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My new 6-8mo red tegu

rebel00soul

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Messages
21
Hey everyone I’m new to the Tegu community and have had mine (I named him/her Salamence) for a week now. Anyone have any tips on a more effective way to try bonding with him/her? I’ve cut up one of my shirts I’ve worn to work and placed it inside of it’s hide. When I open the enclosure Salamence will start breathing heavily and thrash about when I pick him up. For the most part he/she will calm down a bit and will let me pet his/her head,chin, and ears. I got in yesterday evening and woke him up by digging him/her out and picking him/her up. I’m pretty sure Salamence was pissy from just being woken up, but he started his heavy breathing, leaving his mouth open (first time) and for the first time tried jumping away from me. I eventually got Salamence out and he/she calmed down for a bit, and I talked to him/her while petting him/her. I put him/her back in the enclosure and started straightening up the hides. Usually Salamence doesn’t mind and just watches me, but this time he started tail whipping. Salamence has let me feed it Dubai roaches with tongs in the past so I tried to create a positive experience by feeding one to it, but Salamence just backed away into it’s hide. I know it’ll take longer than a week for Salamence to get used to me, but was curious if anyone has tips that have helped them in the past. Super excited about this journey we’ll be on together and just want Salamence to know I’m not a threat and just want to love him/her. I did notice this time when I went to put Salamence back in the enclosure he/she didn’t take off running from my hand. Just leisurely walked away. Oh and needless to say but I’m not sure of the gender at the moment either. I’m familiar with the guys who work at the reptile store I got him from and even frequently visited him before purchasing him, and I know for sure his temperament has definitely chilled out a bit in comparison to when I first saw him.
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Kacy

New Member
Messages
2
oh man I felt the same way with my red lol
They go through this little pissy phase where they really want nothing to do with you. My Tegu is almost 2 now, and only recently stopped being moody when I'd take her for baths.
The most important thing to do when establishing trust, is to also learn to respect your Tegu. If its ever in its hide, don't try and force em out. If your tegu ever wiggles it's tail, move your hands away and give em some space.
I know how discouraging it is to not have your tegu love you immediately, but I do know how wonderful it is when they finally trust you and will hang out. Don't give up!
 

rebel00soul

New Member
Messages
21
Thanks for the feedback and I’ve definitely been better at respecting his space lately lol. He’s gotten to where he’ll sometimes sleep with his head near the entrance of his hide. So I’ll take that as a win for now lol
 

Debita

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Agree with Kacy - I've heard so many times that owners get the Tegu home and everything's going great. Within a few days, they change and lash out. Some lash out immediately. There's not much rhyme or reason to it - except they are scared and deal with the fear of the new home/smells/tastes with aggression at some point.

Time and patience are everything with Tegus. I don't like forcing them to do anything, but they shouldn't be rewarded for bad behavior. I ignore them, but if I was going to do a bath, or some other activity, I make them go through the event even though they have death rolled, and tail whipped etc. It doesn't make for a fun event, but if you don't follow through, they are just like children that throw a tantrum for that candy. You def don't give them the candy. In this case, you make them follow through with the bath, and sooner (or much later) they get over themselves.

When they're new, I do just ignore them. For that, it's a matter of them getting to trust you. It's a process of fine tuned connection.
 

rebel00soul

New Member
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21
Update: he’s getting to where he’ll sleep near the entrance of his hide, he doesn’t take off running into the hide when I walk into the room as much anymore, and he’ll come to the sliding door of the enclosure when I feed him now. He still starts breathing fast (but not as crazily I’m noticing) when I approach the enclosure while the sliding door is open. Thanks for the kids tantrum reference because I had to take him out and give him a bath to help with his shedding. He wasn’t exactly thrilled about being picked up but it was something he needed and I felt it was an appropriate “I’m sorry I know you hate me for doing this but it’s for your own good” moments. It’s a slow process and I could be hallucinating but I swear I can see a slight difference in his attitude towards me! I talk to him a lot just to get him use to my voice and I even swapped out the old tshirt I cut up and placed in his hides with another old T-shirt with my scent on it.
 

Debita

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Awesome news! Sounds like you're pretty tuned in to see even the subtle differences in their behavior. Hard to tell new people how many times you have to pick them up before they stop thinking they're about to die. That, and they're all different! Honestly! There's hardly 2 stories exactly alike. Good for you though, and shedding is a good sign of healthy eating and physical growth so you KNOW you're doing something right.
 

rebel00soul

New Member
Messages
21
Thank you!! I’m very grateful to this site. It’s helped give me extra insight from other tegu owners that I don’t get from watching videos on YouTube. I even managed to hold him and he walked up my shoulder. He started getting fussy after a minute or two so I put him back, but hey that’s some progress! I’m noticing he’s less likely to freak out if I scoop him up from underneath versus picking him up from above. All in all I think he’s coming along just fine. He really likes to borrow himself and that’s always amusing watching him move around.
 

