Choosing between a boy or girl
Overall there is no relation to sex and temperament in sugar gliders. Males and females can be equally calm, loving, and bonded. Just like people, each sugar glider has a different personality that is a combination of nurturing (breeder/keeper) and genetics (the line/pedigree).
Sugar gliders are colony animals and should not be kept alone. When choosing the sex of your sugar gliders, keep in mind your goals as a keeper and what parings meet those goals. For example, two intact males will likely not get along after they reach maturity. If you intend it or not, an intact male and female sugar glider will likely produce joeys. Neutered males usually get along with either sex sugar glider, but if you want joeys, neutered males should be crossed off the list.
Below is a list of pros and cons of each sex of sugar glider. Be sure to consider which pairings and traits will help you best meet your goals as a sugar glider keeper.
- Considered the "best pet"
- Less smell due to inactive scent glands
- Temperament improvement due to lower testosterone levels (become more docile)
- Reduces or eliminates risks of testicular cancer
- Prevents unwanted joeys; reduces sugar glider population
- Reduces or eliminates the urge to mate (especially helpful if a history of aggressive mating occurs)
- May reduce or eliminate occurring cycles of self-mutilation in cases where it is hormone induced
- Increased success rate in pairing them with other sugar gliders
- Initial costs of the surgery can be expensive (check with several vets for costs and surgery types)
- Some gliders have difficulties during the healing process and may experience self-mutilation and over grooming of incision site (laser surgery generally reduces this risk)
- No neutering costs (females should not be altered due to their complex reproductive system)
- While they still have scent glands in the anus and mouth, females do not have active head and chest scent glands, this results in less odor from the sugar glider
- With proper introductions and age considerations, most females will usually pair with other females, intact males, and/or neutered males
- In pairings with intact males, unintended joeys will likely result when breeding is not the goal
- Able to be bred when breeding is a goal
- No neuter costs
- With proper introductions and age considerations, most males will usually pair with other females and/or neutered males
- Active scent glands produce a musky odor more prominent than a female or neutered male
- In pairings with intact females, unintended joeys will likely result when breeding is not a goal
- Multiple intact males within a colony can lead to injury or death upon maturity due to dominance issues