, he gets mad. If I take him out of his cage from the bottom door, he gets irritated. I have to let him come to me from the top door, then he's happy. He loves his back and behind his ears scratched. So, just know that if you happen to be going through some rough times, things will get better. And even if things never improve (like Charlie's bi-polar behavior), you will learn to love them regardless. I love my Charlie, and couldn't think of not having him. He's a brat, but I love that brat!
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