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Advice with Interaction/Taming

Discussion in 'Tegu Taming and Handling Discussion' started by Axe B, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Axe B

    Axe B New Member

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    Hello, I just bought a tegu from Backwater Reptiles about a month ago, and he/she (not quite sure the gender) is beautiful. Diesel is around roughly, I want to say, 5-6 months old, and about 1 1/2 -2 feet. When I had diesel for the first week, he was very flighty and scared, often hiding in his enclosure. I used the sit-together-in-a-bathtub and shirt methods, and he got relatively used to me. I could carry him around, and he would fall asleep in my hood, lap, or on my shoulder while I would stay up late working on essays, presentations, or projects. But, for the last two weeks, Diesel and I were separated, as I went off to New York to attend a program at West Point for a week. I then came back and went straight to another camp for Virginia Girls State, so two weeks away from Diesel. While I was gone, my mom and my little sister took care of him.
    When I returned, I was welcomed with an even MORE flighty tegu than he originally was, and does not like to be handled as much as he used to be. I have to use the hand in front I hand technique to hold him. My mom said he was fed perfectly fine everyday, and she was very gentle with him. My little sister claims she didn’t handle him much and was gentle with him too, with the occasional losing him in a room when taking him out. I do have suspicions, since whenever my sister is near diesel, diesel seems to freak out, but he was like that when I first got him. He has changed a little, wanting less interaction and is much more fidgety. What happened? Is there a way I can reverse the way diesel feels? What should I do about his interaction with people? And other techniques I can use without disrupting the way he sees me as an owner? Does e not recognize me perhaps? He seems to be alright with being pet, and he is very curious and mobile.

    I would also really like to teach Diesel to walk on a leash, come by name, ect. Is there a possible way to still make this happen despite his age? Thank you for reading this!!
  2. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    Start a fresh , go back to square 1, it's never too late to reintreduce good behavior.... I read that tegus are loyal animals and usually just prefer 1 owner, Diesel is just probably confused and needs to rebuild his/her trust with you....As for the leash training and coming on call I suppose it all depends on just how much effort you put in, but I've also read that reward training can work well with tegu's.
  3. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    I'm surprised your animal even came alive without any issues. Backwater reptiles is famous for sending dead, sick and injured animals to people who buy from them.

    But anyway as far as getting him used to you once again just start all over and then slowly work your way up once more. Time and patience is very important with tegus, or really any animal. He should learn to trust you once more eventually.
    And as the above poster said walking on a leash and coming when called depends on how much effort you put into it. Also somewhat depends on the tegu as well.
    AlphaAlpha likes this.
  4. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I agree with the two posters. I will add that all it takes to set back a new and young lizard is for it to escaoe and be maniacally chased around for recapture.

    Antyone can feed him , but no more anyone but you handle him.
  5. Axe B

    Axe B New Member

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    Thank you so much, Alpha. As far is the time/age gap goes, there will be no other side effects? He won’t remember possible issues he had with my sister? Are there any more tactics I can use to possibly speed up the process and calm diesel down, make him less squirmy?
  6. Axe B

    Axe B New Member

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    And VenusandSaturn I have read about them online not having the best reputation, but this was after I ordered my reptiles. I ordered my Uromastyx and my tegu from them, and they seem perfectly fine, no issues, and they looked even better than the animals in the pictures. I assume I just got very lucky.
  7. VenusAndSaturn

    VenusAndSaturn Active Member

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    Well, I'm glad they came healthy. I suppose it's always a hit or miss with large scale breeders that sell hundreds of animals.
  8. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    He will probably always remember IF there was a bad issue with your sister, but you are working on your trust with him and building your own bridges as how to interact with each other.... There's no short cut to building this relationship I'm affraid other than the time you put in, it all depends on Diesel but I started by just sitting for hours a day with my hand in Alpha's tank so he got used to my scent and he realised that i wasn't a threat before I even attempted to move and touch him.
  9. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Don't forget to talk to him. A calm voice makes for a good association.
  10. Axe B

    Axe B New Member

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    Thank you so much for your advice. I used the talking method, and whenever I seem to get close to his face and talk he seems to relax. As a matter of fact, he’s chilling in my hood on my back right now! I will try the hand in the tank method. I do have another question, diesel seems to be a very time-selective eater- is this an issue?
  11. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    No. They're crearures of habit to the extreme.
    onnie0047 likes this.