Taming the Beast

A quiet lizard sitting in your lap enjoying all the attention you bestow upon it. A gigantic snake that enjoys riding swung over your neck. Dangerous looking monitors who can be carried around like a baby or walked down the street on leash. That is what many reptile keepers hope each time that they purchase their next reptile. So how do you help ensure that you are successful in taming and training your pet?


One of the most important keys to ultimately having a tame reptile is to select a species that is known to tame down easily. It takes experience to tame down many reptiles. You must know how to make them feel most comfortable and how not to stress them out. Several species fall into this category including cornsnakes, leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and ball pythons. These species seem to hatch out more handleable and adjusted than many species after months of time.

So now you know that the first key is to find one of the more easily tameable species. So now you can head out and go pick up your reptile, right. Well not quite yet, the next important key is to pick a species that you can handle. One example of a usually easily tamed species that not everyone can handle is the savannah monitor and the more expensive red tegus. Both are known for being very docile but both can reach lengths of 4 feet and over 10 pounds. They also possess a bite that can be very painful. These lizards would require very large enclosures as well as a handler with at least some experience. It is nearly impossible for you to effectively tame down animals that you can’t afford to feed, house, or handle. I once had an experience with a very tame iguana that I bought as an adult. It started out tame but was so large that it was a chore to handle which ultimately made me handle it less and led to me having a very large now untamed iguana.

This brings up yet another key point. It is always, always, always important to start of with a young animal especially if you are a novice reptile keeper. You do not want to have an animal that is going to intimidate you. It is also much easier to mold a young animal’s behavior to the way you desire it. And of course the bite you receive when you make early mistakes isn’t as bad.

The last key, which you must always remember, is time. It takes time to get your tame reptile. Of course there is no set time. It could take weeks with some individuals, months with some, maybe years. If you do not have patience you probably do not have a good chance of getting your tame lizards. Many of these reptiles are wild caught so don’t go into the relationship expecting immediate results. Treat it as though you had just caught this reptile from the wild to help you be more patient with your approach.

So let’s review, to help your chances of getting a tame reptile you should choose a reptile that you can easily tame at your experience level, choose a species that you can care for, start with a young animal, and be patient. Of course there are no guarantees, I know usually tame animals as mean as rattlesnakes and I know of species that are known to be meaner than rattlesnakes turn out as calm as any leopard gecko.

By: Isaac Taylor




 

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