• 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 [email protected]!

New golden tegu- am I doing this right??

Oldmegg

New Member
Messages
7
hello all,
I’ve been reading through these forums since I first picked my tegu up the first week of April this year. I’m fairly positive I have my tank set up correctly with a hot and cool side and bowl of water. I am not as confident in my lizards behavior. I see most people on here are handling their tegus with no problem. I have not held mine since the first day I got it. He’s probably grown about six inches from then. I’ve been slowly trying to work with it by putting my fist in the enclosure in hopes that it will get curious and inspect. It has not made any effort to come near me. I have been able to get almost right on top of it with my fist,but then it freaks out. Today I accidentally moved my finger, touched it’s toe, and it tail whipped me. I only get to see the tegu on the weekends since I work during the week and leave before it gets up, and arrive back home when it’s already burrowed. My biggest fear is that I’m not going to do this right and I’m going to have a 5ft monster that attacks me. Does it sounds like I am doing things correctly? Is there anything more that I can do? (Just ignore the floating lightbulb in the picture, I can’t quite reach it ) this picture is right before I touched the toe.
 

Attachments

  • 145E0DB4-A885-441C-81E6-23C8D8A010AA.jpeg
    145E0DB4-A885-441C-81E6-23C8D8A010AA.jpeg
    1.6 MB · Views: 87

Austin27

New Member
Messages
12
It's normal behavior, it just takes time. Honestly I think you're doing a good job. Mine was just like this and it took me 9 months but it sounds like your initial approach is better than mine.
 

Oldmegg

New Member
Messages
7
Austin, thank you so much! I feel much better. I will keep up with the “slow and steady” tactic. Also, any extra advice is welcomed :)
 

Leezard

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
93
Location
Minnesota
hello all,
I’ve been reading through these forums since I first picked my tegu up the first week of April this year. I’m fairly positive I have my tank set up correctly with a hot and cool side and bowl of water. I am not as confident in my lizards behavior. I see most people on here are handling their tegus with no problem. I have not held mine since the first day I got it. He’s probably grown about six inches from then. I’ve been slowly trying to work with it by putting my fist in the enclosure in hopes that it will get curious and inspect. It has not made any effort to come near me. I have been able to get almost right on top of it with my fist,but then it freaks out. Today I accidentally moved my finger, touched it’s toe, and it tail whipped me. I only get to see the tegu on the weekends since I work during the week and leave before it gets up, and arrive back home when it’s already burrowed. My biggest fear is that I’m not going to do this right and I’m going to have a 5ft monster that attacks me. Does it sounds like I am doing things correctly? Is there anything more that I can do? (Just ignore the floating lightbulb in the picture, I can’t quite reach it ) this picture is right before I touched the toe.
You're doing just fine it takes time!!! It'll just take longer with less time available but with patience and determination he will grow more confident in his size and also your role in his life .His brain will grow and he'll go through phases but it's awesome that youre asking the right questions! Keep trying and slowly allowing him to hurt you, never chasing him around the cage but gently trying to scoop him up from beneath his belly .it'll seem hopeless but it's not!! They're smart enough to see youre not the enemy in time.
 

Leezard

Member
5 Year Member
Messages
93
Location
Minnesota
You're doing just fine it takes time!!! It'll just take longer with less time available but with patience and determination he will grow more confident in his size and also your role in his life .His brain will grow and he'll go through phases but it's awesome that youre asking the right questions! Keep trying and slowly allowing him to hurt you, never chasing him around the cage but gently trying to scoop him up from beneath his belly .it'll seem hopeless but it's not!! They're smart enough to see youre not the enemy in time.
By allowing him to bite you it shows you will never retaliate in aggression and also solidify that you are not easily hurt .
 

Oldmegg

New Member
Messages
7
Leezard,

This makes me feel so much more confident. Is it okay that when he tail whips or bites I retreat? I figure if I slowly back away he understands I’m not trying to hurt him. I never full leave. I usually just remove my hand from the cage or keep it right on the edge and stay calm/ softly talk so he knows I’m still there and still not hurting him. Thank you so much again :)
 

AlphaAlpha

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Messages
1,022
Meg it sounds like you are doing a great job.... I was much the same as you in the early days.....I see no problem in showing a little submission when aggression shows, as it shows there is compromise but don't back down totally and allow your gu to rule the roost.
 

