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View Full Version : I made up my mind, I want a columbian gold-phased tegu



DeadIrishD
09-02-2005, 03:57 AM
I have done my research, and decided to get a columbian gold-phased tegu I will hopfully be picking one up relativley soon, with possibly a few female fat tailed geckos or some more supplies for my herps.

I know alot of the care, that needs to go into it and the time it'll take to train it, but what I would like to know is, What helped you with your columbian? what are some good tips? you know all of the extras that are appreciated, but not "gee, they need 80-85 degrees during the day"

stano40
09-02-2005, 09:15 PM
when i got my first columbian i put him in his enclosure 24 hrs with just water and no contact.the next day i closed the door to a room and sat on the floor and let the tegu sit on my lap and just taked to him.when he was comfortable i started to pet him and talk to him.i did this everyday until he was comfy enough that he would come to the door when he saw me so he could run around.this worked for me but my columbian was very mellow.
Michelle

DeadIrishD
09-03-2005, 04:41 AM
:) I am glad to hear from someone that, they can actually make good pets, dispite their bad rep.

Teiidae
09-03-2005, 01:45 PM
I have done my research, and decided to get a columbian gold-phased tegu I will hopfully be picking one up relativley soon, with possibly a few female fat tailed geckos or some more supplies for my herps.

I know alot of the care, that needs to go into it and the time it'll take to train it, but what I would like to know is, What helped you with your columbian? what are some good tips? you know all of the extras that are appreciated, but not "gee, they need 80-85 degrees during the day"

I don't think Colombians are the little monsters that some make them out to be, however I believe it takes much more time to bond and for them to gain your Trust - I've had mine for 6 months now, and he has mellowed out quite a bit. He still does not like to be picked up at all, and will twist and roll his way out of my hands, so I do not force that upon him.

I am able to feed mice with tweezers, or put a bowl of food in his enclosure, and he does not lunge at all, rather will walk up to the food slowly. I am able to stick my hands in the enclosure for cleaning and changing water as well - We just keep an eye on one another, however he just lets me go about my business as I believe he feels there is no threat.

Outside the enclosure he allows more contact, however still not being picked up, but rather more petting or rubbing than he would allow inside the enclosure. When it comes time to go back in the enclosure is another story as although he can walk right back in, he seems to go anywhere else but the enclosure and will run from me If I try to catch him.

This is where the hide box comes into play - I have a 2 foot long box outside the enclosure that I put down, and the Tegu will crawl right into it, and get him back in the enclosure very peaceful like without wrestling or stressing the Tegu and without getting scratched or bit.

Sorry i rambled on with this for so long, but in short - time and patience is what works for me.

PS - They need 80-85 degrees during the day :wink:

Rick
09-03-2005, 03:19 PM
Colombian's are not evil little monsters, but Colombian's are not a good pet for someone with no experience with tegus or other large lizards.

Most people that get a Colombian think "If I hold it enough it will calm down and never try to bite me. I will be able to leash train it and let the kids play with it", that would be very unlikely to happen.

If you work with a Colombian every single day and things go well, you will likely end up with a tegu that you can pick up with caution, that you can hold and return when you are done. They are generally too flighty to free roam (you can do it, but it's often hard to catch them after), clicker training may work but I had no success.

If you want a "look at pet" that you can hold with a lot of daily work and a bit of caution, a Colombian tegu makes a great pet. If you want a take it outside and let is roam or use it to acclimate a classroom of kids to the wonderful world of reptiles, then you most likely have the wrong lizard. An Argentine would be more in that line.

Note that I say "likely" a lot in the above paragraphs. The reason for that is there is always the exception to the rule. You may get lucky and have a very calm mellow Colombian or someone may have a timid, flighty Argentine that just doesn't want to tame no matter what.

I'm all for Colombian as pets as long as people have a really good idea what they are and are not getting. I don't want to see us end up with a surplus of Colombians with no homes.

Rick

James_James
09-05-2005, 12:11 AM
I've been defending Columbians on this site, since I first became a member. They have gotten a bad wrap in the Teg community. Maybe this site will help rebuild there tarnished reputation? I would not recommend them for a first time lizard owner, either. They do indeed, need extra time to tame. Of course they will not become dog tame. Does this make them so horrible? A Columbians reputation, is much worse than its actual temperament!

Rick
09-05-2005, 12:48 AM
I agree. They are not bad animals. It's misinformation that gives them a bad name. People hear tegus are calm and mellow and easy to train. They run out and the only thing the petshop has is a cute "black and white tegu" and wow! it's only $40.00!!

They end up with something other then they expected and then have to find this 'unwanted' pet a new home and swear they will never buy a monster like that again.

