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Thread: Biting & aggression

  1. #1
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    Default Biting & aggression

    Hi all, I am new to this board and I have read quite a bit. I am glad to have found this site. Most sites are no help at all, in fact some even make you feel like a criminal for having a squirrel in the first place. My lil boy came to me by way of a friend who nursed and weaned him before she gave him to me. Everything was going fine until a few days ago when out of the blue he just went crazy. We had had him about a week at that point. I have no idea exactly how old he is but he was just weaned when we were given him. I had a squirrel a few years ago and he was the most awesome little guy ever...so I was thinking this little guy would be like him too. I had no idea they would bite and let me tell you something he tore both me and my son up BAD! I still have bruises and bite marks from the first attack. He was biting so hard I thought he got stuck on my wrist bone. I also noticed his penis was a lot longer than it normally is and he had peed (I think it was pee) all over everything while he was still attached to my arm (feet were also holding on to me. I came to the conclusion that perhaps he smelled a difference in me maybe a hormonal thing...I am at a loss here. I read on here that they take to one person..Spidey, my first squirrel loved all of us. He did favor me more but he was a sweet snuggle buddy to my husband, my young son and anyone that came to visit I don't remember him ever being nasty. This squirrel I have now just straight up ran at me and attacked me, he got my son a few times, so fast and vicious we thought he was just playing. He wasn't playing. 2 days he lunged and barked at me when I walked by. My son had him out last night and brought him into my bedroom, he was his normal happy self until I rubbed his back (sort of like when you itch a cat at the base of the tail) he seemed to love it for about 3 seconds then he started lunging and chattering his teeth, tail flicking he even was making the "call" but only when my son poked his head around the corner. So, does he not like me or my son? Did I rub him wrong to cause this? Why is he attacking us? Should I begin steps to release or is there still hope he can be a pet? What do I do at this point?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    Im sorry you're going through this when your intentions were so noble, just wanting to love this little guy! I've got 5 boys who are just weaning now, & let me tell you, they are all individuals! Each has his own personality, & there's no mistaking who is whom.

    Graham is wild, and he's always been tough to handle. He will bite or scratch at every opportunity, though he did have his sweet moments with me when he was younger. Now handling him at all requires my Kevlar police gloves! He was the first to growl at me & sometimes gets aggressive with the other babies.

    Butterbean is his brother & is also rather wild, but he isn't as aggressive as Graham. He's more mischievous and us quite the escape artist.

    Walter waffles back & forth between being sweet & cuddly and being incorrigibly crazy. He's the first to actually bite me, although I think it was more of an accident than aggression, as I didn't have the syringe when he thought I should, so he went for my thumb. He's moodier than a 13-year-old girl!

    Velcro is a sweetie & likes to spend time running on me as if I'm a tree, but he won't allow cuddles or holding. He sticks his nose in my ears & gives me shivers up my spine!

    Triscuit is the one I'd keep if I wanted a pet squirrel. He is the gentlest, sweetest spirit, curious about everything I'm doing & snuggling with me. He allows me to hold him & kiss his belly, whereas the others would claw my face off if I tried that with them. Triscuit also talks to me almost constantly, making a cross between a purring sound & an oink!

    Why do I share all of this with you? To let you know that you can't really expect your current squirrel to act like your previous one, as they're different boys with different personalities. Only one of these 5 boys of mine even has pet potential, & it would be seriously fighting nature to try to wrangle any of the other 4 into domestic life. They CANT WAIT to get to the trees, & I'm excited that they'll get their wish in about a week--the whole quintet!

    Also, I couldn't imagine trying to adopt a weaned squirrel as a pet, generally speaking. These boys have known me for most of their lives & they barely want anything to do with me anymore; I'm sure it'd be a train wreck if I brought a stranger into the mix at this point. They'd turn into Tasmanian devils, all teeth & claws! I wonder if it's past the window of imprinting time for your boy....? I know there are others on TSB who have NR's that came to them as injured or sick adults & make it work. Perhaps some of them will chime in & share their experiences with bonding with older squirrels.

