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The Teenage Phase

Discussion in 'Black and White Tegu Discussion' started by WaterRaven, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. WaterRaven

    WaterRaven New Member

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    Hey Everyone :)

    I'm new to the forum, but I've been a long time herp lover, animal handler, and trainer. I have worked with a number of reptiles through wildlife rehab and later as an animal educator for a not for profit. I had the pleasure of working with two black and white Argentine tegus, one red tegu, and even an Asian water monitor, so naturally, when I was ready, I bought my own tegu :D Her name is Tabucca and she's a beautiful BWA.

    Tabucca is settling in nicely, eating, and pooping well. She's active and I see our bond growing daily, however, I have only previously worked with adult tegus and had some questions about this teenage phase I've been hearing about.

    Clint from Clint's Reptiles on Youtube mentioned it and I have seen or heard about it in a couple other places. I was wondering what age they generally go through that phase so I can be ready for it and wanted to know if your tegus went through it and what experiences you had.

    Thank you so much!
  2. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Mine were just under one year old when I gokt them. If teenage years happened in ny care, I didn't notice.
  3. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    Alpha is just over 1 now and I've not seen any change in him yet or had to deal with anything out the ordinary ...:)
  4. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    I’ve has sev for a year now, got him as a hatchling now out of the norm some moodiness here and there but he’s always been that way. I’ve heard it called terrible twos as the males become sexually mature but haven’t witnessed it first hand.
  5. Gary

    Gary Member

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    I’m sure others do as well, but I handle my tegu very often. I noticed a distinct change around 9 months that has mellowed a bit as we’re approaching the year mark. He became much more territorial of his hide and less tolerant of handling. I decided just to respect these new boundaries. I’m sure he’ll get to the point within 6 months where things go back to normal, but I definitely have a moody teenager right now
  6. WaterRaven

    WaterRaven New Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Her previous owner said she was a year in June and said Tabucca's never even hissed at her, so I guess that's good news. She's been very receptive of me and I'm seeing new things daily as she gets more comfortable with me.

    I can't seem to find anything through google that could give me an age-range of what would be considered "teenage." Because they live longer than say a dog, I wasn't sure how to guess at what age they'd be considered a teenager exactly.
  7. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    I'd personally say like any animal or child they will keep testing subtle boundaries through their lives as they grow, It just depends how big a balls they got (I'm not talking in the literal sence) ....haha
  8. nightanole

    nightanole Member

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    Id say its the terrible two's, as in 2 pounds. if the tongue is out, have fun, if the tongue is not out, watch your hands.
  9. WaterRaven

    WaterRaven New Member

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    Thank you so much for your reply. The owner had said she'd never hissed and was super easy to handle/easy going, but I've noticed she HATES her baths. I am so bummed about that, because I give her her bath and then feed her, but on the way to the tub, she starts to thrash about and complain. Once she's eaten, she's 100% fine I can pick her up and she'll come and hang out with me on the couch. She buries in between the pillows or lays against me and passes out until I put her away.

    I've only had her two weeks and I don't want to spoil our relationship. I want to build trust. So I'm not sure if I'm experiencing the terrible twos or if I should back off from the baths for now and train her on apartment pads and try doing the bath routine later.

    Any thoughts? I might make a separate post as well to discuss this further.
  10. WaterRaven

    WaterRaven New Member

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    Thanks for your reply! I mentioned in my reply above that she's really not liking her trip to the bathtub. I've noticed she likes to poop in her water bowl sometimes, but when I take her to the bathroom to soak and poop, on the way she's started to really thrash and complain. Once she's out of the tub she's 100% fine.

    I really liked putting her in the tub so she'd poop and then I wouldn't have to worry about it. I'm not sure if I should just keep putting her in the tub or if I should back off for a bit and use apartment pads. I've seen a couple people train their tegus on pads and while I'm not looking forward to picking them up and throwing them out after, I'd rather do that than spoil our relationship. I've only had her two weeks. I'd rather build trust, but if I need to stick to my guns about the bathtub, I can do that too. I've held bigger lizards, I just don't want to push her if it will damage the trust I'm trying to build with her.
  11. nightanole

    nightanole Member

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    They have the mentality of large dogs when you carry them. Yes you can pick them up, but they are not going to like it. They know if they fall they will break, its not like a beardy who you can launch from a plane and they can land in the bush and run off. So you need to figure out how they like to be held so they feel secure.

    For some reason some feel comfortable being carried behind the shoulder blades like a baby who is trying to pee on you.
  12. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    This is a good point and explanation..... with Alpha I try to get him to my chest as fast as possible So his claws have ground under them, I put one hand over his back and talk to him he soon settles with in seconds.... I then hold him there for a cuddle and tickle his head and snout and hes getting to stay longer and longer, even pushing himself against my finger before he goes in the shower.
  13. Trede

    Trede Member

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    I've mentioned this in another thread, but I think it bears repeating. **DISCLAIMER**I know Talia is not remotely "normal" when it comes to tegus (0 food motivation, enjoys climbing walls, etc)**/DISCLAIMER**, but whenever she's up off the ground I try to keep a few things in mind. FIrst, as AlphaAlpha mentioned, getting something under their feet ASAP is important...when I lift Talia it's usually one hand under her front feet and one under her back so she feels like she's stable. Once she's up, either from my lifting or her climbing, I try to keep one hand on/around the base of her tail. Not sure about younger gus, but at adult size (and low end of normal weight...I dunno how applicable this would be for a super heavy gu either...) I can lift/catch/hold Talia up by the base of her tail. (this also seems to work pretty well as a mild reproach/redirection...she doesn't really like it, it doesn't really hurt, but she knows when I lift her by her tail she's "in trouble")
  14. WaterRaven

    WaterRaven New Member

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    Thanks for all your replies guys.

    I am usually very careful about making sure she has something under all four legs. It's only when I'm taking her upstairs to the bathtub that she puts up a fight--and she will gurgle and complain as I put her in the bathtub, which is why I started to think that's what was really upsetting her. After that, she's pretty good. She waits for me to carry her downstairs and then explores and eventually buries herself in the couch cushions. I've even gotten a towel and put it under her to make sure she feels that under her.

    LoL, a baby trying to pee on you. When she was struggling before, she calmed down eventually when I held her away from me. She'd scratched me up a little and started to tail whip, so I was working to get a better hold on her and she finally calmed down. I'll give that a try and see how she feels about it.

    I really am thinking she doesn't like going upstairs because it was the bathtub every time for a week, but it would be nice if it was just because I was handling her so long to get her upstairs. That would be easier to work with.
  15. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    Snuggle her in a towel and cover her head. It may just be her fear of heights. Our guy will get scared if his head is uncovered for the walk down the stairs.
  16. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    Lol I also do this but i use one of my 3XL hoodies the hood keeps his head hidden till I can put him down
    Guman likes this.
  17. Guman

    Guman Active Member

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    Zyn, what a big tegu you have. My tegu would only need one sleeve of my large hoody. Are you sure someone did not sell you an alagator? Lol
  18. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    lol na it’s just my smallest hoodie :p lol
    Guman likes this.