A Colombian is not a monster. They are very cool animals and are actually pretty easy to understand. If you have one and you know what they are and what they are not, they can make an awesome pet.

Rick

DeadIrishD
09-05-2005, 07:24 PM
before I get one, I think I am going to try and find a place, where I can actually see one as a "pet", and get to actually know them a bit, before I go out and buy one.

James, do you take honor in the bond that you and your columbian have? because yeah they are extremely flighty, but the bond that you two share must actually mean something, compared to alot of the herps, that are generally easier to tame.... if that makes any sence?

not to mention, the thing that I find to be interesting with the columbians, is it seems like there is never a dull moment, because you always need to work with them, compared to lets say a gecko, or anole or other smaller lizards.

maybe, I am just on a "high" trying to find out more about others columbian tegu's personality. (which is another, reason I am not rushing into this.)

when I talk about a bond, with any animal I mean a bond, that you can have with that specific animal

(IE: My oscars had a bond, where they'd always swim to the top when they saw me near their tank, but never swam to the top when other people went near there tank, as with the ferret I had once had, it would always cuddle with me and escape her cage to come and see me.)

jb
09-28-2005, 06:21 PM
James-James and Rick nailed it. Columbians can be tame or can be unpredictable. I love my Columbian, and yes, it was a $30.00 impulse buy almost 2 years ago. But i love the "spunk" they retain, that's why i have monitors too. If you have no experience with large lizards-this is not a "beginner" lizard. Start with a beardie or leopard gecko first.

Kodiak
11-04-2005, 07:20 PM
People hear tegus are calm and mellow and easy to train. They run out and the only thing the petshop has is a cute "black and white tegu" and wow! it's only $40.00!!

Rick

Thatís funny Rick, because thatís exactly how we acquired our Columbian, Mr. T., except that he was labeled correctly. (Vessa has posted pictures of him). He is flighty, and runs to avoid being held, but he doesnít bite, scratch or defecate on people. Last night our daughter was attempting to pick him up and to stop his running she blocked his path with her hand. I fully expected her to get bit, but he just wiggled past her.

Anyway, he is slowly getting better with daily handlings (except that one day when he didnít stayed burrowed in the mulch). He gets nervous being lifted from his home, so to safely get him to his feeder box, we just transport his Tupperware hide-box.

Thanks for such a great site, Mr. Tís life (and ours) is greatly improved by all of the information provided.

cycomiss
11-08-2005, 04:09 PM
I posted before about an aggressive Columbian B&WY that friends of mine had... I have since taken her (they were going to give her back to the pet store). She is a completely different lizard! It has only been a couple of weeks but it was an immediate change. Anyway, my friends that previously owned her came to visit for the weekend. They brought their two dogs and we brought her out while the dogs were in the room and she went crazy. She used to act this way all the time - you couldn't get near her enclosure without her attacking the glass. Even when the dogs were not in the room when she lived with them she would still freak out - so we were always unsure that it was the dogs that she was afraid of... but, I do remember when I first got Sim my vet told me that Tegu's are generally afraid of dogs.

Without dogs around she is a very curious and sweet girl. She doesn't crave my attention but she really craves being out of her enclosure. She has one of those huge rock huts that glasscages.com sells at the herp shows and she'll stand on top of it and get up on her two back legs and try to jump to the top of her cage. She cranes her neck all the way back and then jumps.

I have tried to stop this b/c I don't want her to hurt herself.

Anyway, the point is maybe sometimes it is the environment - maybe she smelled the dogs in their home even when the dogs weren't in the room.

Also, have you ever seen your Tegus rub their back legs together? Both Sim and Jezzie have (on a few occasions that I've seen) stretched out their legs and rubbed the two back legs together. It is very odd...I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this.

Sim was the first pet I've ever had and he is absolutely my best friend. I never had any trouble taming him. The only time he ever opened his mouth at me was the first time I put him in a Reptarium in natural sun and then tried to take him out about an hour later.
I didn't even recognize it as a sign of aggression at the time - I actually thought he was thirsty!
But - I played with him constantly. So, I do not think that it is a bad idea to have a Columbian as a beginner - however, it may be a good idea to make that your only pet for awhile. I had Sim for 1 year before I got Nico (my Uro) so I was able to give him 100% of my undivided attention.
Some lizards are very curious by nature - it has been my experience that Tegu's are not an exception to this. I think that giving your Columbian a chance to explore a little - like letting him/her crawl into a pillow case or a box or wrap up in a shirt (of course you are only inches away always) -- give them some room to get used to the environment in a way that they do not feel like prey and it'll pay off big time.