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Terrible owner here!

Discussion in 'Tegu Taming and Handling Discussion' started by Seham Salem, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Seham Salem

    Seham Salem New Member

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    I have posted quiete a few on here. I am starting to think i am just hopeless and i should sell my tegu to someone that can treat him and raise him better. I decided to over come my fear and put my hand in my tegus enclosure bare, i usually do it with a glove. I fed him, from his bowl waited for him to finish. I put my barehand in to take it out and he jumped at my hand. My reflex i pulled it out, i shouldnt of. I know. I put the glove back on, took the bowl out. Hes just chillin no sign of aggression or fear. I took the glove off, made a fist and put it some distance away. He went from sun bathing calmly, to jumping at my hand and bit me. I didnt pull back, but he held on for like 2 seconds and i kinda flicked him off (kinda rough). Wth is going on?? I def did not smell like food. I use gloves to prep his food. I didnt move too fast and i was far from him. Where as with the glove he lets me PET HIM and he climbs on it. Im literally a hair away from throwing in the towel. I wanna cry im afraid i messed up even more because of how i got him off. Someone please help!
  2. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Are you certain which species he is? Again, how big is he, where'd you get him from?
  3. Seham Salem

    Seham Salem New Member

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    I got him online from Snakes at Sunset in FL. I called them and they said he was about 2 months, they couldnt tell me an exact date, which i thought was weird. I havent even been able to hold him so i can say exactly. But about 10 inches. BUT when I bought him the guy said his tail got cut off somehow, so prob longer. He is supposedly an argentine black and white.Idk im honestly very close to selling him. I just dont want to take a chance of him getting bigger with that habit. And i dont want to get bit so much and get some weird infection! I kinda thought for a moment the people probably just got him from someone and sold him fwd. Im going to keep trying and give it a month. But im sorry, id rather get a baby (thats still green). Like with my bird got her as baby and she has grown to be the SWEETEST ever.

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    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  4. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I can attest to very young ones being flighty and defensive. A LOT to be frightened of at that age and size.

    I'm bothered by the broken tail. Is it frightened because someone treated it roughly enough to break its tail? Could also be the tail break has nothing to do with the amount of defensiveness.

    His enclosure should be chest level. This wY you seem less like an aerial predator. Stop bothering him and change watwr and food when he's in his hide for now. Speak gently. Feed him well. If he comes out of his hide, make a fist and freeze. If he bites, yell no and don't move. I would spray water. others would not. I respect not using the water sprayer. After endless watching you, at some point they absolutely realize you won't hurt them.

    I hope not traumatized from earlier care. Taming will be delayed.
  5. Seham Salem

    Seham Salem New Member

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    How long do you think this would take? At what point should i be like okay his personality is just too feisty for me. Because if he does end up needing perhaps a more tolerable owner, i would not want to give them a tegu that is too old to be tamed. If you know what i mean. I will defitnately work towards earning his trust cause i LOVE the idea of how sweet and loving they can be.
  6. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    A fair guess but 6-8 weeks and you ought to see what direction he's going behaviorally and then you can make a sound decision.
    Seham Salem likes this.
  7. Seham Salem

    Seham Salem New Member

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    How would i know when hes ready to be handled? Cause i thought i was making progress until he bit me and realized i was completly wrong
  8. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    When you find that tou can pet him and he closes his eyes. Then you know he's tame enough. Most tegus don't want to be off the ground. You might at that point place him on the floor in the bathroom and sit with him.
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  9. Seham Salem

    Seham Salem New Member

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    Ill keep you posted!!
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  10. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    make yourself visable to him as much as possible at his level/height through the enclosure in these early days so he gets used to seeing you and that you are no threat..
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  11. Gary

    Gary Member

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    There is a delicate balance between not acting too skittish and not moving too confidently when handling some animals. Many animals are put on edge when they can tell a person is acting afraid. Similarly, moving too abruptly or ignoring “leave me alone” body language can have a detrimental effect.

    Your tegu’s personality has a lot to do with it as well, but don’t feel as if there is nothing you can do. Finding the right balance between what I described above can help calm even the nastiest animals. The key is to both assert yourself and respect boundaries.

    Your tegu probably notices you are visibly less nervous when you wear your glove. There is nothing wrong with using a glove if it makes you more comfortable and allows handling without making your tegu nervous. Don’t feel like you’re a “terrible owner” because you don’t bare hand it. Find what works best for both of you and slowly start building a bond :) Progress inevitably comes with effort and time.
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  12. Seham Salem

    Seham Salem New Member

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    Yes you are right, i am more confident when i have the glove on, but also i have read stories where the tegu gets used to the glove, and attacks the hand when the glove is removed. I DO NOT want this case with a 3 foot tegu, right now its okay he is little and his bites just draw some blood but when they get bigger it will be a different story. I definately dont mess with him while he is in the hide for example. And when he jumped and bit me yesterday, i was no where near him nor was he showing any signs of 'leave me be'. Then he held on, which made me say mmm okay this isnt right. But ill restart i guess, putting my shirt in there. And only putting my hand in there when he is hiding to put food/water. I will leave him alone for another 2 weeks and see where that goes. Cause even tho i guess its ok to glove handle, i wanted one to snuggle with and not worry about him ripping my face off
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  13. Skeep

    Skeep Active Member

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    My tegu was never cage aggressive per se, so I can't relate directly, but I can tell you my experience in case it's helpful. For sure it's too early to tell anything and I would give your gu and yourself more time to get to know each other before giving up on it. I had to get used to my tegu as much as she had to get used to me!

    As others have said, spending time nearby but giving your guy enough space is important. If an animal feels like it is in danger it will act to defend itself no matter what! So I think the most important thing is for both of you to get comfortable with each other, and others have given good advice on how to do that.

    Like you, at first I was worried about getting bit too! And I had to get bit a couple of times before I realized it wasn't actually as bad as I had built it up to be in my head; when she was tiny she couldn't even break my skin. This is a great time to get all of the biting over with! She experimented, tested if I was food or what would happen if she bit me. But after two or three "tests" and getting no reaction she gave up that habit and never did it again. I think most agree the best reaction is no reaction. I don't think negative reinforcement is a good idea, because it still reinforces the behaviour, so I would avoid yelling or a water bottle myself. But rest assured that just because he acts this way now, doesn't mean he will act this way once he is comfortable, learns and matures.
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  14. grapebasil

    grapebasil Member

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    Honestly, our columbian bit a little at first and my husband just let him do it. He’d chomp down and get no reaction, and eventually seemed to figure out we weren’t food or danger. It’s one of those things that is mildly painful but if you can repress your instinct to jump away, it seems to reinforce the idea that they can’t scare you off and they give up.
  15. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    Sev my blue leaps when he sees food but always for the bowl and not my hand. Some have stronger food responses than other it’s pretty much the same with any reptile. Once he knows it’s my hand he’ll do a full stop.

    Is this your first reptile, no matter how tame, there is always a chance to be bitten. just get to know your animals body language, it’ll tell you more than you think.

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