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Michelle Parkison

New Member
Hello, I just got my new baby argentine B&W tegu. I have had him for about a week now. I read up a lot on taming and knew that slow and simple was the right move. He was very friendly when I first opened my package and he climbed right on my arm! I let him sit and walk around my room for a little bit so he could warm up before I put him under the heat lamp. I was doing what I had read everywhere and left him alone for a few days and was just present around his enclosure and talked to him. I’d say about two days after I got him I started moving things around in his enclosure and filling water so he wouldn’t see me as a threat. The next day I began getting closer and he let me pet him! Later that same day, he began climbing on my arm and smelling me, he even let me pick him. So I took him and let him roam around me on my bed. He seemed to enjoy it and he climbed on me too. Then the day after that I did some water taming and let him roam in my bathroom. The next two days I had him out a lot more and he would just cuddle and sleep with me while I watched movies. He was very friendly! He wouldn’t jump if I moved a little too fast and let me hold him however much I wanted. I was a little concerned though because I had read and seen everywhere that everyone says “It may take weeks or months don’t worry” and stuff like “Don’t go too fast or you’ll scar them and have the restart the whole process.” I was so scared that maybe I was doing it wrong and that i’m moving too fast. Now I am very scared of that. Today I hadn’t taken him out until around 7-8 because I was doing online school (stupid quarantine) all day. I took him out and he was fine and roaming around (obviously very anxious to stretch out) while I was doing homework. After a while he fell asleep under my pillow (which was normal). Usually when he is asleep he doesn’t mind what I’m doing or if I move him. I wasn’t fast or anything but I slowly moved the pillow and softly pet him to wake him up and he arched him back and began puffing. I have never seen him do this before. So I backed up and moved away because I had though that maybe I just scared him. I let him fully wake up and start moving around. Then I slowly moved my hand towards him and he began puffing again and tail-whipped me. I was very scared. He then jumped (or fell but it seemed intentional) to the floor behind my bed (it’s carpet so he’s okay and it was only a 1 1/2 foot drop). He’s done this before and I just pop my face under the bed and he comes towards me and allows me to pick him up. However, this time he stayed near the wall under my bed. I stuck out my hand under the bed and he started moving near me and got pretty close. Then when he got within a few inches he started puffing and arching his back again. So I moved away and let him roam and he went under my nightstand. (I didn’t try to stop him because I didn’t want to scare him and lose his trust.) I grabbed a cricket with tongs and held it near the opening under the nightstand. (This always gets him out of his hiding places.) He just started puffing again. I decided to leave him alone. And I know when your tegu does this you’re not supposed to stop because then that teaches them that that is the way to get you to leave him alone, but I have never seen him do this before so I knew that wasn’t it. I sat there for about an hour and he wasn’t leaving. (I think he was sleeping or resting but I could not see his face so I’m not sure.) He still hasn’t left and it is nightime so I just covered all the exits with towels so he can not sneak away during the night. Is this what I should do? Did I move too fast with taming him and now he’s scarred and I’ll have to restart? What does this behavior mean? Is this just a case where “they are wild animals and not a puppy dog”? PS. I’m so sorry this is so long, I got carried away


Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Its all part of the parcel of getting to know and trust each other....... Although you might have good days or good weeks always be prepared to take a step back...... It does sound like you might have rushed things but I'm sure things will settle back down.

Sometimes there is no other way than to be boss and just grab them but be prepared for the death roles.....haha..... and don't worry they forgive you.
Better to be safe and in their enclosure cause where ever you don't want them to go they do and can find the weakest or smallest escape route there is when small and a totally abuse it .....hahaha

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