    I'm sure that your different scent, & your son's too, have something to do with the aggression toward you. For all this little guy knows, you're a predator! Patience & respect for his space may help foster a relationship. But you said you're already aware of squirrels' reputation for being one-person-animals..... Maybe this boy is showing you just what that means, & your friend was his person! I'm not certain whether they can transfer their affections or not. Maybe you can help educate us all about that! I imagine it has much to do with the individual squirrel.

    Best of luck! Those bone bites HUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRTTTTTT!
    Last edited by Gardentoes11; 10-15-2016 at 08:41 PM. Reason: Grammar
    You, LORD, preserve both people and animals. Psalm 36:6

    The righteous care for the needs of their animals. Proverbs 12:10

    Velcro, Walter, Butterbean, Graham, & Triscuit, blessings from a new friendship 2016
    Skipper & Tater, my little grey cuties, in the trees 2016
    Simon, the Craigslist rescue, finally free to be a squee 2016
    Jasper Hans, Squirrel of My Heart, my sunshine since 2015
    Ulysses, tiny foxer who stole my heart & ignited the desire to rehab, at the Rainbow Bridge 2015
    Penelope, waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge for more than 20 years now
    Timmi, the original, 1982

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    stepnstone (10-15-2016)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    How old is this squirrel?

    What ever became of Spidey?

    Squirrels, for the most part, do not make good pets... Spidey may have been one of the exceptions.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    I was just weaned when I got him. I think of him as a teenager. My other squirrel had his own room with a walk in cage with freedom to roam the house (I know that was a bad choice now but thought it best for him at the time) He began having seizures one morning. My vet said he might have gotten into something he shouldn't have or perhaps chewed into a wire somewhere and got shocked. There was nothing my vet could do and the seizures resolved on their own. A short time later he began having seizures again and he just died in my hands. This time I am sure he didn't get into anything because he had been sleeping in his cage. Nothing toxic and no chewed cords, his room was baby proofed. I never found out why, I wasn't given much hope if I had insisted on a necropsy. :'( I still miss him really badly and this was 16yrs ago. Man, that lil dude left a huge hole in my heart.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression *UPDATE*

    It seems like he tolerates both my son and me just not at the same time. Although, I am extremely cautious when handling him right now. My son is a bit scared of him too. After a short time he does seem to start getting ansty, mind you we have only touched him a couple times since the big attack. I was willing to accept he just didn't take to me, just having him in our home brings me joy. We just have to figure out what he likes and doesn't like and work with that. I would advise people not to look too hard on the internet about this topic because I got nightmares about what I saw and read. I am sure the stories are true but my gosh, I had no idea these little sweet guys could maim a person. What is scary is: at any time they can flip out and go "crazy" like this. We as handlers are responsible for them and their actions and misdeeds. When we take them into our homes and hearts if the animal turns out to be not pet material and we are unable to ready him or her for release we have to be ready to accept the fate of having a hostile "pet". I have a cockatoo, she allows me to clean her cage and feed and water her...sometimes I get lucky and can rub her head, but most times she'd just as soon bite me- and when she does get a hold of me it hurts real bad and could very easily turn out to be a trip to the emergency room for stitches. But it is what it is and I could never just let her go, that is irresponsible pet ownership. I don't think Rocky would have much of a chance out there, he might be fast but he isn't afraid of anything. He has been around cats, dogs, birds, snakes, rats and his night cage is in the same room as guinea pigs. The lady I got him from has a virtual pet store in her house lol.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    Before you completely disregard the possibility of Rocky being able to be released let me share my story. I took in two 5 week old squirrels. Fed, nurtured and loved them for 6 mths. We interacted with them daily. While they were in the house they were around my dog and cats, but not interacting with them. I transitioned them to a release cage for 2 mths and continued to interact with them daily, including handling. I know rehabbers do not recommend this, but for me it felt like the right way to do things. Of course I was concerned about them not "wilding up", which they didn't completely. Once released they did take their cues from other squirrels and instinct kicked in. They have been in the trees for over a month and love their squirrely life. They still come around daily and one of them will still allow me to hold him, scratch and kiss his belly and give him back massages. They both jump on us and roam our yard, with our dog present, but are exceedingly cautious about other animals and people.

