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Problems with my tegu and tameness

SammyThai

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Thailand
I have had a black and white Tegu for 2 months now. When I got him the breeder (more of a backyard reptile mill, I live in Asia) said he was very tame (but here they do lie just to sell). The moment he arrived I carefully let him out of the package he came in and into his enclosure. He freaked out when I tried to lift him out of the package, so I let him crawl out. Which I expected, as he had spent 2 days in shipping. Since the day he came he absolutely will not let me touch him. I have tried the dirty t-shirt trick, the ignore him trick and the just pick him up trick. Nothing works. He will let me feed him, but refuses to get anywhere near me or let me even touch him lightly. If I even put my hand down near him, he starts breathing heavily and if I get closer he runs or arches his back defensively. If we try to just carefully scoop him up he does death rolls and tries to jump from our arms. The only thing he will let me do is sit next to his enclosure with the door open while he basks, but he does watch me carefully. I am not afraid of him, so he's not sensing any fear from me or hesitation. I have many reptiles, but this is my 1st and only Tegu. His enclosure is in my home office and I am right next to him at least 14 hours per day, as I work from home. The breeder couldn't tell me how old he was, just that he was under 5 months, so I actually have no idea how old he is, but he was not a tiny baby when I got him. He has hide boxes (I never touch him when he is in them) perfect heat and humidity and a large enclosure. I also live in a tropical country so our local heat and humidity is already good. I have no idea what conditions he was in before, but know that he dropped part of his tail and it grew back before I got him. If anyone has any advice I would really appreciate it.
 

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Stellalife1

Member
Messages
93
He sees you as a predator. Being that young, this is normal behavior. Keep talking to him without making eye contact. When you do pick him up, come from the side. Coming from the top is predatory. You can take him and sit in an empty bathtub. And just go on your phone or something so he can check you out or a small bathroom that he can't escape. Even if he huffs at you, leave your hand in the enclosure as close to him as possible. They are extremely smart & will learn very quickly what it will take to make you leave him alone. You can also give him a warm soak in the bathtub about 1/2 way up his body & put your hand in facing down so if he needs a rest or wants out, he has to come to you. This is a great bonding experience!! You can also Start tong feeding. When I tong feed, I tap on the dish and call my tegus name and say "hungry? Wanna eat?" Keep the dish outside the enclosure while you tong feed so he has to rely on you to eat. No tapping =no food!! I hope this helps!
 

SammyThai

New Member
Messages
4
Location
Thailand
He sees you as a predator. Being that young, this is normal behavior. Keep talking to him without making eye contact. When you do pick him up, come from the side. Coming from the top is predatory. You can take him and sit in an empty bathtub. And just go on your phone or something so he can check you out or a small bathroom that he can't escape. Even if he huffs at you, leave your hand in the enclosure as close to him as possible. They are extremely smart & will learn very quickly what it will take to make you leave him alone. You can also give him a warm soak in the bathtub about 1/2 way up his body & put your hand in facing down so if he needs a rest or wants out, he has to come to you. This is a great bonding experience!! You can also Start tong feeding. When I tong feed, I tap on the dish and call my tegus name and say "hungry? Wanna eat?" Keep the dish outside the enclosure while you tong feed so he has to rely on you to eat. No tapping =no food!! I hope this helps!
He's tamed up now. It just took some time. Thanks for the reply.
 

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