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View Full Version : Ok, Now what?



kozalmighty
02-13-2006, 01:24 AM
I just got my new gold tegu. He or she is mean as hell! At the reptile store she was fine, I held her and she was calm. Its been a few days in her new home and when I picked her up, she clamped on to my knuckle and did not let go until I placed her back into the cage. I am familiar with reptiles I have owned several in my life. I am not afraid of her, but I feel I may be soon. I have spent a lot of $ building a cage and I have done alot of reading about Tegus. I also know That some of you will scold me for trying to pick her up. Will i ever be able to break her?? I don't want to play with her or pass her around like a toy. But, I will need to clean her cage, and take her to the vet. I have patience, but she has me really pissed! If it wasn't for the leather gloves I would be bleeding right now. Someone please tell me That her or I will get over this.

Teiidae
02-13-2006, 02:31 AM
I've read other peoples posts on Gold's, and IME with one, they seem to be very territorial as to hands in their cages - Mine would try to bite every time till I started giving a gentle swat back to the snout - He stopped trying to bite, but would still throw a tizzy though - Some are mellow, some not, some people have good luck with them, some don't - I think the Colombians are a handfull, and can be calmed down however they take a little more time with no guarantees.

I could do whatever needed inside the Black's enclosure, without him coming after me, however we kept a watchful eye on one-another and he bit me out of the enclosure in defense of feeling cornered - My Gold was quite socialable outside of the enclosure...

jaymullett
02-13-2006, 05:10 AM
From what i have heard the Colombians are more aggressive, i have little personal experience with them. I dont knwo if you have a top opening enclosure or not but in my experience, with most lizards, i have found that they calm down much easier when they are in a front opening enclosure then when in a top opening enclosure. When i got my argentine she had been housed in a standard aquarium and people were afraid to pick it up because it would jump up to bite your hands. I had a enclosure that opened from the front made at home and after that first day he never tried to bite. Now i hand feed him mice with out a problem, he takes it nicer then my dog. I have had the same thing happen with beardies as well, i had to house one temporarily in a large tupperware container, and would puff out and try to bit if you put your hands in. While he was in his normal enclosure though he wasnt the least bit aggressive.

kozalmighty
02-13-2006, 01:39 PM
I will try popping it on the nose. I have also decided that im not going to let it get the best of me. Oz will be broke of this, He/she doesn't have much of a choice in the matter. We call it Oz because my two year old daughter cannot say lizard, she says wizard. I just don't want a three foot monster in my house. My wife is already unhappy with the size of the cage, and this doesn't make things better. Thanks for the advise!

DeadIrishD
02-13-2006, 03:51 PM
If you read up about tegus and still got a columbian after having a three year old daughter, thats odd but cool anyway!

I am one of the lucky ones so far, and my tegu seems perfect in the sence that he will not bite me, and actually does seem greatful for me taking him in, although that may just be what I would like to think.

he's hyper but once out of his cage he allows me to handle him, as long as I do it on his terms (no fast movements, no petting, no nothing besides holding him, and he will stay right there on my hand.)

kozalmighty
02-13-2006, 04:10 PM
The cages have locks on them so my Col. rainbow boa and Tegu stay in and The kid stays out! She has already taken intrest in the boa and she sits on the floor and watches Oz.

jb
02-14-2006, 01:53 AM
My experience was similar with my Columbian. It would literally jump up and clamp onto your hand when it was little and in a fish tank. The behavior just sort of went away after a few months and now it is not aggressive at all. I've had him for 2 years. He will rush out of his hide/den when a plate of meat or egg is offered, but he doesnt go after my hand anymore-just wants the food in him fast, i guess. Dont give up just based on a week or two of behavior. Try to promote "positive" handling experiences....whacking it on the nose is going to condition it to be afraid of you-while it may stop biting, it may never care for you much. Be patient.

Teiidae
02-14-2006, 03:16 AM
Dont give up just based on a week or two of behavior. Try to promote "positive" handling experiences....whacking it on the nose is going to condition it to be afraid of you-while it may stop biting, it may never care for you much. Be patient.

I believe to be true this behavior will and/or can change over a longer period of time than one or two weeks, While I don't promote "whacking them", simply letting them know that this "attacking and biting the hands ****", is not going to fly - Not to make them afraid of you, however on the other hand a learned behavior of mutual respect.

I believe they can sense the fear they put upon you and take advantage of that, "when it is really them in fear and being defensive" - I don't think of the Colombians as personable and trustworthy as the Argentines, however there may be a FEW exceptions...

On the flip side, I have fed both my Colombians by hand and with feeding tongs live rodents "Which I don't promote either", and the feeding response was quite laxed - they would WALK over to me and take the rodents - size it up and take it from my hand gently - Once in their mouths is a different story.

I've never tried to hand feed either of my Argentines, as their feeding response "to live rodents", was quite more agressive and they would launch at the opportunity - I've turned away some time ago from feeding live to prekilled, and they still throw them around like they just caught a live one...

Argentina0426
02-14-2006, 06:19 AM
I stopped hand feeding months ago because feeding response is crazy....

I also use a color bowl which helps.

Johelian
02-15-2006, 08:26 PM
I wrote a huge reply, only to have the page crash. Stupid IE! Ill summarise; I too disagree with striking lizards, as it is more likely to promote a relationship of fear rather than acceptance, and I would rather have my tegus pretty much ignore me than keep away because they perceive me as a threat. If we were talking about dogs I would understand (alpha male and all that), but I dont believe tegus operate on the same hierachy; if they are attacked, they must either overcome the adversary or submit and leave. I dont think its necessary.

Teiidae
02-15-2006, 10:48 PM
I wrote a huge reply, only to have the page crash. Stupid IE! Ill summarise; I too disagree with striking lizards, as it is more likely to promote a relationship of fear rather than acceptance, and I would rather have my tegus pretty much ignore me than keep away because they perceive me as a threat. If we were talking about dogs I would understand (alpha male and all that), but I dont believe tegus operate on the same hierachy; if they are attacked, they must either overcome the adversary or submit and leave. I dont think its necessary.

We're talking Colombians here generally meaner than Argentines in which has already attacked and bit the guy - Again I do not promote striking the lizard, and maybe some of you are taking out of context what I mean by swatting the lizard in the snout - I'm talking simply shewing him away like a fly with a gentle swat to the snout.

As we all know there are times when our hands must enter the enclosure with the Tegu in there, however if the Tegu is going to intimidate the keeper by attacking and biting, and the keeper allows this behavior - The Tegu will continue attacking and biting. I'm not talikng about sticking your hand in there and chasing him around swatting him, rather when he is coming after you, to shew him away and in hope that it will figure out that there is no reason to attack in the 1st place, secondly hopefully it will learn that it's keeper is not intimidated by him either.

I've only had this problem with one of my Tegu's, and a Gold as well and like I posted earlier the relationship and handling "outside" of the enclosure was quite satisfactory. If instilling a little fear of my hand while inside the enclosure saves me from losing a chunk of flesh or a finger, than fear of my hand it will be...

Johelian
02-16-2006, 10:45 PM
No worries, I do understand your reasoning; Im just not convinced that it will be overly effective. If a tegu learns to fear a hand, what happens when it feels it needs to react out of defense, eg when the hand is coming towards it? Biting thats not feeding-related is quite frequently a fear response; I just think its better to have a tegu that has no fear and hence no need to assert itself, rather than one that just "keeps out of the way".