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New enclosure, new behavioral issues...

Al's_Pals

New Member
Messages
5
Hello all! Fisrt off, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I was wondering if you all could please help me with a new situation I've found myself in? I have an adulescent tegu that I've had for about a year now (although much of that was spent with him/her brumating). No history on it, got it from an expo where the guy selling didn't even know the history, wasn't used to being handled but has never been aggressive, and is roughly 2 ft long or so (nose to tail, but that is just a guess because actually measuring is difficult). Since it woke up I've been working hard on positive interactions and regularly give it little pets and would take it over to the bathroom for good soaks in the tub which it really enjoys. It used to be in an enclosure that opened from the top, so it was easy to reach in for pets and it relied solely on me for time outside of the enclosure. It never "liked" being picked up but tolerated it sort of well, it did enjoy pets when given in the right place at the right time and would be totally relaxed and would close its eyes. Well, about a week and a half ago I upgraded to a front opening enclosure and its temperament has changed since. Now it's hard to give it pets since it just tries to bolt out the door once opened, and today it tried to bite me for the first time while reaching in to grab his tub to change the water (even though I was moving slowly and wasn't near it). Once it is out of the enclosure it wants nothing to do with me and it's hard to have a positive interaction. Have to bait it back into the enclosure. Not sure at all if this is guberty related or it just getting spicy with an enclosure that is significantly better than the previous one it was given to me in. Any tips would be much appreciated. I dream of the day I can roam around outside with my gu...

(For viewing pleasure, attached are photos of me holding it the day it came home from the expo and one taken a few days ago in the new enclosure.) Thanks again!
 

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rantology

Active Member
Messages
263
I would say it's possibly a combination of both. They can become territorial when you introduce them to a new/bigger enclose and guberty can surely amplify that. Its probably a lot to take in for the little one right now, I would say just be consistent with allowing them to free roam and interacting with them, in time it will become less of a shock to them and they will feel like they need to be less "on guard" all the time. This could be especially caused by the sudden expanding of their world from a small tank to a much bigger enclosure (it sounds like), on top of that a whole room to free roam in! that's a lot of change and space. They do mellow out with age too, especially once guberty is behind them. Sounds like you are in the thick of the storm right now, just be real patient and keep trying to make your interactions positive. Eventually the little dude will realize you aren't so bad and the world isn't out to get them!
 

Gold Coast Pythons

New Member
Messages
3
So what your actually experiencing no bs is Tegu puberty. Your dealing with a moody teenager. Look up the behavior changes they go through going through puberty. Also you are reaching in face level with him and that's feeding behavior. The front loader cage for tegu that aren't mature and tamed already is a bad idea.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
1,221
Location
Prescott, AZ
I think most Tegu owners like the front loader enclosure - he's just having a tantrum, and they can really drag out the drama!! For me, top openings are difficult because of "reach". If you have them low enough to the ground, I can see where it might be ok, but you are still coming at them from above, just like their predators would. (sorry to disagree with gold coast)
 

Gold Coast Pythons

New Member
Messages
3
I think most Tegu owners like the front loader enclosure - he's just having a tantrum, and they can really drag out the drama!! For me, top openings are difficult because of "reach". If you have them low enough to the ground, I can see where it might be ok, but you are still coming at them from above, just like their predators would. (sorry to disagree with gold coast)
Oh no worries. I only have 14 tegus and have bread thousands of them over the past 15 years but what do I know ‍♂️ good luck. You'll learn
 

Gold Coast Pythons

New Member
Messages
3
Oh no worries. I only have 14 tegus and have bread thousands of them over the past 15 years but what do I know ‍♂️ good luck. You'll learn
Reaching in face level is a good way to get bit and they think there being fed, you should always reach from the back and gently let them know your there first so you don't startle them.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
1,221
Location
Prescott, AZ
Easy big boy - no need to be offended. This is a place where you get a lot of opinions. Maybe your experience is different because you have so many. Most of us don't. I've had many people here confirm that you don't want to approach them as a predator would. Just makes sense.
 

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