Debita

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Just my opinion, but he does look like that age to me. At first I thought he looked a little older, but reds are bigger than Black/Whites so I'm thinking you're right.
 

rebel00soul

New Member
Messages
21
Right right. I’m thinking of meeting in the middle and going with 7mo. I was thinking of starting to add meals with bones into his diet. I was thinking about trying non seasoned sardines. Thoughts on that?
 

Debita

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7 months would put you right at the beginning of every year, which is how I age my male. I don't think the sardines would hurt them at all, but I'd be hesitant about any preservatives. Some members here give their animals canned dog food. I just haven't been able to serve that up. I go the ground turkey route with veggies mixed in, but not a lot of fruit. I've used frozen/thawed mice since i got him, raw salmon and I am a fan of raw egg (I know this is somewhat controversial, but I don't over-do it). My male has no interest in bugs of any kind. Thank God. Lol... I have other lizards that I feed bugs to, but I don't have to do it for my Tegu. They are very picky animals - so I stay with what they like - some love bugs, fruit and veggies, my male wants nothing to do with any of those. I had a female that would chase a blueberry down every day. If I try rolling one passed my male, he looks at me like "I am a grown-a** Tegu!" Or, he shuts his eyes, as if to get rid of me.

Last thing - whatever you feed, make sure you're dusting with Calcium. Kind of like sifting confectioners sugar, just a dusting right on the salmon, sardine, or ground turkey ball. And, add fish oil...prob the best thing for making sure they're relieving themselves reliably.
 

rebel00soul

New Member
Messages
21
Thanks for the feedback and I must say I love your tegu whispering commentary because I swear based on the look he gives sometimes I could totally see him thinking something like “I’m a grown a** tegu.” To avoid the preservatives I’ll just stick to mice and will try the ground turkey and mix some veggies in. He likes boiled eggs, green grapes, and Dubai roaches. I do dust his food often and he had his first mouse yesterday. However, I had an issue today where I bought a container of dubia roaches (this is the third or fourth container and up until today have only had one die before being fed to Salamence). I put them in a plastic tote, placed egg carton pieces in there, some grapes and collard greens (I read that dubia roaches are great for gut loading), and then dusted them. Not even 3hrs later I checked on them and over half of them are dead! I’ve heard about crickets dying after being dusted and I’m not sure if it’s because I dusted them or if I should have washed the collard greens first (I got them from the produce section at Walmart and totally didn’t think about rinsing them off). Any thoughts on this mysterious massacre? I’ve personally never had any issues before with the Scales -N- Tails store that I purchased them from in the few months I’ve been shopping there, and not sure what caused 17/25 of them to die within such a short amount of time.
 

Debita

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Location
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Thank you!.....Could it be oxygen? That would be my guess - unless you're sure they had a very ventilated "plastic" tote. I don't think it's the dusting, but I could be wrong about that - I'm used to dusting the salmon, or the mice that he gets and I haven't dusted Dubias for a long time. I dust my crickets all the time with that Repashy Calcium product, and haven't had any issues yet. That's a lot of Dubias dead in a very short time. I think of them as pretty hardy.
 

rebel00soul

New Member
Messages
21
Sorry for the late response but the plastic tote I had them in didn’t have a lid. I just had it placed inside of a tall box, but I did find out it was apparently from dusting them and was told to only dust what I’m going to feed in a sitting because the acid (or something like that) in the calcium powder kills they insects. A new update though! Our relationship is getting better, and I’m getting to where I can reach into his enclosure without feeling like I need gloves on. He’ll let me rub his jowls and he’ll do the whole mesmerized eye closing thing. He’ll still give me that look occasionally like “I’m not in the mood for your s*** today” lol. I’m starting to let him roam around my room supervised and ordered a harness to try and start getting him use to “going for a walk” Oh and I also added in occasional whole adult mice (at most two a week) into his diet to make sure he’s getting a good about of calcium on top of his enclosures lighting and his enclosure gets most sunlight from my window throughout the day. All in all he’s doing great! The first time he let me reach into his enclosure and rub his jowls my first thought was aaawww..wait…are you feeling okay?? Lol
 

rebel00soul

New Member
Messages
21
My boy Salamence is getting big, going on 8mo
 

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rebel00soul

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21
I ordered a pet carrier that came in today, so I took him out with me and it was a completely positive experience for us both. He didn’t thrash and freak out any. He was a total saint until we got back home. I put him back in his enclosure and went to pet him good night and he did the tail whip with that side eye look like “get your filthy hands off of me” and walks into his hide lol
 

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