• 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]!

Tegu won't stop biting at random

Chenpoes

New Member
Messages
7
My little guy is, for the most part, a sweetheart. He comes up to me and climbs right onto me from his enclosure, will nudge himself into my hands to be pet every now and then, and even when given the option to free roam he prefers to just climb all over me/stick near me. However, he keeps biting me at random. He's a little over a year old now and still fairly small since he spent a lot of that brumating, but his bites are enough to have me bleeding.

There's no warning signs, no aggression, he'll just bite me real hard and then keep doing what he's doing. Sometimes my leg, my stomach, my arm, etc, there's no pattern to it. He's always full when this happens as well, and he does this maybe once a week. I believe he's doing it in an attempt to move/climb under or through(?) me, as he's usually trying to dig through my skin right beforehand. I tried to just let him bite it out and figure out on his own biting is pointless, and it definitely lowered the frequency, but he still does it and the bigger he gets the more concerning it is. Its been a few months of this and I'm not sure what to do. Anyone ever dealt with this? How'd you curb this behavior?
 

Dude Bro Man 433

New Member
Messages
29
If you move every time he bites your reinforcing this behavior, same thing with snakes biting and Musking. Ive never bad this issue with a tegu.
 

TheTeguNovice

Active Member
5 Year Member
Messages
168
Location
California
My first female (titus) use to do this, I knew it was coming when she started to dig with her nose. As soon as I caught on to it though I would reposition her. Eventually it stopped all together. For me it was when she saw hiding places, like under my legs, in my baggy clothes etc.
 

Sean32817

Member
Messages
48
Location
Orlando
Rex has attempted to burrow into me with his nose numerous times but has never followed it up with biting.

My only bite - other than over excited feeding responses - was when I had to capture him after he found a way outside and I was a bit rougher than I would have liked due to the need to get him secure and inside.

While he's threatened me with an open mouth when I've had to drag him out from under the couch, he's never just randomly bitten me.
 

ToadHallBetty

Member
Messages
73
Location
Citronelle Alabama
If he gets very insistent with his 'digging' i might pick him up and move him elsewhere, but I've never jerked away when he bites
My Tegu Little Buddy has a similar behavior. He will be climbing around on me, looking around,, he will start nosing me and then bite. I think it may be a scent , visual or both. When I see him looking down and smelling or if he digs, I distract him and he stops. Some colors also attract him, he has tried to bite my watchband, it's black, several times.
In your situation I would distract or move your Tegu when he digs or seems overly interested in your skin.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Messages
1,221
Location
Prescott, AZ
I do think it will pass as he matures, but that's no answer!!!! Make sure you don't have food scent on you, and I like the distraction that Betty talked about. Move him as soon as you think another one's coming.
 

AnimalNerd

Member
Messages
44
My little guy is, for the most part, a sweetheart. He comes up to me and climbs right onto me from his enclosure, will nudge himself into my hands to be pet every now and then, and even when given the option to free roam he prefers to just climb all over me/stick near me. However, he keeps biting me at random. He's a little over a year old now and still fairly small since he spent a lot of that brumating, but his bites are enough to have me bleeding.

There's no warning signs, no aggression, he'll just bite me real hard and then keep doing what he's doing. Sometimes my leg, my stomach, my arm, etc, there's no pattern to it. He's always full when this happens as well, and he does this maybe once a week. I believe he's doing it in an attempt to move/climb under or through(?) me, as he's usually trying to dig through my skin right beforehand. I tried to just let him bite it out and figure out on his own biting is pointless, and it definitely lowered the frequency, but he still does it and the bigger he gets the more concerning it is. Its been a few months of this and I'm not sure what to do. Anyone ever dealt with this? How'd you curb this behavior?
This sounds a lot like he sees you as an obstacle he's trying to 'dig' through or it could be the random bouts of aggressiveness associated with tegu puberty. My boy has exhibited similar behaviors but after pawing he 'latches' on without full bite force and huffs his cheeks. To my horror/amusement I found out it's because he's in the throws of tegu puberty and trying to 'mate' with my leg. When he's sniffing/pawing I say his name loudly and he settles for cuddling. If he doesn't listen and still tries to bite he gets a firm 'no' and he's removed and his attention is diverted to a stuffed animal or a cardboard paper towel tube (he loves carrying them around and chomping on them like a dog with a stick). He's straight up aggression bit me too- it's very different from when he's courting/trying to communicate. The general rule of thumb is if an animal gets over stimulated you put them in 'time out' until they are calm or divert their attention like moving them away from you, introducing them to a blanket to burrow into, or giving them something 'acceptable' to bite. It sounds like you already have the right idea by not rewarding his behavior and staying calm. If he still escalates consider shutting him in his enclosure for about 10 or so minutes or until he seems calm. While you're working on curbing this behavior in order to avoid injury I'd recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing, jeans, and long sleeved shirts so if he bites down he gets more clothing than flesh.
 

Chenpoes

New Member
Messages
7
This sounds a lot like he sees you as an obstacle he's trying to 'dig' through or it could be the random bouts of aggressiveness associated with tegu puberty. My boy has exhibited similar behaviors but after pawing he 'latches' on without full bite force and huffs his cheeks. To my horror/amusement I found out it's because he's in the throws of tegu puberty and trying to 'mate' with my leg. When he's sniffing/pawing I say his name loudly and he settles for cuddling. If he doesn't listen and still tries to bite he gets a firm 'no' and he's removed and his attention is diverted to a stuffed animal or a cardboard paper towel tube (he loves carrying them around and chomping on them like a dog with a stick). He's straight up aggression bit me too- it's very different from when he's courting/trying to communicate. The general rule of thumb is if an animal gets over stimulated you put them in 'time out' until they are calm or divert their attention like moving them away from you, introducing them to a blanket to burrow into, or giving them something 'acceptable' to bite. It sounds like you already have the right idea by not rewarding his behavior and staying calm. If he still escalates consider shutting him in his enclosure for about 10 or so minutes or until he seems calm. While you're working on curbing this behavior in order to avoid injury I'd recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing, jeans, and long sleeved shirts so if he bites down he gets more clothing than flesh.
Wow, just looked up tegu courting behavior and it looks a lot like what he's been doing to me :') I never really thought of puberty since he's so small, but I suppose I should count my lucky stars he's going through it at this size and not when he's bigger. He has most of his free roam time in a small area so I think it's time we upgrade to a bigger room so he can have some distractions from trying to do the unspeakable to me lol. Thank you so much for the advice, I'll be sure to put it to good use!!
 

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
19,891
Messages
177,238
Members
9,910
Latest member
MCGRUMPY
Top