1. Hello guest! Are you a Tegu enthusiast? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Tegu enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your Tegu and enclosure and have a great time with other Tegu fans. Sign up today! If you have any questions, problems, or other concerns email josh@tegutalk.com!
    Dismiss Notice

Søren Training Journal

Discussion in 'Colombian Tegu Discussion' started by grapebasil, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. grapebasil

    grapebasil Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    My husband and I are tag-team taming our columbian and I thought it might be useful for others with lil baby colombians to see what we’re doing and chime in perhaps? I know columbians get a bad rep so maybe keeping track of this will be helpful.

    When we first got him, he was crazy. Liked to run around, bite, jump off of people’s heads and out of their hands. So far we have been spending an hour or so a day near his cage while he is out, and then a half hour with our hand in the tank, occasionally offering food. At first, he would freak out and run to the other side of the tank and try to climb the walls. Picking him up was a nightmare until he scrambled up your arm to hide in your hair. Gradually, that stopped and transitioned to huffing and puffing. We’ve just been tempting him with food and slowly working with him, getting used to hands and fingers going under chin and belly. Yesterday there was no out of the tank time because we decided not to bring him out if he wouldn’t walk into our hand voluntarily. Today he ate a pinky off my husband’s hand and then spent about a half hour walking quickly over his fingers before he settled down enough to let us pull him out.

    There was a lot less huffing today; he was allowed to explore the house a little bit, and decided to nest in some old clothes eventually. He got a bath, some food, and spent some time wedged in the crevices of his favorite chair. He will allow us to pet his head and back if we do it slowly and if we respect his ‘don’t touch me’ huffs.

    So far we are adopting a policy of doing things that aren’t his favorite by are neccessry only if he huffs but doesn’t squirm or run. Anything else we just back off and try again later until he eventually stops huffing. Is this a good strategy? I want him to understand we aren’t going to hurt him but also don’t want him to learn that he can just be a lil brat.
  2. Elizabeth Stallard

    Elizabeth Stallard New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Your patience should pay off in time . We lost our seven year old Columbian Ackmad this spring . It was awful . She was over 6 lbs and somewhat tame. We could pick her up and stroke her back . But that is about it which I blame on us . We never knew how tame she had become because she was quite "wild "for years so we assumed she still was . When we realized how laid back she had become it was quite a surprise . We purchased another hatchling this spring , Takeshi . Who also at first just wanted to run up my arm and fling itself off my head . So fearing he or she would get hurt I stopped that practice . Now , I just feed with hemostats and put my hand in the encloser. Slow and steady. Now that being said we bought our first Argentine black and white from Rodney Irwin in May . She is a juevenile who had never been handled .in less than two weeks she lays on us and just loves being rubbed and stroked .I realize they are different spieces but this seemed ridiculously easy . I am no newbie to reptiles we also have to Northern blue tongue skinks , who are also very sweet . But there is something about the Columbians that intrigue me . I am going to put a huge effort into this baby and hope for the best . Good luck with your little one , it sounds like your doing everything right !
    grapebasil likes this.
  3. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,078
    Likes Received:
    744
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Elizabeth, a unique perspective you have with experience with both species, now side by side.
  4. Elizabeth Stallard

    Elizabeth Stallard New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Yes Walter1 it should be interesting to see the progression . I sort of wish we would have started with a hatchling Argentine as well . I love this forum as it provides information that is not available anywhere else !
    Walter1 likes this.
  5. grapebasil

    grapebasil Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    “Tegus are the smartest lizard in the world” he said. “Isn’t that cool?” he said.

    I am here, ladies and gents, to let you know that tegus are little shits.

    Tonight, while we waited for pizza dough to thaw, what was supposed to be a routine feeding and bonding time turned into an escapade. Having made his thoughts about being held plain by jumping several times from a considerably dangerous height, Cameron let him down to run off some steam. Half of our living room is lizard proof and approved but the other features my great-grandmother’s hide a bed.

    I’m sure you can see where this is going.

    My philosophy, upon the disappearance of our local brat, was to wait until he made himself visible again but my husband was borderline distraught. So, after patting down all the sides and double and triple checking that he was not underneath anything, we spent about an hour pulling the bed out and I (17 weeks pregnant) wedged myself into the frame and up into the backrest of the couch in order to look for the tegu. Cameron then does the same and we conclude that the tegu is either dead or somewhere we cannot fit our fingers.

    So we start turning out the entire upstairs, sorting through the laundry, pulling out drawers, all while switching on and off watching the freaking couch. Cameron at this point was visibly worried and upset, and even I - no stranger to escaping reptiles and more than confident in their return to heat and food - was starting to be pretty concerned. Mostly that we had missed something and the poor guy was squished to death somewhere in my great grandmother’s couch, and that we wouldn’t even be able to bury him.

    Turns out this entire time - almost three hours - Søren was downstairs curled up in a blanket. He was very displeased at being disturbed and has spent the remainder of the evening in Cameron’s sleeve. I think he just tried to jump into the fridge.