Mamasaurus

Member
Messages
39
Location
Pennsylvania
Keep up the good work! My only suggestion to do "more" is to sit in a small room like a bathroom with a door and no holes for him to get into and just sit there. Literally. Read a book or play on your phone. Let him be nebby and sniff/lick about. Of course, that's if you can get him out. Has anyone tried a towel? Mine likes to curl up in them but anywho. It was also easier to get to know him if he was a bit cooler. We sat in the tub and I played on my phone. I leave him alone when he's buried or in his hide too. I'm not the most experienced here but I'm impatient and a worrier myself lol. How are his temps?
 

battyrubble

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
26
Location
Westchester NY
I have an adult Colombian from birth and you are doing everything right, the only thing I would suggest is even when they are asleep they listen so even if you are too busy to handle talk to him, get him used to your voice, everything will add to your bond. I was lucky to work from home so I spent a lot of time with Lulu, after 5 years he is like a house cat. You will get there just keep on!
 

Oldmegg

New Member
Messages
7
Thank you all so much! I was reading that even when they’re burrowed they still hear you, so every time I walk by the room I do talk to him. Usually, I will spend 30-60 minutes at a time sitting next to the cage talking and playing on my phone with my hand in the tank. I’ve also been putting old clothes that I sleep with in the tank. At first he would pull them into his water (I assume to wash my smell away?) and now he’s pulling them to where he basks. I’m feeling so much better about how things are going now. I still have not been able to touch him, but I’m confident we will get there :)! Does anyone have suggestions on food? I’ve been feeding him ground turkey, and I add calcium to it once per week. He doesn’t like green beans or parsley. Thank you all so much. It means so much to me.
 

battyrubble

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
26
Location
Westchester NY
Thats great! As far as food goes, Colombians dont do vegetables unless you hide them in the meat, I get Reptilinks.com with a mix of fruit and veg, but it can get costly, before I did the links, I did ground turkey, chopped chicken gizzards and hearts, quail egg raw with some Fieblings repti vitamins as a sauce, hard boiled chicken egg, but be careful its like crack to them, and grapes, Lulu loves the really sweet red grapes, I tear them in half so its easier to eat. You know there are a lot of FB groups that deal with everything, and a few for just Colombians if you go there you can find me and pics of Lulu;)
 

Oldmegg

New Member
Messages
7
Thats great! As far as food goes, Colombians dont do vegetables unless you hide them in the meat, I get Reptilinks.com with a mix of fruit and veg, but it can get costly, before I did the links, I did ground turkey, chopped chicken gizzards and hearts, quail egg raw with some Fieblings repti vitamins as a sauce, hard boiled chicken egg, but be careful its like crack to them, and grapes, Lulu loves the really sweet red grapes, I tear them in half so its easier to eat. You know there are a lot of FB groups that deal with everything, and a few for just Colombians if you go there you can find me and pics of Lulu;)
I found a group related to Colombians only, as well a few groups for all tegus. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

Miguel.m

New Member
Messages
2
hello all,
I’ve been reading through these forums since I first picked my tegu up the first week of April this year. I’m fairly positive I have my tank set up correctly with a hot and cool side and bowl of water. I am not as confident in my lizards behavior. I see most people on here are handling their tegus with no problem. I have not held mine since the first day I got it. He’s probably grown about six inches from then. I’ve been slowly trying to work with it by putting my fist in the enclosure in hopes that it will get curious and inspect. It has not made any effort to come near me. I have been able to get almost right on top of it with my fist,but then it freaks out. Today I accidentally moved my finger, touched it’s toe, and it tail whipped me. I only get to see the tegu on the weekends since I work during the week and leave before it gets up, and arrive back home when it’s already burrowed. My biggest fear is that I’m not going to do this right and I’m going to have a 5ft monster that attacks me. Does it sounds like I am doing things correctly? Is there anything more that I can do? (Just ignore the floating lightbulb in the picture, I can’t quite reach it ) this picture is right before I touched the toe.
I agree with everyone else only thing I would use more of laying my hand flat palms open instead of a closed fist moving towards him I’ve only had mine 3 weeks and approach him with my hand open and slowly move my open hand under his belly and I scope him up if he jumps off that’s fine but with patience he’ll stay on sometimes mines just hangs out and sometimes he jumps off and doesn’t want to be bothered they got personality so it’s fine but they will get used to u
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Messages
4,409
A lot of experience and insught in these responses. Remember to be deliberate, slow, and predictable in your movements. Lift from below. Get them used to your calm steady voice. They hunt by searching. They are by our standards complicated and smart. Recognize that in your interactions. I talk to mine with full expectation that they "get" me.
 

