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Thread: Seriously need help taming my 1.5 year old red

  1. #1

    Unhappy Seriously need help taming my 1.5 year old red

    So I've had my red tegu for about a year and a half and tried everything to tame her. She recently went through a terrible shed and for about a week and a half her face was shedding and she was blind. During that time i was trying a new taming technique suggested by someone on this forum. The whole thing was to keep ahold of her even when she squirmed and death rolled. I had tried every traditional method of taming before that so i just gave it a shot. Nothing really happened but just in the last week all of her shed came off. Once she got her vision back she was completely changed in personality. She used to just bask all day but now she's burrowing and running in her cage which is awesome. But she acts like she's never seen me in her life and runs straight into her hide when i try to pick her up which never used to be a problem. I would just like some advice on where to go from here. I'm really frustrated and i have no idea what to do because she's my first tegu. Thanks for reading this and i would love any response.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    What were you trying to achieve in the first place? If it was ok to pick her up before and handle her, what more did you want?

  3. #3


    She would come out of her cage nicely but any other time i tried to pick her up she squirmed so i let go. Then someone told me not to let go and i tried that for a while. Basically i was just trying to get closer to her and i know you're going to say that's wrong but you don't understand the level of frustration I've had for the last year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    San Antonio,TX


    Hi jtmac1130. Welcome to our Tegu forum family. I know you have been a member on our Forum since 2013 but I don't think I welcomed you on here before since you just posted your first two posts.

    I recommend getting her out of her enclosure right when she wakes up and hasn't basked yet. Because at this time she still will be cold. When they are cold they don't move as much or as fast yet then after they basked. Sit down on the couch or a chair and put her on your lap. Then put a small blanket or a towel over her. Tegus feel safe when they get to hide. Well now you are her hiding place. She also will like the warmth of your body. Put your hand on her but don't move your hand around. If she doesn't mind your hand being on her try to gently rub her neck or back. Most of the time this relaxes them. After doing this for a few times she will get used to you more and more.
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  5. #5


    Thank you so much. I'll definitely try that out

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012


    I'd recommend focusing your energy on some variant of the bathtub method, where you just sit in a small enclosed space and let her walk around on you for a long time until she is very comfortable with you and gets to the point where she is more curious about you than scared. If you or her are too big for the bathtub method, you can also use a small walk in closet, or you can build a big cardboard pen by duct taking lots of cardboard boxes together, or something like that. It might be a slow process.. you might need to do this for 5 hours a day for 2 weeks or something... but it will eventually work. It might also work in just a few sessions though.

    I think there is a time and a place for the "hold them if they squirm" method, but I don't think you are there yet. In my opinion, that works well to teach them obedience, but only after they already trust you. If they are still scared of you, they just fight harder and never give up.
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  7. #7


    She did trust me and that's why i decided to try hold her when she squirmed. But like i said after the full shed came off she acted like she's never seen me in her life. It's really sad because I've put so much time into it and all of it disappeared in a matter of one day. I'm going to focus on touching her before i move her to the tub but that shouldn't be too bad. She's not terrified of me now but she definitely does not trust me. Thanks for the advice though

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