    I don’t know if there’s a moral to this story, but in the event of a renegade baby tegu, if you have the manpower, sweep the rest of the house before you squeeze yourself into antique couches.
  6. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,078
    Likes Received:
    744
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yup, a tegu keeper's trials and tribulations.
  7. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Sounds like you are doing a great job and pretty much along the same lines I went along with Alpha.... A year on Alpha is chilled and does climb on my hand to come out ,he does still squirm for a second once I pick him up but soon settles. I also wouldn't say hes the cuddly type but he does put up with me for 10 mins or until he thinks he can sneak away... I also did a bit of a journal on here that you might find interesting to read.

    Obviously these people who give Colombians a bad rep haven't had the right attitude or patience to look after one of these beautiful lizards and should really take a good long hard look at themselves before blaming the animal that they are supposed to be caring for....:mad::D:D
    grapebasil likes this.
  8. grapebasil

    grapebasil Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I used to train horses and it was the same way. People would say the animal was difficult or mean and it usually just boiled down to them trying too hard to make the animal speak their language instead of the other way around. It’s been harder that it seems like the argentinians are but it’s also pretty rewarding when you go to pet its head and it is no longer huffing at you.
  9. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    138
    Trophy Points:
    43
    A little off track but I also have had the same experience with people and horses:D:D
  10. grapebasil

    grapebasil Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Today was a really awful day. We had taken Søren to the vet and stopped to feed a turtle and some dogs we were pet sitting. Cameron decided to carry the little guy rather than leave him in the car as it’s 93 degrees here and we weren’t sure how long it would be.

    I’m sure you can see where this is going. And yes, we are both devastated and beating ourselves up.

    Søren, with a bite and a wiggle, managed to get free and shoot underneath the fence. We climbed over as quickly as we could and found ourselves confronted with a greenhouse complete with rotting deck and a plethora of ivy. We spent about four hours looking for him and kept seeing him, then he’d vanish.

    I suspect he has burrowed somewhere underneath the deck, as he was popping in and out of there. Temps here are 75-95 during the day, and the humidity is high right now. We’ve set out a trap with some eggs and dubias, as well as his favorite shirt, and are going to keep checking back during his normal basking time throughout the week and improvising ways to catch him. If anyone has any suggestions, please let us know. We know it’s a long shot, but we owe it to him to try.

    I keep looking around the house and seeing things he hid in or hated and I know all I can do is pray we get him back. Good vibes and prayers are appreciated. We really have tried to do right by this lizard.
  11. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,078
    Likes Received:
    744
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Here's to a successful recapture.

    If you can set more than one trap, do so.

    I would even consider sticky traps tied to stakes.
  12. grapebasil

    grapebasil Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    We’ve set a number of traps with eggs as bait. Not super hopeful but who knows. Stranger things have happened.

    I guess the biggest question is when do we say enough is enough and let him go? It feels wrong to even consider giving up but the odds of finding him again are slim.

    And then, of course, do we replace him or do we take this as a sign that we are not responsible enough for this kind of lizard?
  13. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,078
    Likes Received:
    744
    Trophy Points:
    113
    If you're hellbent on catching him, silt fence surround the greenhouse, with a portion sunk into a trench, then place hav a harts along edge, all assuming he's still there.
  14. Elizabeth Stallard

    Elizabeth Stallard New Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I am sorry to hear about Soren's escape , but there is still hope . When Ackmad was about 2 months up I was soaking her in a small tub . There was no way she could jump out of it , she did . We tore our house up to no avail . I left her enclosure on the floor with fresh food everyday for two weeks , no luck. We have dogs who use a magic mesh door in the summer to go outside . So we thought for sure he had gotten outside. I walked into our kitchen and she was headed to the dogs water bowl , 21 days had past ! We were shocked and over joyed. Although , it was difficult resuming our taming schedule . She kind of went feral . Keep the faith .
    grapebasil likes this.
  15. Randall Kennedy

    Randall Kennedy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2018
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I recently bought a baby Black and Gold Colombian Tegu at Repticon in Charlotte yesterday, I attempted to hold him and at the first attempt at the show he darted out of my hands and behind the desk! The merchant was able to grab he/she and hand him to me again. I was just standing there holding very still stroking it's back and little neck. So many people wanted to buy him when I came back but I had already made the deal before I went out to eat. I have experience with two Beardies, I'm rather new to the hobby but I have done a lot of research already. I'm moving him into a 4x2x16 today later sometime, currently he's in a 20 gallon for only today. He seems to be doing fine, the humidity is hovering around 70-80% and it sometimes plummets to 55% because the lamp I think is too hot for the tank. That shouldn't be an issue once I go to the big tank today, should last him at least 1 year but I'm hoping to get a little more out of it by a couple of months before I build his adult enclosure. I have got him to eat about 12 superworms over the course of 2 days, I've just been talking to em and telling my tegu what a good baby it is. Lol I have a passion for reptiles, I'm putting in some serious work every day and I'm going to get him tamed. I just need to figure out if it's a he or a she, the tegu is still a hatchling so it might take some time for me to tell if its a Male or female. But today the tegu is eating some scrambled eggs made in a non stick pan, with some chopped up blueberries.