Stellalife1

Member
Messages
93
hello all,
I’ve been reading through these forums since I first picked my tegu up the first week of April this year. I’m fairly positive I have my tank set up correctly with a hot and cool side and bowl of water. I am not as confident in my lizards behavior. I see most people on here are handling their tegus with no problem. I have not held mine since the first day I got it. He’s probably grown about six inches from then. I’ve been slowly trying to work with it by putting my fist in the enclosure in hopes that it will get curious and inspect. It has not made any effort to come near me. I have been able to get almost right on top of it with my fist,but then it freaks out. Today I accidentally moved my finger, touched it’s toe, and it tail whipped me. I only get to see the tegu on the weekends since I work during the week and leave before it gets up, and arrive back home when it’s already burrowed. My biggest fear is that I’m not going to do this right and I’m going to have a 5ft monster that attacks me. Does it sounds like I am doing things correctly? Is there anything more that I can do? (Just ignore the floating lightbulb in the picture, I can’t quite reach it ) this picture is right before I touched the toe.
Golden tegus are not as placid as Arginine tegus. Put a well worn old smelly t-shirt in its hide to get used to your scent. Open the enclosure daily and just move things around so it gets used to you being in its space. If you pull away when she bites, tail whips, charges, she will learn that this behavior is getting her what she wants which is to be left alone. Tegus NEED to be interacted with! They are very smart & learn very quickly. You can try taking her out and sitting in an empty bathtub or small bathroom & let her crawl on you to inspect you. Ignore her and go on your phone or something while you are doing this. Always come from the side to pick her up, coming from the top is preditory.. the most important thing you can do at this young age is to interact with it daily! You can also fill a bathtub about 1/2 way up her body so she can soak, this is a great bonding experience. Put your hand in the water for her to rest on if she chooses. She will try to crawl up your arm. Don't let her! Let her sit on your hand... then when you are ready, let her crawl up your arm...she will perceive that you are "safe" & Don't want to eat her! Lol. Also when you feed her, tap on the food dish several times before opening enclosure & continue to tap until she comes to you. Then tong feed her to build more trust. You really need to make time for a lizard that will be so large, otherwise she will be what you don't want
 

battyrubble

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
26
Location
Westchester NY
hello all,
I’ve been reading through these forums since I first picked my tegu up the first week of April this year. I’m fairly positive I have my tank set up correctly with a hot and cool side and bowl of water. I am not as confident in my lizards behavior. I see most people on here are handling their tegus with no problem. I have not held mine since the first day I got it. He’s probably grown about six inches from then. I’ve been slowly trying to work with it by putting my fist in the enclosure in hopes that it will get curious and inspect. It has not made any effort to come near me. I have been able to get almost right on top of it with my fist,but then it freaks out. Today I accidentally moved my finger, touched it’s toe, and it tail whipped me. I only get to see the tegu on the weekends since I work during the week and leave before it gets up, and arrive back home when it’s already burrowed. My biggest fear is that I’m not going to do this right and I’m going to have a 5ft monster that attacks me. Does it sounds like I am doing things correctly? Is there anything more that I can do? (Just ignore the floating lightbulb in the picture, I can’t quite reach it ) this picture is right before I touched the toe.
You’re doing fine, and btw you have a B&W, just like mine, our boy is 8, had him from 3 months old
and we did a lot of work with him as a baby, he is very ticklish, so getting teiled is no surprise, but even if you can’t spend time with your baby, talk to him, all the time.
Our boy knows about 40 words, and is just beyond awesome, so you need to treat him like a cat or dog, affection, attention, constant positive reinforcement .
You have the best critter in the world, intelligent, emotional, who doesn’t destroy the furniture or makes lots of noise
Please feel free to ask more questions
[email protected]
Angela
 

IanCredible

New Member
Messages
4
hello all,
I’ve been reading through these forums since I first picked my tegu up the first week of April this year. I’m fairly positive I have my tank set up correctly with a hot and cool side and bowl of water. I am not as confident in my lizards behavior. I see most people on here are handling their tegus with no problem. I have not held mine since the first day I got it. He’s probably grown about six inches from then. I’ve been slowly trying to work with it by putting my fist in the enclosure in hopes that it will get curious and inspect. It has not made any effort to come near me. I have been able to get almost right on top of it with my fist,but then it freaks out. Today I accidentally moved my finger, touched it’s toe, and it tail whipped me. I only get to see the tegu on the weekends since I work during the week and leave before it gets up, and arrive back home when it’s already burrowed. My biggest fear is that I’m not going to do this right and I’m going to have a 5ft monster that attacks me. Does it sounds like I am doing things correctly? Is there anything more that I can do? (Just ignore the floating lightbulb in the picture, I can’t quite reach it ) this picture is right before I touched the toe.
With my goldie I talked to him while he ate. I acclimated him to handling using gloves but you need to start now it sounds likes he's putting on size you need to show him your alpha right away.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
20,127
Messages
177,940
Members
10,291
Latest member
billiebillz
Top