    I share this to point out that I believe your little guy will take to the trees and instinct will take over, if given the opportunity. He doesn't sound like pet material to me.

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    JessicaL330 (10-23-2016)

  9. #7
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    We had another incident lastnight. I opened his cage to put a box in there for him and he jumped at me and got ahold of my thumb the middle inside knuckle joint he was actually GRINDING while digging into me, I had a couple seconds thinking I wouldn't be able to get him off of me. I will contact my friend that gave him to me to see if she is OK with me releasing him. Now when I release him will I have to worry about him attacking me? Going to get his outdoors cage ready. This is breaking my heart but as bad as my thumb hurts right now my broken heart doesn't bother me as much as my thumb does atm

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    Just reading quickly.
    Can you post a picture of him?
    How long have you had him?
    We aren't sure about release unless we know
    an approximate age, and photos would help with that.
    What size cage is he currently in?

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    I do rescue work and got one from a nest of 5 all died except this one that my grand daughter named Fluff-A-Nutter. He developed MBD but got through that and is beyond super wonderful and healthy. He is 5 months old and would love all over me and lay in my arms like a baby, but yesterday he started clicking at me and flicking his tail as if he has never seen me or had any dealings with me... the only difference is that i got my hair highlighted and was thinking maybe that smell is offensive to him. He bite my hand and flipped over on his back and just over the years of dealing with these babies i know to lift up on the upper part of the teeth and he let go... but its breaking my heart that he has turned on me.... This morning he did the same thing, would not let me touch him and when i placed my hand to the cage he started clicking and chattering. Its funny how fast his mood changed when the day before he wouldn't leave my side and followed me and stayed on my shoulder..... looking to learn some new info as to why he has turned against me since i have been his only handler and savior.

  12. #10
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    Their personalities can sometimes change overnight at that age (Wilding up) but I tend to believe it's your new hair sent, many squirrels will go after you when a new shampoo is introduced....guess it's a squirrel thing 😅
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
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    I'm not poof reading any of this

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  14. #11
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    Do you think that he will come around and forgive me?

  15. #12
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    If it's just the new sent, I'm sure he will go back to his sweet self😁
    Charley Chuckles gone from my arms FOREVER in my heart 8/14/04-3/7/13
    Simon, our time was too short together, but you gave us so much love, be with CC now 3/7/14


    The "CHARLEY CHUCKLES MEMORIAL RAIL TOUR" leaves the station choo chooo
    *Deland,FL. *Washington DC *Boston (Back Bay) *Boston (North Station) *Wells,Maine *Albany,NY *New York (Penn Station) *Back to Deland FL. "July 1- July 22" 2013

    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RIAL-RAIL-TOUR Check it out here
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...OW-A-NEW-MOMMY!!!!!
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...RAINBOW-BRIDGE
    http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/s...e-called-Simon
    charleychuckles1@gmail.com

    I'm not poof reading any of this

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    sundoesshine (01-23-2022)

  17. #13
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    Default Re: Biting & aggression

    Quote Originally Posted by JessicaL330 View Post
    I was just weaned when I got him. I think of him as a teenager. My other squirrel had his own room with a walk in cage with freedom to roam the house (I know that was a bad choice now but thought it best for him at the time) He began having seizures one morning. My vet said he might have gotten into something he shouldn't have or perhaps chewed into a wire somewhere and got shocked. There was nothing my vet could do and the seizures resolved on their own. A short time later he began having seizures again and he just died in my hands. This time I am sure he didn't get into anything because he had been sleeping in his cage. Nothing toxic and no chewed cords, his room was baby proofed. I never found out why, I wasn't given much hope if I had insisted on a necropsy. :'( I still miss him really badly and this was 16yrs ago. Man, that lil dude left a huge hole in my heart.

    It seems like he had developed MBD.... Squirrels can get that at any age for no known reason..... I am so sorry.... I too love my babies and they mean the world to me.

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